Governance Structure

The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) is involved with eight fully sponsored secondary schools in Victoria, three in Western Australia and one in South Australia as well as one co-sponsored school in Victoria.

In addition Mercy Education supports the works and promotes the Mercy ethos in the eleven Mercy affiliated schools across Victoria and Tasmania.

The governance role of the Board of Mercy Education is confined to the twelve sponsored schools and sets policies, appoints Principals, approves senior leadership positions and fulfils due diligence in the area of finance and audit management, capital development, risk management and litigation.

Members of the Company are currently made up of members of the Institute Leadership Team:

Sr Berneice Loch RSM

Institute Leader

Sr Annette Schneider RSM

Institute Deputy Leader

Sr Sally Bradley RSM

Institute Councillor

Sr Barbara Bolster RSM

Institute Councillor

Sr Theresia Tina RSM

Institute Councillor


Current Board of Directors:

Mrs Lucy Molony

Board Chair

Mrs Liz Monahan

Board Deputy Chair

Mr Tony Wheeler OAM

Board Director

Mrs Mary Retel

Board Director

Dr Anne Hunt OAM

Board Director

Sr Sylvia Williams

Board Director

 Mrs Georgina Smith

Board Director

Chief Executive Officer, Mr Christopher Houlihan

Company Secretary & Executive Officer Mr Eugene Lynch

Group Finance Manager, Mr Joe Konynenburg.

The Institute Leader and Council ultimately oversees the actions of Mercy Education, bearing in mind that the history of our schools has reflected a strong emphasis on local government in decision making at the appropriate level whilst maintaining the distinctive Mercy educational philosophy.

“The tradition of our institute is to combine decentralisation in government with a deep and personal concern for unity of spirit. Catherine McAuley found that local needs are best met by local resources. By her continuing warm support of all foundations, however she also fostered unity, and encouraged all to a wide vision of building the kingdom wherever they were called by the Church. This two fold Mercy tradition is reflected in our administration which seeks to place decision-making at the appropriate place.”

Constitution of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy 2012, Clause 6.03

Hence, in the Catholic Schools, which the Congregation sponsors, either solely or in partnership with a diocese and/or other Religious Congregations, the governance structure allows for differences between sponsored and co-sponsored schools and variations to suit the local needs of each College Council.

In incorporating Mercy Education, the Institute Leader and Council are mindful of their dual obligations of faith and of administration imposed by Canon Law which considers the incorporated entities to be part of the sponsoring juridic person. The Institute Leader and Council therefore reserve certain powers sufficient to meet their canonical faith and administrative obligations.