Professional Development

A number of professional learning programs for teachers are available at Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre

Programs in 2023 will be offered remotely from 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm. Details will be provided following acceptance of applications. Programs will operate with a minimum of 5 people.

Programs are approved by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) for the purpose of Accreditation to teach in a Catholic School.

Cost: $30 per person or by negotiation if schools are seeking several staff participating

The Sisters of Saint Joseph and Mary MacKillop's Contribution to Catholic Schooling in Australia

In this presentation you will learn of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and Mary MacKillop’s contribution to Catholic schooling in Australia. You will learn of the many obstacles they faced bringing Catholic schooling to children from poor families.


Government funding for Catholic schooling was cut in Victoria with the introduction of the 1872 Education Act. This funding was cut as early as 1851 in South Australia. This presentation will cover the context in which Mary MacKillop worked in relation to the Catholic education system and priorities of the Australian Catholic church in the 19th century.


It will explore how Mary MacKillop responded; how she co-founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph and schools, both based on egalitarian principles. It will further explore the obstacles Mary faced bringing Catholic schooling to children from poor families in both the outback regions of Australia and working-class suburbs.


Approval will be given via Teacher Accreditation Platform (TAP) upon completion of the program.

2024 Dates

  • 5 March 2024
  • 4 June 2024
  • 6 August 2024
  • 29 October 2024
Julian Tenison Woods - Ecospirituality and Sustainability

Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founder of the Josephite Congregation with Mary MacKillop, was a man of faith with concern for the poor and a deep love for the environment. He saw God in everything around him.


Every rock, every leaf, every insect has something beautiful, nay wonderful to tell… a perfect fairy land of beauty; the stones reveal their crystalline structure, and the tiniest insect display wonders of mechanism…. All new, all varied, all instructive, and all tending to raise the mind to higher and nobler conceptions of what creation does to declare the glory of its author. 1880


Not only was Julian Tenison Woods the first Director of Catholic Education for South Australia, he was also a priest, scientist, poet, author and geologist. Julian was strong in his faith, living the gospel values through his service to others, celebrating the Sacraments in the outback and playing a major part in the Catholic education of the young in early Australian history.


This program also relates to the school curriculum covering sustainability, where the participants are developing new learning through the story and eco-spirituality of Julian Tenison Woods. The eco-spirituality of Julian Tenison Woods is explored: his deep love for living out the values of Jesus and the teachings of Scripture through ministering to others, reminding us of our close relationship between God’s creation and our relationship with God.


Approval will be given via Teacher Accreditation Platform (TAP) upon completion of the program.

2024 Dates

  • 6 March 2024
  • 5 June 2024
  • 7 August 2024
  • 30 October 2024


Humble Beginnings

“Humble Beginnings” is a program for staff in schools and organisations that have a connection to Saint Mary MacKillop, Father Julian Tenison Woods and the Sisters of Saint Joseph story.

Based on the foundational scripture of Micah 6:6 and John 10:10, this professional learning program is designed to provide a deeper insight into the values/virtues in the charism of their stories.

These four values/virtues will be encountered through a different lens – a story from the founders; a devotion or tradition; a story from the life of a Sister; a story from scripture; a contemporary story and a song.

Approval will be given via Teacher Accreditation Platform (TAP) upon completion of the program.

For enquiries please email Sr Rita Malavisi 2024 Dates TBC 



For further information please call MMHC on (03) 9926 9300 or email