In the last week of July, the Ministry Leadership Program (MLP) recommenced under the auspices of Australian Catholic University (ACU), with the third cohort of participants now halfway through the program. Many of the group expressed their delight to reconnect with their colleagues after the interruption that was necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis.
It was particularly timely that the session focused on ethics in the Catholic context. Content expertise was provided by Dr Dan Fleming, St Vincent’s Health Australia Group Manager Ethics and Formation, while Ms Kerry Brettell facilitated the dialogue and integration processes so critical to ensuring the learning has a continuing life beyond the session.
Compliance with current COVID-19 restrictions meant virtual delivery, and some adaptation to the session timing and structure. Responses to the modified experience were overwhelmingly positive, with many appreciative comments conveyed through formal and informal evaluation. Participants acknowledged ACU’s agility in adapting so quickly and effectively to the virtual learning mode, with many commenting the presentations and interactions were thought-provoking, relevant and stimulating.
The group appreciated re-engaging with the constructive dialogue and support available within the MLP ‘community of practice’ during the volatile and rapidly changing conditions created by the COVID crisis.
Many reiterated the value of building strong relationships across the Catholic sector, especially through the insights gained in interactions with social services colleagues.
The next MLP session scheduled for September will focus on Catholic Social Teaching. Current circumstances suggest it will be necessary to adopt the virtual mode again. However, participants offered helpful suggestions to further strengthen the online delivery mode for the next session. Nevertheless, there was strong support for a return to face-to-face delivery as soon as possible. We are all hopeful the safety of the whole community will allow this!
In the meantime, planning for launch of Cohort 4 is proceeding. A significant number of places have already been reserved by systems and organisations across the health, aged care and social services sector. It is hoped this next cohort will be able to commence in early 2021.
If you are interested you can register your interest here https://www.acu.edu.au/about-acu/executive-education/contact-us or call 02 9739 2652.