Prof Kelvin Canavan FMS


Phone: 02 8204 4400

  • Biography

    Brother Kelvin Brian Canavan, fms, AM, B.A. (Sydney), M.S. (Cornell), Ed.D (USF), FACE, FACEL (Hon), Executive Director Emeritus of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Sydney.

    Brother Kelvin Brian Canavan, fms, AM, B.A. (Sydney), M.S. (Cornell), Ed.D (USF), FACE, FACEL (Hon), joined the Sydney Catholic Education Office in 1968 as Inspector of Schools. He subsequently served as Director of Primary Education and as Deputy Director of Schools before his appointment as Executive Director of Schools in 1987. He concluded this appointment in April 2009.

    Kelvin has lectured in the US, the UK, the Philippines, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Mauritius. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sydney University, a Master of Science Degree from Cornell University in New York and the award of Doctor of Education from the University of San Francisco. He is the author of more than 50 journal articles.

    In the 1970s his innovative work in mass media education attracted considerable international attention. He has pioneered comprehensive approaches to strategic leadership and management across the school system, including leadership succession programs. His continuing focus has been on teaching and learning.

    He was honoured in August 1994 by the Australian College of Educators as the inaugural winner of the Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for his "outstanding contribution to the education of young people in NSW". In 1997 Kelvin was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia "for services to education as Executive Director of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney".

    In 1998 Kelvin attended the Synod of Bishops for Oceania in Rome at the invitation of Pope John Paul II.

    He is a Governor of the University of Notre Dame Australia, a member of the NSW Chapter of Australian Catholic University. He was a member of the NSW Board of Studies for nine years and served as Deputy President when required. He was a member of the Trustee Board of the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund for 17 years and Chairman 2007-2010. Kelvin was a member of the NSW Catholic Education Commission for 30 years and continues to Chair the Public Policy Committee.

    In 2004 and 2007 the CEO, Sydney was a recipient of an Australian Business Excellence Award. In these awards recognition was specifically made to Kelvin's leadership. His work in human resources was recognised by a 2008 Australian HR Award.

    In 2008 Br Kelvin was awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws by the University of Notre Dame Australia. He was awarded the degree Doctor of the University (honoris causa) by the Australian Catholic University. In 2009 Kelvin received a Certificate of Appreciation from the NSW/ACT Independent Education Union in recognition of his contribution to "building a vibrant and highest quality school system" and the University of San Francisco: Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership presented Kelvin with an award for "Outstanding International Catholic Education Leadership".

    In 2009 Br Kelvin accepted an appointment as Visiting Professor at both the Australian Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame Australia. A new teaching facility on the Sydney campus of University of Notre Dame was named Canavan Hall in recognition of Brother's contribution to Catholic education.

    In 2010 the Australian Council for Educational Leadership awarded Br Kelvin an Honorary Fellowship as well as the ACEL Nganakarrawa Award.