News Items

This fortnight's report from the Institute's Committee for Asylum Seekers and Refugees provides further extracts from "The People's Inquiry into Detention" - a national citizen-driven inquiry into the policies and practices of immigration detention in Australia. The Committee invites you to reflect on these excerpts and have a greater sense of the life of an asylum seeker. The Committee also highlights the Mercy Refugee Service Community Links Project and the complexity of the settlement transition for refugees arriving in Australia.

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"Partnerships with Aboriginal people" and "the connections that have grown among Sisters of Mercy involved in the NSW Mercy Aboriginal Partnership Animation (MAPA) project" - these were the key issues named for further action when a group of NSW Mercy Sisters and Aboriginal women gathered last weekend (April 21-22) at the Edmund Rice Centre in Mulgoa (western Sydney). Sister Marie Butcher (Parramatta) reports.

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The Institute Plenary Council (IPC) will meet at Yamba on the the NSW north coast from April 17-22. The IPC, which comprises all Congregation Leaders and the Institute Leadership Team, meets twice each year in a process of "mutual consultation, joint discernment and decision-making... as well as giving opportunity for more creative responses to new needs and challenges". (Constitutions J6.331)

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Goulburn Sisters of Mercy gathered recently to celebrate the jubilees of nine of their sisters. A warm congratulations to Sisters Francesca Parkin, Mary Esler, Jessie Mitchell, Brigid Morton, Iris O'Connor, Helen Kennedy, Rita Savage, Margaret Watson and Margaret Hart.

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The final report from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was signed on April 15, 1991. As we approach the sixteenth anniversary of the report's release, it is helpful to look at the situation of Aboriginal people in custody in 2007.

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The first Sister of Mercy from the Parramatta Congregation to reach her one hundredth year has died. Sister Mary Anthony Campbell suffered a mild stroke on March 1 and died the next day. "Of particular significance to the Parramatta Sisters is that Sister M. Anthony was the last sister alive to have known the (congregation's) founding sisters", said Congregation Leader Sister Ailsa Mackinnon.

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After fifteen years as the Pastoral Assistant for the parish of Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle, NSW, Sister Paula Redgrove was recently named Port Stephens Woman of the Year for 2007. She was presented with the award by the outgoing member for Port Stephens, John Bartlett, in Raymond Terrace and then attended the NSW Woman of the Year ceremony at Government House, Sydney.

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March 29, 2007

The Leadership Councils of Adelaide, Ballarat, Melbourne, Perth and West Perth Congregations, along with the Institute's Vice-President, Sister Caroline Ryan, recently gathered in Queenscliff, Victoria for meetings to discuss reconfiguring. Sister Meredith Evans reports.

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