A comparative study of the internal educational politics of Australian Catholic education in relation to the contribution of some Irish religious teaching orders
Citation:J. F. P. Donovan, 'A comparative study of the internal educational politics of Australian Catholic education in relation to the contribution of some Irish religious teaching orders', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of Education, 2001, pp 353, pp 375
Donovan TCD THESIS 6362.1 A comparative study.pdf (PDF) 250.8Mb
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The study commences with an overview of the Irish Diaspora in Australia, whose descendants were the pupils of the Australian Catholic Education System. The 370,000 Irish persons, who emigrated to Australia between 1791 and 1925, may be classified into two major groups. The first group comprised the involuntary emigrants, who were transported as convicts, as well as some 4,000 orphan girls. Approximately 38,500 convicts were transported from Ireland and a further six to eight thousand Irish convicts were transported from England. The second group comprised 146,000 free settlers whose passage to Australia was subsided, and a further 168,000 who were self-financing. By the start of the twentieth century the number of persons of ethnic Irish origins had reached twenty-five per cent of the Australian population, the Irish still being the second largest ethnic group in Australia. The second chapter of the thesis concerns itself with Church-State relations and Australian Catholic Education. A number of stages in Church-State relations in the history of Australian education are identified. Attempts to establish a national School system on the lines of Stanley's model in Ireland by Governors Bourke and Gipps are outlined. The abolition of State aid to Church schools in the various colonies between 1851 and 1895, and the ensuing crisis for Catholic schools, which lasted for nigh a century, are treated. The chapter concludes with an account of the final solution in the 1960’s, when State aid was restored to Church schools. Part II of the thesis deals with the history of the four major Religious Institutes, founded in Ireland, who sent members to Australia. These Institutes were the Irish Sisters of Charity, who arrived in Sydney in 1838, the Irish Christian Brothers, who arrived in Sydney in 1843, the Sisters of Mercy, who commenced their Australian work in 1846, in Perth, and the Presentation Sisters, who opened their first Australian school in Hobart, Tasmania. In all, twenty-four different religious Institutes sent members from Ireland to Australia between 1838 and 1963. Of the twenty-four Institutes, nine were founded in Ireland. The expansion of the four Institutes across the various colonies of Australia is delineated, including the history of the various pioneering communities from Ireland. The narrative outlines the various problems, which each Institute encountered and the adaptations made to the requirements of the new environment. The four Institutes present some interesting comparisons. Two of the Institutes were diocesan, the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters. This form of governance suited the bishops, although the Presentation Rule of enclosure presented some problems. Both the Irish Sisters of Charity and the Irish Christian Brothers were papal Institutes, governed by a Superior General, residing in Dublin. However, Archbishop Polding effectively split the Irish Sisters of Charity, by removing the Sydney foundation from the Irish jurisdiction. This action was probably one of the reasons why the Irish Sisters of Charity were slow to grow in Australia. The four Institutes chosen for detailed study constituted eighty per cent of the Catholic schooling system, before the decline in religious vocations occurred in the 1970’s. Fortuitously, this decline coincided with the restoration of State aid to the Catholic schools, thus forestalling a serious crisis in the Catholic Education System.
Author: Donovan, J. F. P.
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of Education
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Type of material:thesis
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