The following testimonials are reflections shared by participants of an Encounter the Heart program.
Encounter the Heart facilitated by Br Price is poignant, deeply spiritual, awakening and engaging. Br Damien presented a 3 hour twilight in Term 4 at the end of the day and all were engaged as we experienced the concept of ‘guest’ and what that means for us in our vocation as teachers. I experienced so many ‘ah ha’ moments. Gratitude to Br Damien for his wisdom, for bringing the Edmund Rice story to life and for prompting us to reflect deeply on the impact we have.
Lisa – Clairvaux MacKillop College, Brisbane
Brother Damien is a gifted facilitator of retreats, his disarming manner, humour, intelligence and wonderful storytelling ability provided the perfect space for busy professionals to immerse themselves in the retreat experience. He carefully constructed the path that we journeyed, providing thought provoking questions and giving us the time to discern and be. I left feeling enriched and invigorated and know that the knowledge that I gained will benefit those in my school community. Awesome
Justin, St Matthew’s Catholic School, Mudgee, NSW
Brother Damien not only talks about ‘getting beside people’, but he does it. For our staff retreat he was able to connect with both religious and non-religious participants in a gentle, meaningful, and profound way. Damien speaks from the heart and from experience, moving even the most cynical to hear a whisper from God. Highly recommended.
Jon – Tatachilla Lutheran College, South Australia
Inspirational. This is the word that comes to mind when I think of the retreats I have participated in with Br Damien. Each one I have left rejuvenated, refreshed and with a stronger sense of mission to make Jesus known.
The Retreat Master Class will equip you with the necessary theory, skills and ideas to lead student retreats that will touch hearts. This will be the best professional learning you will experience as a Religious Educator.
Dr Angelo Belmonte: Head Religious Education and Faith Formation: Diocese of Bathurst
Br Damien is a world-class facilitator, a captivating storyteller and an incredible gift to schools. In this two-day PD, he shares his extensive knowledge and experience in service learning, delving deeply into the theories, models, psychological processes and best-practice strategies for students’ engagement and reflection in this area. We gained an appreciation of the crucial role that service learning can play in shaping our young people into kind, compassionate and just global citizens. I would strongly recommend this PD for any schools who wish to enhance the degree of authenticity in their service learning programs.
Pat – St Thomas More College (Sunnybank)
I would highly recommend this masterclass to anyone working in a catholic school setting. I have come away with a myriad of ideas and practical strategies that can be implemented over both the immediate, short and long term. The focus on establishing core concepts with the school community, such as ‘story’, ‘come as guest’ and ‘difference is gift’ gives a language to an accessible theology that can then permeate the school. The importance of simple and fun reflection techniques after normative and heightened service experiences was emphasised for effective learning. I am now energised and excited to implement some of these service learning strategies within our school community. This was most definitely one of the best professional development courses that I have ever been on!
Aine – Emmaus College, Rockhampton
Retreats Master Class: From the get go, Br Damien had the participants engaged and entertained for the duration of the masterclass. He was passionate in every aspect and could testify to experiences that would allow for the development of staff and students. His banter made for a laugh and this allowed the days to be one where everyone felt comfortable in sharing their own personal journey and how to best build on the semantics through episodic experience.
Ross – St Matthew’s Catholic School – Mudgee, NSW
Br. Damien Price and the team from ‘Unother’ worked with my 200 staff for our professional development days at the start of this year. The program was engaging, insightful, relevant and very practical. Staff would say it was the best PD they have been involved with over their career. The inservice incorporates inclusion, diversity, and compassion, all centred around Gospel values. I would recommend all to do this program.
Michael Connolly – Principal, St Columbans College
Br Damien and his charismatic, engaging team from UnOther worked with our staff across the course of a day, immersing us within the Beyond the Chair program. Encouraging us all to come as guest, Br Damien assisted us all to figuratively and literally open our minds and hearts to the plights of others, looking ‘beyond the chair’ to the individual. Br Damien and his team superbly guided us through this immersive encounter that not only allowed us all to experience and reflect upon the challenges that some face on a daily basis, but also reminded us of the value and guidance that the Gospel values and ER touchstones can provide. All school communities would benefit from this PD.
