Specialised Workshops

Engaging the Heart Sessions (coming soon)

Specialised Workshops

Participants will nominate one Specialised Workshop each day during registration.

Specialised Workshops will draw from the knowledge and lived experience of experts in their field. Themes and content include contemporary topics and challenges for the Church in Australia. There is a emphasis on Pope Francis’ teaching and call for the Church to lead ‘into the world’ recognising the places of transformation the Spirit is calling us to.

“It is God’s dream that our world would be healed, that it would be full of peace and joy. Anyone who promotes love, peace and joy is sharing in the mission of Jesus.” (Columban Priest Trevor Trotter). Responding to this dream, these Specialised Workshops explore approaches to engage, lead and co-create with those Pope Francis refers to as ‘people of good will’.

Specialised Workshops are a time for participants to be actively involved. The presenter will engage learners in an active process of considering concepts and ideas and how they apply to practical situations of mission, ministry and leadership now.


Wednesday 1 September, 2021

from 2.00–3.30pm

Specialised Workshops

Presenter: Grace Roclawska csfn, Head: Formation for Mission, Diocese of Parramatta

Belonging to the Church – this topic has been explored ever since Christian/Catholic communities began. What does it mean? Is belonging different in the Covid and post- Covid world? How do we connect with other people? What opportunities are there for leadership? How are we making an impact? How do we live the mission using what we learnt during our time in lockdown? How do we reach out and nurture the people’s desire for staying close to Christ?

Presenter: Trevor Trotter SSC, Director of St Columbans Mission Society for Oceania

Unless we have a vision/a dream, we lack motivation and direction for our mission. In his book, Let us Dream, Pope Francis shares his dream, what he sees in the world and his strategy to address the mission of the Church. His view is that the Spirit is working throughout the world and we, as missionary disciples, are invited to work alongside this God on mission. By helping participants understand and be inspired by his missionary vision, Trevor hopes that participants will come to a clearer understanding of what the Spirit is inviting them to do at this time.

Presenter: Judy Atkinson PhD, Professor Emeritus, AM

Judy will explore inter-generational healing and recovery from trauma. She will describe her approach to healing with specific reference to First Nation peoples. During the Specialised Workshop participants will develop an understanding that in order to heal, the stories behind the trauma must be heard.

Presenter: Cardinal Tagle

Join Cardinal Tagle in this interactive conversation exploring the themes of his key note address focused on Fratelli Tutti, global missiology and the spirit of working with “people of goodwill” for a better world and God’s Kingdom.

Presenter: Anne Muirhead

Prayer is the core of mission-informed formation that leads to transformation at the level of heart, the heart of an organisation and maybe even the heart of the universe. Enriching, mission-focussed gathering prayers at meetings or celebratory days have the tremendous ability to: link the unfurling story of an organisation with the macro-stories of our Judeo-Christian tradition; express and expand understanding of our values and vision, mission and ministries; affirm and empower colleagues in their unique roles; challenge us to change. This workshop will provide participants with practical examples of ways in which prayer can be scaffolded according to sound liturgical principles and, at the same time, reverberate with creativity and connectivity, even in an online environment.

Presenters: Gaye Lennon rsm, Institute Councillor, ISMAPNG and Meg Kahler sgs, Leadership Team, Sisters of the Good Samaritan

We acknowledge the current culturally diverse context within the global, ecclesial community and religious life. Using religious life, a microcosm, to leadership so we become, as Pope Francis expressed it, “experts in communion.” You do need to be a religious to attend! Any leader, present or future, will add value to the conversation.

Presenters: Noelene Simmons sm, President, Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) and Christine Carolan, Executive Officer, ACRATH

The Workshop will raise awareness about the existence of Child Slavery. Participants will be exhorted to take action against child slavey and to encourage family friends and colleagues to do the same.

Presenter: Robyn Miller, CEO of MacKillop Family Services

This Specialised Workshop will explore balancing contemporary demands and civil accountabilities for leaders of program whilst maintaining a focus on mission, values and the heart of our work. Robyn will draw on her current experience at MacKillop Family Services and the agency’s commitment to child safe standards. She will present on her PhD findings on the elements of successful reform implementation.

Presenter: Lana Turvey-Collins, Facilitation Team, Plenary Council

This Specialised Workshop will take you through a similar process of Communal Discernment the Members will experience during the first Assembly of the Plenary Council.

Presenter: David Barrow, Lead Organiser, Sydney Alliance

You are invited to a 90 minute session introducing community organising as a practice and theory for engaging in mission. We must build cooperative power to confront injustice, rebuild our faith communities and develop new leaders. When we bring active hands, relational heart and analytical heads together we can win on issues of the common good.

The Sydney Alliance brings together Catholic, Baptist, Uniting, Muslim, Jewish, union, ethnic, environment and community service organisations on issues of the common good: refugee welfare, affordable housing, renewable energy, Uluru Statement, international students and public transport.

Expect active participation, stories, fire, laughs and grit.

