Dr Jill Gowdie
BA (Hons), DipEd, MEd, PhDJGowdie@bbi.catholic.edu.au
Jill’s work in Catholic education and leadership formation over 30 years, spans teaching and writing, leading and facilitating, research and system design. Jill has also taught at primary, secondary and university levels and in adult and school consultancy contexts. Across all these sectors, she has a reputation as a high quality and inspiring teacher, leader and presenter.
Jill has a profound love of teaching, and a deep respectfulness for the calling of the Catholic educator and leader. Catholic schools provide an education that is underpinned, overlaid and shot through with a view of the world and life that is predicated on a loving Creator who calls all creation to life giving communion. She believes that this is a world-view which has a dynamic contribution to make to the current global shifts in conversation across all educational, political and economic spheres, moving towards relationship and connectivity at a deep level. Igniting a sense of the ’missionary discipleship as the heart beat of all endeavours’ is a very privileged space within which to work.
Her expertise is grounded in professional qualifications across the disciplines of education, theology, journalism, religious education, liturgy and spiritual formation. Her Masters degree is in Religious Education. Her PhD studies in Educational Leadership broke new ground in the area of contemporary formation, drawing together the areas of theology, formation, missiology, change theory and best practice in adult professional learning.
Jill received an inaugural national award for excellence in research in Religious education in 2008, and was awarded Summa Cum Laude from the international examiner for her doctoral dissertation in Educational Leadership. She has undertaken sabbatical in the Universities of Leuven and Oxford as Visiting Scholar.
She has keynoted and workshopped on a variety of topics and facilitated retreats both here in Australia and overseas. In Australia, you may know her from the national Hearts on Fire conference, PRAY 2010, the Catholic Bishops’ Women in the Church gatherings, diocesan pastoral conferences in the dioceses of Ballarat, Toowoomba and Adelaide, the NCEC conferences, LIFESPIRIT magazine, Lenten programs or formation work for Catholic Health agencies and with other Christian denominational groups. In all her work, Jill is known for her creativity and sense of humour. She always enjoys what she does!
Her Head Heart and Hands formation framework is also being picked up in New Zealand, England and Ireland. Jill’s collaborative influence has seen the establishment of an energetic national network for Formation of Australian Catholic Educators (FACE Network); a system wide approach to school staff formation in an archdiocesan context with a website that has regular users worldwide for its resources and 1800 hits per month (This includes the innovative Light a PrayerCandle website and the CDs grown out of the staff based MusicFire network). Her creative energy has seen the publication of numerous articles, and a plethora of resources including conference prayers and rituals, songs and a CD of meditations for children. Jill has most recently contributed to an international publication ‘Vatican II and New Thinking about Catholic Education’ (Routledge, London, 2016). Her particular passion is around the transformative influence of leadership formation in the Catholic school context.
Jill is married to Geoff and they have raised four children. She has been a member of the Kalinga community in Lutwyche Parish, Brisbane for 28 years. Her favourite movie is ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ her favourite chocolate is Toblerone and her favourite beach to eat it on is Mooloolaba. Jill currently leads the magnificent Identity, Mission and Religious Education Services Team for Brisbane Catholic Education.