Steven Ruddy – AP Learning & Teaching
Br Damien guided our large group through formation as a new Leadership Team. His wisdom, counsel and care for each member of our team flavoured a rich exploration and naming of our strengths, talents and ways of working together. Br Damien’s experiences through ‘sitting at the table’ in many leadership contexts ensured an authentic and valuable day for each member of our team. It was highly positive start to our work together.
Wayne – Principal, Clairvaux MacKillop College
Service Learning Master Class: Full of practical strategies (for systemic change), this Masterclass provided a unique opportunity to work with a true master in service-learning. Br Damien’s ability to connect curriculum and culture with the capacity to create changes in the heart-set and mindset of young people taught participants how to plan for a better future. Catherine
Service Learning Master Class: I felt that I was not alone in the journey to make an impact in our school community through Service Learning. Having listened to Br Damien’s passion to evangelise and to make a positive impact to the next generation through Service Learning also makes me want to do more: Service to lead others to know Jesus. Fr Saldie
Service Learning Master Class: Br Damien, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience in such an engaging way through story and theology. His deliveries a theological basis to best practice in Service Learning and how to plan for this in a school ensuring its links to the curriculum and culture of the school. He offers insight into the true value of Service Learning and the importance of engaging both staff and students in reflection after experience. Br Damien’s understandings of the demands of school life are incorporated into two worthwhile days of professional development and focusing on how we can reframe/refocus what we already do to be more meaningful for our young people. Cate
The Retreat Master Class: The Retreat Master Class is essential for any educators wanting to improve the retreat experiences they offer their students. Br Damien presents an engaging program that gives participants a toolkit to immediately implement within their own school setting. I would highly recommend this course. Trish
The Retreat Master Class: Br Damien Price is a wealth of knowledge and expertise. His Masterclass articulated, structured and inspired my experiences in coordinating retreats. Now, I feel confident to plan, with intent, clarity and insight, valuable and impactful experiences of transcendence. I left with volumes of practical ideas, planning strategies and a knowledge around the psychological processes at work in retreat situations. What a joyous gift! Emma
The Retreat Master Class: Br Damien is always a passionate and inspirational speaker and facilitator. He challenges current practises and gently encourages all to do better. In the process of creating something great, Damien provides many different learning experiences to cater for everyone’s different learning needs. I really enjoy all of Damien’s workshops. Dom
The Retreat Master Class: I was fortunate enough to attend the Student Retreat Masterclass led by Brother Damien. This exciting and engaging PD has equipped me with invaluable skills, insights, inspiration and the confidence to now lead impactful and age-appropriate Retreats for students. Brother Damien’s passion is infectious and with his humour and sharing of his own personal journeys made this an invaluable opportunity. Thanks again Damien, one of the best Professional Development experiences I have been fortunate enough to be involved in. Dane, Holy Family Catholic School, Kelso, NSW
Br Price’s ability to bring a strong focus on community and personal beliefs and link them to everyday practice is powerful, and he does it in an engaging and interesting presentation.
Andrew – Head of Faculty, St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
I have worked in and out of Christian Brothers associated schools for a number of years and heard the stories and history of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Brothers. Brother Damien brings to life the spirit of Edmund Rice. His pedagogy of passing on the stories communicated the animating spirit of Christ and his Gospel showing how it was and is alive in Edmund’s and the Brothers’ ministry.
Daniel – MacKillop College, Hobart
A passionate educator who courageously throws his whole self into every phase of the workshop.
Nataleen – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
The Retreat Master Class: The School Retreat Master Class provides all the skills and resources to organise and facilitate meaningful retreats for your school. The most important part of the Class is that gives people the confidence to invite the students into experiences that matters. Fr Joe
The Retreat Master Class: Dr Price cfc PhD is an engaging educator and man of faith who gently weaves his magic spirituality, experience and academic rigour seamlessly and effectively throughout the two-day seminar. Participants are called on to share their own experiences, to engage in new experiences and to learn from each other. This is a respectful adult professional development experience that is a must do for retreat leaders. Paul
The Retreat Master Class: Having very little experience with the functionality, organization and purpose of retreats within Catholic schools, I was highly impressed by the Retreat master class. Brother Damien Price was a highly engaging presenter, who brought forth an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the purpose of Retreats within a Catholic school context. A wide array of ideas were discussed, unpacked and put forward to assist each participant in clarifying and understanding the purpose for retreats within a school context specific to their own. I particularly appreciated the many different activity suggestions and ideas within the Retreat handbook to assist in organizing ideas for a Retreat within the context of our school. Overall, I would highly recommend this Master Class to anyone wishing to gain a greater understanding of the purpose of Retreats within a Catholic school context, and how the successful implementation of this can leave a profound, long-lasting impact on Catholic school students. Sam
The Retreat Master Class: Br Damien lead participants through the 2 day Retreat Masterclass where he provided his great wisdom and also allowed for peer information sharing and comparing between schools. Br Damien reminded participants around the concepts and examples of experiential experiences. The resources provided are fantastic. Overall the collaborative approach provided by Br Damien proved to be very enriching. Riley, St Columbans Caboolture
The Service Learning Master Class: Br Damien, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience in such an engaging way through story and theology. His deliveries a theological basis to best practice in Service Learning and how to plan for this in a school ensuring its links to the curriculum and culture of the school. He offers insight into the true value of Service Learning and the importance of engaging both staff and students in reflection after experience. Br Damien’s understandings of the demands of school life are incorporated into two worthwhile days of professional development and focusing on how we can reframe/refocus what we already do to be more meaningful for our young people. Cate
Brother Damien Price provided an opportunity for the staff of St Ursula’s College to relate to the message of Jesus in a very personal way. Using story and movement, staff deepened their understanding of the compassion shown by Jesus and were able to connect this to the Ursuline charism and our role as educators in today’s world. This day had a profound impact and staff continue to talk positively about the experience.
Mary – St Ursula’s College
Encountering Edmund Rice with Br Damien was a beautiful reminder of how to be truly present, not only with our students but with all those we meet. It provided great inspiration and a practical way to give voice and action to our Touchstones in our everyday interactions.
Lisa, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Brother Price explained the concept of ‘guest’ in our educational context succinctly and in a way that made his presentation both entertaining and informative.
Sophia – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
Service Learning Master Class: The Service Learning Masterclass provided a welcomed respite from the daily demands of schooling and allowed participants to engage in a critical element of why we do what we do in Catholic education. The two days engaged in a rigorous exploration of the theories and models of service learning, and the essential part it plays in ensuring our young men and women are movers and shakers in creating a world of compassion, justice and peace. Paul
Service Learning Master Class: Many schools encourage their students to participate in service learning as it exemplifies the teachings of the Gospels. But what is the benefit to the students other than the ‘feel good’ moments in the hours immediately after? Br Damien Price explores more than simply the options for service, and instead explores the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ when it comes to serving others. Br Damien analyses the biological and long term benefits of young people consistently engaging with service – both at a macro level (including immersions and breakfast vans) but also a micro level (environmental clubs and homework help). For teachers, or indeed entire school cultures, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Matt
Through the time spent with Br Damien, I was able to reflect on the value of “relationship” being at the core of who I am in my roles as parent, family member, friend, colleague and teacher. Through taking time for presence, connection and listening, to others as well as and our inner selves, we can build truer relationships that allow us to be the best we can be, and support others in doing the same.
Megan, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Damien Price is a skilled and passionate facilitator who brings a contagious energy to his work. It has been a pleasure to work with him through the formation of our College Leadership and Pastoral Teams and our Student Leadership Program. I am grateful for the wisdom Damien has brought to our staff and students and highly recommend him.
Shannon – St Edmund’s College, Ipswich
The seminar with Br Damien was a transformational experience. His teachings, knowledge and wisdoms are delivered with such sincerity you cannot help but be deeply moved. Br Damien unpacked the core spirituality for our everyday ministry, drawing us back to the root calling of our vocation. This was both inspiring and grounding. His ‘Encounter Cycle’ will now not only guide my professional life but also my personal life. Br Damien’s expertise is invaluable, and I feel immensely blessed to have had this experience.
Nikita, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
The Terrace staff enjoyed an excellent presentation from Br Damien on liberating education as the cornerstone of transformational pedagogy, relationships, and school culture. I appreciated his ability to synthesise these concepts in a practical and easy to understand manner for all staff members regardless of their role or prior religious knowledge. The session provided me with greater clarity and direction on the school’s mission, both in and outside of the classroom.
Louise, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Brother Damien Price presented one of the most memorable PD events I have ever attended. He relayed complex philosophical ideas simplified in an engaging way. His personalisation of the presentation to the legacy of Saint Mary MacKillop and Blessed Edmund Rice left a last impression on my heart and will undoubtedly influence my practice as a teacher working within Catholic schools.
Justine – Clairvaux MacKillop College – Brisbane
What is consistently valuable in Brother Damien’s presentations is the connection between heart and mind. His insights into the meaning and possibilities of the Edmund story offer a pathway to better practice in our daily routines. Brother Damien’s warmth and humour make learning engaging and bring staff together around a common vision.
Catherine, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Service Learning Master Class: Damien, these two days have challenged me about the ways we authentically engage students and staff in social action initiatives. You really are the bellwether in terms of service learning through your leadership by example and profound philosophy regarding how to transform hearts and minds. I’m totally inspired to seek new ways. Lindell
Service Learning Master Class: Br Damien Price’s Service Learning Master Class is highly recommended for schools serious about making a difference in this space. His work is authentic; is refreshing, is based on incredible practical wisdom and ideas that work. Staff attending this Professional Development will leave equipped to make an incredible difference in their schools. Dan
Br Damien shared theory and stories to help us connect with each other and those around us in a meaningful way, challenging us to be present to staff and students alike. A refreshing start to the year to go back to our hearts and let love be the source of our interactions.
Ruth, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Br Damien has a wonderful energy and passion for the work we all do. A great reminder of what it means to provide a “liberating education”.
Donna – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
Br Damien delivered purposeful and meaningful opportunities for staff formation through the lens of the Edmund Rice Tradition. Damien used theological frameworks that were understood by all staff members. Damien’s humour and gentle approach paired with his ability to engage all staff in different activities made this workshop relevant and valuable for the year ahead.
Niamh – St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon
Great workshop that reminds us of our ‘why’. Damien you are as engaging now as you were when we were half our age!
Peter – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
Damien Price was a great presenter and adapted his teaching to our needs. We were able to appreciate the qualities and talents of each individual first, before we worked on how to be a team. Overall, a great day and I know the team will be stronger for it.
Ben – St Edmund’s College, Ipswich
Brother Damien spoke passionately to our staff on one of the Edmund Rice Touchstones, Liberating Education. For me one important highlight of his presentation is that we want to liberate our students to make a difference in the world. We as teachers are agents of transformation, and we need to touch the hearts of our students to reach out and help others.
Monica, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Br Damien taught us practical ways to live out the school’s values in every dimension of being. To be both loving and caring, while living to your fullest potential and lifting up others so they can do the same. It was an honour to have someone with true wisdom and kindness present to the staff.
Rachael, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Damien presents a workshop that presents information while storytelling. He is very enjoyable to listen to.
Jacqueline – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
Damien brings to any space, even the on-line space, an authentic presence. He challenged us to think differently about every encounter with other people. His experience as a retreat facilitator and presenter, coupled with is ‘street smarts’, means that he walks the talk. His messages about coming as guest and being a real presence will remain with us for years to come.
Claire, All Hallows’ School
Brother Damien’s session makes participants feel welcome and provides them with the opportunity and blessing to be present as guest. As a member of an Edmund Rice Education School, I was able to acquire targeted information about the formation of the charism and how this is present every day. In this way Brother Damien empowers participants to reflect whilst considering the why behind our touchstones and why they need to permeate throughout the College for staff, students and parents alike.
Edward, St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe
Thank you Brother Damien for helping me see something quite moving. That we can enhance our whole school curriculum in a special way, by weaving our core values, service, and relationship themes into it. I will try to consciously look for opportunities in my Language teacher, where I can do this.
Rosa, All Hallows’ School
Br Damien challenged us to take the time to reflect; to be present in the moment for both the self and others. I valued his insight on how we use these reflections to bring compassion and to take care of the ‘innate dignity’ of each other.
Christina, Religious Education Coordinator, Brigidine College
The Spirituality Day presented to Terrace staff by Br Damien Price was an invaluable experience and opportunity to share story and explore our EREA charism in a tangible way. What I valued most was the conversation facilitated around ‘guest’ and ‘presence’. This enabled us as members of the Terrace community to reflect on those who have come into our own lives as ‘guests’ and how we, ourselves, can continue to strive for a Liberating Education through our everyday presence.
Lizzy, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Br Damien presents so well because he lives what he says. He embodies the quality of loving-kindness and inspires all of us to live more compassionately.
David, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
I really appreciated Damien’s relational skills. He presented content in an engaging and interesting way, and worked really hard to develop a rapport with the staff even in such a short time span.
Katie – Head of Faculty – St Laurence’s College, Brisbane
Br Damien’s professional development to the leadership team of St Brendan’s College was second to none. His calming presence and humorous, yet professional reflections were relevant, timely and affirming. Not only did he do tremendous justice to the Edmund Rice story, his personalisation of the delivery was the foundation to connection. His program gave us both professional and personal insights and guided us back to the core principals of what we are about as an EREA community.
Shane – College Leadership Team – St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon
Br. Damien is an authentic presenter that through his words and his passion inspires, motivates, and calls you to action to be a better version of yourself. His manner draws you into the message of kindness, generosity and love and invites you to link your qualities and life experiences – warts and all- to make a difference to others. Br. Damien does not just entertain, he empowers and liberates.
Kaylene, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
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Brother Damien’s presentation challenged us to build our culture to enact our school values through our relationships with presence and compassion. I felt a positive challenge to demonstrate to my students how the school culture, relationships and curriculum extends to service in the wider community. Brother Damien’s presentation created an eagerness and excitement for the return of the school years to see what I can do too in my acts of service and in my relationships with students.
Lucy, All Hallows’ School
Damien’s capacity to engage the head and the heart is an absolute strength! He has this wonderful ability to tell stories in a way that encourages all of us to connect with the charism of our Catholic identity so that we are aligned and purposeful.
Adam, St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe
Br Damien Price shared his wisdom on the concepts of presence and coming as a guest to others for our inaugural full staff meeting for the year. His gentle and yet passionate voice on being the light of Christ to others through our work as teachers is always wonderful to hear.
Matthew, All Hallows’ School.
I truly valued Br Damien’s discussion about modelling compassion in the Catholic school setting. He provided a range of interesting anecdotes about his own experience of spreading compassion as both a religious educator and activist, instilling hope for the staff of Brigidine College who were fortunate enough to witness his wisdom on Spirituality Day.
Helen, Brigidine College Indooroopilly.
Damien shared a model of service with staff that reminded us to use a guest mindset and thus be authentically present in working with others, so that compassion would naturally flow. I valued his candid, accessible style, and his thoughtful, timely and professional insights.
Sophie, All Hallows’ School
Br Damien helped us to reflect about the heart of our College community. Through story, questioning, listening and authenticity he was able to share his wisdom and insight whilst challenging us to be in touch with the most important things about our work. He was excellent.
Tim, St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe