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Strengthening relationships among young professionals working in Catholic social services

Emerging leaders and young professionals working in Catholic Social Services attended a breakfast and conversation with social entrepreneur, James Murphy, on Tuesday 12 November. The breakfast is part of a series of events organised by the Emerging Leaders Network, auspiced by Catholic Social Services Victoria, with the intention of fostering relationships and professional development among young Catholics working in the sector.
James, who is the owner of KereKere Cafe in East Melbourne, shared his inspiring story of growing up in Fiji, a community-rich environment, which instilled in him the values of community, family and co-creating together. 
He was introduced to the Fijian custom of KereKere ("kerry-kerry") during his decade-long stay on the Pacific Island. KereKere is a custom wherein a relative or neighbour can request something that is needed and it must be willingly given with no expectation of repayment.
The topic of his talk, The Business of Enriching Lives gave a clear picture of how cooperation, collaboration and deep listening were vital in building up communities.
It is clear that his business, KereKere cafe, combines his passions for promoting community well being, social justice, good food and quality living. KereKe started in 2017 as a coffee cart on the grounds of the University of Melbourne. It is now present at the Boyd Community Hub in Southbank and the Fitzroy Gardens Visitors Centre in East Melbourne.
James believes emotional labour is a platform to build trust, strengthen relationships and create emotional ties that hold a community together.
Catholic Social Services Victoria is committed to intentionally fostering the growth and development of young professionals and emerging leaders working within the sector. CSSV hopes to see many young professionals attending the upcoming 2020 national Catholic Social Services conference, Serving Communities with Courage and Hope, from 26-28 February 2020, at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne. CEOs and senior management are encouraged to invite a range of staff to attend the conference. Find out more, here.

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