Ron Dullard stands down this month after 23 years with the Catholic Education Office, including the past nine as Director of Catholic Education in Western Australia. The new Director of the Catholic Education Office Western Australia, Dr Tim McDonald, reflects on Ron’s immeasurable contribution to Catholic Education.
Ron Dullard‘s name is synonymous with Catholic Education around Australia, a result of his many years of dedication to its develop through the Western Australian and National Catholic Education Commissions. Those years have been times of enormous change in the theory and practice of learning and teaching and in community and parent expectations of schools and teachers.
Many of us have heard Ron outline his straightforward ABC of the aims of Catholic Education - Access, Belief, Community. The record of his time as Director, and in other roles with the CEO, is proof that this ABC is an accurate test to guide plans, programs, developments and initiatives.
A sustained focus on access has made schools more representatives of our communities’ make-up than ever before; disability programs, fees assistance, Aboriginal education initiatives and early childhood learning and care are examples. Catholic schools, like all education sectors, believe in providing quality education, but there is a difference - Catholic schools aim for a quality education that is also unambiguously and demonstrably based on Catholic belief.
Ron’s belief in the power of community has demonstrated on so many occasions what can be achieved when individuals and groups come together with a shared purpose. His community building included many years as a Mundaring Shire President and Councillor. He was made a Freeman of the Shire in 1999 for ‘his clear thinking and strong leadership and the social science he brought to the Council’s governance’.
I am sure that experience also honed his remarkable ability to chart and navigate political and government landscapes, a skill he has put to effective use with education ministers, policy makers, regulators and business. As he recalls in Circular, Ron’s life has taken interesting turns and twists and I am sure these will continue.
Thank you Ron for all you have done for Catholic Education - best wishes for the future and may the road rise to meet you.