End of Year Conference

Seeds of Justice

From Wednesday, 29th, to Thursday, 30th November, five Year 10 students were able to attend the Seeds of Justice conference at the Holy Eucharist Retreat Centre in Templestowe.

Polly Jean Butterfield, Tanica McBride, Summer Venegas, Sunny Hyunh, and Charlotte Di Mauro were able to immerse themselves in workshops on the topics of Ecology and Care for Creation. The theme for this event has been inspired by Pope Francis’ second book, following Laudato Si, which means ‘on common ground.’

The keynote speaker was Sally Neaves from ISMAPNG (Bathurst). She spoke about the work that she is doing to help slow the flow of the river in Eugowra. The town of Eugowra, with about 800 people, was completely devastated by floods in November 2022. She discussed how, with the help of the Sisters of Mercy, she is able to discuss ways to prevent flooding from occurring again. Her presentation was very confronting at times but also inspirational. Sally highlighted the important message of Pope Francis, which is to take action and work towards reducing our environmental impact on the planet.

The second keynote speaker was Angela Scarafilo, who works for Young Mercy Links. She presented on the immersion trips she has been on and their current fundraising efforts for the upcoming trip to Cambodia to help build houses for a community. She also spoke about the work they do in helping refugees. One example was having an art exhibition of the work of an asylum seeker. They also held a clothes exchange event to raise awareness that clothes can be donated and ways to stop fast fashion.

There was time for reflection and fun group activities where the different Mercy School groups could mix and establish connections. A game of Trivia was played in the evening after dinner. The morning session included a spiritual walking prayer and gathering ideas within our school groups to action what schools can do. Students worked on a commitment statement across school groups and discussed ways to keep each other accountable to their pledge.

Mary De Bono

We had an enjoyable time meeting people from other schools and learning about important issues of today's time. Through impactful guest speakers and group discussions we were able to learn about environmental sustainability. We learnt about ways we as young people can stay connected to the Mercy community specifically through a program called Young Mercy links. We were given time to socialise with other students from different schools and explore the beautiful Holy Cross grounds as well as time in a group to focus on our own spirituality and way forward.
Tanecia, Polly Jean, Charlotte, Summer and Sunny