Thursday 2 September, 2021

from 1.45–3.15pm

Specialised Workshops

Presenter: Ursula Stephens, CEO, Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd

Catholic Social Services has a vision for a fairer, more inclusive Australian society that reflects and supports the dignity, equality and participation of all people. Join Ursula as she explores this vision of ensuring people are at the centre of care and how best to lead today in this critical voice of mission. Explore key issues and challenges of those in need in our community today and the practical, pragmatic, Gospel driven responses that are possible for individuals, communities, parishes and institutions.

Presenter: Hugh Mackay, Social Psychologist and Researcher

“Generous, erudite, optimistic and candid…Hugh Mackay encourages us to find the best in ourselves and in our society in both good and troubled times. Following the ravages of 2020’s bushfires and pandemic on our mental and emotional health and on the economy, Hugh reflects on the challenges we faced during that year of upheaval and the questions many of us have asked. What really matters to me? Am I living the kind of life I want? What sort of society do I want us to become?” Join Hugh as he works with us in how we can restore hope, rebuild trust and inspire optimism.

Presenters: Steff Fenton, Associate Pastor, New City Church and Peter Maher, Catholic Priest of Sydney Archdiocese, Pastoral Supervisor and Supervisor Trainer

Difference and diversity are God’s gifts throughout creation to enhance the world with beauty. Cruel and humiliating words and actions dehumanise those who are different, to justify discrimination and silencing of their stories. We will explore the weaknesses of church teaching and what has changed to better understand LGBTIQA+ realities and their stories. We will enable questions and discussion around how to include LGBTIQA+ Christians as members of the church with gifts to share, rather than broken people needing help. We believe it is time to see LGBTIQA+ for their spiritual gifts and not as members needing to be fixed.

Presenter: Anthony Costa, Anthony Costa Media, Digital Ministry Agency

In an ever-growing digital world, community is now primarily built online, and organisations find immense growth by having an online presence. In fact, most organisations only ever find relevance by having a presence online.

Although the Catholic Church does have an incredibly strong foundation and relevance in many homes, within our very own catholic schools and communities there are thousands and potentially millions of homes where the Church has no relevance whatsoever.

Within this space, other Christian churches, religious institutions, and other communities (sometimes harmful) are reaching and influencing so many.

In this workshop you will learn about the need to embrace digital ministry, where to start and perhaps why your attempts in the past may have missed the mark.

Presenters: Patrick McInerney SSC, Director, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations and Ryan Epondulan, Youth and Networking Coordinator, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations

In March, Pope Francis stood side-by-side in solidarity with religious leaders from the Abrahamic faiths in Iraq. In that same month, young adults from the world’s religions stood side-by-side launching their interfaith charter, The Sydney Statement. We present this new rich resource as a guide for building bridges between believers from different religions. Youth PoWR invite you to take up this challenge. We invite you as Catholic Christians to engage in building mutual respect, understanding and cooperation with people from different faiths and worldviews as an integral part of the Church’s evangelising mission.

Presenters: Caroline Thompson, Director of Formation, Mercy Partners and Fritha Radyk, CEO, Mercy Community

This workshop will examine some of the mission challenges faced by leaders in the aged care sector. Leadership for mission demands nurturing, creative and flexible leadership to ensure that the needs of the vulnerable in aged care are met in supportive communities of compassion, justice and faith. What does a spirituality of leadership in aged care look like? How can our aged care leaders ensure God’s mission is alive in this space?

Presenters: Anne Benjamin, Honorary Professor, Australian Catholic University and Charles Burford PhD, Honorary Professor, Australian Catholic University

Leadership is central to developing cultures which reflect the character and nature of an organisation’s mission. Pope Francis is calling our church today to a synodal culture. To build strong cultures, leadership theory says leaders must identify and live out the core values of their mission. If we are to build synodality, we should lead in a particular way. Pope Francis sees such leadership as walking together in faith under the guidance of the Spirit to realise the Mission given to us by Jesus. Leadership research points to synodal cultures as being characterised by dialogue, respectful listening, spiritual and moral discernment, consensus, open communication and joint decision-making. The workshop is designed to help leaders build synodal cultures in their ministries through discerning and decision-making for mission.

Presenters: CLEM Team, Diocese of Wollongong

This Specialised Workshop will be structured in three parts:

Part 1
Will be a snapshot of the organisation, roles and work of the Catholic Life, Education and Mission Team.

Part 2
Into the next 200 years. Emerging trends and how we are responding to form and educate young people to use Catholic faith to navigate the complexity of life.

Part 3
Interactive Session – Educating with a mission lens activity
(ii) Q&A with the Diocese of Wollongong CLEM Team

Presenters: Eva Skira, Professional and non-executive director and Lawrie Hallinan, Executive Officer, AMPJP

Governance and leadership of the Catholic Church in recent years has been a lightning rod for many people globally. The search for good governance has become a priority for every current and emerging leader.

For those of us who are wanting to understand how we can lead better, this session will focus on governance of emerging entities in the Catholic Church in Australia.

