Year in Review: Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

By Richard Blank

Back in July, Business Chief spoke with the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP), a system of schools in Western Sydney, about the ways it is using digital methods to transform the student experience.

Director of Data Intelligence Raju Varanasi and Executive Director Greg Whitby spoke at length about what digital transformation meant for the school system. “Digital transformation has two main focus points for us,” said Varanasi. “The first is transparency and the ease of releasing information and intelligence to teachers, students and staff. The second is operational excellence: saving time and costs.”

To change the model in the ways CEDP had, it was necessary to change the mindset throughout the organisation. “Greg knew that digital transformation came with a bit of risk, but a change of mindset had to happen,” says Varanasi. “I work with the principals to build their trust about why transformation has to happen. Every time I present to them, I try to better understand why something might be working while another thing isn’t.” Whitby’s role in the transformation was strategic. “ I have to make sure that our system is fit for purpose in five years time. The question I constantly ask myself is: ‘Are we going to be relevant, around and in the market in five years’ time?’”


CEDP found the effect on its students’ learning to be transformative. That stemmed in part from the reduced burden on teachers and principals, allowing them to move away from administrative tasks to spend time on more important matters. “If a principal spends less time on administration, or invoicing, supplier and repair issues, they can concentrate on educational leadership,” said Varanasi.

For the full interview with Varanasi and Whitby and many more details on CEDP’s transformation, take a look at our July issue or the company’s exclusive brochure.


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