The formation of a new Catholic education board in Wagga has been met with mixed reactions from parents in light of continued anxieties at Kildare Catholic College.
A new committee on the governing of Catholic schools was recommended two weeks ago following the independent investigation into the August 2019 resignation of former principal Rod Whelan.
The newly appointed Bishop Mark Edwards is seeking feedback on the constitution, which will establish the governing body to be known as the Catholic Education Council (CEC).
Submissions of feedback will be encouraged until July 3 with the Bishop to be installed by July 22 and the council to begin operation sometime in term 3.
It will be given "the authority to make decisions for Catholic Education Diocese of Wagga Wagga", (CEDWW) a spokesperson said.
Although not directly involved in the decision, the council will be given input on the hiring of a permanent schools director at the (CEDWW), following the resignation of Mark MacLean in February.
Parent of two sons at Kildare Catholic College, Paula Gray expressed her hopes that the council may present a new chapter for transparency in the CEDWW.
"What would be better than bringing in a new bishop and some fresh faces with fresh ideas," Ms Gray said.
"I'd like to think that will happen, I'd like to think they will be listened to, and I'd especially like to see people who have valid opinions getting involved with the council."
Fellow parent Stephen Lawler expressed similar concerns, saying that if the new council members felt "shutdown or like they can't disagree with anything", then the initiative would be "doomed to fail".
A member of the Kildare College school board for the past six years and a parent in the community for more than 10, Amanda Howard said she remained skeptical on whether the new council could achieve any lasting affirmative action in the CEDWW.
"Unless this new bishop can attract new people to join, nothing will change," Ms Howard said.
"Four or five years ago, I'd have jumped at the chance to be involved with this, but now there's a lot of hard feelings in the community."
Ms Howard is still prepared to pin some hope on the arrival of Bishop Edwards, who has been appointed in the wake of Bishop Gerard Hanna's retirement in 2016.
"The new bishop might be amazing, he looks very good on paper," she said.
"But he will have a hard job getting people's confidence back. I am hopeful, but I don't know if this will be the answer we've been looking for."
The constitution for the new committee will be open for feedback and submissions until next Friday.