Hands together

Constitution and Guiding Principles

Through a process of consultation and discernment during 2017 and 2018, the following principles were identified to guide the work of governance in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Ballarat. The DOBCEL Constitution and all DOBCEL policies reference these governance principles.


The canonical, legal and formal right to “authorise the mission” within the Church, to formulate the ethos, policy, actions and administration.

Common good

The idea that each social group must take account of the rights and aspirations of other groups, and of the well-being of the whole human family.


The belief that clergy and laity truly share in responsibility for the being and activity of the Church and both make a specific contribution to the Mission.

Ethical behavior

Acting in a manner that is in keeping with the values and beliefs of the organisation.

Human dignity

Each person is created in the image and likeness of God and so has an inalienable, transcendent God-given dignity.


A commitment to working as Church to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all in order to renew and transform the world.

Ongoing formation

Those who govern and those who cooperate in the process of governing in Catholic schools acknowledge and make a commitment to ongoing formation to build their capacity for and understanding of school governance within the Catholic context. This requires acquiring a blend of ecclesial, theological, educational and corporate capabilities required for effective governance.


Because of their intelligence and free will, people have both a right and a duty to participate in those decisions that most directly affect them. They are actively to shape their own destiny rather than simply accept the decisions of others. This right to participate belongs not only to individuals but also to groups and communities.

Shared wisdom

A recognition of the intrinsic worth of each person’s contribution and acknowledgement that every person brings to the decision making process their own unique contribution (wisdom).


The sense of being responsible for each other, a determination to commit to working for change so that everyone will be able to reach their potential.


A ministry of service expressed through care of our Catholic spirit/story/memory, just and proper use of human and material resources and care for our common home through prudent management, wise investment and usage.


The rights of individuals and community to exercise natural levels of authority and determine respective competencies without another level assuming authority in its decision-making processes. It is not equated with autonomy, but supports the interdependence of all decision makers.


Timely and accurate disclosure/reporting about performance, decision making and financial health of the organisation to key stakeholders.