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					                                                                                                              Vol. 17 No. 2 December 2006




mercy Foundation news
The Mercy Foundation Ltd
6 Kellick St, Waterloo NSW 2017
PO Box 3221 Redfern NSW 2016
Phone: (02) 9699 8726 Fax: (02) 9699 9657
Email: office@mercyfoundation.com.au
www.mercyfoundation.com.au
ACN 051 253 902 ABN 49 051 253 902




Mercy is an                                           Mercy Foundation Changes
energy more                                           The work of the Mercy Foundation is currently undergoing a transitional

  powerful                                            phase. With the support of the Trustees and the Congregation of the Sisters of
                                                      Mercy North Sydney, the Board is in the process of refining the activities of the


 than terror
                                                      Foundation consistent with its objectives. Those objectives remain unchanged.
                                                      While the process is in train, the projects and educational initiatives previously
                                                      funded by the Foundation have been put on hold while that is being done. It is
                                                      anticipated that the process underway will be concluded in the year 2007.
Advent’s wake-up call
“Sleepers, awake!” is the title of a well known
Advent hymn. There is an urgency in this call
that sometimes well intentioned people take        us is presented as our competitor and even        As well, the participation of Helen and John
as licence to deliver to the rest of us a strict   our enemy. The cost of our living according       in Australian philanthropy circles along with
“Wake up to your evil ways!” with a stern          to this illusion is that we end up embracing as   other Foundations has led to an appreciative
reminder of our moral failures and foolish-        normal the accompanying violence and terror       communal exchange of information and wis-
ness. However, far from being a reproach to        that spare no one. What will it take for our      dom about social change processes.
sinners, this call to wake up is directed to the   Western cultures to wake up to offering and       The Mercy Foundation’s awareness of what
bridesmaids who had fallen asleep while wait-      receiving mercy rather than promoting fear        matters in Australian society and who is doing
ing a long time for the bridegroom to arrive.      and violence?                                     what has grown over the years through the
Advent calls us to wake up to the realisation      What are we waking up to these                    experience of funding projects that seek to
that God has joined with humankind as our          days?                                             make changes in social conditions, cultures
Bridegroom. The call to wake up urges us to        Our work at the Foundation continues to           and even laws that hold people back and dimin-
be ready, always on the lookout for God our        awaken us to the generosity and skills of peo-    ish the quality of their lives. The Foundation
Beloved. Our response to the call makes us         ple in the community sector who name needs        now has a reputation for being wide awake to
want to wake up again and again to the ways        and work with possibilities for Australian        new ways to promote change and for using
in which God is present to us in all that there    society and our natural environments.             approaches to funding that build up those who
is. Our primary relationship to God is a spiri-                                                      have much passion for change but perhaps less
                                                   At Mercy Foundation, we have a rich oppor-        influence in attracting funding.
tual or mystical one.                              tunity to join with people who choose to work
Advent reminds us that mercy is the quality in     with compassion and energy, intelligence and      Through our work in adult education, we
God that draws us into union with God. God’s       imagination to make a difference that strength-   see personal and social transformation tak-
mercy meets our heart’s desire to see God          ens others who live in some kind of margin        ing place within the pastoral and community
and affirms our longing to be at peace with        or shadow.                                        work of dedicated women and men. Our con-
all of God’s creation. Mercy also carries for                                                        sultation practice has provided a safe place
                                                   Elsewhere in this News, you can read about the    for practitioners to critically reflect on their
us the assurance that there is forgiveness for     Project Grants for 2006 and John Dacey’s vis-
our wrongdoing, and that God trusts that we                                                          pastoral practice to find just ways to serve and
                                                   its to some of the projects that we have funded
will take our opportunities to live mercifully     recently. John and the Projects Committee
towards all other beings.                          have responded to many applications that seek      IN THE NEWS
Rather than seek to open our eyes to mutual-       funding to bring about social change in small      Executive Officer’s Reflection        3
ity and interdependence as a foundation for        and significant ways. Each application, even       Education Update                      5
our lives, our cultures often form us to live      if unfunded, shines for us a light of awareness
                                                                                                      Mercy Foundation Social Justice Award 6
in a fantasy that claims for us some supe-         on some people in some place in Australia
                                                                                                      Environment Grants Update             7
riority over others in terms of race, gender,      who have woken up to a need and a way to
                                                                                                      Stories from Projects Visited 2006    8
religion, culture and achievements. In this        make a change.
                                                                                                      Projects funded September 2006       11
scenario, whoever and whatever differs from


                                                   MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 
develop their community, as well as protecting     those times, we are moved to mercy when we         is their being present at the birth of a child?
themselves from burnout.                           wake up to what really matters. As we wake         What most remember with great pleasure is
We find good reason in our work at the             up more to our own identity and to our place       watching the newborn opening his or her eyes
Foundation to believe that mercy is an energy      in the world round us our genuine change of        and seeing the light for the first time. The
more powerful than fear.                           heart will replace the knee jerk reactions that    mother, even with all her exhaustion from
                                                   come from feeling fear and terror.                 labour and the pains of birthing, and the father,
Waking up in fright                                                                                   with his awkward feelings about being pretty
                                                   A spiral of awakening
The recent Review carried out by Sir Nicholas                                                         useless at this time and getting off light in this
Stern has wakened up people throughout the         “Everything begins in mysticism and ends in        birthing process, both experience a particular
world to the current effects and imminent          politics” said Charles Péguy (1873-1914), a        joy, surprise and amazement at seeing the
prospects of global warming. The predicted         Catholic activist for worker’s rights and social   ever so bright wide eyes of their child taking
effects of climate change strike panic and ter-    justice in France. Some people understand his      a first view of this new world. The baby looks
ror into the hearts and imagination of people      statement to mean that there is an inevitable      amazed at having just awakened to some-
world wide. It is no surprise that plans for       downward movement from initial idealism            thing new, never dreamed or imagined. The
change to alleviate global warming and even        and being centred in spirituality to using         newborn’s eyes seem capable of taking in the
to prevent its progress have become a matter       power for one’s own or for partisan interests.     parents, everyone else in the room, and indeed
of concern throughout Australia. People badly      Rather than view Péguy’s statement as having       everything in the whole world. For the parents
affected by drought in Australia need little       a one way arrow of decline, many prefer to see     and child, there is an amazing time-stopping
convincing that it is time for us all to make      an upward spiral in which both our lifelong        moment of seeing and being seen.
changes in the ways we use our resources, and      waking to spiritual awareness and our use of       Advent is a time when we remember together
to relate mercifully to our planetary environ-     power with integrity are located.                  the stunning truth that we are born to live wide
ment.                                              Our well considered experience of the struggle     eyed in the light of grace here and now. We
In our current Western culture, at times of        we have to use power effectively and ethically     recall that a people who once lived in dark-
crisis, those in positions of power place little   brings us to revisit our mysticism and remem-      ness and despair woke up to a great light in
faith in appeals to the mercy and generosity of    ber what inspires us. Genuine spirituality         discovering the birth of Jesus. Let us wake up
spirit in people. In recent years we have been     always seems to flower into some aspect of         again to the great light, live mercifully, and
wakened in fright several times by national        showing mercy, making justice and cultivat-        ever be on the lookout for the God present in
and international leaders to face our national     ing peace. People all over the world recognise     every being, God always seeking to catch our
crises related to security. Our leaders consider   this connection intuitively in the lives of        eye so that we may see God’s look of mercy
that the use of scare tactics is more effective    Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother             and love.
than consultation and persuasion to influence      Teresa, Dorothy Day, the Dalai Lama and
the electorate and overcome indifference.          many others. Catholics look for this connec-                                                      Alex Nelson
So, as citizens we have been motivated in          tion in their leaders. Many have found reason
making our electoral choices by fear of the        for encouragement in the spirituality and lead-
unfamiliar and the risk of losing our wealth,
rather than by mercy towards people at risk.
Our Australian Government has confidently
                                                   ership that Pope John Paul II exercised for
                                                   peace and justice. And sometimes they found
                                                   disappointment there too. The spirituality of
                                                                                                                Farewell
implemented regulations that are still harsh       even the best of us is open to being challenged     Each year in Spring, I watch the apricot trees in our backyard
towards asylum seekers. The church groups,         not only by our own reflection on our use of        sprout their leaves. Then the buds emerge that break out into
politicians, public figures and activists who      power, but also by the voices of those who live     flower and finally form the fruit. And then in Autumn, when
have resisted with energy and patience these       disempowered by our choices.                        the fruit has fed birds by day and bats by night, the leaves
mean approaches to making Australia secure         Our mysticism leads us to express our wonder        wither and fall to the ground. It’s a cycle of life, in which the
show us that mercy is also an energy more in       and our gratitude for God’s gracious embrace        leaves and fallen fruit return to the earth, to wait to be part
line with our own dignity than fear and terror.    of each person and all living beings, each          of the next season of growth.

