Archived News Item

National ACRATH Conference

Participants at the ACRATH National Conference


The ACRATH National Conference was held at St Joseph’s Baulkham Hills from February 26-28, with the theme “Human Face, Human Impact, Human Stories”


Prior to the Conference Opening, those involved in Companioning women who had been referred by other agencies e.g. Red Cross, and fitted within the ACRATH Mission and guidelines, held their own workshop. Robust discussion around the demands made on Companions lead to further discussion regarding the importance of clear boundaries and clear documentation for this role as well as regular personal professional supervision for those walking this journey.


A member from Catholic Professional Standards Limited attended these sessions and guided the group regarding the necessity for right protocols and evidenced based documentation to be in place. This is something that those leading the “Companions” will be looking at in the near future and a small group was set up to do this.


This workshop, which was lead by Maree Marsh CSB and Lynne Crilley PBVM, was very productive and supportive for those involved.


The National ACRATH Conference was opened by the President of ACRATH, Noelene Simmons SM, who in delivering her report referred to all ACRATH activities carried out in the various regions. It was illuminating to hear just how much has been, and is, being achieved by ACRATH – a relatively small organisation. Noelene’s report can be found on the ACRATH website.


Colleen Jackson RSC delivered a most interesting international report on Talitha Kum which again can be found on the ACRATH website


Sarah Puls SGS NSW/ACT Coordinator was farewelled as she moves to Victoria to continue her studies and Lorraine Phelan RSM was elected as the new ACRATH NSW/ACT Regional Coordinator.


Jennifer Burn – the new Interim NSW Commissioner against Modern Slavery- gave the keynote address informing and educating the conference participants on the new Commonwealth and NSW Modern Slavery Acts. Australia is only the second country in the world to have such an Act passed by Parliament.


Marguerite Buckley, from Victoria ACRATH,  lead conference participants in a very engaging and alive process around the following three areas:

  • ACRATH reaches out to address human trafficking
  • ACRATH and the human impact of trafficking
  • ACRATH now and into the future.


There was great energy around each of these sessions which gave participants hope and challenged them to be more proactive in each of their regions.


There was time well spent in individual reflection, small group and larger group reflection. There was a positive response picking up feedback from the previous year’s conference.


One of the key actions from the conference was to look at how to sustain and grow MEMBERSHIP of ACRATH and discussion was strong around different ways to do this. It will be interesting to see what has evolved and been tried in this area from now to the next National ACRATH Conference to be held at the end of February 2020.


Click on the arrow below to watch Christine Carolan (National Projects Coordinator, ACRATH) present at the recent Governance Forum:



Messages to: Lorraine Phelan RSM