August 04, 2009

Mercy Justice Conference: a time to learn, reflect, network and act

mjc logoSome of the most urgent social justice issues on our global and local agendas will be addressed at a conference hosted by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia later this year at Queanbeyan, near Canberra.

For Sisters of Mercy of the Australian Institute, there are many social justice issues requiring attention and action, but the needs of the earth, Indigenous communities, refugees and asylum seekers, and the impact of poverty on women are among the most urgent.

To highlight and respond to these four specific issues, the sisters will host a conference from November 6-8, 2009, featuring some of Australia’s leading social justice practitioners, thinkers and advocates. Conference speakers include:

Mick Dodson, Director National Centre for Indigenous Studies ANU, 2009 Australian of the Year

Tim Flannery, Scientist, environmentalist, writer, 2007 Australian of the Year

Margot O’Neill, Walkley-award winning ABC journalist, author "Blind Conscience"

Jan Gray rsm, Theologian, true believer in politics for social change

Maryanne Loughry rsm, Psychologist, refugee worker, academic

Madge McGuire, Director Catherine House Inc., South Australia, women’s advocate

Denise Coghlan rsm, Social justice and refugee advocate, friend of Cambodia

The sisters are appealing to people from all walks of life to attend the conference.

“We welcome politicians, community and religious leaders, members of disadvantaged communities, teachers and educators, young adults, community and health workers, or anyone interested in making a compassionate and practical response to urgent local and global needs,” says Institute President, Sister Nerida Tinkler RSM.

“The aim of the conference is to be more informed about social justice issues, to reflect, to network and to act.”

The conference will use open space technology process and feature comedians, singers and storytellers.

WHAT? Mercy and Justice Conference

THEME? “Embrace the Other and Welcome Difference…”

WHEN? November 6-8, 2009

WHERE? Queanbeyan Conference Centre (15 minutes from Parliament House, Canberra) COST? $300 (includes lunch, morning & afternoon teas on both days, dinner on Saturday evening)


They are Catholic women religious, about 1470 in number, dedicated to serving people who suffer from injustices related to poverty, sickness or lack of education. Their inspiration is drawn from Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831.


Carmel Heagerty RSM (Institute Justice Co-ordinator)



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