Expressions of interest sought for bishops’ advisory councils

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is accepting expressions of interest from people with the skills and attributes necessary to provide guidance to bishops through a number of advisory councils.

The current three-year terms of the councils that advise the episcopal commissions and Permanent Committee of the Bishops Conference will expire in November this year. There are vacancies to be filled on three of those bodies.

“For many years, the bishops have relied on the wisdom and expertise of dozens of lay women and men, religious women and men, priests and deacons to help make decisions at the national level,” said Bishops Conference president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.

“The three-year terms allow for renewal in the membership of our councils, and this process of inviting expressions of interest might draw from people we wouldn’t otherwise reach.”

The invitation for expressions of interest follows the successful pilot of the approach last year, when the Council for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry was formed to advise the Bishops Commission of the same name.

Archbishop Costelloe said the expressions of interest in this round will apply to a handful of positions across three advisory councils.

Members can serve up to three three-year terms on a council, so many members will be continuing to serve.

Some advisory bodies do not have vacancies, while some highly specialised bodies, such as for liturgical music or inter-religious dialogue, use an invitational approach.

“We look forward to receiving expressions of interest from people who are actively engaged in the life of their local Catholic communities and bring the type of skills the various councils need,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

A single vacancy will be filled on the Australian Catholic Life, Marriage and Family Council, as well as on the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research.

There are three vacancies on the Australian Catholic Media Council.

Applications are due by Friday, August 5. Individual councils will determine the process beyond the receipt of the expressions of interest, which would include a review of expressions of interest, interviews and the selection of new council members. There would then be an invitation to accept the appointment.

Expression of interest forms and related information can be found on the Bishops Conference website: