Meet Dr Chris Cotter our new Director of Mission and Pastoral Life

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As Director of Mission and Pastoral Life, Chris will build and a lead team to facilitate the missionary orientation of diocesan pastoral life.

Chris says he is looking forward to getting to know people of the diocese and learning more about the culture and needs of parishes. In his role, Chris aims to build strong and effective relationships with stakeholders and to co-design and implement strategies to engage and support mission, evangelisation, and formation in parishes.

Chris has hit the ground running, stepping into the Local Plenary Council Coordinator role, coordinating the Sandhurst plenary hub, including logistics for Members to attend the First Assembly and daily Plenary Masses. This is in addition to Chris’ pre-existing commitment as an Assembly Facilitator of Communal Discernment.

Chris has already stepped into a leadership role actively supervising the evangelising staff of the Diocese, including Adult Faith, Youth Ministry and Communications.

In the future, Chris will work with Bishop Shane to create a Diocesan Pastoral Council and manage the Bishop’s Parish Visits.

Chris has experience as a teacher, leader and administrator in schools and system offices, including Assistant Director of Schools in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. He has also worked from the Redemptorists Province of Oceania as a mission consultant.


Chris has tertiary qualifications in teaching, theology and religious education, most recently completing a Doctor of Theology through the University of Divinity, Melbourne. Chris says he has a strong interest in “the contribution of practical theology to the re-imagination of the evangelising mission of the Australian Catholic Church in a changing social and cultural milieu,” His work in the Diocese of Sandhurst, we hope, will provide Chris to find ways to implement this re-imagining.

Chris, who was raised in Tamworth, has been based (mostly) in Wodonga for the last 20 years with his wife Julie and two daughters. As Director of Mission and Pastoral Life, Chris will be based in Bendigo at the Chancery.