The association was formed in 1994 as a national association representing Catholic secondary principals in all Australian states and territories.
A meeting in April 1994, under the leadership of Father Hugh Brown (Victoria) and with representatives from NSW (Br Paul Oakley0, Dr Vin Thomas (South Australia), David Heath (Western Australia, Lee-Anne Perry (Queensland), John Butterworth (Tasmania) and Susan Pascoe (representing NCEC) confirmed support for the move and developed a constitution for the proposed association. The Association was registered in September 1994 with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission [ASIC] as a public company limited by guarantee.
The approved association made up of the relevant associations of each of the states and territories was named the Association of Principals of Catholic Secondary Schools of Australia Ltd.
Under the chairmanship of John Butterworth, the association agreed that the purposes of the association were to exercise an influence on education decisions in Australia; to broadcast education issues needing attention; to exercise influence among decisionmakers.
The inaugural Conference of the Association was held in Melbourne in 1998, hosted by the Principals' Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools (PAVCSS). Following this successful Conference, biennial Conferences have been held on the Gold Coast (2000); Perth (2004); Sydney (2006).
The Association's Constitution was amended in 2007, and as part of this process the name of the association was changed to Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA).
The Association has, over time, developed its influence through a range of avenues.
It participates in regular briefings and other consultations with the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and meets regularly with the federal Minister for Education and when possible with the Opposition Spokesperson for Education.
It is a member of APAPDC (the Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council). It has close links with Teaching Australia, participating in a broad range of consultations and discussions. It is a member of the Curriculum Standing Committee of National Education Professional Associations (CSNEPA), and the President is a member of the Australian government's Schools-Business Dialogue. CaSPA is included in consultations with a range of other education policy bodies, including the National Catholic Education Commission; the Asia Education Foundation; the universities and other peak principals' associations.