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A Word From our CEO, Michelle Dempsey

Greetings CEN community! There is no doubt that as we head towards the Easter break and the end of term one, we can say ‘we’ve hit the ground running’ this year! With the recent and very successful Executives Conference behind us, we are focusing our attention on the development of our strategic directions in preparation for the upcoming CEN National Conference and AGM. We thank the Lord as an organisation for His grace and mercy as we seek to glorify God in all that we do.


Stuart Fowler

We were saddened by the passing of our good friend in Christian Education, Stuart Fowler. Stuart made a huge impact on the development of our National Institute for Christian Education, and on many educators prior to the formation of the National Institute. It was sobering recently to hear Rev Tim Costello reflect on the impact of Stuart’s ministry in his own life as a student at Melbourne University in the early 70s. I suspect we will never know the full impact of Stuart’s influence. Jack Mechielsen spoke at his memorial service, offering a wonderful reflection on Stuart.

Click here for Jack’s memorial reflection.

A simple booklet of tributes to Stuart’s ministry was available at the memorial service. If you are keen to have your own copy of this booklet, please email Melinda Storm.


Introduction of New Staff

We are certainly blessed to have a great team working at CEN and we have been pleased to welcome some new people to this team. Rachel McClure has settled in well as the SEO for NSW and ACT schools as well as CEO of the CEN Hub. Fiona has embraced her new role as . . .

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A Word From our Institute Director, David Gray

As many may already be aware, the National Institute for Christian Education turns 40 next year. In the lead-up to this milestone, we continually thank God for His provision and sovereign hand over such an important piece of the CEN movement. To be involved in training up our teachers in ways that take seriously the . . .

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A Word From our Academic Dean, Dr Beth Beech

Semester 1 has gotten off to a strong start with 13 new Master of Education and Master of Education (Leadership) students from Bayside, Plenty Valley, Dubbo, Annandale, Torrens Valley, Rehoboth, Maranatha and Melton Christian Schools/Colleges! A hearty welcome to all our . . .

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A Word From our Professional Development Coordinator, Chris Parker

During pupil free days at the start of this year, hundreds of teachers at CEN (and some non-CEN) schools participated in professional development in distinctive Christian education foundations, pedagogy, and curriculum design. All teachers completed one of the Certificates in Christian Education. Many participated in a . . .

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Online Courses Available

What is Christian Education?
A FREE 2 hour engaging course for new parents or new teachers

Board Member Induction
This is the perfect FREE induction course (CEN members only) for those who have joined a school board (or need a refresher). Fully accredited in NSW for boards wanting accredited training in that state.
Click here to enrol. 

Board Foundations
Designed for boards or individual members to work through and provides a detailed overview of the foundations of board governance. Fully accredited in NSW for boards wanting accredited training in that state.
Click here to enrol.

A Word From our Biblical Foundations Coordinator, Dr Rod Thompson

I am thrilled to commence working with CEN in this capacity. We have recently returned from nearly 12 years in New Zealand, where I was working at Laidlaw College. I now work as part of the ministry team at Springwood Presbyterian Church in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, as well as commencing in this role with CEN . . .

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A Word From our Governance Coordinator, Kathy Pereira

Although Kathy is currently residing in Tonga, she is still working in a part time capacity for CEN as our Coordinator of Governance. We look forward to sharing one of her projects at the AGM and National Conference in May. Kathy was recently caught up in the fury of Cyclone Gita which caused widespread dam age across Tonga. We were so relieved to hear that she and her Tongan colleagues were fine. Kathy sends the following message to our CEN community . . .

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Executives Conference 2018

The CEN Executives Conference for 2018, The Elephant in the Room was a wonderful opportunity for building networks and certainly to be challenged. Thanks to all of those who attended. The warmth of engagement, the . . .

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State Executive Officers Gathering in February

It’s great when we get the CEN team together, including our State Executive Officers. This happened in February when we joined in meetings at the national office. Check out this photo of my wonderful team! I (Michelle) took the photo, I haven’t been shafted!

National Conference and AGM

The CEN National Conference (which includes the AGM for member associations) is a pivotal event in the life of CEN and its members. We are excited to be bringing you a challenging and ex citing time of fellowship and learning. This year our theme is . . .

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On Sunday evening (20 May), following the CEN National Conference in Canberra, a lovely event is held each year on a boat which slowly moves around Lake Burley Griffin. The event is the AGM for AACS.  This year this will also be AACS’s opp ortunity to farewell Martin Hanscamp (we will also be farewelling Martin at our Conference, so you won’t be missing out if you need to leave Canberra early). Details for this event are found in this flyer. Register early as the boat will fill quickly!

