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BBI-TAITE Student Elections - 5 August 2019

As part of our commitment to ensuring our students are represented and have a "voice" in the governance of BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (BBI-TAITE), elections are held at least every two years for two student representatives on the BBI-TAITE Academic Board.

The Academic Board is the peak body for academic governance of the Institute and it reports on a regular basis to the Institute's Board of Directors.

Elected student members hold office for a two-year term.

A nominee for student representative must have completed at least one unit of their enrolled award or course and be currently enrolled at the close of nominations.

Eligible Candidates

BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education (BBI-TAITE) is pleased to announce that four eligible nominations have been received by students to represent the student body on BBI-TAITE’s Academic Board.


Laura Avery

Student Election Nominees 04

Whilst only having studied at BBI in the last 18 months, I have been managing student enrolments and working with students studying at BBI as well as hosting intensive lecture series in the Diocese of Darwin for over 6 years.

The growing presence of the online learning community means that BBI students come from all across Australia and I believe it would be valuable to have the voice of the online, remote and rural students heard in the governance of the academic board at BBI.

With previous experience on national boards and standing committees both as well as leadership of state bodies, combined with all the learning from the governance course, I believe I have a skill set and experience that will help BBI continue to grow.

Kurt Challinor

Student Election Nominees 03

My name is Kurt Challinor and I am currently completing the Master of Leadership and Theology through BBI-TAITE, anticipating the completion of this award in 2021. I have a number of years of experience studying through BBI-TAITE, having already completed a Master of Theological Studies through this institution.

My background is as a secondary Religious Education and History teacher and I have held a range of pastoral and curriculum-based middle and executive leadership roles including Religious Education Coordinator and Director for pedagogy and professional learning.  I currently fulfil the role of Religious Education Consultant in a diocesan Catholic Schools Office. 

I have a range of experience in working with and leading a number of representative groups and teams throughout my career and I feel that this has equipped me with the experience needed to make a contribution to the board on behalf of the students. 

Having undertaken a number of online courses through BBI-TAITE, I have a keen awareness of the challenges post-graduate students face in juggling the demands of career, leadership roles, part time study and family responsibilities.

If elected to the academic board I would ensure that I acted in the best interests of all BBI-TAITE students, ensuring they had a voice in the academic governance of the institution. 

Joan Lancaster

Student Election Nominees 02

My name is Joan Lancaster and I am currently studying a Master of Leadership and Theology through BBI-TAITE, aiming to complete this study by the end of 2020. I have previously studied with BBI, completing my Master of Theology in 2015. I currently work in the role of Education Officer – Religious Education in a diocesan Catholic Schools Office. My background is as an English and Religious Education teacher in secondary schools, and I have also held a number of middle leadership roles in pastoral care, curriculum and mission areas.

Through these roles, I have been a member of various working parties, planning groups and representative bodies over a number of years in a variety of situations. As such, I feel I would bring a range of experience to the representative role on the board and be well equipped to contribute on behalf of students.

Having completed my studies with BBI-TAITE in both online and intensive modes while working full time, I am very appreciative of the challenges of combining study with work, family and life responsibilities.

If elected to the position on the academic board, I would do my best to represent all students and ensure they have a voice in the governance of the institution.

Jay Power

Student Election Nominees 01

I am a Secondary teacher in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese where I am currently teaching English and Religion. I am roughly half way through my Master of Religious Education with BBI and am also studying a Master of Education (Welfare) with Southern Cross University.

Prior to returning to teaching 8 years ago, I have run my own businesses and have worked in the corporate sector. I own a small seasonal business in Nelson Bay NSW and am a member of the local chamber of Commerce, and local Tourism body. I feel that I am in a very fortunate position as I have come from a Uniting Church background and reconfirming in the Catholic faith and I have a special interest in Theology.

I believe my ecumenical perspective, teaching background and business experience will assist me to work well in the role of student representative on the board, ensuring I strive to meet the needs of both students and the college.

The election campaign will officially run from now until Monday 5th August. On Monday 5th August, you will be sent information on how to vote for your preferred candidate.  Voting will be open for one week.

Further information on the election is available in the Academic Board Terms of Reference Policy and the Student Representation Policy.

You can find more details on the conduct of the election in the Notice of Election statement

Further Information

If you need any further information on the election, please contact the Returning Officer, Karen Shepherd via email at karen.shepherd@bbi.catholic.edu.au.


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