The first Anglican Cursillo Weekends in Australia were held in September and October 1979 in Goulburn NSW at Bishopthorpe Conference Centre. The then Bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Bishop Cecil Warren, had previously made his Cursillo in Canada and on his encouragement, his diocese invited a Canadian couple from the Diocese of Toronto, Mrs Pat Brillinger and her husband, the Rev'd Canon Paul, to launch Cursillo in the diocese. Pat was Lay Director of the first four Cursillo Weekends, ably assisted by Canon Paul, Fr Paul Hart and lay people from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wagga and some Anglicans from the same area who had attended Catholic Cursillos. Pat Brillinger completed her Fourth Day on Christmas Eve 2005 at St Catharine's Ontario Canada.
The next diocese to embrace Cursillo was Grafton, after Bishop Donald Shearman made his Cursillo in 1982 at Goulburn. The Canberra and Goulburn Cursillistas responded to his invitation to come to Grafton and after months of preparation their teams, together with one or two lay folk from the Grafton Diocese, conducted the first four Cursillos there. When one realizes that such a move involves the provision of four teams (two men's and two women's) of at least fifteen people each, plus a considerable expenditure of money and time, what is seen for possibly the first time and in an ongoing manner is large scale cooperation between dioceses.
By 1993 more than half the dioceses in Australia had embraced the movement and the Diocese of Brisbane introduced it to the New Zealand Diocese of Wellington in 1988.
Over the years we have learned that what we in Australia originally accepted as the Cursillo Movement was not complete. We held two-day Cursillos without a full pre- or post-Cursillo. We did not understand how essential it was to form Leaders' School/Servant Communities as the foundations of a healthy Movement. We did not understand how important it was to have a pastoral plan - to be part of the wider parish and diocesan pastoral plans.
In 1987 representatives of the various Anglican dioceses met in Grafton where it was decided to form a National Secretariat for the Cursillo Movement in Australia - later known as the Anglican Cursillo Movement of Australia (ACMA). The first meeting of the national body was held in Grafton from November 13-15 of that year. This body is responsible for the maintenance of the authentic Cursillo method and for the oversight of the spread of the Movement to other dioceses.
Since its establishment much progress has been made in learning and understanding what authentic Cursillo is. Cursillo workshops have been established to help Cursillistas gain a deeper understanding of the complete Movement. Progress has also been made in adapting the Roman Catholic literature for use in an Anglican setting, while remaining true to the original concept