The Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in December 2000 to promote the participation of women in the Catholic Church of Australia.
The Council for Australian Catholic Women exists at the “national level to ensure that the dignity of women is honoured and their gifts are given space to flourish for the sake of the Church’s life and mission”. (ACBC Social Justice Statement 2000)
The current (as of April 2019) members of the CACW are:
Dr Patricia Madigan OP OP Councillor, Sydney, NSW
- Dr Gemma Tulud Cruz Councillor, Melbourne, VIC
- Dr Helen Belcher Councillor, Maitland, NSW
- Fr David Pascoe Councillor, Brisbane, QLD
- Ms Suzanne Schulz Councillor, Adelaide, SA
- Ms Victoria Burrows Councillor, Perth, WA
- Dr Michele Connelly RSJ Councillor, Sydney, NSW
- Prof. Isabell Naumann ISSM Councillor, Sydney, NSW
Council for Australian Catholic Women
The Council advises the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry in the promotion of the life and mission of the Catholic Church in Australia in the areas of:
- The inclusion of women and their participation in the Catholic Church in Australia.
- The development of strategic planning concerning the decisions and proposals from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in response to the report, Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus.
- The development, selection and dissemination of examples of best practice related to the promotion of the participation of women in the life of the Church.
- The development of projects and resources for dissemination to parishes, schools and organisations, locally and internationally, to further the participation of women in the life of the Church.
Number of Councillors
- The Council will comprise eight (8) appointed councillors and shall include seven (7) women and one (1) priest.
- A Bishop Delegate will represent the Commission at all meetings of the Council and will liaise as required with the Council Chair in between meetings.
- The Director of the Office for the Participation of Women will provide support at all meetings of the council and will liaise as required with the Council Chair in between meetings.
- The Council Chair will ordinarily include the Bishop Delegate and the Director in discussions and consult them as part of the process of developing advice to the Commission.
- Appointment of Councillors:
- Following the appointment of members to the bishops’ commissions at the May Plenary Meeting, the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry will appoint councillors for a three-year term and will report these appointments to the Conference at the November Plenary Meeting. The Commission may re-appoint councillors for up to two terms.
Appointment of Chair
- The Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry, on recommendation from the Council, will appoint the Chair for a three year term from the membership of the Council.
Frequency and Place of Meetings
- The Council will meet in conference two times a year at a place of mutual convenience. The Council may meet by audio and/or video conference at other times of the year as required.
- The Office for the Participation of Women will provide administrative support to the Council.