Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in New

During the last twelve months the following have been members of the Working Group
for the Association of Congregational Finance Personnel:
Mr Andrew Ballesty
Sr Ruth Durick osu (Secretary)
Mr Paul Favero (Chair)
Mr John Hawley
Mr Graham Hunt
Sr Angela Jordan rsm
Mr Bernard Kenna (Assistant Chair)
Sr Berice Livermore rsm
Sr Marietta Mangelsdorf pbvm
Fr Phil Miscamble ofm
Mr Ian McDonald
Mr Alan Schofield
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Ursuline Sisters
Sisters of St Joseph, Perthville
Sisters of the Good Samaritan
Sisters of St Joseph, Goulburn
Sisters of Mercy, Goulburn
Marist Brothers
Sisters of mercy, Singleton
Presentation Sisters, Wagga Wagga
Franciscan Fathers
Christian Brothers
Sisters of Mercy, Grafton
Changes to the Working Group
Sr Margaret Chaplin who held the position of Chairperson for two years and was a very
valued member of the Working Group completed her term at the end of 2009.
CLRI(NSW) is indebted to Sr Margaret for the wise counsel, expertise and experience she
offered to members over many years. Paul Favero was generous in accepting the role of
Chair of the Working Group and has given good leadership throughout 2010. Bernard
Kenna took up the role as Assistant Chairperson, and Sr Ruth Durick took up the role of
secretary. Sr Marietta Mangelsdorf has offered great service in the role as secretary for
over ten years and we are extremely appreciative of the time and effort Sr Marietta put
into minuting our meetings and seminars.
The Working Group welcomed new members Sr Ruth Durick, Sr Berice Livermore, Fr
Phil Miscamble and Mr Aland Schofield and we are already appreciative of the skills and
expertise they bring to our group.
Two Seminar Days have been held for NSW Finance Personnel during the last twelve
APRIL 2010
Given the importance of the ramifications of the Fair Work Act for congregational
employers, the Working Group planned a day entitled Successfully Negotiating the
Minefield! around this issue with Anne Byrne and others from the Catholic Commission
for Employment Relations PDRIER team. The first two sessions of the day were devoted
to the Fair Work Act, Modern Awards and implications for Congregations and their
employees via a very practical presentation of the steps necessary for the implementation
of the new provisions. Invitations were also sent to Congregation Leaders who might
wish to attend for the morning sessions. The input session from Anne Byrne was greatly
appreciated and although the small group session was not successful as the numbers were
too large, these sessions promoted discussion and created awareness so the objectives of
the seminar were achieved. The Fair Work Act and its implications is a developing area
for congregations and consequently much follow-up will be needed.
Michael Tooma, a lawyer retained by CCI, who specialises in Workers’ Compensation
and OH&S law, addressed the harmonisation of OHS laws which is taking place. One
key aspect of the new legislation is the greater need for due diligence to be exercised by
office holders –someone “who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the
whole, or a substantial part, of the business or undertaking of the body; or who has the
capacity to affect significantly the body's financial standing; or who is a receiver or
manager of any property of the body...”. While Bursars/Business Managers and
Congregational Leaders have always had OHS responsibilities, harmonisation will place
a greater responsibility on such roles. The afternoon session on OH&S Harmonisation
received generally positive comments though CLRI(NSW) later recommended to CCI
that it prepare a more nuanced presentation for the group focusing on the smaller issues
which can trap people rather than the super stories and scare tactics. These seminars
address what congregations should be doing in ordinary life rather than for schools,
hospitals and other ministries which are catered for in a different forum.
An innovation for 2010 was the decision that Working Group members will wear
coloured nametags at each seminar and be introduced at the beginning of the day. The
Working Group will also be named on the back of the day’s timetable. Hopefully this will
enable participants to more easily make contact with a Working Group member.
The Working Group in 2009 booked the extremely popular presenter Donna Hansen for
the October Seminar to give another session on tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office:
Hone Your Skills with Hanson: Better Financial Reporting with Word and Excel.
We invited Donna Hansen to present on writing a finance report and other areas. Donna
had an online survey for participants to complete before the session, providing an
opportunity to ask questions which can shape the content of the session. Word and Excel
program were used for the session. Donna was greatly appreciated once again. For the
afternoon session Ms Anne Byrne from CCER provided a checklist on the implementation
of the Fair Work Act for congregations to provide participants with the information
needed to comply with all aspects of the Modern Awards and the Fair Work Act. Anne
Byrne also updated the information on job share positions.
During each Seminar Day, participants are given the latest information available on
Centrelink, Industrial and Wage Updates, and OH&S topics. These sessions provide an
important link with business issues, relating to the position and role of the finance office
in Religious Institutes. During the latter half of this year some congregations have begun
experiencing some difficulties with different aspects of relationships with Centrelink. The
Working Group will keep a watching brief on this issue and act on behalf of our
membership if necessary.
While the Association would be happy if more congregational finance personnel availed
themselves of the opportunities for education and updating offered in the seminars, the
evaluation responses indicate a general level of appreciation for the material, presenters
and experiences offered throughout the year.
These four meetings are planning meetings for the upcoming seminars. The members
bring their own expertise and willingly take on the jobs of organising speakers for the
days. Reports from representatives of related committees, PDRIERC and CCER OH&S
committee are shared and communicated to all finance personnel at the Update sessions of
the Seminar Days.
The Working Group looks forward to the updating of the Guide to Employing a
Finance/Business Manager for a Congregation, developed by CLRI(NSW) in
collaboration with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations in 2009. This
guide is a step-by-step template for the employment of a finance or business manager for
a congregation or small congregational agency and will hopefully assist congregational
leaders in this task. Updating is necessary due to the changes contained in the Fair Work
Act. The Guide is on a CD sent to all congregational leaders and is also found on the
Members Only page of the website.
The CLRI(NSW) Congregational Finance Personnel Association is immensely grateful
for the willing and competent support and the “can do” attitude it receives from Sharon
Price rsm, Executive Director of CLRI(NSW) and Ann Paynter, Administrative Assistant
at the CLRI(NSW) office at Rosebery. The Working Group is most grateful and very
appreciative of the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere that we all experience when
attending meetings at the Rosebery Office. It would be impossible to function as a group
without the support and organisational expertise of both Sharon and Ann and on behalf of
all the members of CLRI(NSW). I sincerely THANK YOU.
Paul Favero
Congregational Finance Personnel Association
1 December, 2010
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