Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Schools Limited (DOBCEL) Schools operate in a diverse and geographically extensive Diocese which covers the west of Victoria, extending from the Murray River in the North to the Southern Ocean in the South.

The Bishop has established the Company, DOBCEL, to assume the ownership and operation of fifty-six Catholic Schools (including St Joseph’s Primary School, Warrnambool) previously operated in an unincorporated form to be referred to as DOBCEL schools.

Accordingly, the Board of Directors of DOBCEL is the governing authority of the Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Schools as defined under the DOBCEL Constitution.



DOBCEL is the responsible entity for the governance and management of all DOBCEL Schools including their legal, regulatory and educational obligations.   DOBCEL is the employer of all staff within the DOBCEL schools and directly delegates to the Principal significant educational, administrative and operational responsibilities and accountabilities.

Parish Priest / Administrator

The Parish Priest is appointed by the Bishop of Ballarat and is responsible for the pastoral care and canonical responsibilities of the parish.  He has a key role in providing pastoral and spiritual support and guidance to the school.


The Principal is appointed by the Executive Director of DOBCEL and is delegated with key responsibilities in the educational, administrative and operational functions of the School in accordance with the DOBCEL Instrument of Delegations.   The Principal is supported to fulfil his/her key responsibilities by the SAC that is guided in their work by the DOBCEL Terms of Reference.

School Advisory Council Scope and Purpose

The SAC is the leading advisory group for the Principal, as an active form for parent and community participation, providing support and advice in strategic planning, school improvement, educational outcomes and stewardship of resources.  As outlined in the DOBCEL Governance Charter, SAC members do not have any financial or non-financial decision-making powers.

School Leadership Team

We believe a strong Leadership Team improves the educational outcomes of our students.  Our Leadership Team share a common purpose based on our school’s vision and mission statements.

Our Leadership Team for 2023 includes:

School Principal Matthew O'Brien
Assistant Principal (Daily Organiser)  Pat Allen
Assistant Principal (Teaching & Learning)  Marlie Boyd
School Wellbeing Team Members Maryanne Evans & Liz Noonan
Religious Education Co-ordinator Cara Chisholm
Business Manager Cathy Duynhoven