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Deacons Conference heading to Perth, focus on formation and community


Deacon Gregory Lowe is the inaugural Director of the West Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (WACMRO) here in Perth. Photo: Archdiocese of Perth.

By Eric Martin

The National Association of Deacons’ (NAD) biennial national conference is heading to Perth.  The 2019 Conference will take place from 3 to 6 October, 2019 at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle campus.

All deacons, candidates and aspirants from Australia and New Zealand, of any Catholic rite, and their wives are invited to attend with early bird registration closing on 30 June. Others who attend include those responsible for deacon formation and other interested clergy from across Australia.

National organising Committee Chair, Deacon Mark Powell, from the Archdiocese of Perth, spoke about the theme of the Conference, entitled “I and the Father are One,” (John 17:21) and said one of the aims of the conference is to help deacons, and those involved with diaconate formation, come together in faith.

“We are hoping that the Conference will create a stronger pastoral awareness nationally about how we can better realise a stronger role for Deacons among the wider Catholic community,” Deacon Powell said.

“We are living in a changing world, globally and internally, and we are seeing many opportunities where the role of a deacon can provide support, perhaps where there has not been before, but there is clearly a need within that parish, agency or school,” he said.


Rev Dr Anthony Gooley, BA (Psych), B Th, Grad Dip Ed, BA Hons I (Theol), PhD, is a Lecturer in Theology and Religious Education at The Broken Bay Institute. Photo: Sourced

Keynote speakers of the Conference include Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders, Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long, Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce, Archdiocese of Brisbane theologian and Associate Professor Deacon Anthony Gooley and Rev Deacon Tony Hoban, from the Diocese of Parramatta.

Other speakers at the Conference include WA Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office Director, Deacon Greg Lowe and Stella Maris Seafarers Centre Director, Deacon Patrick Moore, as well as Dr Steven Kiely and Dr Michael Newton, who will speak about work life balance, and Annette Hoban and Hilary Kelly, who will speak about how wives support deacons and the impact of the diaconate on wives and families.


Dr Debra Sayce, Executive Director of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA), will also be presenting at the conference. Photo: Ron Tan

Visitors looking for accommodation will have an option of either the Esplanade Hotel, the Hougoumont Hotel, Fremantle Bed and Breakfast or Quest Apartments with registration available online at

The Conference is sponsored by The University of Notre Dame Australia, Catholic Education WA, the Archdiocese of Perth, Leuuwin Estate, the Knights of the Southern Cross WA, Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, Catholic Church Insurance, Bowra and O’Dea, The Catholic Primary Principals Association, The Catholic Secondary Principals Association, Stella Maris Seafarers Centre and Trustees of the Manly Union.