2021-02-18 AUSTRALIA

The mandate of Brother Peter Carroll, Provincial of the Province of Australia, has been extended

At the General Chapter in Rionegro, Colombia in 2017, there was a deeply felt desire to act as one global, charismatic Marist family and in doing so to be open to go beyond geographic boundaries.  Because of this, the Administrative Unities that make up the region of Oceania felt challenged to go beyond old ways of comfort and security and to respond authentically to the call to be beacons of hope and bridge builders in this turbulent world.

In 2018-19, the leaders of the region engaged a Change Management Consultant, Mr. Peter Cranko, to assist in the process of determining a pathway forward for Oceania. This process resulted in a workshop of representatives from Australia, Melanesia, and the Pacific in March 2020. At the conclusion of that workshop, it was unanimously agreed that one new Province in Oceania be established. The Councils of the Province of Australia and the Districts of Melanesia and the Pacific unanimously accepted that recommendation, and therefore, formally requested that the General Council approve the plan to move to a single province for the region. On September 12, 2020, the General Council approved that request and endorsed the plans to move to a single administrative unit for Oceania by the end of 2022.

Provincial of Australia

Since then, the General Council began reflecting on the restructuring process and the proposed timeframe for the creation of the new Province in the region of Oceania, consulted with Brother Peter Carroll, Provincial of the Province of Australia, and sought advice and approbation from the Vatican as to what would be helpful to the region as it moved forward in this process. With this discernment and reflection in hand, Brother Ernesto Sanchez and his Council decided to extend Brother Peter’s mandate as Provincial by fourteen (14) months, until the 31st of December 2022.  In doing so, the Council felt that this added time would allow the restructuring process that both the District of the Pacific and the Province of Australia have undertaken to continue seamlessly with the present leaders—Brother John Hazelman of the District of the Pacific and Brother Peter– spear-heading the efforts to establish one new Province by the end of 2022. It would also allow Brother Peter the chance to continue to accompany the recent integration of the former District of Melanesia into the Province and into a new future. 

District of Pacific and Province of Australia going into a hope-filled future

The challenges moving into the unknown and the new are many. We know that context, culture, thinking and ways of living and doing things across and within each country within the region are very different. This great diversity is reflected in Marist life (community, ministry, and governance) and in the differing civil structures and legal systems in each of the 10 countries which make up the region. What is common is that each country has its own unique mix of change, uncertainty, complexity, optimistic possibilities, our Marist traditions, and faith in God. The General Council believes that both Brothers Peter and John—along with their respective Councils and the various working groups and committees engaged in the process of restructuring–will lead the region into a hope-filled future.

The effects of any change are felt up, down, and around our Institute. This change can be seen as either positive or negative, exciting or demoralizing, vital or unnecessary, easy or difficult—but often a combination of all of the above. Consistent leadership provides the motivation for change and accompanies that change into a preferred future.  The extension of Brother Peter’s mandate as Provincial in Australia, in conjunction with the on-going leadership of Brother John in the Pacific, will allow for this accompaniment by strengthening the sense of urgency and importance about the new to which the region of Oceania is called.


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