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PMSA Chairman Greg Adsett and recently retired board member Jackie McPherson cut the 100-year celebration cake. Photo: Supplied

100 years of ecumenical cooperation

As the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) celebrates over 100 years of providing education to Queenslanders, the organisation is looking to the future with the release of their strategic plan for 2019 through to 2023. Journey reports.

In 1918, several forward-thinking, ecumenically-minded leaders of the then Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church came together to educate young people and “help strengthen their Christian faith and form in them Christian character”.

Today over 100 years on, the PMSA and their four schools—Brisbane Boys’ College, Clayfield College, Somerville House and Sunshine Coast Grammar School—now provide an outstanding education and Christian values for life to almost 5000 students and employ almost 1000 staff.

At each school, students are encouraged to excel academically, grow spiritually and achieve in co-curricular activities.

In late 2018, the PMSA celebrated the early church leaders’ forward-thinking vision and subsequent leaders’ achievements over the last 100 years.

PMSA Chairman and Uniting Church Queensland representative Greg Adsett, who has been in the role since 2017, says although they commemorated the wonderful ecumenical achievements, the PMSA board is ready to do more.

“With a renewed board, we are excited about the group’s new direction,” Greg says.

Following some challenging times, the PMSA in 2018 implemented a thorough governance reform agenda and developed their Strategic Plan for 2019–2023.

“These governance reforms are shaping our organisation so that we can tackle the next 100 years with a modern governance structure.”

The PMSA’s new Strategic Plan is an exciting reflection of this modern approach.

Guided by a strong Christian vision and values, the PMSA’s plan leverages advice and research from local and global experts in education.

“We are living in a world of unprecedented change,” Greg notes. “Increased automation, digitisation, and personalisation are presenting new opportunities and choice in education. Yet at the same time, parents and community expectations have never been higher.

“And despite some exceptional achievements, education in Australia has declined by international standards.”

The PMSA’s plan provides an overarching direction and creates opportunities for PMSA schools to respond to today’s challenges in three key areas—pursuing excellence, developing global partnerships and extending presence.

To find out more about the PMSA Strategic Plan 2019–2023 or any of the PMSA schools, visit

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