Melbourne 2015 Convention - Speakers

Archbishop Denis Hart


Archbishop Denis Hart was born in East Melbourne in 1941.  He graduated from Xavier College Kew in 1959.  He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College (the Regional Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania) and was ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne in 1967.

He was appointed as Chaplain at the Repatriation Hospital Heidelberg over the Christmas/New Year period 1967/1968 before being assigned to Parish duties in 1968.  From 1969 to 1974, he was Assistant Priest and Master of Ceremonies at St Patrick's Cathedral.  From 1970 until 1996, he was Prefect of Ceremonies for the Archdiocese of Melbourne.  From 1975 until 1985, he was Advocate and Notary of the Regional Matrimonial Tribunal.  He was Executive Secretary of the National Liturgical Commission of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1975 until 1990.  He was Liturgy Director and Assistant Master of Ceremonies for the Australian Papal Visit in November 1986.


Between 1987 until 1996, he was also Parish Priest of St Joseph's West Brunswick.  In September 1996, he was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Moderator of the Curia and, subsequently, Diocesan Consultor, Chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Extension and Maintenance Fund, Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Council, Secretary of the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Diocese of Melbourne, ex-officio member of the Archbishop's Personnel Advisory Board; of the Archbishop's Committee for New Areas in the Archdiocese and a nominee of the Archbishop of Melbourne on the Committee of Catholic Capital Grants.

He was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Melbourne in November 1997. As a Bishop, he retained all of the above offices and, in addition to Diocesan ministries, worked in the Southern Region of the Archdiocese.  He was Secretary of the Bishops of the Province of Melbourne and a member of the Board of Australian Catholic University.


He was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne in June 2001.


In the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, he was a member of the Permanent Committee from 2002,  chairman of the Bishops' Commission for Administration and Information (2002-2012), a member of the Bishops' Commission for Liturgy (1998-2012) and Vice-President of the Conference (2010-2012).  He has been Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross since 2010.

In May 2012, he was elected President of the Conference for the following two years and was reappointed until 2016.  He has been a member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy since 2003 and was Vice President from 2010 until 2014.  

In February 2014, he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and, later, a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.


Bishop Michael Kennedy


Bishop Kennedy was born in May 1968 in Wagga Wagga New South Wales.  He is the youngest of nine children born to John and Fidelma Kennedy.


Bishop Kennedy was educated in Wagga Wagga by the Christian Brothers following which he attended the Sydney Catholic College of Education undertaking a Diploma in Education.  He then taught at Xavier College at Albury (in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga).  


He entered Vianney College, the Wagga Wagga Diocesan Seminary, in 1992 and continued his academic studies in Rome in 1994.  He obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Urban College of Propaganda Fide and a Diploma in Mariology at the Marianum Pontifical School.


Bishop Kennedy was ordained to the priesthood in August 1999.  Over the next twelve years, he held positions of:

Assistant Priest and Parish Priest;

Rector of St Francis’ Residential College at Charles Sturt University;

Lecturer in Moral Theology, Mariology and Church History at Vianney College;

Diocesan Director of Vocations;

Member of the Diocesan Council of Priests and College of Consultors;

Member of the Diocesan Catholic Schools Commission; and,

Vicar Forane of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.


In December 2001, Father Kennedy was appointed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Armidale New South Wales by Pope Benedict XVI and was installed as Bishop at Sts Mary and Joseph’s Cathedral Armidale in February 2012.


Since this appointment, Bishop Kennedy has been appointed to: 

The Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Life;

The Bishops’ delegate to the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council; and,

Membership of the New South Wales Catholic Education Commission.

From November 2011 until July 2014, Bishop Kennedy was also the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes in New South Wales.


Most Reverend Gerard Hanna

Bishop Gerard Hanna is the fifth Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. In 1962, he commenced studies for the priesthood at St Columba’s College Springwood and completed his Theology at St Patrick’s College Manly (New South Wales) in 1968.  He attained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Theology from Heythrop College, University of London.


He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Armidale on 9th December 1968 at St Mary’s Cathedral Armidale. Serving in the Armidale Diocese for 34 years, he was Parish Priest at St Nicolas’ Tamworth for thirteen years and Parish Priest of Moree for six years.   In 2001, Father Hanna received the Centenary Medal.  The medal was instituted to commemorate the Centenary of Federation in Australia and was awarded to Father Hanna for services to the community of North-Western New South Wales.


In February 2002, Father Hanna was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga and his Episcopal Ordination took place on 15th May 2002.  Bishop Hanna currently serves on the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) Commission for Administration, Information and Finance as Chairperson.  A member of the NSW Province of Bishops, Bishop Hanna is a delegate on the NSW Professional Standards Committee and the liaison Bishop for the Civil Chaplaincy Advisory Committee.  Bishop Hanna is one of six Bishops in the ACBC Commission for Pastoral Life with particular responsibility to oversee the Natural Fertility Australia Program. He is the ACBC delegate at the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office and Fertility Education Australia.


Father Morgan Batt

Father Morgan, after 5 years out of school, joined Pius XII Seminary in Queensland in 1986.  Following his ordination in 1991, Father had appointments as Assistant Priest and Parish Priest.  He was appointed to the Bishops’ Committees for Youth and Education.  He was Parish Priest at Richmond and Port Arthur (in Tasmania) during the time of the 1996 massacre and was awarded the Service Medal for his work.  


Father has studied extensively overseas.  In 2002, he enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve as a Chaplain and, three years later, was asked to enlist full-time.  Postings within Australia and overseas followed.  


As if that wasn’t enough, Father is an outdoor adventurer.  He is an International Alpine Mountaineer, having summited the North Face of Mount Everest and has climbed on thousands of mountains around the world.  His aim is to summit the highest peak of every nation and major territory in the world.  

Father has been entered as a magistral chaplain in the Sovereign Military Order of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta.  Father was recalled to the Archdiocese of Brisbane in 2010 where he is now Vocations Director of the Archdiocese, Director of Discernment at “Canali House” and at Holy Spirit Seminary and Director of Pastoral Studies at the Seminary.  


Along the way, Father has written a book “Up the Beaten Track”.


Father is very passionate about all vocations and developing an education and culture of vocation awareness especially to the presbyteral ministry. 


Father Brendan Lane

Father Brendan Lane is the second of six children of Cath and Jim Lane.  He was educated by the Mercy Sisters at Ivanhoe in Primary School and by the Jesuits at St Patrick’s College East Melbourne.  Following Secondary School, he studied Science and Education at Melbourne University then taught at Murtoa High School in the Wimmera before attending St Paul’s Seminary for Late Vocations in Sydney. 


Father was ordained in 1973 and had appointments to Parishes at Fitzroy, Bulleen, Glen Huntly and Cheltenham before being released by Archbishop Little to work as a chaplain and teacher at a large boarding school in the North of Zambia, East Africa.  Returning to Australia, after nearly four years, he was appointed to Sunshine Parish and, eventually, became Parish Priest.  After more than eleven years at Sunshine, he moved to Hampton Park Parish, then to Mill Park Parish from where he was asked to become Rector of Corpus Christi College. 


Whilst Corpus Christi College is the Regional Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania, seminarians from other Dioceses and from overseas are also in residence.