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It is interesting to reflect on which themes have attracted the Society over the last two years. The 'Completed 2001 Programme' had largely a nineteenth century setting featuring early colonial life, the influence of several religious orders and a strong interest in church architecture (with visits to three church sites and a paper on the architects Sheerin and Hennessy).

Outside these patterns Brian Croke's paper on Archbishop James Carroll centred on his role in the campaign for State Aid for Catholic schools. Without any conscious design on my part this issue has become a major focus of the 2002 Journal. In the opening article on the Catholic Federation of New South Wales, Jeff Kildea identifies State Aid as a prime goal of the Federation in the early twentieth century.

Mid century the State Aid campaign revived and led to a remarkable transformation of Catholic schools across Australia. Networks of schools run by religious orders and supported almost solely by the Catholic community have become diocesan and private Catholic schools, in the main, staffed by lay teachers and funded by governments. Significant in this 'revolution' were political leaders responsive to the campaign. The second 'article' presents the campaign and revolution as remembered by two of these leaders, Kim Beazley (senior) and Malcolm Fraser.

The return of State Aid also contributed to changes in the administration of Catholic schooling. Religious orders continued to administer a number of the schools. However, about eighty per cent of schools joined diocesan systems of schools run by increasingly influential Catholic Education Offices. Bishop Bernard Stewart of Ballarat did not find it easy to accept the growing influence of what he called the 'Tiger Pits', as Kevin Lawlor relates in his article on Catholic schooling in the Sandhurst Diocese.

Three of the books reviewed deal with the contribution of women in social welfare and social justice since 1850. Margaret Walsh in her history of the Good Samaritan Sisters, Marie Foale on the Josephites in South Australia and Margaret Press with her Three Women of Faith all take up this theme.
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Author:Luttrell, John
Publication:Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:343
Previous Article:Proceedings of the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society.
Next Article:Completed 2001 programme.


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