The Australian bishops' conference has welcomed Alison Burt as the new leadership steering the national Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life in their nation.

According to a recent statement, Burt was appointed executive secretary of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, succeeding Bruce Ryan, who retired after eight years in the commission office.

Bishop Daniel Hurley of Darwin welcomed Burt to the new role, and congratulated her on behalf of the commission members.

Bishop Hurley, who chairs the pastoral life commission, said, "This is an interesting and challenging time for the Commission for Pastoral Life and its councils, in particular following many discussions about the family during the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome over the past fortnight."

Assuming her new role, Burt said, "I am honoured to serve the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in the role of Executive Secretary of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life … I look forward to supporting and furthering the life of the Catholic Church in Australia," she commented.

The Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life promotes the mission of the Church in Australia, responding to its pastoral challenges, in the nation where some 5 million are Catholics.

Its services include marriage and family; pro-life initiatives; support for migrants and refugees; chaplaincies to prisons, hospitals, detention centers, and seafarers; support for the aged and disabled; and youth ministry.