There is cynicism among many about political       with our own diversity. Genuine spiritual-          As this year ends, my connection with the Mercy Foundation
processes because we have come to recognise        ity and honest politics are dancing partners        tree, in which I have grown and borne fruit for the last six
that our leaders claim to protect us from terror   who stay alert to the music of the Spirit and       years, comes to an end. I have enjoyed the richness of the
by motivating us to live in a state of anticipa-   don’t become preoccupied with their own             life and work that I shared with my other branches on the
tion of terror rather than set out on a way        performance. In the spiral dance, where our         Mercy tree. I thank my colleagues, volunteers and supporters
towards community and nation building based        spirituality and our political practice embrace     - Aidan, Celestine, Eveline, Gabriella, Helen, Irene, Jamuna,
on generosity and mercy.                           each other, there is no end to the growth in our    Janet, John, Maggi, Lara and Nathalie. The privilege of work-
                                                   awareness and integrity.                            ing with wonderful adult educators, supervisors and Education
Despite encouragement to live in fear and mis-                                                         Committee members, and the blessing of being part of the
trust of each other, many individuals, groups      Our political integrity and our spiritual whole-
                                                   ness are formed through our struggles against       transformative learning of individual pastoral practitioners and
and organisations throughout the world hold                                                            groups have deeply honoured me and my life’s work. I look
a hope for our global transformation. They         unjust arrangements in our society. We flour-
                                                   ish as we wake up to the mercy of God that          forward to the next season of growth in my life.
patiently take it upon themselves to promote
forgiveness for violence and neglect, to initi-    embraces us in our struggles. Our eyes open         I thank the North Sydney Sisters of Mercy for letting me
ate dialogue between people in conflict, and       to God’s dream for us, not to a nightmare of        be part of their Mission through the Foundation. Here, I
engage in works of mercy and nonviolence.          fear and terror.                                    have learned something of who Catherine McAuley was
                                                   Waking to the light, seeing with the                through knowing the women who are her sisters. And I feel
And of course, there are many times through-                                                           confident that the work of Mercy will continue for generations
out the year when requests for financial sup-      eyes of the heart
                                                                                                       to come.
port and personal involvement for the relief of    Have you noticed that one of those happy
                                                   memories that many people easily tap into                                                          Alex Nelson
some disaster meet with great generosity. At


                                                   MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 
     Compassion at the heart of Mercy
A
          s we approach the 175th Anniv-       spent his days off sharing his wealth with       the air: ‘…but a Samaritan….’ Where
          ersary of the founding of the        them, often in his own home:                     does this man come from? And what about
          Sisters of Mercy in Dublin on        “The only recollections Catherine retained       the static introduced in that word “but”?
12th December, 1831, and as the Mercy          of her early childhood were connected            we ask ourselves. What opposing power
Foundation itself faces a time of transi-      with her father instructing a motley crowd       can he represent in a world that seems to
tion, it seems apt to reflect on what lies     on Sundays and holidays in the hall or, if       send out nothing but signals of frenzied
at the heart of our commitment to Mercy        the weather permitted, on the lawn;              possessiveness, an obsession with looking
values.                                                                                         no further than one’s own interests, and
                                               Catherine distinctly remembered that             a blissful ignorance, while entire peoples
I remember being quite excited when I          her father always took sides with the
discovered that Daniel O’Connell, ‘The                                                          endure downtrodden lives in silence? That
                                               lowly and ignorant; while her mother,            small “but…” – isn’t it telling us some-
Liberator’, was a regular visitor to the       though willing to be a sort of Lady
House of Mercy on Baggot Street and                                                             thing abut how Jesus looks at history, and
                                               Bountiful to the poor so far as reliev-          about His unyielding hope that envisions
was invited to carve the Christmas roast.      ing their corporal necessities, declared
I think I was excited because I liked the                                                       a powerful although seemingly weak force
                                               it preposterous for respectable people to        of resistance emerging from it?” (1)
idea of Catherine McAuley being on such        sit down among them or strive to unravel
friendly terms with a leader of the Irish      the truths of faith to their dull intellects.”   It was this powerful force of compassion
people’s emancipation. He and Catherine        (M.A. Carroll Leaves of the Annals.1831)         that moved James McAuley, his daughter
were committed to the same cause: the                                                           and her colleague, Daniel O’Connell as
liberation of the Irish people from oppres-    There were of course other good men              they encountered so many of the people
sion and poverty                               in Catherine’s life, notably Dr Michael          of Ireland who were poor, beaten and
                                               Blake, and William Callaghan but in              deprived of the power to change their
Catherine chose the site for her ‘House        this moment it is James McAuley and
of Mercy’, very deliberately; it was in the                                                     circumstances.
                                               Daniel O’Connell who come to mind.
fashionable part of town where the work        They provided two of the cornerstones of
she planned would be a reminder to the         Catherine’s future life and work: a heart
wealthy of their obligation to the poor,       open to be moved by compassion and a
where those learning skills of domestic        mind clear and practical enough to plan                                             This
service would easily find employment in        and act strategically to improve the lives                                          heart-
the houses nearby and where women from         of her fellow human beings.                                                        mov-
the upper classes might be drawn to assist-                                                                                       i n g
ing her in her work.                           Their lives emulated that of the Samaritan
                                               as Dolores Aleixandre describes him:
In her biography of Ursula Frayne,             “The mercy dwelling in his heart leads
Catherine Kovesi Killerby names another        him to act as a neighbour for the
reason for her choice - one not found in       one depending on him for survival.
earlier biographies of Catherine which         Jesus gives him a new name:
emphasised her spiritual qualities rather      ‘the one who acted with com-
than her political nous!                       passion’.
“Though Catherine’s choice of Baggot           She reminds us of the details
Street for the Institution was partly dic-     of this story we know so well:
tated by the availability of large blocks      “an assault by robbers, a
of land, there was another impulse behind      man stripped, beaten up and
her choice. As the campaign for the aboli-     left half dead; two ‘quali-
tion of the penal laws, headed by Daniel       fied’ passers by who hurry
O’Connell, gained momentum, Catherine          on their way”. Then she takes
wanted an overtly Catholic organisation to     us further.
have its base out in the open, not hidden,
shamefully down a back street.” (Kovesi        And when the story
Killerby, Ursula Frayne.1996)                  relentlessly tries to
                                               convince us that evil had
Catherine was profoundly influenced            the last word in every-
by her father, James McAuley. James            thing, and that the situa-
McAuley was financially well off. This         tion is absolutely
was possible because he was in the build-      hopeless, the nar-
ing trade where the restrictions of the        rator presents
Penal Code seemed not to apply, and in         another figure,
Georgian Dublin which was expanding            using a little
rapidly, there was a great need for build-     grammatical
ers. James McAuley was acutely aware of        device     that          The statue of Catherine McAuley which stands outside the first
the plight of his fellow Irish Catholics and   leaves us up in                             Mercy house in Dublin


