Students at St Mary's Ararat in the classroom


What is DOBCEL?

DOBCEL – Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited – is the company recently established by Bishop Paul Bird to become the governing body for parish schools in the Ballarat Diocese. DOBCEL is the result of a long-term project undertaken by a working party of the Ballarat Diocesan Schools Advisory Council (BDSAC). Watch our introductory video here.

Why was DOBCEL established?

  • To ensure consistency and professionalism of governance for parish schools.
  • To ensure the continued pastoral ministry of priests in parish schools.
  • To allow the ongoing engagement of parish and local communities.
  • To ensure effective and transparent stewardship of education resources.
  • To allow the Diocese of Ballarat to address Recommendation 16.6 of the Royal Commission (that parish priests are not the employers of principals and teachers in Catholic schools).
  • To allow Catholic education authorities to meet the Victorian Government’s requirement for organisations that receive government funding (including schools) to be governed by incorporated legal entities.

How will the new DOBCEL model work?

It is important to note that DOBCEL will act as a governing body for schools. Principals will continue to manage the day to day administration and operations of schools, and priests will continue to play a fundamental and active role in pastoral ministry in schools.

As a result, when a school transitions to the new model, the change will be of minimal impact to students, staff and families. See General FAQs for further information.

Parish Priests / Administrators

How can I transition my school to the DOBCEL model?

Parish priests are invited to submit a request to transfer their school to the new governance arrangement or to contact DOBCEL for enquiries.

The process of transitioning a school to DOBCEL takes approximately five months, so parish priests / administrators are encouraged to signal their intent to transfer their school to avoid delays as more schools in the Diocese embrace the new structure.

Further information and timelines on the process of transitioning a school will be posted on this website in early 2020. Subscribe for updates.