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Abstract

The role of the religious education leader is a relatively new role within Catholic education in Australia. This leadership position has evolved since the time of its emergence in the decades following Vatican II; however, there appears to be a lack of clarity and understanding about the role and its impact upon a school. While the religious education leader plays a significant role in building a school community, a recent study which sought to discover the kinds of support these leaders need found that many religious education leaders encountered experiences of disconnectedness in their own school communities. Drawing on the insights emerging from that study, this paper provides an overview of the development of the role. While the general trend associated with these developments in religious education leadership have been oriented towards raising the profile of religious education leadership in Catholic schools there remains a lack of clarity about the role. This has contributed to experiences of disconnectedness amongst many religious education leaders. This paper aims to identify some of these experiences and suggest practical ways of overcoming them.