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Expanding the reach of Catholic Social Teaching to enhance our work

A ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop on Thursday 10 November marked a further step in deepening the engagement of Catholic social services with Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching underpins the work of Catholic social services.  The key principles of the dignity of each person, the centrality of the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity inform the building of a more just and compassionate society.
Catholic Social Services Victoria works regularly with member organisations and beyond to share and to deepen our understanding of this teaching, and of how it can be drawn on to make a difference in practice to those we serve.  This has included workshops, presentations and seminars, for beginners and at a deeper level.
The Train the Trainer day was to resource participants to apply this teaching in the work of their organisation.  It was developed as an interactive model in adult learning practices and for the sharing of a wide range of techniques and resources in the development of training programs for personnel in our Catholic organisations.
The target audience was people who have responsibility in their organisations for training and development in Catholic culture and identity.  Twenty such people from Victoria and beyond participated actively with facilitator Peter Hudson and his colleagues from Catholic Social Services Victoria and Catholic Social Services Australia.
Much of the learning at such events is gained from other participants – in this case they included leaders from CentaCare Ballarat, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, MacKillop Family Services, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Sacred Heart Mission; Catholic Care personnel from Broken Bay, Canberra-Goulbourn, Hobart and Wollongong brought their unique perspectives; as did St John of God personnel from Ballarat, Melbourne and Christchurch, New Zealand. There were also teacher participants from Bendigo and Melbourne so, all in all, it was a rich and diverse experience for all concerned.

It was a rich learning experience for all concerned, including the presenters.  Initial feedback was very positive and all participants appreciated the valuable opportunity for focussed collaboration and networking.
As well as the follow up within participating organisations, the learnings from the day will enable further development of the Train the Trainer program, as part of our ongoing program to assist the Catholic sector to maximise our contribution to those at the margins in Australia today.  Another idea to be advanced is more reflection on the application of Catholic Social Teaching to how we manage the internal workings of our organisations.
More information on Catholic Social Teaching is available here.  For more information about our program of engagement with Catholic social service providers contact Peter Hudson: phudson@css.org.au, tel (03) 9287 5570).

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