Leading Catholic Educator Mike Byrne Retires

28/05/2015

Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission Mike Byrne will retire tomorrow Friday 29 May. 

Mr Byrne began his career as a teacher in Catholic education over 45 years ago and retires after nine years in the leadership role at QCEC.

“It has been a true privilege to be part of the great community of Catholic education and education in Queensland more broadly,” he reflected this week.

“I sincerely thank all of you, colleagues and friends, who have made the journey so special for me.”

Mr Byrne said the past nine years as Executive Director of the QCEC have been among the most rewarding of his career.

“The opportunity to work across the breadth of Catholic education in Queensland and nationally, and with the calibre of people in our Church, parishes, schools and offices, has been an exhilarating experience.

“I would like to especially thank Archbishops John Bathersby and Mark Coleridge and the other Bishops of Queensland and leaders of Religious Institutes that I have worked with. I am deeply grateful for their leadership and guidance.

“I have also felt privileged to enjoy constructive relationships with my colleagues from other sectors, as well as five Education Ministers in the Queensland Government: Rod Welford, Geoff Wilson, Cameron Dick, John-Paul Langbroek and now Kate Jones.

“All of these people have been genuinely committed to improving education for the next generation of Queenslanders and have been supportive and respectful partners of our work in Catholic schools. I thank them sincerely,” Mike Byrne said. 

During his term as QCEC Executive Director, Mr Byrne has guided the Catholic education sector through a number of significant, challenging and complex reforms at both the State and Federal level including:

  • the introduction of the Preparatory (Prep) year of schooling in Queensland schools
  • Building the Education Revolution (BER)
  • Digital Education Revolution (DER)
  • introduction of kindergartens on school sites in Queensland
  • introduction of the Australian Curriculum
  • National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
  • the Gonski Review of school funding
  • the move of Year 7 to Secondary schools in Queensland in 2015.

“We have much to be proud of in Catholic education, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We must strive not only to remain abreast of the times, but to be leaders.

“Looking forward, I thank QCEC Assistant Director Mandy Anderson for her generosity as she steps into an acting role for the next two months, and I offer my best wishes to Dr Lee-Anne Perry as she takes up the position of Executive Director from 27 July,” Mike Byrne said.

QCEC Chair Professor Peter Sheehan also acknowledged the outstanding leadership Mike Byrne has provided as Executive Director over the last nine years saying Catholic education in Queensland has been very well positioned to go forward as a result of his valued leadership.

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