Christian Schools National Policy Forum

The annual Christian Schools National Policy Forum hosted by CSA commences on Monday 21 May. It would seem that many have not received the email sent by CSA flagging this event earlier in the year. Please note that due to the Great Hall being closed for refurbishment, the dinner is being held in the smaller Mural Hall. It is my understanding that these seats are now taken.

Click here for registration details. 

For those wanting to stay on at the Mercure ho tel after the CEN National Conference and AGM, and prior to the Policy Forum, please indicate that when registering for the CEN Conference.

A Word From our National Board

In a recent board meeting, the National Board worked hard towards defining our strategic directions for 2018 and beyond. This will be presented at the upcoming National Conference and AGM. The board was also keen for you to note the following:

  • Board nominations – refer to the information under AGM general information for your board to make nominations for national board members.
  • Christian Super – please note that Christian Super is also seeking nominations for board members. As a Principal sponsor for Christian Super, we would be keen to present some nominations to Christian Super. If you or your board have someone in mind, please forward these suggestions to Melinda Storm for the process to be initiated.

A Word From our Nurture Editor, Nina Edlin

This year is Nurture’s 52nd year of publication and we will have a new look and feel, a little bit of a refresh. In preparing to do so it has been wonderful to look back. Nurture started when CEN was just beginning, it was understood that they needed a mechanism to continually communicate the heart of Christian education to . . .

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ITEC19 Planning

The planning for ITEC19 is going really well, as we continue to confirm some wonderful speakers both globally and nationally. We have confirmed the following speakers:

James KA Smith
David Smith
Jeff Bethke
Patricia Weerakoon

We are also pleased to note that Narelle Sketcher will be our MC.

The renovations and extensions to the SA Convention Centre are complete and a magnificent ven ue awaits us. Isn’t it lovely that they have done that for us. It is encouraging to hear plans that are underway for schools to bring their whole staff to this event in 2019.

Canada Study Tour

This is a fi nal call for those interested in the Canadian Study Tour to register interest with Melinda Storm as soon as possible. We are preparing to book flights and get this underway, however, there are still spots available. Come and join in this both rewarding and invigorating adv enture that will bring us in very close contact with our North American colleagues, across their beautiful country. A day visit to Banff and Lake Louise is also included.

Contact Melinda if you are keen.

A Word From AACS Executive Officer, Martin Hanscamp

Advice for Christian Schools on Christian Employment. One Christian school group (a member of AACS) has recently spent a large amount of money obtaining legal advice on the defensibility of requiring staff to be Christian and minimising the risk against discrimination claims. A lengthy document of advice resulted and it shows . . .

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A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER… (note the references of organisations below are not sponsors, just groups doing some interesting things that we’d like to encourage)

Christian Teachers Needed

Attention Teachers!

Did you know that one of the biggest concerns on the mission fields of the world is finding teachers to work in the schools where the children of Christian workers are educated?

Ove rseas Christian schools often need staff for a short-term placement that can be as little as one month or as long as one semester.

We believe there is a source of supply just waiting to be roused to action. Teachers who have retired or who have long service leave accrued might like to consider making themselves available for service in ov erseas schools for a short-term placement.

Have you ever considered spending time teaching ove rseas? Would you like to know what is available and where the needs exist?

If you would like to know more, please contact Richard Jessup from Interserve Australia either by phone (0415 426 406) or email (

The need is there; could you be part of the solution?


Bruce Burgess, the National Director of PeaceWise was recently visiting our national office and sharing the great work that has been done on the development of PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWise Youth.  Please refer to the link below for more information. Also, a professional development training around these new initiatives is taking place at Covenant Christian School, NSW on the 30 April. 


Click here for information on the professional development training day in April.

Click here to view the PeaceWise Kids promotional video.

RockSalt Arts

A number of schools have engaged with this Tasmanian performance duo, Steve and Hannah Cooper of Rocksalt Arts. Steve was recently teaching at a CEN school, Newstead Christian College. With a vision for people to “connect with and revel in creation and creativity,” they may be a great incursion for your school. You can follow them up through these links.

Click here to view their new video. 

Click here for their facebook page.

World Vision Student Leadership Conference

World Vision is working hard at re-defining their role in Christian Churches and Schools in Australia. They hold yearly day conference in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. You might like to check it out for your young leaders.

Click here for more information and tickets.