The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst will review the way Catholic schools are governed in the region.
New Bishop Shane Mackinlay and the Sandhurst Diocese will explore new governing models, following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
"Clergy, staff, parents and the parish communities will all have a role to play in the development and implementation of the governance model for the future," Bishop Mackinlay said.
"In my new role, I look forward to meeting with people from across the Diocese and seeking their views."
A Diocese of Sandhust spokesperson said the Diocese will transition from "unincorporated structures to incorporated entities".
It comes amid reports parish priests in the Archdiocese of Melbourne will lose their power to appoint principals, employ staff, and sign off on financial statements.
The changes would be in line with the royal commission's final report, which recommended "the bishop of each Catholic Church diocese in Australia should ensure that parish priests are not the employers of principals and teachers in Catholic schools".
The royal commission said having teaching staff employed by parish priests could make it more likely that the abuse of students would be left unreported.
Under the new model in Melbourne, the authority would be shifted to a new not-for-profit company called Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Limited, which would be led by Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli.
Catholic Education Melbourne would then become the new management body and would take over many of the responsibilities currently held by priests.
Parish priests in the Dioceses of Sale and Ballarat have already surrendered or are in the process of surrendering their authority over schools.
All non-government organisations that deliver services to children are also required to become incorporated legal entities that can be sued, under Victorian government requirements that were introduced in July.
A Sandhurst Diocese spokesperson said the Diocese would be open to new structures that would be in line with the government's recommendations.
"The purpose of this change is to further support a culture that continues to embrace the teachings of the Gospel and is committed to continuous improvement," the spokesperson said.
"The Diocese is focused on achieving positive outcomes in education for students, their families and the local community."
There are 56 schools in the Sandhurst Diocese, which covers regional centres like Bendigo, Shepparton, Echuca, and Wodonga.
More than 10,000 primary school students and 8,000 secondary school students are enrolled in the Diocese's schools.
The new governance model will be developed through engagement with key stakeholders in the community.
The process is expected to take 12 months, with the new model to be finalised by January, 2021.
"This engagement is necessary to ensure best practice in education theory and that contemporary governance structures will be embraced and understood by all affected," the Sandhurst Diocese spokesperson said.
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