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.

Oration Audio Recording

The McCosker Orations

Monsignor James Francis (Frank) McCosker believed Catholic welfare was about inclusion, rather than exclusion of all people; about critical analysis of Government agendas rather than subservient compliance to them; and about professionalism in welfare rather than well meaning benevolence and dependant charity.

His obituary in the Australian in 1996 declared he was devoted to those people who were mostly unable to help themselves and though he was awarded the OBE, worldly honours did not change him.

In the late 1940s, as director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau in Sydney – later Centacare – McCosker built on the foundation laid in Australia by four professionally trained Catholic lay women social workers: Norma Parker, Connie Moffitt, Eileen Davidson and Mary Lyons.

McCosker ‘s vision and determination led to services like Meals on Wheels, Foster Care, Adoption Practice, the Council of Social Services, Marriage Counselling as part of Matrimonial and Family Law, Child Endowment and National Catholic Welfare.

We honour the legacy of Monsignor McCosker through an Oration in his name

CSSA - Catholic Social Services Australia

cssa oration

Emeritus Professor John Warhurst

McCosker Orator 2017

John Warhurst has been an expert on the role of religion in politics in Australia for many years. Over his distinguished career, he has held senior positions at Deakin University, University of London and the University of New England.  From 1993 to 2008 John held the prestigious post of Professor of Political Science at ANU.

During his long professional career John has dedicated many volunteer hours to supporting Catholic social services in Australia.

He has served as a Board member of Catholic Welfare Australia and subsequently the Board of Catholic Social Services Australia where he held the position of Deputy Chair.

In 2016 John undertook a research project into CSSA’s history and wrote National Catholic Welfare Commission to Catholic Social Services Australia: The Evolution of Catholic Social Services Australia, 1956-2016 to celebrate the organisation’s 6oth anniversary.

Click here to download Emeritus Professor John Warhurst’s McCosker Oration for 2016 – Matching Wits with Government.

Canberra, 24 June 2013

Why the Australian Churches need to be more active in championing the interests of the poor and disadvantaged in adverse political times

Download a transcript of Rev Tim Costello’s McCosker Oration