Fr Frank Brennan SJ
Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Social Services Australia
“The conference was a great success. We were able to showcase St Agnes Parish as an exemplar of Church in mission breaking down the silos and meeting the needs of all in the community. It was a privilege to be with the St Agnes community still mourning the death of Fr Leo Donnelly the previous month.
In these testing times, most attendees left Port Macquarie convinced that ‘Catholic’ good works are indeed still good news for a society hungry for truth, justice and compassion for all, especially those on the margins.”
The Fr Leo Donnelly OAM Oration
At the CSSA National Conference hosted by St Agnes Parish Port Macquarie, we celebrated the work of another pioneer Fr Leo Donnelly and honoured his contribution with the inaugural Fr Leo Donnelly OAM Oration delivered by Most Rev Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore.
Opening Address – Dr Maria Harries AM, CSSA Chair
Dr Maria Harries AM presented a passionate and informative Opening Address to the participants of the CSSA 2019 National Conference, with a challenging infographic to conclude.
Session 1 – Fr Frank Brennan SJ, CSSA CEO
Supporting those on the Margins – Harnessing the collective capability of the Church
One of the greatest strengths we share across the CSSA network is a passion and commitment to serve the poor and vulnerable in our communities. As recent times have shown, we do this in changing and challenging times. How can we hold on to our rich past while evolving for new futures?
Session 2 – Adam Spencer, St Agnes’ Parish CEO
The Local Experience – What is possible
Adam Spencer showcased St Agnes’ as an example of what’s possible to achieve in meeting the unmet need. “A Life Less Ordinary” is a window into the inspirational life and example of Fr Leo Donnelly OAM.
Session 3 – Joe Zabar, CSSA Deputy CEO
The Church’s service to society – A political perspective
With the upcoming federal election, Joe Zabar shared a reflection on the current political climate and Fr Frank Brennan SJ sat down with three politicians and asked their views of two critical issues.
Workshop 1 – Dr Robyn Miller, MacKillop Family Services CEO
Safeguarding and national standards in child protection
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has left a clear message about the importance of leadership and culture in safeguarding children. Catholic Professional Standards Ltd has developed draft standards that apply accross all Australian Catholic entities, integrating the Royal Commission’s work and the national and state-wide standards which have also been developed.
Workshop 7 – Lee Spencer, Appreciate Consultation Services
Faith formation in leaders
What makes leading in a Catholic organisation different to leading in any other organisation? The answer quite simply is the deep understanding of the explicit faith-based Mission, Vision and Values.
Workshop 8 – Tony Farley, Catholic Commission for Employment Relations Executive Director & Denis Fitzgerald, Catholic Social Services Victoria Executive Director
Connecting Parish and Community
Parishes are a key part of the Church – that’s where the people are. Many parishes offer services to the community, and many cooperate with social service agencies. But challenges loom large, as some parish communities continue to shrink, and there are areas where linkages with social service agencies are not strong. This workshop will explore the bigger picture of changing demographics of the Church in Australia.
The Inaugural Fr Leo Donnelly OAM Oration
Most Rev Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore
Most Rev. Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore gave a moving Oration in honour of the late Fr Leo Donnelly OAM.