                                                  MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS -  
compassion that causes people to cross          John Dacey joined the Mercy Foundation
the road to help a neighbour is at the heart
of the Mercy Foundation. In 1990 the
                                                staff in 2005 as Project Grants Officer
                                                and has been enthusiastic in carrying out
                                                                                                                  CHRISTMAS
Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney, saw that        this role. He has brought to it his own
                                                                                                                From the rich nutriment of Rahamim,
as their numbers diminished there needed        commitment to justice and peace and
to be new ways to carry on the work of          has contributed not only to the thinking                                    womb of God,
Mercy. The Mission Statement sets out its       and practice of the Mercy Foundation’                                        from Hesed,
purpose: “..to provide financial and moral      Grants programme but has shared these
support for people who want to work             insights with other Foundations particu-                               the inmost being of God,
together creatively for the elimination of      larly through Philanthropy Australia.                             from the secret radiance of mercy
poverty and injustice”. Here is a new and       The financial support given by the Mercy                              in which the eternal Three
creative reading of the Good Samaritan          Foundation to those who want to work to
story: ‘if we can no longer take to the road                                                                     thrive and delight in their threeness,
                                                eliminate poverty and injustice is trace-
ourselves, we will use our resources to         able and measurable. The moral sup-                             at calm and supreme in their oneness,
give financial and moral support to those       port is less visible but no less real and                           is given to the unseeing world
who can!’ The Samaritan did not seem to         is expressed in myriad ways. At heart,
have a lot of resources; just his mount,                                                                                 the mystery of Jesus.
                                                it is the genuine interest and respect
maybe saddle bags and some coins. But           shown to all who have contact with the                        From the amazement of a woman’s womb
(that ‘but’ again!) what a difference he        Mercy Foundation that has earned it a                             the unspeakable Word is uttered.
made to the man at the side of the road.        widespread and enviable reputation as a                                 Mercy made human
In the last fifteen years the Mercy             Foundation that does more than just give
                                                                                                                grows to see the cost and the wonder,
Foundation has been giving’ moral and           out money – like the Good Samaritan, the
financial support’ to many, many ‘Good          Mercy Foundation cares about the person                        knows in his depths the depths of all ter-
Samaritans’, providing their horsepower,        on the side of the road and supports those                                       ror,
so to speak, filling their saddle bags and      who reach out to them.                                             is at home in the kindest deeds,
providing the coins necessary to provide        As Alex and John leave the Mercy
for those in need. Like the Samaritan the                                                                      endures in his heart the paradox of being
                                                Foundation, where their work has been
only evidence they leave behind is the life                                                                                    creature –
                                                the expression of a vocation to ‘go and
they have saved or made more dignified.         do likewise’, we trust that others will be                               beloved and victim,
In recent years not only has the Mercy          privileged to meet them on the road and                                   servant and Lord.
Foundation been supporting those out            know that the Good Samaritan continues
there on the road, it has also like Catherine   his journey in these two good men.                                           Jesus, mercy,
in her early days, also been blessed with       Think about that Samaritan man: he is an                             in the wideness of the world,
Two Good Men who know and live this             icon in his willingness to change plans and                   in the hidden structures of our own hearts,
compassion at the heart of Mercy. They          give freely, made in the image and likeness
too have understood the meaning of the                                                                                    Your face is found.
                                                of God. From him learn that justice opens
Good Samaritan story.                           out to eternal life: when a man was inca-                             Your gaze will meet ours.
Alex Nelson has been an integral part of        pable of saving his own life, the Samaritan                       Lead us to look in the right places
the Mercy Foundation for the past six           chose life for him, and the only evidence
                                                                                                                          this year of years,
years. Not only has he brought learning         he left behind was that very life.’ (1)
and academic excellence to the Education                                                                             O Emmanuel, God with us.
                                                                                  Helen Kearins rsm
work of the Foundation, but he has brought                                         Executive Officer          Mary Wickham rsm, Souvenirs of Spirit:
a fine tuned compassion, gentle wisdom
                                                (1). Dolores Aleixandre RSCJ “Seekers of Wells and Roads’,    Poems and Prayers, Spectrum 2006.
and a capacity for reflection that takes us     Paper presented at the 2004 Conference of the International
to wells we sometimes forget exist.             Union of Superiors General.                                               Used with permission




             Wishing all our readers the peace and
                      joy of Christmas
                       and blessings for the New Year

                                                MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 
Current Educational Services Conclude at Mercy Foundation

T
         he Mercy Foundation will take
         a new direction in 2007 bringing              Transformative Pastoral Practice (Basic) 2006
         change to the way that educational
activities contribute to the Foundation’s              Between July and November 2006, Mercy Foundation staff members
work. At the end of 2006, the current                  and Eveline Crotty presented this course in the MA (Pastoral Practice)
educational services will no longer be
provided by the Mercy Foundation. In
                                                       through Broken Bay Institute. The participants in the Basic course
due time, the Foundation expects to take               included four Candidates for Ministry with the NSW Synod of the
up again the work of education.                        Uniting Church in Australia, and a Canossian Sister from Singapore.
The Foundation’s Mission Statement envis-
ages education as a moral support to people
and groups who are working creatively for
social changes that construct a more just
Australian society. We all know that there
are physical factors, legal arrangements,
cultural habits, political policies and spiritu-
al outlooks in our society that systematically
generate a poverty of life within Australian
and even global living conditions. At any
given time in Australian society, we can cri-
tique the ways we conduct our human rela-
tionships, manage our workplace practices,
govern the distribution of wealth, ensure
security and provide for health, education,
and the environment so that we may find
more just and inclusive practices.

 “The Foundation’s courses have
 drawn into transformative learn-
    ing women and men who are
   chaplains in jails, mental hos-                  Transformative Pastoral Practice 2006 participants and educators.
  pitals, schools and universities;                 Standing (l to r) Andrew Johnson, Eveline Crotty rsm, Joe Magri, Deok Hee Cho, Phil
                                                    Newton. Seated (l to r) Sr. Cecily Pavri, Annette Hawken, Alex Nelson.
 ministers who work with city and
     regional congregations …”
                                                    into transformative learning women and men


                                                                                                    Poems and
Adult education is a tool that enables us           who are chaplains in jails, mental hospi-
as citizens to critically inquire about our         tals, schools and universities; ministers who
society through the lens of the Gospel and          work with city and regional congregations,


                                                                                                     prayers
Church teachings. The new awareness we              and other practitioners involved with special
acquire can be a powerful help for decision         works of care.
making that leads to change for peace, jus-         Mercy Foundation staff this year has once
tice and environmental integrity. The prac-         again offered pastoral supervision to practi-
tice of education in the Mercy Foundation           tioners to enable them to learn by critically
since its beginning has aimed in a variety of       reflecting on their practice. To meet the       If you have found delight, depth
ways to raise social and theological aware-         growing need for pastoral supervision, we
ness in the Sisters, those connected with the       have also presented training courses for        and wisdom in Noel Davis’ ear-
Congregation in various ways, the staff of          suitable practitioners who desire to gain
the Foundation, and those who join us in            accreditation as a pastoral supervisor.         lier books of poems and prayers,
learning.
                                                    With the Foundation no longer offering          then you will be pleased to know
During 2006 and in previous years, the              these education services in 2007, the educa-
Foundation has sought to provide opportunities      tors who currently provide them are mak-        that his new book, The Heart
to learn this kind of critical inquiry for change   ing arrangements to continue the work in
through a range of educational services. Urban      a variety of ways - through the Broken          Waking and breaking into dance:
Ministry formation courses have developed           Bay Institute, Urban Ministry Movement
the skills and increased the employability of       – Sydney, and as independent educators.         a little book of adventurings will
people working in professions of care in urban      The Mercy Foundation Website www.mer-
and rural neighbourhoods, agencies, and insti-      cyfoundation.com.au holds contact infor-        soon be available.
tutions. The Foundation’s courses have drawn        mation.



                                                       MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS -  
Mercy Foundation Social Justice Award 2006

T
        he Mercy Foundation has cho-            •	 develop a community Laundromat and           poverty in respectful and non-dominating
        sen the Campbelltown Animation             Coffee Shop with funding from the            ways for the common purpose of develop-
        Project to be the recipient of             Mercy Foundation in 2002;                    ing a more just world.
the Social Justice Award 2006. The              •	 reclaim vacant land for a community          The Mercy Foundation will present the
Animation Project, established in April            park;                                        Social Justice Award plaque and a cheque
1999 by the Society of St Vincent de Paul                                                       for $1000 to the Animation Project at the
at Campbelltown, NSW, is an innovative          •	 successfully lobby for changes to trans-
                                                                                                Foundation’s end of year celebrations at
community development and education                port services; and
                                                                                                Waterloo on Monday 11th December, 2006
project which works with residents of           •	 develop a small food co-operative.           at 7.00pm.
large public housing estates in Sydney’s
                                                These achievements have improved com-           Some More Acknowledgments
outer south-western suburbs.
                                                munity co-operation, brought significant
Since 1999, the Animation Project has                                                           In conjunction with the Social Justice Award
                                                changes to the lives of many individuals
worked with public housing tenants to:                                                          2006, the Mercy Foundation has recognised
                                                and begun to change people’s perceptions
                                                                                                the work of some others in the field of social
                                                of residents of these suburbs.
•	 change government policies and                                                               justice.
   accountability structures for the large      It is because of these important achieve-
                                                                                                A plaque with a citation of appreciation hs
   scale redevelopment of the public hous-      ments that the Mercy Foundation wish-
                                                                                                been presented to the Edmund Rice Centre,
   ing estate of Minto;                         es to make the Social Justice Award
                                                                                                the Australian Fair Trade and Investment
                                                to the Animation Project. The Mercy
•	 identify and gain strategic opportunities                                                    Network, and to Mr. Peter Arndt, Catholic
                                                Foundation sees in the Animation Project
   to teach university and TAFE communi-                                                        Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese
                                                work which empowers those most mar-
   ty work students and community workers                                                       of Brisbane.
   about creating a greater grass roots focus   ginalised to bring about social change.
   in the human services sector;                It works alongside those experiencing                                            John Dacey




      Education Committee 2006
T
       he Education Committee, a group              welfare, adult educator and consultant      educational activities of the Foundation’s
       of very experienced educators            •	 Sue Knights, is a Senior Lecturer in the     staff.
       and practitioners, has served the           Faculty of Education at the University       As I come to the end of my work as
Mercy Foundation very well. The work of            of Technology, Sydney. She has par-          Education Coordinator at the Foundation I
this Committee has now come to an end.             ticular and widely recognised expertise      want to take this opportunity to thank all the
During 2006. the Education Committee has           in Community Education, Experiential         Committee members for putting their skills,
included the following persons;                    Learning, Program Development, Team          wisdom and experience at the service of the
•	 Carolyn Thornley is a Minister in the           Teaching and Family Learning.                Mercy Foundation.
   Uniting Church, and an experienced           •	 Gary Greig is an adult educator and          I want also to thank them for being in a
   educator and supervisor in Clinical             higher education consultant with a           stimulating conversation with me about
   Pastoral Education. She has been a pas-         national and international practice. He is   what really matters in adult education. I
   toral educator for several years in the         sought after for his particular expertise    appreciate their friendly encouragement
   Mercy Foundation’s courses in Urban             in the processes that lead to the accredi-   and their appreciation of my work.
   Ministry CPE.                                   tation of courses and higher education
                                                                                                I appreciate the integrity and energy of
•	 Mauro di Nicola is an animator, aca-            institutes.
                                                                                                all the other educators who have joined in
   demic, researcher, adult educator, spiri-    •	 Helen Kearins rsm is ex officio a mem-       the Foundation’s important work in adult
   tual director, counsellor and consultant.       ber of the Committee. Helen’s exper-         education and want to thank them for their
   He has a long term connection as an             tise embraces program development in         fruitful collaboration.
   animator with the Animation Project at          education for social justice, education
                                                                                                                               Alex Nelson
   Campbelltown, NSW.                              with Indigenous learners and educators,
                                                                                                                     Education Coordinator
•	 Mhairi Fraser, as Director of the Centre        tertiary adult education, sociodrama
   for Community Welfare Training.                 and psychodrama, arts-based education,
   CCWT is a highly respected and skilled          music and clowning.
   provider of an array of adult learn-         This Committee has provided rich resourc-
   ing and training for workers involved        es of educational experience, professional
   at different levels of responsibility, in    integrity critical thinking and imagination
   many different community settings and        for the Mercy Foundation. It has contributed
   agencies throughout NSW. Mhairi con-         to the critique and formation of Education
   tributes to CCWT’s programs from             policy, and supervised the quality of the
   her experience as a practitioner in child


