We hope to list events related to issues of peace and justice that will be of interest to parishioners.
We will try to include not only events organised by our group, but also those organised by other groups of which we are informed.
27 September 2020: Webinar : A Time for Grace
Pope Francis has written his annual letter for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020 in which he says:
“The pandemic has reminded us how we are all in the same boat. Realizing that we have the same concerns and fears has shown us once more that no one can be saved alone. To grow truly, we must grow together, sharing what we have, like the boy who offered Jesus five barley loaves and two fish… yet they proved enough for five thousand people (cf. Jn 6:1-15)!”
The Justice and Peace Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia, and Nangami have organised a webinar exploring a time for grace. The pandemic has already revealed much about who we are as a nation; where our weaknesses are, where we have let each other down, and where we put all those who have little to offer us or our economy. COVID-19 has thrown into stark relief the policies and practices that no longer work to keep us safe and well. But within the pain and the struggle – and sometimes shame – we believe this moment is also a Time for Grace. A time to extend to the most vulnerable and the most powerful, a moment to change our hearts, minds and practice.
The event is free but you must register here to get the Zoom link.
2 July 2020 On-line Rally: Freedom from Detention
A number of refugee support organizations joined to hold an on-line rally on this subject on Thursday 2 July 2020.
This rally focused on the plight of 1400 asylum seekers who remain locked up in detention.
23 June 2020 JRS on-line event: Between Welcome and Exclusion
Marking Refugee Week 2020, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia held a webinar exploring what “a Year of Welcome”, the theme this year, has in reality been like during the COVID-19 crisis. The sub title of the webinar was “Australia and the Politics of Asylum during COVID-19”. Dr Eve Lester, Myer Innovation Fellow, University of Melbourne, Father Peter Smith of the Justice and Peace Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, and Carolina Gottardo, Director of JRS Australia were joined by a refugee with lived experience, in delivering eloquent talks followed by Q & A with the on-line audience of 65 attendees.
14-20 June 2020 Refugee Week screenings of The Staging Post
Cisarua Learning held screenings of the inspirational film The Staging Post twice daily during the week. These screenings were designed for school and community groups and included an introduction by the star of the film, Muzafar Ali. The screenings were followed by a live discussion with the refugees from the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre in Indonesia, to help attendees learn how the community in Cisarua managed the COVID-19 Pandemic, kept their school alive online, and also stepped up to become leaders in their community.
6 May 2020 On-line JRS event on COVID-19 impact
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) held an on-line event on 6 May 2020 where JRS Australia staff who have been working on the front line talked eloquently about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting asylum seekers and migrants on temporary visas, in vulnerable situations in our community.
3 February 2020 Bushfire Crisis and Laudato Si’ panel
The Justice and Peace Office of the Sydney Catholic Archdiocese held a discussion evening Bushfire crisis and Laudato Si’ to bring us together as a community to reflect, in the light of the beautiful papal encyclical, on the catastrophic bushfire events of this summer.
30 October 2019 North Sydney for Refugees community forum
North Sydney for Refugees held a community forum In Search of Fairness and Dignity to provide the North Sydney electorate with information regarding the cuts to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program for asylum seekers and the ‘Medevac’ repeal.
10 October 2019 Interfaith Service for Tamil family
The NSW Ecumenical Council held an Interfaith Service for Asylum Seekers and Refugees hosted by Pitt St Uniting Church. The Interfaith Service was in support of the Tamil family being held in the detention centre on Christmas Island – the family who calls Biloela home.
20 September 2019 Global Climate Strike
Nangami members marched across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, took ferries across the harbour, and made their way by other routes to meet with Jesuit Refugee Service members and Jesuit Mission members on the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral in the city, before joining the 80,000 children and adults who participated in Sydney in the Global Climate Strike, organised and led by schoolchildren.
Andrew Hamilton SJ in this article in Eureka Street, reflects on the strike as follows:
“The critical response by federal government ministers and their media voices to the event invited deeper comparison. It was aggressive and sought the moral high ground, insisting that children should be at school, that teachers were conniving in breaking rules governing lesson attendance, that valuable school time required to prepare people for their place in society was being wasted and that the demonstration appealed to emotion whereas schools should be about cultivating reason. The tone was hectoring and didactic — we are adults and you are children.
Reflection on the demonstration and the criticisms made of it prompts a more radical and subversive question. Who actually were the adults here? When assessed by conventional wisdom about the path from childhood to adulthood, it might seem that supposed adults were behaving like children and children like adults.”
6 September 2019 Action for the Climate Emergency Forum at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
At the Vatican Dialogues summit on June 14, Pope Francis stated:
“Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations.”
