Those who work to generate funds through investments to enable the good works of our Church to continue, came together this week in Parramatta to share knowledge and to network.
Around 70 delegates from 19 Archdiocesan and Diocesan Catholic Development Funds (CDF) across Australia and New Zealand attended the two-day National Conference of Catholic Development Funds hosted by the Diocese of Parramatta Diocesan Development Fund (DDF) at Sydney Novotel Parramatta on 30 and 31 May.
This is the first national conference since the pandemic forced two postponements and is the second time that the DDF Parramatta has hosted the event.
The annual conference considers key issues facing the CDF community, including regulatory, investment markets and technology, and provides the opportunity to share best practices.
Amongst a wide range of topics of relevance are new standardised approaches to capital adequacy and liquidity that have been developed by CDPF, the national organisation that represents the CDF community to regulators. Royce Brennan, General Manager of the DDF Parramatta, is a member of the national working group that is developing these approaches and procedures for areas such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.
Over the two days, delegates participated in various information sessions, celebrated Mass with Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, and celebrated dinner with guest speaker Australian author and columnist Peter FitzSimons.
Representatives from the Diocese led presentations during the conference, including Greg Whitby, Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, and Royce Brennan.
Royce explained to Catholic Outlook that each Catholic Development Fund enables the professional management of the Church’s own financial resources.
“They finance the Archbishop or Bishop’s charitable, educational and religious ministries and provide the capital to build schools, hospitals, churches and other major church activities,” he said.
Michele Murdock, Manager, CDF Canberra and Goulburn said the conference provided a welcome return to a more normal operating environment.
“The conference provided me with the confidence to return to my own Fund knowing the people to contact for assistance and collaboration on projects over the next 12 months,” she said.
Helen Steyns, Head of Lending and Operations, DDF Parramatta, said that there was a great feeling of camaraderie amongst the delegates, and an appreciation of being able to come together.
“Meeting and sharing like this gives us all information to help us do our job better,” she said.
The next National Conference will be held in 2023.
View images from the National Catholic Development Funds Conference here.