                                                MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 
Mercy Foundation School Environment Grants
Mercy Foundation initiated its School
Environment Grants (SEG) program in
2000. The opportunity to apply for funding
was very well received and taken up by a
large number of schools spread across the
nation. In 2004 the Project Grants Officer
evaluated the SEG program, and a deci-
sion was taken to refine the program to
improve its educational and environmental
outcomes. Two pilot projects were then
commenced in order to develop educational
resources which would deliver the sought
after outcomes.
The success of the two pilot projects –
“Seed to Seed” - food gardens in schools,
developed by Seed Savers; and “Looking
after Country” - indigenous habitats, devel-
oped by Treecreeper Indigenous Land
Management – was assessed in late 2005.
It was decided to further support the pilot
projects so that the educational resources
they had developed by then could be made
available to teachers in a professional for-      Students at St Mel’s, Campsie, giving new plants the only watering they will ever get!
mat. Thus, teachers could adapt the self-
contained comprehensive packages of learn-                                                           garden). This habitat is a living space not
                                                  A Visit to the Habitat
ing materials for use in their particular                                                            only for the plants which are indigenous to
setting. This final phase of the pilot projects   Helen Kearins and I had the pleasure, just
                                                  recently, of visiting the location of one of the   the locality, but also for the birds and other
is now nearing completion.                                                                           animals and insects attracted by the plants.
                                                  pilot projects – St Mel’s School in Campsie,
We receive occasional news from schools,          NSW. Jenny Neil of Treecreeper Indigenous          Jenny pointed out the significant growth of
which gained grants previously, of their          Land Management, who had done all the              the plants over two years despite only ever
project’s development and progress. For           work on the project, was visiting the school       being watered once – at the time of planting
example, St Mary’s Primary School in              again to help the students put in a few more       – and in the middle of a drought! The plants
Crookwell just recently sent us news of           plants, and to talk to students who hadn’t         grew so well because they are indigenous to
their Peace Garden project that has been          participated in the original planting about        the area and are adapted to dry conditions.
developed over three years since their grant      the idea of their space as a ‘habitat’ (not a      Jenny also pointed out the different species
in 2003.                                                                                             of birds now present in the habitat – no
                                                                                                     longer only the ‘foreign’ Indian Mynahs and

Mercy Foundation Projects Committee
                                                                                                     Blackbirds, but also some Australian native
                                                                                                     birds are slowly coming back to the area.
                                                                                                     It is hoped that these two pilot programs
Thank you to the members of the Mercy             tions’ suitability for funding from the Mercy      – indigenous habitats and food gardens in
Foundation Projects Committee.                    Foundation. No small task! Then we’d come          schools – will contribute effectively to the
The work of the Project Grants Officer            together and ‘thrash out’ which of the many        environmental education of the youngest
would be unmanageable if it weren’t for the       suitable projects we’d fund within the limits      generation, who will need to discover new
tireless commitment and significant exper-        of the Grants budget.                              ways of living in communion with creation
tise of a small group of people known as the                                                         so that creation itself might be sustained for
                                                  With the changes in direction of the               generations to come.
Projects Committee.
                                                  Foundation, the Projects Committee has
The Projects Committee has given support                                                             The Mercy Foundation’s new direction for
                                                  been disbanded. So I wish to take this
to me as the Project Grants Officer over the                                                         Project grants does not include school envi-
                                                  opportunity to thank the members of the
last 20 months by assessing the grant appli-                                                         ronmental projects. However, it is envisaged
                                                  Committee – Anne Byrne, Cath Leary,                that schools will be able to obtain the two
cations and advising and reflecting with me
                                                  Carol van Gelder, Carmel McDonough,                educational programs from their respective
on my work, including the evaluation of the
                                                  Helen Kearins and Liam Phelan - who                authors. Considering the valuable impact of
Grant Program, and developing its policy
and procedures.                                   have so competently and gracefully contrib-        the original Schools Environmental Grants,
                                                  uted to the successful running to the Grant        we anticipate that the new educational
 Among other things, twice a year the                                                                resources will be well received. Initial indi-
                                                  Program. Many thanks, and best wishes
Committee members would receive copies                                                               cations to us from teachers are that schools
                                                  for your efforts in shaping a more just and
of up to 60 grant applications of around                                                             can’t wait to access them.
                                                  peaceful world in the future.
10 pages each to become familiar with in
order to give an opinion on the applica-                                             John Dacey                                       John Dacey


                                                      MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS -  
  Stories from Projects Visited in 2006
Project visits are an enjoyable part of the
job of Project Grants Officer. In the last
five months I’ve had the pleasure of visiting
eleven projects the Mercy Foundation has
funded; ten in Sydney and the coast north of
Sydney, and one in Adelaide.
In late June I took a four day trip to
Morisset, Newcastle and further north up
the coast of NSW as far as Woolgoolga to
visit six funded projects and four others
which we were considering funding.




Women learning basket weaving
                                                Children at St Kevin’s School, Cardiff, in their food garden, with teacher Katie Enright and
First stop was Yulawirri Nurai Indigenous       Tom Toogood of Permaculture Hunter Region
Corporation in Morisset which runs an
Aboriginal Spiritual and Cultural Healing
Program. I met with Michelle who is the                                   Projects, april 2006
Pre-Release Officer at Yulawirri Nurai. The
project works with current and past inmates     Chain Reaction Foundation - $15,000             Grass Roots Media - $10,000
of 14 Correctional Centres across NSW,
                                                Train the Trainer program for 10 -12 par-       Contribute to the development of a self-
and their families. Activities include basket
                                                ticipants of the Enablers Program, including    funded community news service committed
weaving, egg carving and an arts program
                                                mentoring for them while they deliver the       to the creation of a better informed, fairer
that allows for empowerment of Aboriginal
                                                Program to 100 other participants during        and more environmentally aware society in
people to heal and improve their self-iden-
                                                the year.                                       the Lower Hunter.
tity. Michelle spoke of positive outcomes
for participants in terms of the activities     Project Respect - $12,068                       Ti Tree School – Sing Out Australia
creatively occupying the inmate’s time and      Develop a theatre production that seeks to      - $18,000
moving them out of self-destructive behav-      change women-blaming attitudes to women         Develop a website of original Indigenous
iour. The activities provide an appropri-       in the sex industry, and an education pro-      children’s songs and music videos written and
ate traditional healing place and support       gram for the wider community about traf-        performed in multiple Indigenous languages.
Aboriginal people to find solutions to the      ficking and prostitution.
cultural and social impacts which deeply                                                        Centacare Wilcannia Forbes - $8,740
                                                Pace e Bene - $17,800                           Provision of child care to 10 participants of
affect their general wellbeing.
                                                Design and deliver a series of facilita-        Strong Young Mums program who are doing
From Morisset it was a quick trip into
                                                tor trainings in the ‘Engage – Exploring        SC, HSC and TAFE studies to improve their
Newcastle where I met with Tom Toogood
                                                Nonviolent Living’ program and provide          job prospects and parenting skills.
of Permaculture Hunter Region’s Food
                                                ongoing training and formation of trainees.
Security Project. I met with Tom initially at                                                   AID/WATCH - $14,000
St Kevin’s Primary School, Cardiff, where       Engage Media - $13,776                          Educate the community and lobby par-
we spoke with Kindergarten teacher Katie        Training program for video and digital          liamentarians to increase Australia’s aid
Enright, who coordinates the food garden        communication and education on social and       budget and reduceg the debt of developing
at the school. We toured the garden that is     environmental issues.                           countries.
small at this early stage but has a good num-
                                                AFTINET - $12,000                               FRIENDS OF THE EARTH - $15,000
ber of plants that are being harvested.
                                                Contribution to employment of campaigner        Inform and resource labour and community
Permaculture Hunter Region (PHR) has            for community education and lobbying on         organisations to engage in the debate on the
supported Katie and the school as the garden    WTO GATS, FTA with China, FTAs with             impacts of nanotechnology and to advocate
has developed. Katie spoke of the children’s    ASEAN members and monitoring impacts            for wide community consultation for regula-
enthusiasm towards the garden from kin-         of US FTA.                                      tion of nanotechnology.
dergarten to year six. Older boys especially


                                                MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 
get enthused about digging and shaping the                       Then it was off to the            Barry said that most loans are for fridges
site while younger girls especially seem to                      Family Action Centre              and washing machines. One loan went to
gravitate towards planting and nurturing.                        and      their     project,       a woman who had been given a slow com-
All seem to enjoy harvesting.                                    Brothers Inside, which            bustion heater but couldn’t afford to have
Among other sites, Tom took me to Hamilton                       worked with Indigenous            it properly installed. Another went to a
to visit Soul’s Abode, a privately owned                         fathers in gaol to improve        woman whose two daughters died tragically.
complementary/natural heath care centre.                         their relationships with          The loan paid for a gravestone for them.
PHR undertook their first ‘eco-business                          their children. I met with        Barry believes that the NILS has injected
partnership’ with Soul’s Abode by running                        Craig Hammond and                 around $50,000 into the local economy dur-
a workshop in permaculture and helping          Graeme Stuart who took me to Cessnock              ing the life of the project. Local businesses
design and establish a permaculture herb        Correctional Centre where they ran the             are very supportive and often give discounts
garden on the grounds of Soul’s Abode.          project, and I spoke with Lillian Gordon,          for products bought with NILS loans. Local
Clients of the Centre walk through the          Aboriginal Education Officer and Allan,            politicians are also very supportive.
herb garden as they enter the property, the     Programs Co-ordinator at the gaol.
naturalness of the herb garden reflecting the   The program, which helps improve the sta-
practice within the Centre of using the very    bility of the family, is a significant factor in
herbs that are grown in the garden.             reducing recidivism. The program helps the
Next stop was Grass Roots Media, which          fathers learn to value their children more
is supported by the Mercy Foundation to         highly, value their own role as father more
publish the Hunter Advocate newspaper.          highly, and realise the impact that fathers
There I met with Michael Osborne and            can have. It gives them a belief in their
Greer Allen. Michael does the layout and a      role as fathers. The learning affirms them
lot of the communication with advertisers       and builds on their experiences as fathers.
and contributors. Greer is the editor. Both     It shows the fathers how to deal with dis-
contribute their time voluntarily and do        ciplining their children, and helps them
not come from a publishing or media back-       develop relational skills for the time when
ground, though they have done things which      they are released from gaol.
overlap with publishing.                        As a result of the program there has been          Barry Dorizas at Manning Support Services
They spoke of the value of the work they        an increase in the number of Aboriginal
                                                inmates being involved in the gaol’s three         Slightly further north, I visited Macleay
do in the area of good news stories. They                                                          Valley Workplace Learning Centre
also advocate for social justice, community     ‘father-child’ days per year. And Brothers
                                                Inside participants have influenced other          (MVWLC), Kempsey, and their Anger
development and ecological sustainability.                                                         Management Project. I met with Jann Eason,
In terms of financial support, the business     non-participant inmates to join in father-
                                                child days in the gaol. There is ongoing           Principal, and Richard O’Leary, Chair of
community will be their main source, so                                                            Board. The Workplace Learning Centre is
they are working hard to find businesses        liaison with DOCS to bring the children to
                                                visit their fathers.                               in its first stage and has a capacity of 120
with like-minded goals to support them and                                                         students. Currently it has from 80 to 90 stu-
have reciprocal deals which help the busi-      My first stop north of Newcastle was               dents, 53% of whom are Indigenous.
ness in turn.                                   Manning Support Services NILS® Project
                                                in Taree. I met with Barry Dorizas, coor-          High levels of anger and violence exist
The next edition of Hunter Advocate fea-                                                           among students. This is stressful and dan-
tured the Mercy Foundation and some of the      dinator of the No Interest Loans Scheme
                                                (NILS®).                                           gerous to teachers and other students. It also
projects we fund around the Hunter region.                                                         holds negative consequences for the perpe-
                                                                                                   trating students if it leads to police involve-
                                                                                                   ment, This has frequently occurred.
                                                                                                   The school invited professionals from the
                                                                                                   field (psychologists, etc.) to assist them in
                                                                                                   developing a program that addresses the
                                                                                                   levels of anger and violence. 80% of stu-
                                                                                                   dents have AVOs out against them due to
                                                                                                   past violent behaviour. Every student with
                                                                                                   an AVO against them must sign on to the
                                                                                                   anger management program.
                                                                                                   The program has 3 steps which look at ‘trig-
                                                                                                   gers’ to violence, ‘centring’ and ‘making
                                                                                                   choices’. The Program is incorporated into the
                                                                                                   enrolment procedure for each student and this
                                                                                                   has proved beneficial in that the students have
                                                                                                   ownership of the consequences if they choose
                                                                                                   to be violent. Generally it takes about two
                                                                                                   years for a student at MVWLC to have marked
                                                                                                   attitudinal and behavioural change. Therefore
                                                                                                   it is only now that major benefits are being felt
                                                                                                   from the Anger Management Program.


                                                    MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS -  
                                                                                                project which had its initial run in Adelaide.
                                                                                                Participating in the training for three days
                                                                                                gave me the best possible feel for this
                                                                                                project, experiencing as an insider what the
                                                                                                project is all about.
                                                                                                Participants were trained by first being intro-
                                                                                                duced to the nonviolence program and then
                                                                                                put in teams and given a section of the nonvi-
                                                                                                olence program to facilitate for the rest of the
                                                                                                group. That way, participants learnt both by
                                                                                                participating and having a go at facilitating.
                                                                                                All participants evaluated the training as a
                                                                                                whole and evaluations will be compiled and
                                                                                                analysed to improve training events planned
                                                                                                for other capital cities around Australia.
                                                                                                Since returning from Adelaide I have vis-
                                                                                                ited the following Sydney based projects to
                                                                                                catch up with their progress and keep the
                                                                                                communication channels open.
(r-l) John Dacey, Jann Eason, two students, Richard O’Leary, and student from the               Marrickville Community Television
Macleay Valley Workplace Learning Centre                                                        Association (MCTVA) is funded by the
                                                                                                Foundation to produce a series of stories
I moved on from Kempsey to Nambucca             ly because of the Federal Government’s
                                                                                                (which will air on Community Channel
Heads to visit the Nambucca Valley              Welfare to Work legislation requiring par-
                                                                                                31 and potentially SBS or ABC) focussed
Community College small business cours-         ents of school aged children to go to work.
                                                                                                on the lives of people with disabilities. I
es project. I met with Lisa Powlesland,         There are insufficient childcare places in
                                                                                                met with Shane Carn who spoke of their
Manager, who was very happy with the            Nambucca already, and the demand will
                                                                                                achievements thus far. They have chosen
course they ran for the general community       increase when the new legislation comes in.
                                                                                                four individuals, all with their own sig-
which taught people how to start up their       The course is seen as a great opportunity to
                                                                                                nificant disabilities, who are fighting in their
own small business. They have had feed-         address the childcare shortage while getting
                                                                                                own ways to improve the lives of others
back that three participants have started       people into a small business.
                                                                                                suffering from a range of challenging dis-
businesses as a result of doing the course. A
                                                                                                abilities.
local Indigenous organisation has recently
approached the College to run the busi-         I visited four other projects along the way     The stories will provide a realistic and
ness course again. With the support of          that we were considering as projects for        heartfelt insight into what it is like to
the Indigenous organisation, Lisa believes      possible future funding. All in all, it was     live with an intellectual disability, cerebral
it will be a huge success for Indigenous        a very worthwhile trip that provided both       palsy, schizophrenia and an acquired brain
people.                                         evaluative and relational outcomes for the      injury. They will address important issues
                                                Foundation.                                     such as education, accommodation, employ-
The third course the College will run with
                                                Since the trip I have visited the Pace e Bene   ment options and the capacity of the crimi-
the Foundation’s grant will focus on family
                                                Australia nonviolence facilitator training      nal justice system to deal with intellectually
day-care businesses. The course is time-
                                                                                                disabled offenders.
                                                                                                Australians for Native Title and
                                                                                                Reconciliation (ANTaR) is using Mercy
                                                                                                Foundation funding for their Indigenous
                                                                                                Health Rights Campaign. This project is
                                                                                                drawing on success stories of health projects
                                                                                                for Indigenous peoples all around the coun-
                                                                                                try to produce a booklet. The Campaign will
                                                                                                run a number of Indigenous Health Seminars
                                                                                                in places throughout Australia, including
                                                                                                Federal Parliament House, Canberra and
                                                                                                NSW Parliament House, Sydney.
                                                                                                Four seminars have run thus far and another
                                                                                                six or seven are in the planning. Topics
                                                                                                for the seminars include: ‘Meeting the
                                                                                                Indigenous Health Challenge: Everybody’s
                                                                                                business’; ‘Overcoming Violence in
                                                                                                Indigenous Communities’; ‘Overcoming
                                                                                                intergenerational trauma and abuse in
                                                                                                Indigenous communities’; and ‘Closing the
                                                                                                life expectancy gap within a generation’.
Lisa Powlesland (l) and staff at NVCC
                                                                                                Audiences attending seminars include mem-


                                                MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 0
bers of parliament, local community and         Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Penrith,           much with so few resources. It is a privilege
health workers and the general public. Each     runs a Creative Therapy Domestic Violence        to be able to support them in the way we
seminar features key Indigenous spokesper-      Healing Program, funded by the Foundation.       do. And the project visits are a small way
sons in the field of discussion, and draws on   I spoke with Sue Wildman, project coordina-      of communicating to them our support and
the strengths of existing health projects to    tor and counsellor, Elaine, also a counsellor,   interest which goes beyond the financial.
develop solutions for new situations.           Janice Kennedy, Aboriginal elder, and Sr                                        John Dacey
Holy Family Community Centre, Mt                Naomi Smith, ACM treasurer. The program                               Project Grants Officer
Druitt runs an environmental education proj-    runs for seven or eight sessions and focuses
ect which the Foundation and Monte Sant’        on types of abuse in domestic violence, the
Angelo students support. Greg Stewart, the      circle of violence and the cycle of blame,
project coordinator, showed me around the       feelings and ways of coping, self-care and
premises of the Community Centre where          safety, among other things.
the project has developed various gardens
and activities. There is a native garden with
indigenous, drought tolerant plants, a ‘fairy
                                                The program is run flexibly in its response
                                                to the needs of the women participating. It
                                                includes use of songs, poetry, role-plays and
                                                                                                    A word from
garden’ for kids to play in, a celebration
garden with a mural which celebrates the
                                                artwork of various kinds. The presence of
                                                an Aboriginal elder in the group goes a long          an active
                                                                                                    contemplative
work of the Community Centre, a vegetable       way to helping the women feel comfort-
garden with a ‘rainbow serpent’ path wind-      able and open up about their experiences.
ing through it, to name a few. Other veg-       As they share, the women discover new
etable gardens, compost and worm farms          strengths for dealing with their past and for
are planned. A water tank is in and more        shaping a future they hope for. The program         The rush and pressure of
are planned. There is a greenhouse for          builds their confidence and self-esteem and
propagation, which is visited weekly by a       equips them to make different choices for a         modern life are a form,
small number of school students with spe-       brighter future.                                    perhaps the most common
cial needs.                                     As you can see, these projects funded by the        form of its innate violence.
It is envisaged that all the above elements     Foundation are making significant differ-
will be linked together in an ‘education        ences in individuals’ lives and impacting the
                                                                                                    To allow oneself to be car-
trail’ which people can follow around the       shape of Australian society for the future. I       ried away by a multitude
property, using fact sheets, to learn about     never cease to be amazed at the dedication
                                                                                                    of conflicting concerns,
various aspects of the environment and gar-     and creativity evident in projects that do so
dening practices.                                                                                   to surrender to too many
                                                                                                    demands, to commit oneself
                    Projects, september 2006                                                        to too many projects, to
                                                                                                    want to help in everything
Macleay Valley Workplace Learning               Parent Infant Foundation Australia                  is to succumb to violence.
Centre - $6,000                                 - $8,000
                                                                                                    The frenzy of the activist
Vocational program using fine motor (craft      Provide parenting skills for young Aboriginal
guild) skills with hand tools to enable         mums who are isolated from cultural and             neutralises work for peace.
smooth transition from school to work for       family support, and guide them in making a          It destroys the fullness of
non-academic youth.                             DVD of their parenting skills so that other
                                                mums can learn too.
                                                                                                    the fruit of work because
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre -
$5,000                                          Moolubinba Aboriginal Corporation                   it kills the root of inner
Micro credit employment scheme for inter-       - $10,000                                           wisdom which makes work
est free loans of $250 to asylum seekers liv-   Cultural healing for women recovering from          fruitful.
ing in the community who have work rights       domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse
but no access to funds for costs of training    & teen pregnancy.                                        Thomas Merton (1915 -
or seeking work.                                Mamre Plains - $10,000                                                   1968)
Climate Action Network - $7,000                 Project of multiple support and training pro-
To work with welfare, union and community       grams for Sudanese women and their chil-            Born in France, Thomas Merton
organisations to identify the social impacts    dren to address the traumas experienced as          studied literature and philosophy at
of climate change and develop tools to make     refugees and help settle them in Australia          Cambridge and Columbia University.
aware and address those impacts.                Blacktown Youth Services                            Baptised in 1938, he entered
Yalga-binbi Institute for Community             Association - $5,000                                Gethsemani Trappist monastery in
Development - $8,000                                                                                Kentucky USA in 1941. He was
                                                No Interest Loans Scheme for newly arrived
                                                                                                    widely acclaimed as a poet, author
Community Development trainers to               young refugees to provide for education,
                                                                                                    and peace activist. In the 1960s, he
visit and mentor/supervise Indigenous           training and employment needs.
                                                                                                    engaged in dialogues with Thich
Community Development students working
                                                                                                    Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama and D.T.
in the field in remote Indigenous communi-
                                                                                                    Suzuki.
ties.



