Under the CECV, the four Victorian dioceses work collaboratively on projects to advance all Catholic schools and diocesan Catholic education offices in the state.

These projects are developing areas as diverse as technology and Catholic identity.

Enhancing Catholic School Identity

Catholic schools across Victoria are challenged to:

  • articulate their identity and vision
  • express their distinctiveness as Catholic schools in a society where the Christian faith is increasingly marginalised.

To assist schools in facing these present realities the CECV and the four diocesan Catholic education offices embarked on a research partnership with the Catholic University (Katholieke Universiteit) Leuven, Belgium. This research involves responding to a series of survey questions by various stakeholders in Catholic schools.

The program which has now emerged from this research assists schools to better understand how their Catholic identity is expressed in work and practice, and will support them in the future development of that Catholic identity.

Strengthening the Catholic identity of schools

Leaders in Catholic schools are called upon to lead a community of faith.

Such leadership can be exercised in a number of ways but it is always prepared and capable of naming that which is distinctive about the Catholic tradition while remaining open to dialogue with those of other faiths and, indeed, those of no religious faith.

This religious leadership invites all members of the Catholic school community to engage with the tradition.

For teachers, this often asks for a changed pedagogy which, through rigorous inquiry, is ‘theologically legitimate and culturally plausible’.

The special role of school leaders exists in finding a range of options by which the school’s Catholic identity can be strengthened – a methodology for making sense of all that engages the school, and in all that the school engages with, is required.

Through such a methodology, Catholic schools are challenged to faithfully articulate their identity and vision and to express their distinctiveness as Catholic schools in a society that is increasingly secular and diverse.

About the Survey

The main questions being explored through the research in each school are:

  • How is Catholic identity lived and shaped in the school?
  • What is the preferred situation on theological grounds?
  • What is the potential present in the school to realise its preferred Catholic Identity?


Participation in the assessment of Catholic identity in each school involves responding to a series of questions by individuals in the following cohorts:

  • in primary schools – students in Years 5 & 6
  • in secondary schools – students in Years 7 to 12
  • all Staff
  • Board members and Canonical Administrators
  • parents

All individuals access the survey online and are given unique password-protected access.

The survey includes:

The Profile Questionnaire is a short introductory set of questions to gather information about the respondents. This will allow the results to be differentiated in terms of groups of respondents according to categories such as age, role in the school, religion, Church practice.

The Post Critical Belief Scale (PCB) will assist schools in profiling and measuring the different attitudes toward religion that exist among their Catholic education community.

The Melbourne Scale profiles the characteristics and response of the school as an institution in a diverse context. The Melbourne Scale has two parts: Part A identifies how community members perceive the Catholic school responding to its situation, while Part B identifies how the community would ideally like the school to respond to this situation.

The Victoria Scale explores the ways in which a Catholic school, in a multicultural and multi-religious society, manages the twofold challenge of defining its individual character as well as exercising solidarity. Part A identifies how community members perceive the Catholic school responding to this challenge while Part B identifies how the community would ideally like the school to respond.

The Doyle Questionnaire is a set of questions about relevant aspects of Catholic school identity that should be included in a thorough investigation of school identity and that may not be represented, or may be under-represented, in the other parts of the survey. This is also in two parts.

Schools seeking further information about the survey should go to the CEVN website.

Diocesan Contacts


Ph: +61 3 9267 0228
Tony Byrne:

Ph: +61 3 5337 7135
John Meneely:

Ph: +61 3 5622 6600
Deb Punton:

Ph: +61 3 5443 2377
Phil Bretherton:


Professor Didier Pollefeyt 2013 visit


Project website

Integrated Catholic Online Network (ICON)

The Integrated Catholic Online Network (ICON) project is a collaborative project between Victorian Catholic schools and the four diocesan Catholic education offices.

ICON builds on the Catholic tradition of working together to improve all schools by facilitating collaboration, the pooling of resources, and strategies to improve student learning across Victorian Catholic education to capitalise on and enhance the collective wisdom of Catholic educators and administrators.

ICON will provide schools with core technologies for Victorian Catholic education that optimise student learning and school administration.

The ICON applications are accessible through a customised portal for staff, teachers, students and parents. The three main components that make up ICON are eAdmin, eLearn and ePlan.

The ICON project team supports the development and implementation of ICON for schools.

ICON implementation for schools

The first release of the ICON platform was rolled out progressively to eight primary schools in late 2016. At the commencement of the academic year in 2021, 201 schools will be using ICON eAdmin applications to process payroll, pay accounts and manage student details.

The current implementation schedule allows for the rollout of ICON to an additional 95 schools by the end of 2021.

For further information or to provide feedback about ICON send an email to

Diocesan Contacts

Ballarat - Julie Duynhoven

Phone: 5337 7135 email:

MACS - Kaye Byrne

Phone: 9267 0228 email:

Sale - Paul Velten

Phone: 5622 6600 email:

Sandhurst - Grant Fitzgerald

Phone: 5443 2377 email: