NATIONAL MARRIAGE CONFERENCE 2018 2017-06-20T12:37:38+00:00

 16 -17 FEBRUARY 2018
SYDNEY  | University of Notre Dame, Broadway Campus

Join the conversation!

The “Renaissance of Marriage Conference is a culture changing event for the Catholic Church in Australia.
The focus is to bring together dedicated leaders, teachers, marriage educators, clergy, parish ministers, couples and parents who are passionate about Catholic marriage and want to reboot the marriage culture.
The 2016 conference was inspired by Pope Francis’ Exhortation Amoris Laetitia with a strong emphasis on initiatives that meet the real needs of Australian Catholic families. In 2018 we continue to unpack this document with sessions to dive into the heart of those tough topics.

Join us and be inspired and informed by local and world renowned speakers. 

A stellar line up of speakers including…

Dr Gregory Bottaro, Catholic Psych Institute, New York

Jonathan Doyle, Choicez Media, Canberra

Dr Gerard O’Shea, JPII Institute Melbourne, UNDA Sydney

Sr Moira Debono, UNDA Sydney

Robert Falzon, Men Alive Brisbane

Paul Ninnes, Real Talk Brisbane

Peter Holmes, UNDA Sydney

Dr Byron  & Francine Pirola, SmartLoving, Conference Convenors

… and many more

Byron and Francine are Directors of the Marriage Resource Centre and are recognised leaders in marriage education, with a particular emphasis on understanding its sacramental nature in the Catholic faith.  They have five children and a wealth of down-to-earth practical experience in the daily realities of marriage, relationships, family life and parenting.

Married since 1988, they are founders and directors of the marriage enrichment seminar SmartLoving Marriage (formerly Celebrate Love) which has been operating in Australia since 1990, and more recently in the UK, NZ and Asia. They are also authors of the multi-media marriage preparation course SmartLoving Engaged (formerly Embrace) which is used for Catholic marriage preparation in dioceses across several English speaking countries.

They chair the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council, an advisory council of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and  Francine is a former member of the Executive of the Catholic Society for Marriage Education. They are former past Presidents of the Australian Council of Natural Family Planning and have represented the Australian Catholic Bishops at meetings of the Pontifical Council of the Family.  They are regular keynote speakers at Marriage Conferences, both in Australia and overseas.

Speaker Profile

Dr. Bottaro is a clinical psychologist practicing in Connecticut serving the greater New York Metropolitan area and many others through online therapy.   He received his Psy.D. (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school in Arlington, VA that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology. Before finishing his degree, he discerned a religious vocation with the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs).  He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis.  These years were emotionally, spiritually, and professionally formative as Dr. Bottaro tested his vocation and ultimately felt the prompting of God’s will to pursue family life.

Six years after leaving NYC as a friar he returned as a psychologist.  His aim is fundamentally the same – to serve.  Instead of serving those suffering material poverty, he now seeks to serve those with psychological needs. Dr. Bottaro formed the CatholicPsych Institute in 2012 to connect Catholics around the world with therapists trained to integrate the faith with the practice.  There are many different types of psychological needs.  CatholicPsych therapists are trained to provide treatment for the worst types of psychological suffering, as well as provide a therapeutic atmosphere to gain insight into some of life’s basic adjustments and issues.

As one of the founding directors of Real Talk, Paul is leading the way for young people, getting real on topics of sex, relationships and personal identity. Paul uses his life story and builds on 10 years experience working with youth to present a life-changing message.

Paul is the Managing Director of Real Talk Australia and has a passion for seeing people fulfill their potential. He has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, postgraduate qualifications in Sexual Health and is currently completing postgraduate studies in Theology (Marriage and Family) at the John Paul II Institute. He is married to Emma and they have three beautiful kids. In 2014, as part of the Community Leader Awards, Paul was awarded the Professional Leader of the Year. Paul uses his powerful life story and builds on ten years youth ministry experience to present a life-changing message on a variety of topics to over 10 000 young people each year.

Speaker Profile

Director of Minnis and Samson and CEO of menALIVE, Robert leads, equips, enables and empowers people to be effective in their lives. He am particularly interested in finding intentional ways for people to be authentic. 

menALIVE teams work in partnership with parishes throughout Australia and New Zealand to run these weekends. The program that has been honed over the past ten years delivers relevant talks and personal testimonies, opportunity for discussion in small groups and, most importantly, it provides the space and environment for men to reflect.

The experience of men gathering together at a menALIVE weekend or event is dynamic and powerful. The result is that for many men, they are inspired, encouraged and feel that they have a new sense of purpose and mission.

Early Bird Special

The Conference gathers Marriage Educators, Clergy, Parish Staff, Parish Leaders, Teachers, Youth Workers, Counsellors, Couples and Parents and anyone passionate about supporting marriages or strengthening their own. It inspires fresh vision and hope for the future of marriage and family

 Make the investment today, providing you with insights and practical tools you can use to go forward and make a difference to marriage culture world-wide.


$295Early Bird Special
  • 2 DAY PASS

Early Bird Special ends September 30, 2017


$29500Normal Price $550
  • Professionals in paid positions
  • Registration Pack
  • All meals & Friday dinne

Standard Couple

$39500Normal Price $650
  • Professionals in paid positions
  • Registration Pack
  • All meals & Friday dinne


$25000Normal Price $450
  • Religious, Volunteers & Students
  • Registration Pack
  • All meals & Friday dinne

Concession Couple

$35000Normal Price $550
  • Religious, Volunteers & Students
  • Registration Pack
  • All meals & Friday dinne