ADELAIDE — About 140 leaders of religious institutes and lay partners gathered in Adelaide from 26-29 June for the 36th national assembly of Catholic Religious Australia.
For the first time, lay partners were invited to the gathering. At the assembly, the president and members of the national council of CRA were elected for the following two years.
Sr Annette Cunliffe, RSC, was elected president.
Sr Veronica McCluskie, SGS, the director at CRA, said she was pleased with Sr Annette’s appointment. “Annette brings with her the experience of the last council. This will enable a smooth transition,” she said.

From left, Sr Kath Tynan, Sr Annette Cunliffe, Fr Graeme Duro, Sr Veronica Hoey, Sr Grace Roclawska, Fr Tony Banks, Sr Sally Bradley, Sr Marion Gambin and Br Jeff Crowe.

Sr Annette, who previously served as a council member under the leadership of Sr Anne Derwin, RSJ, is joined by: Sr Marion Gambin, RSJ, as vice president and South Australia representative, Fr Tony Banks, OSA as treasurer and NSW representative, Br Vince Duggan, CFC, Sr Grace Roclawska, CSFN, and Fr Graeme Duro, SSS.
New members to the council are Sr Kath Tynan, PBVM (Qld representative), Sr Veronica Hoey, SGS (Victoria representative), Sr Sally Bradley, RSM, Br Jeff Crowe, FMS and the Anglican representative, Fr Keith Dean-Jones, OGS.
Sr Annette has experience of various teaching and leadership positions. Since December 2008, she has taken on the role of congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity Australia for the second time.
During her first term as congregational leader, from 1996-2002, she also held the positions of president of CLRI (NSW) and inaugural chair of the Stewardship Board of Catholic Health Australia and Trustee of St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.
She has also held board positions as a director of Mt St Michael’s College Ashgrove, St Vincent’s Health, Melbourne, and Monte Sant’ Angelo College, North Sydney.
From 2003 until late 2008, Sr Annette was a senior lecturer in the School of Educational Leadership at Australian Catholic University, and for three years she was head of the school.
She has been a member of the National Committee on Professional Standards since mid-2010 and co-chair since 2011 and is now serving as director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and as a trustee of St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.