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"If you were experiencing family violence, if you were living in fear for your life, if your actions were being controlled, would you also be out looking for a job? If you didn't get fully paid for the work that you were doing, would you still do it?" Jocelyn Bignold, CEO of McAuley Community Services for Women, presents at the national Catholic social services conference in February this year. An edited version of this presentation is included in our newly published book being launched online on 11th November, from 2pm-3pm (AEDT).

“I consider it my vocation to tell people that the value of wanting to have a dignified life, wanting to have a better future for themselves and their children, should not be simply seen as a burden or a liability to our society. But they can, and they do indeed become great contributors and builders of our nation.” Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv spoke at the national Catholic social services conference, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion, in February this year about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Congratulations to Francis Sullivan who has been elected the new chair of Catholic Social Services Australia Ltd (CSSA) during the first meeting of the entity since its recent consolidation. He is currently the executive chair of the board at Mater Group, which comprises several hospitals, health centres, an education provider and a research institute. Mr Sullivan takes over the role from Maria Harries, who had served as chair of Catholic Social Services Australia for the past seven years. We thank Maria Harries for her years of years of service.

Have we the capacity to let our broken hearts speak? Can we dare to be different, to humbly accept that our ways of seeing things, reacting to things, proclaiming things needs to change? … Have we stopped hearing the cries of the poor, the oppressed, the misunderstood and the strange ones?” Francis Sullivan, former CEO of the Truth, Justice & Healing Council posed these questions, and many more, in our new book, Serving Communities with Courage and Compassion.

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