Serving Our Communities with Courage and Compassion is the theme for a national Catholic social services conference in February. Source: Catholic Social Services Victoria.
Catholic Social Services Victoria has teamed up with Catholic Social Services Australia for the conference, to be held at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne on February 26-28 2020.
A significant element of the conference will be the opening plenary session, which will focus on the Indigenous voice and reconciliation. This forum, titled “Beyond Surviving to Truthfully Thriving: Continuing our Journey of Listening in Truth and Justice”, will draw on the enduring wisdom, strength and resilience of Australia’s First Peoples. It will seek to capture the lessons learned from the past 10 years of the Closing the Gap program, which was established by Commonwealth Government to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The plenary will look, in particular, at how each of the program’s targets is interconnected. The next phase of the Closing the Gap initiative needs to be guided by the principles of empowerment and self-determination which are so closely aligned to the mission of Catholic social services.
Specifically, this session will assist participants to grow in their awareness of and responses to the social marginalisation of Australia’s Indigenous communities, to learn to listen and respond in truth and justice, and to increase their understanding of how the Catholic social services sector can journey with them towards true reconciliation.
The conference will also include sessions on courageous and compassionate service, enacting mission at the margins, implementing child safety, eco-justice, addressing homelessness, best practice in governance, the Plenary Council, and fostering emerging leaders.
Catholic Social Services Australia chief executive Ursula Stephens will deliver the 2020 Mary MacKillop Oration. The conference will conclude a media masterclass on engaging media to advance mission.