                                                  MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS -  
                                                                                                                                                                                 As part of the changes taking place at the
                                                                                                                                                                                 Mercy Foundation, the positions of Education
                                                                                                                                                                                 Co-ordinator and Projects Grants Officer have
                                                                                                                                                                                 been made redundant. Alex and John have
                                                                                                                                                                                 accepted the redundancy packages offered.
                                                                                                                                                                                 We thank them for their wonderful contribu-
                                                                                                                                                                                 tion to the Mercy Foundation and wish them
                                                                                                                                                                                 this, and many more Blessings in the future:
                                                                                                                                                                                      May the light of your soul guide you.
                                                                                                                                                                                 May the light of your soul bless the work you
                                                                                                                                                                                                        do
                                                                                                                                                                                    With the secret love and warmth of your
                                                                                                                                                                                                      heart.
                                                                                                                                                                                    May you see in what you do the beauty of
                                                                                                                                                                                                 your own soul.
                                                                                                                                                                                     May the sacredness of your work bring
                                                                                                                                                                                                     healing,
                                                                                                                                                                                 light and renewal to those who work with you
                                                                                                                                                                                  and to those who see and receive your work.
                                                          Alex Nelson                                                                                                                                      (John O Donohue)                     John Dacey




                                                                                                                                                           UpdATIng OUR dATAbASe
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       MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS
                                                                                                                    Vol. 15 No. 2 November 2004                          Mercy Foundation News …
       The Mercy Foundation Ltd
       6 Kellick St, Waterloo NSW 2017




                                                                                                                                                                     Read all about it                                           … by EMAIL
       PO Box 3221 Redfern NSW 2016
       Phone: (02) 9699 8726 Fax: (02) 9699 9657
       Email: mercyfoundation@ozemail.com.au
       www.mercyfoundation.com.au
       ACN 051 253 902 ABN 49 051 253 902




                   Excuse me, is this the Road to Emmaus?
       E
               aster 2006 arrived, so soon after        nity, workers in organisations and citizens        approach to life and set out on a new way. Our
               Christmas 2005, it seemed. We            in the global ecology. In many contexts of         exit from a familiar way of being and work-
               mark out the rapid passage of our        life, we seek to find our way from here to         ing enters us into the new chosen way whose
       year in terms of Christmas and Easter,           there. Whether it concerns planning holiday        strangeness requires of us commitment and
       birthdays and anniversaries. We may              travel or seeking our heart’s desire, chasing      energy to sustain the change.
       have the impression that all these events        a promotion at work or reaching Heaven at          Eliot’s poem goes on to say that as we
       are only markers, like the numbers on a          the end of our days, we are looking for the        grow older, we feel that the world becomes




                                                                                                                                                                     Do you know of someone who might wish to receive        Some readers prefer to receive an e-mail
       clock face, passively telling us the time        way. No matter what advice we may get              stranger to us. The pace of change, the
       in our life.                                     about the journey, here, where we are now,         number of decisions to make, the shrink-
                                                        our home at any given time is the place            ing of financial resources and personnel
       But, what makes Easter and Christmas
                                                        from where we start.                               to manage our work effectively are cir-
       different is that by remembering them we
       actively engage in our personal and social       T.S.Eliot says in East Coker,                      cumstances that challenge and disturb us.
       transformation. Each year these two feasts                                                          Understandably, we show little enthusiasm




                                                                                                                                                                     Mercy Foundation News? Please ask them to fill in       version of Mercy Foundation News.
                                                        Home is where one starts from. As we grow
       draw us into remembering the story of a                                                             for changing our well established routine,
                                                        older the world becomes stranger, the pat-
       change that none of us could have imag-                                                             reliable protocols and comforting rituals.
                                                        tern more complicated of dead and living.
       ined for ourselves. God’s choice to unite                                                           Of course, some transitions and develop-
                                                        Immigrants, pilgrims, explorers and refu-
       with us is revealed in the birth of Jesus at                                                        ments in our life become familiar to us and
                                                        gees know well the choices to be made in
       Christmas. Through the dying, rising, and                                                           we may say with confidence, “Well, here
                                                        leaving physically their here in order to




                                                                                                                                                                     their name and address or email address and send to:
       ascending of Jesus and the sending of the                                                           we go again. Been there once already, done
                                                        get there. Leaving home, though often a
       Holy Spirit our transformation by being                                                             that”. We may find that we can manage even
                                                        relief also brings a loss never quite to be
       united to God is brought into effect. So,                                                           difficult transitions such as losses and sepa-




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             If that is your preference, we will send
                                                        estimated before setting out.
       Easter is not a feast for us to watch from a                                                        rations, finding new work, and encountering
       distance. The action-story urges us to get to    The crossings in our lives from here to            illness by relying on the personal maps that
       our feet and participate in the ongoing trans-   there take us through inner terrains as well       we have made through our learning from
       formation of our personal, organisational        as through outer lands. In any crossing,           life-experience. We will also probably dis-
       and global lives. Easter’s energy is for our     we leave behind what has been home and             cover that some cultural maps for particular
                                                        familiar to us, even if it were also a place       transitions have been developed for us.




                                                                                                                                                                     Nathalie Hayes
       being on the move.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             you the News as a PDF attachment.
                                                        uneven in the quality of loving. Or moving
       Getting from here to there                                                                          However, tucked away inside an expectable
                                                        from here to there may involve our leaving
                                                                                                           transition there are often surprise calls to trans-
       “However, if you were wanting to get there,      behind a point of view once firmly held,
                                                                                                           formation.
       then you wouldn’t want to start from here”       after it turned out to be a prejudice. Or
       is a comic punch line in a conversation          we may find ourselves letting go a belief                                        Continued page 8
       between a fictional lost traveller seeking       we once solemnly called on to justify our




                                                                                                                                                                     Mercy Foundation
       directions and a local resident. The puz-        cruelty and privilege. Looking back, we
       zling comment, reported by travellers about      are often glad to be here now rather than in




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Please let Nathalie know:
       locals in various countries, seems to be no      the back there we left behind. We recognise
       more than a leg-pull for a confused stranger.    gratefully that a transformation has taken            IN THIS ISSUE
       All the same, there are times when we feel       place in us.
                                                                                                              ➣ Executive Director’s LetterPage 2
       lost and need to make a move or reach a




                                                                                                                                                                     PO Box 3221
                                                        Transitions and transformations
       new place, and a humorous remark like that                                                             ➣ Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . News
                                                        In the earlier years of our life as persons,            Page 3
       may not seem so funny.
                                                        members of groups, and the sisters and broth-
       Getting from here to there is a way to           ers of all creation, we find energy for change        ➣ FairWear Briefing . . . . . Page 5
       describe simply different kinds of move-




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             office@mercyfoundation.com.au
                                                        especially if it appears to be progress. The          ➣ Reflection on Projects . . Page 6
       ments we experience in our lives as persons,     possibility of gaining some benefit for self or




                                                                                                                                                                     Redfern NSW 2016
       friends, members of a family or a commu-         others can motivate us to let go our established



                                                        MERCY FOUNDATION NEWS - 1




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