Retreats Research Project


This website was used in conjunction with the the Retreats Research Project which investigated the views of teachers and students about the nature, purposes and conduct of senior retreats in Catholic secondary schools.

Now that the project is completed, this site makes available a pdf copy of the full final report. It also carries the information used during the program with copies of questionnaires, information letters etc.

Final Research Report



Click either the photograph or the link below to download the complete Research Report



The Final Report of the Research Study

Research on Retreats: The views of teachers and senior students about retreats in Australian Catholic Secondary schools.



Click Here for Executive Summary pages

Click Here to view or download pdf file of the Executive Summary


Click Here for Table of Contents pages

Click Here to view or download the pdf file of the Table of Contents

The research project, with data collected between 2011-2013, was conducted by Professor Graham Rossiter. It involved Catholic secondary schools in 7 dioceses, in Queensland,

New South Wales and Victoria. Key contact personnel in ACU and in each of the dioceses at the time are listed below.

Download page of the 4 Questionnaires used in the research
Click here for the documents page which has links to the four questionnaires.

Access to Documents being used in the research and downloading of documents
Educators interested in the research as well as School Principals and key personnel such as Assistant Principals Religious Education, Religious Education Coordinators, Faith Development Coordinators, Retreat Coordinators, Youth Ministry Coordinators, and Directors of Mission etc. can examine the various documents. Click here for access to the complete set of project documents. This page has download links to the various information letters to participants and the students/parents consent form.

Information about the Retreats Research Project
Retreats have long been a most distinctive and important feature of Catholic secondary school religious education in Australia . They have proved popular with students for many years; and they are considered to make a valuable contribution to personal and spiritual development. However, there remain some perennial questions related to retreat processes, as well as to the implementation of retreats within the school timetable. It is therefore timely that systematic research be conducted to inform the future enhancement and place of retreats in Catholic secondary schools.

Click here for a brief written description of what the project entails.

A general introductory video outlining the project and and the data collection plans is provided here; this also explains what it is hoped will be the key coordinating role to be played by the school's designated key contact person for involvement with organising the research data collection in the school, together with the help of teachers (E.g. Assistant Principal Religious Education, Religious Education or Retreat Coordinators etc.) The streaming video goes for 20 minutes.

Click here or the photograph for the video introduction to the project.

Recent writings about Catholic school retreats
Click here for a listing of Australian writings on school retreats, the most recent items are available for perusal/download.

Key Contact personnel at ACU and in the 7 dioceses

The following were the key contact personnel in the diocesan Education Offices when the project got underway in 2011.
(Note: Some are no longer in the same positions in 2016)

Australian Catholic University Catholic Education Services
Diocese of Cairns
Catholic Schools Office
Diocese of Broken Bay
Catholic Education Office
Diocese of Parramatta
Prof Graham Rossiter
Ms Louise Vella-Cox
Mr John McGrath
Mr Ian Smith
Catholic Education Office
Archdiocese of Sydney
Catholic Education Office
Diocese of Bathurst
Catholic Education Office
Diocese of Ballarat
Catholic Education Office
Diocese of Sale
Mr Anthony Cleary & Ms Louise Zavone
Mr Angelo Belmonte
Dr Liam Davison
Dr Rose Duffy

For any questions/inquiries about the research contact Professor Graham Rossiter, Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 2002, STRATHFIELD NSW 2135 Email: or