On Friday 6 September Nangami combined with the OLW Ecology Group to hold an Action for the Climate Emergency forum on this theme.
Hosted by Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, who generously provided one of their lecture theatres, attendees heard from Thea Ormerod of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), Corinne Fisher of Pacific Calling Partnership, and climate activist and author Cathy Delaney. The evening ended with a lively Q&A with a panel of young student leaders, chaired by Clare Vernon of Catholic Earthcare.
Anne Nesbitt of Nangami, one of the organisers, has written a report which has been posted to the OLW website. To read Anne’s report, go to the Ecology Update 2019 here.
The speaker presentations can be viewed in this slide set.
15 June 2019 Refugee Week Picnic at Parramatta Park
Jesuit Refugee Service organised a picnic at Parramatta Park on June 15 to celebrate Refugee Week.
22 May 2019 Movie night at the Ron Dyer Centre
On Wednesday 22 May the Nangami group joined with JRS and Jesuit Mission to hold a movie night featuring Jolyon Hoff’s documentary The Staging Post, followed by a discussion and Q&A.
The movie is a 60 minutes-long uplifting story about a group of refugees in Indonesia who start a school as their children had no access to education. As both Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia and Jesuit Mission are involved in this education project, the Nangami group co-hosted this movie fundraiser with Jesuit Mission and Jesuit Refugee Service Australia. The proceeds of the movie will go to support the people we serve in both ministries.
Following the movie, there was a discussion and Q&A with representatives from Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Mission as well as individuals involved in the filming.
30 March 2019 Fundraiser for Emerton Ignite food store
Nangami members were some of those who helped organise or participate in a fundraiser for the Jesuit Social Services Ignite Food store at Emerton, held at St. Aloysius’ College in Milsons’ Point: a “Night for Ignite” on March 30.
14 March 2019 Sydney Town Hall Assembly
On March 14 Nangami members joined close to 2000 attendees of the March 2019 Assembly, an event at Sydney Town Hall to seek commitment to action from state and federal governments to enable access to affordable housing and affordable renewable energy.
The Assembly was organised by the Sydney Alliance, Vinnies NSW, and the Everybody’s Home Campaign.
Speakers were passionate in their calls for action by state and Federal governments on this issue and members of political parties who attended were given the opportunity to affirm their commitment to concrete actions that were proposed at the meeting.
13 February 2019 North Sydney Affordable Housing Forum
On 13 February 2019 parishioners gathered at the Ron Dyer Centre to participate in this forum, an initiative of Sydney Alliance and St Vincent de Paul, facilitated by Geraldine Doogue AO.
The Sydney Alliance has been campaigning for action to provide affordable housing in Sydney.
Many people in our community are struggling to pay rent, to find an affordable place to live, and some are at risk of homelessness.
We heard statistics that presented the hard facts and then, having been reminded by Geraldine Doogue that this was about people , not just statistics, heard personal stories that brought all this home.
8 November 2018 Table Talk at St Mary’s North Sydney
Pope Francis has asked us to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate refugees and migrants.”
How can we do this?
On November 8 2018 we held our inaugural event , a Table Talk in the Ron Dyer Centre at St Mary’s in North Sydney.
Over a hundred people from our parish and elsewhere attended this event, at which we formed small groups of six people who engaged in animated conversations about people seeking asylum.
We heard from two refugees who told their personal stories; many in the audience found themselves moved to tears by the resilience of spirit these two remarkable individuals demonstrated during their amazing journeys. One group of listeners even asked if the DNA of these two formidably resourceful people could be bottled!
The event was facilitated by Jesuit Refugee Service in partnership with Sydney Alliance.
With participants expressing a strong desire for actions to follow up from the conversation, the Nangami group met on 14 November to consider how to put into practice the suggestions for actions.
Other recent events
Justice for Refugees hosted a rally for refugees on Temporary Protection Visas on Monday 12 August 2019 to demand an end to the harsh conditions which include preventing them from bringing family members here to join them.
The University of Sydney held a two day conference Children, Migration and the Right to Health on 25-26 July 2019.
On 21 January 2019 St John’s Church in Darlinghurst, Sydney held a Change the Heart Prayer Service in Sydney.
Churches in other cities held the service at various locations.
On Tuesday 20 November 2018, Teachers for Refugees hosted a rally at Customs House square, Circular Quay, Sydney to campaign for all asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island to be brought to Australia.
On 2 November 2018, churches around Australia held prayer vigils for the nationwide movement to get children out of detention in Nauru. Common Grace provided a list of the locations and times of these nationwide prayer vigils .
On 16 October 2018, Rural Australians for Refugees held a rally in Canberra on the lawns behind Old Parliament House.
Calendar of events
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council calendar offers a comprehensive list of daily events.