The session will have breakouts and small group discussions as well as live examples of current governance in the Catholic Church in Australia.

This Specialised Workshop will look at key governance principles embedded in The Light of the Southern Cross and will present a governing framework which has been developed by the peak body for Church entities sponsoring Catholic Ministries in Australia, including hospitals, schools, aged care and community services.

Presenter: Tim Norton SVD, Director of Courses, Centro ‘Ad Gentes’

This Specialised Workshop is offered to meet the ever growing challenge of inter-personal relationships and cultural competency. It will explore the theological implications of interculturality and the practical application of good practice in specific contexts.

Friday 3 September, 2021

from 12.00–1.30pm

Specialised Workshops

Presenter: Robert Fitzgerald AM, NSW Aging and Disability Commissioner

This Specialised Workshop will explore what it means to govern from a positive position of hope rather than a reactive position of fear. Using his wealth of experience Robert will invite, engage and guide participants to consider together what it means to govern and lead today.

Presenter: Jo Kenny, Head of the Catholic Life, Education and Mission Services (CLEM), Catholic Education in the Diocese of Wollongong and panel

A panel will converse and explore the gift of women in leadership for mission now. Pope Francis writes: “We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church” (EG 103). What are the top tips for Leadership Now.

Presenter: Albano Da Costa SVD, Dorish Maru College (DMC)

This Specialised Workshop will explore, through reflection on the realities, challenges and gifts of being part of the global church, how we might be more responsive to the emerging trends and needs of building the Kingdom of God in Australia and beyond.

Presenter: Dominic Golding, Policy Officer, National Ethnic Disability Alliance

Join Dominic as he explores disability in light of the Royal Commission and the role of the Church in advocating for the dignity of the human person.

Presenters: Sally Neaves, Integral Ecology Animator and Mission Ministry Resource Coordinator of the ISMAPNG and Margie Abbott rsm, Igniting Sparks: McAuley Ministries

By entering into the power of creating active hope through experiential processes that will enable participants to warm up to both the pain in the world and an attitude of gratitude which clarifies our thoughts, strengthens our nervous system, and connects us with the Source that enlivens our being.

Presenter: Philippa (Pip) McIroy, Group Mission Integration Manager – Formation and Ethics, Modern Slavery Project Lead, St Vincent’s Health Australia

This workshop will explore examples of formative experiences for leaders working in a ministry of the Church which engage the whole self. These kinds of formation provide the individual with the opportunity to tap into a deeper level of their humanity, the inner place from which we operate, of who we really are and who we want to be as individuals, workplaces and societies.

Presenters: Eric Robinson, Associate Director, Inclusion (Evangelisation Brisbane, Archdiocese of Brisbane) and Jessica Laidler, Project Office, Inclusion (Evangelisation Brisbane, Archdiocese of Brisbane)

This session will begin by explaining the journey of inclusion within the Archdiocese of Brisbane AoB), linking in the Plenary Council, and how the Inclusion Team came to be. Then we will enter into the Conversations with Care workshop, which is offered in all parishes across AoB.

Conversation with Care is a community peacebuilding workshop, which focuses on cross-cultural education, unpacking unconscious bias and building rational compassion.

Things we will cover:

  • Empathy and Rational Compassion
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Bystander Exercise
  • Cross-Cultural Education
  • Community Peace Building

All that participate in this workshop will be listened to, better understood and leave with a greater understanding of the diverse society we live in, with the overall aim of becoming more Christ-like individuals and more inclusive parishes.

Presenters: Evelyn Parkin, Quandamooka woman and Dean Parkin, Director, From the Heart

Four years on from the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart, Australians from all walks of life are joining the movement for a constitutionally-guaranteed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

This workshop will inform participants about the creation of the Uluru Statement, why it calls for a Voice guaranteed by the Constitution and give a snapshot of the current status of the campaign. Most importantly, the session will provide a forum for participant questions and give clear actions people can take in support of the campaign.

Presenter: Trish Hindmarsh, Educator
  1. Be inspired by Christ’s mission of renewal and reform (Luke 4:18) … to announce the Good News to all creation, heal the broken-hearted, give sight, bind up wounds, liberate from slavery, turn the old order on its head.
  2. Revisit Vatican Council II and its call to Church to renewal and reform
  3. Refresh Catholic Social Teaching, a modern interpretation of Jesus’ Gospel, a guide and method for ongoing renewal and reform.
  4. Welcome the ‘synodality’ Pope Francis as a means of Church renewal and reform of our Church.
  5. Recognise The Plenary Council as a call to renewal and reform of the Australian church.
Presenters: Gerard Mckernan, priest and parish lay leaders

This Specialised Workshop will help participants by giving examples of present lay participation as well as showing a webinar with New Zealand parish leaders.

Engaging the Heart Sessions (coming soon)

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In association with Le Pine Funerals Melbourne, Burkin Svendsens Funerals Cairns, George Hartnett Metropolitan Funerals Brisbane, Purslowe & Chipper Funerals Perth, Turnbull Funerals Hobart

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