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Relationships on the agenda at parents’ and friends’ conference

PARENTS from Catholic schools around Queensland focused on “Relationships, Relationships, Relationships” at a recent conference in Cairns.

This was the theme for the 2014 Biennial Queensland Catholic Schools Parents Conference held at St Monica’s College from April 25-27.

Queensland Parents and Friends Federation executive director Carmel Nash said about 155 people attended the conference, which discussed various aspects of relationships related to Catholic education.

Firstly, teacher, parent, psychologist and academic Dr Sue Roffey, who is adjunct associate professor at the University of Western Sydney and chief executive officer of Wellbeing Australia, gave the keynote address on “Relationships”, and spoke on “Growing Great Kids”, “Living with Teenagers” and “Resilience and Wellbeing”, focusing on relationships within families.

Salesian Father Elio Capra then spoke about parents’ relationships with the Church and faith, drawing on 20 years’ experience teaching in Catholic schools, 12 years as a religious education co-ordinator and as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults co-ordinator in Melbourne archdiocese.

His topic was “The Catholic Family: The Heartbeat of Christ and of the Church”.

Neerim Callope, a 21-year-old Indigenous man, who is a former student of St Augustine’s College, Cairns, and now a student at James Cook University, presented the Jack Woodward memorial Address, giving his perspectives on education and relationships in education.

Parents at the conference also hear from CyberSafetySolutions director Susan McLean on the issue of cyber safety. She spoke from her 27 years’ experience as a member of Victoria Police. She was the first Victoria Police officer appointed to a position involving cyber safety and young people.

Ms Nash said the Parents and Friends Federation launched its parent engagement framework about parents’ relationship with children’s learning.

Bishop James Foley of Cairns opened the conference and the delegates attended Mass at St Monica’s Cathedral.

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