Jesuit College of Spirituality Council Members
Peter Johnstone (Chair)
Peter Johnstone OAM has worked in senior positions at all levels of government in Australia, has been chief executive of many public sector organisations, and director and chair of various boards in the public and not-for-profit sectors. He has been head of a number of Victoria Government departments including Community Services, and CEO for a number of local governments; his roles as Chair have included Jesuit Social Services, VincentCare Victoria, and the Council of Catholic Social Services. He is currently Chair of the JCS Council and of Catholics for Renewal Inc. Peter’s current main interests are in his board commitments, and his consultancy business PJ Governance which focuses mainly on the not-for-profit sector. He has academic qualifications in governance and theology. He is married to Laurien and they have four adult daughters and six grandchildren.
Bernadette Batten (Deputy Chair)
Bernadette Batten is management trained in business, operations and marketing. Her responsibilities have included leading large teams of people in the delivery of exceptional customer service and sales. Her roles have included the Regional Operations Management for a major international organisation, the management of a Sub-Regional Shopping Centre and the State Management of a large Australian Retailer. She has a successful record in strategy while identifying financial priorities and achieving budgeted objectives and sales. She is an experienced director in the not for profit sector. Bernadette is married to Tom and they have five children.
Maryanne Confoy RSC
Prof Maryanne Confoy RSC is a Religious Sister of Charity and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Pilgrim Theological College and University of Divinity. She is a Fellow of the University of Divinity. Her governance roles include Board member of St Vincent’s Health Australia, Director of The Australian Institute of Theological Education-BBI, Director of LUCRFPT, Board Member of The Way Community for Homeless Men. Her previous governance roles have included President of the United Faculty of Theology, member of the Australian Catholic University Senate and Chair of MCD Board of Postgraduate Studies, Trustee of Edmund Rice Education Australia and a member of RMIT University HRE Committee.
Christopher Gleeson SJ
Christopher Gleeson SJ has spent most of his working life as a teacher and administrator in Jesuit schools, nearly 21 of which as Principal of both Xavier College in Melbourne and St. Ignatius’ College, Riverview, in Sydney. His peers elected him to serve as Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia from 1999 to 2001. Since leaving Riverview at the end of 2002, he has been Director of Jesuit Publications (now Jesuit Communications) in Melbourne, and inaugural Director of both the Faber Centre of Ignatian Spirituality and the Archdiocesan Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre in Brisbane. In January 2011, he was appointed to be the Provincial’s Delegate for Education and Mission Formation, and in January 2016 took on the new role of Provincial Delegate for Ignatian Formation. Over the years he has written four books for parents and teachers – Striking a Balance: Teaching Values and Freedom (Aurora Books 1993); A Canopy of Stars – Some Reflections for the Journey (David Lovell Publishing 2003 – revised and relaunched in May, 2017); Releasing the Angel – Saluting all who strive to teach (Australasian Theological Forum, 2008); and in 2011, The Front Page – Everyday Ignatian Spirituality (Australasian Theological Forum).
Chris Gleeson is a member of the Australian Jesuit Province and is currently based in Our Lady of the Way Parish, Lavender Bay, Sydney.
Dr Joel Hodge (PhD, University of Queensland) is Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University (ACU), based on the St Patrick’s Campus, Melbourne. He is National Undergraduate Course Coordinator and National Short Courses Coordinator for the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at ACU. He is author of Resisting Violence and Victimisation: Christian Faith and Solidarity in East Timor (Ashgate/Routledge, 2012). He is co-editor of the book series, Violence, Desire, and the Sacred (Bloomsbury Academic), and Treasurer of the Australian Catholic Theological Association and Australian Girard Seminar.
Associate Professor Robyn Horner (PhD, Monash University) is a teaching and research academic at Australian Catholic University, and a member of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry. From 2010 until 2015, she held the position of Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy (ACU).
The aim of her research is to find new ways of thinking religious phenomena within contemporary Western contexts, characterised as such contexts are by the immense cultural challenges of secularisation, pluralisation, and detraditionalisation. She investigates this area both theoretically (especially through the use of hermeneutic phenomenology, together with a variety of post-structuralist tools of critique), and practically (in collaboration with researchers in Belgium who have developed scales for measuring individual and communal religious expressions of identity: the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project). Her distinct contribution to the field is the way in which she approaches the signification of religious phenomena by means of affection or disturbance, and interprets them contextually. She is currently working on a monograph on revelation, and is part of a major project: Atheism and Christianity: Moving Past Polemic.
Robyn Horner teaches and supervises in the area of enhancing Catholic identity, poststructuralism and French phenomenology, and theological recontextualisation.
Michael Kelly CSsR
Revd Associate Professor Michael A. Kelly, CSsR, BTheol, STM, MEd, PhD is a priest in the Redemptorist Congregation, and a member of the Provincial Council of the Australian Province of his Congregation. He has been on the faculty of Yarra Theological Union for two decades. He is postgraduate coordinator and teaches in the areas of pastoral theology and religious education.
Mr Peter McDonnell has been involved in Corporate Accounting most of his working life including over 21 years with Amcor Ltd in senior commercial roles and more recently with St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. He has a Bachelor of Business, a Graduate Diploma of Business (Accounting) and was a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA). He was appointed Executive Officer of the Old Xaverians Association in 2014 and retired at the end of 2017. Peter has previously been a member of the Hawthorn Parish’s Pastoral Council and is a past President and Treasurer of the Hawthorn Conference of St Vincent de Paul where he is still an active member. He is married to Margaret who works with Loreto Australia and South East Asia and they have three adult children.
Officers of the JCS Council
- Deborah Kent
- Katica Buccheri