Student Conference


From Tuesday, June 25th to Thursday, June 27th, four students from St Aloysius College—Ruby Collin, Athiei Gor, Olivia Mosticone, and Nicola Watson—participated in the 2024 Australasian Mercy Students Secondary School Association (AMSSA) Conference. Accompanied by Assistant Principal Siobhan Bloomfield, they journeyed by V/Line train to Catherine McAuley College in Bendigo and Sacred Heart College in Kyneton, located on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung (Djaara), Taungurung, and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation.

Themed "Mercy: Pathways of Joy and Hope," the conference gathered young leaders from Mercy schools nationwide to explore how mercy-driven values can inspire positive change. The schedule was packed with memorable events:

Tuesday, June 25th – Bendigo

  • Welcome Address: Sr Sally Bradley RSM from Mercy Works
  • Exploration: Visit to Central Deborah Goldmine and a tram tour of Bendigo
  • Spiritual Engagement: Conference Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Evening Event: Dinner followed by a surprise disco at Bendigo Town Hall

Wednesday, June 26th – Bendigo

  • Morning Inspiration: "Stories of Joy and Hope through Mercy and Justice" by Gaby Kinsman (Young Mercy Links)
  • Workshops:
    • Assembling Sterile Birthing Kits led by Cassandra Prinzi, providing essential supplies for safe deliveries in under-resourced communities
    • Creating Amenities Packs for women supported by McAuley Community Services for Women
    • Refugee Cooking Class to foster empathy for the refugee experience
    • Fast Fashion Workshop highlighting ethical and environmental impacts of clothing choices
  • Cultural Visit: The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion
  • Community Interaction: Exploring the Mercy Junortoun Sporting Precinct
  • Creative Reflection: Reflection and clothes swap activity

Thursday, June 27th – Kyneton

  • Ecological Awareness: Sessions on ecological identity, spirituality, and action with Juliet Talarico
  • Final Liturgy

A standout at the conference was the Young Mercy Links sessions, where young leaders shared inspiring stories and activities. St Aloysius students were particularly moved by the narrative presented by Madeleine Kelly (Young Mercy Links SA), who worked at the School of St Jude's in Tanzania. She shared an uplifting story of the opportunities created by scholarships and the ongoing support now offered by the recipients of those scholarships.

Former St Aloysius students Cassandra Prinzi and Angela Scarafilo were actively involved in the conference, showcasing their ongoing commitment to mercy and compassion through Young Mercy Links. Their involvement underscored the lasting influence of St Aloysius College in nurturing compassionate leaders.

The conference featured other notable speakers including Troy Firebrace (Aboriginal Education Officer, Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd). Panel discussions included insights from Sr Margaret Moore RSM (Mercy Hub Melbourne), Ruby Hoare (Young Mercy Links Victoria), and Madeleine Kelly, Gaby Kinsman and Laila Laila (Young Mercy Links South Australia).

The 2024 AMSSA Conference provided St Aloysius College students with an invaluable opportunity for personal growth, reflection, and community building. Through engaging workshops, inspiring speakers, and collaborative discussions, they discovered new pathways to create positive change. The experience left the students feeling empowered to nurture connections, heal wounds, and uplift their communities, embodying the core values of mercy and compassion.