Bishop Peter Comensoli New Chair Catholic Education Commission NSW

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
1 Apr 2015

Archbishop Anthony Fisher prior to Bishop Peter Comensoli's installation as Bishop of Broken Bay

Former Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney and now the Bishop of Broken Bay, the Most Rev Peter A Comensoli DD, STL, MLitt, PhD is the new chairman of Catholic Education Commission NSW (CECNSW).

Bishop Peter's appointment  fills the vacancy left by the Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP following his appointment as the ninth Metropolitan

Archbishop of the Sydney Archdiocese.

Archbishop Anthony chaired CECNSW from 2005.

"This is an exciting and challenging time for Catholic education in NSW," Bishop Peter said.

"Enrolments in NSW Catholic schools are expected to grow by 58,000 to 312,000 by 2031.

"Our challenge is to accommodate those additional students while maintaining the high standard of education and quality learning environments parents have come to expect from our schools.

"In that regard, I welcome the pre-election commitment by the Baird Government, and NSW parliamentarians more generally, to continue investing in Catholic schools across NSW.

"CECNSW will work closely with the Baird Government to target capital funding to those Catholic schools that need it most - those in growth areas and those in need of new investment."

Bishop Peter also said it was important for governments to support the right of parents to choose a faith-based education for their children by backing Catholic schools with appropriate employment, enrolment and curriculum policies and practices.

CECNSW Executive Director Brian Croke welcomed Bishop Peter's appointment, saying he would continue the pastoral guidance of his predecessor.

"I want to thank Archbishop Anthony for his leadership over the past decade and I look forward to working closely with Bishop Peter to provide direction in Catholic education to the 11 dioceses and religious institutes that operate our schools, and also to our parents."

While Chair of the Catholic Education Commission NSW Archbishop Anthony was very involved with discussions centring on educational legislation and funding with the CECNSW long advocating the integration of teaching, learning and of educational standards regulation. He was also there when "Gonski" was on everyone's lips only to be superseded by ":Better Schools" and then "Students First".

Bishop Peter was born in the Illawarra in 1964 and studied Commerce at the University of Wollongong. He was ordained a priest in 1992, undertook post-graduate studies in moral philosophy and theology in Rome and Edinburgh, and was made Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney in 2011. In November 2014, he was appointed the third Bishop of Broken Bay diocese.

CECNSW works with Government and other stakeholders on behalf of more than 254,000 students and 27,000 staff in the state's 588 Catholic schools.