Current Executive

President
Dr Zachariah Duke

Brief Biography
Zachariah (Zach) Duke is a lay Catholic practical-pastoral theologian and university leader. Zach has held various senior academic positions at BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education, Te Kupenga - Catholic Leadership Institute and the Jesuit College of Spirituality, as well as lectureships at Australian Catholic University, the University of Tasmania, the University of Wollongong, and the University of Tasmania. He is known internationally for his research in disability theology and has published numerous articles and presented around the world on this and related topics. Currently, Zach is project managing an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant Project on the effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Scheme at the Centre for Disability Studies (affiliated with the University of Sydney). Zach is a director on the Board of St Lucy’s School (a Catholic primary and secondary school which caters for children living with disability) and the Delany Foundation (a not-for-profit charity of the Patrician Brothers).

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Vice President
Dr Jill Gowdie

Brief Biography

Jill is a speaker, writer and facilitator and is a recognised leader in Australia and overseas for her work in teacher and leader Formation, Mission and Catholic Identity. Jill has qualifications across the disciplines of theology, spirituality, religious education, journalism and education. She founded the national network for Formation for Australian Catholic Educators (FACE), and also developed a system-wide approach to contemporary spiritual formation for Catholic Educators and leaders which has been adopted by other Australian, English and Canadian dioceses. She is the author of the 2017 book Stirring the Soul of Catholic Education, now used as a Masters level text and has authored a number of book chapters, articles and resources in theology, spirituality and RE journals. Jill has been a faculty member with BBI-TAITE and visiting fellow at Oxford Theology and KU Leuven Theology faculties and is also a peer reviewer for Sage Publications. Jill is currently on the Boards of the Lasallian Mission Council, and the Mission and Education Board. Her most recent work has included creation of content for a new edition of the NRSV Holy Bible with Encyclopedia, Catholic Edition for students.

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Treasurer
Dr Robert (Bob) Dixon

Brief Biography

Robert (Bob) Dixon was the Foundation Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Research Office (now the National Centre for Pastoral Research) from 1996 to 2016. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Divinity and a former Honorary Professor of Australian Catholic University. He is the author or co-author of numerous publications and reports about the demography of the Australian Catholic population and aspects of Catholic belief and practice. His most recent  publications include “Post-Secularity and Australian Catholics”, in Faith and the Political in the Post Secular Age, edited by Anthony Maher (Coventry Press 2018) and “Australian Catholicism and Globalisation”, in Weaving Theology in Oceania: Culture, Context and Practice, edited by Beatrice Green and Keiti Ann Kanongata'a (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2020), both of which are APTO publications. Bob has a PhD in sociology from Monash University as well as degrees in science, theology and education. A long-time resident of Melbourne, his interest in Oceania comes from his time in Samoa as a volunteer teacher in the 1970s.


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Secretary
Ms Michelle Eastwood

Brief Biography

Michelle Eastwood (she/her) is a current PhD student at Catholic Theological College. Her thesis is examining the intersection of shame and ageing for women, through a feminist reading of Psalm 71. Her research interests are gender and sexuality, worship and liturgy, and developing authentic faith communities. These interests are all parsed through a biblical lens, with a focus on the Hebrew Bible. Michelle lives on the land of the Wathaurong people of the Kulin Nation, and acknowledges this always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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General Executive Committee Member
Dr Christopher Longhurst

Brief Biography
Chris Longhurst is a Catholic theologian and lecturer of theology at Te Kupenga Catholic Theological College of Aotearoa New Zealand. His speciality areas include theological aesthetics, comparative theology, intercultural theology, moral theology, philosophical theology, religion and art and theology of religions. He is a KAICIID Fellow (King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) and member of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations.

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General Executive Committee Member
Ms Tracy McEwan

Brief Biography
Tracy McEwan is a PhD student at The University of Newcastle. Her research explores the religious identity and participation of Gen X women in Australia who currently or have previously identified as Catholic. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mathematics) from the UTS and a Master of Theology from the University of Newcastle. Her background in applied science and theology enables her to meaningfully apply various methods of analysis to an understanding of church in an Australian context. Tracy is the current vice president of WATAC (Women and the Australian Church Incorporated) and serves on the executive committee of the global Catholic Women’s Council. Her recent and upcoming academic publications include “Participation and engagement in Catholic parish life in Australia: Examining the impact and importance of cultural and linguistic factors”, with Sam Sterland and Kathleen McPhillips, in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (2020); “Denied full participation, Catholic women mobilise for change”, with Kathleen McPhillips in The Conversation (2020); and “Changing Patterns of Religious Practice and Belief among Church-attending Catholic Women in Australia” in the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion (2018).

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General Executive Committee Member
Dr Debra Snoddy

Brief Biography
Debra Snoddy has been a lecturer in Biblical Studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Australia since 2016. Her specialisation is the Gospel of John but she teaches both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and is a passionate believer that the Scriptures are the most practical tool for pastoral ministry. to this end one of her research interests is developing a method to allow for critical inquiry into the biblical texts for ministers and practitioners of practical and pastoral theology.

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General Executive Committee Member
Rev Dr Peter Carblis

Brief Biography

Peter Carblis has an honours degree in Science from the University of Sydney, a Masters in Education (Adult Education) from the University of Technology, Sydney, a Masters in Ministry from Charles Sturt University and a PhD in Educating for Emotional Intelligence from Macquarie University. He is currently working toward a second PhD with the Sydney College of Divinity in which he is exploring the use of the terms of the New Covenant to provide theological validation for educational outcomes and ministry objectives. Peter has had a long and varied career involved in pioneering pastoral ministry and education at school, vocational and higher educational levels. He has constantly worked, often concurrently, in practitioner, executive and governance roles including have included school founder, church pioneer, senior and support pastoral leader, teacher, school principal, and college principal. Peter is currently a Senior Chaplain with the Churches of Christ and their representative on the Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee in which he serves as a member of the Health Services Sub-Committee and the convenor of the Endorsement Task Group which has responsibility for the endorsement of Hospital, Corrective Services and Juvenile Justice Chaplains and the registration of chaplaincy education providers.