Franciscan Schools Australia
In 2005 Padua College became a Foundation Member of the newly formed Franciscan Schools of Australia (FSA).
Under the guidance of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and together with representatives from Padua College, Mt Alvernia College and St Anthony’s School, Kedron, a coordinating committee was formed to create this new grouping of schools. In seeking out others to join this association the criterion for joining was that each prospective member must have been founded by a Franciscan Religious Institute or Order or have chosen a Franciscan charism through which to guide and direct its mission statement and spiritual formation.
Since its beginnings the group has now over 40 members. These members are usually school communities based in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Membership to FSA is not limited to Catholic institutions only. Because of the ecumenical nature of Franciscanism and its appeal to other denominations as well, a number of members come from a non-Catholic background as well. These members share a common link to Franciscan traditions in other Christian backgrounds and were usually founded by Franciscan groups affiliated to the Franciscan Federation of Australia, which is an overarching body of all Franciscan institutes in Australia.
The purpose of Franciscan Schools Australia is to assist in the sharing of resources, both human and material, in order to enrich Franciscan Spirituality within the schools. This is done mainly through the Association’s web site www.fsa.asn.au
Another way members of FSA get together is through participation in a conference, which is held every two years. The purpose of each conference is to allow for some further Franciscan spiritual formation for delegates with Franciscan keynote speakers as well as some dedicated time for educational and professional networking. Past keynote speakers have been Sr Ilia Delio OSF and Fr Andre Cirino OFM. In 2013 the keynote speaker was Br William Short OFM.