Archived News Item

Opportunity to be informed, challenged, inspired

Musicians, storytellers and comedians will join with some of Australia’s leading social justice advocates, practitioners and thinkers, to highlight issues of global and local concern at the Mercy Justice Conference in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, from November 6-8, 2009. Hurry, conference registrations close on October 14!

Hosted by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia, the Conference will focus on four social justice issues: Indigenous concerns, refugees and asylum seekers, eco-justice, and the impact of poverty on women.

Social justice advocates, practitioners and thinkers appearing at the conference include:

  • Mick Dodson, Director National Centre for Indigenous Studies ANU, 2009 Australian of the Year
  • Tim Flannery, Scientist, environmentalist, writer, 2007 Australian of the Year
  • Margot O’Neill, Walkley-award winning ABC journalist, author Blind Conscience
  • Jan Gray RSM, Theologian, true believer in politics for social change
  • Maryanne Loughry RSM, Psychologist, refugee worker, academic
  • Madge McGuire, Director Catherine House Inc., South Australia, women’s advocate
  • Denise Coghlan RSM, Social justice and refugee advocate, friend of Cambodia

During the conference dinner on Saturday evening (November 7), delegates will be entertained by Aria award-winning musicians and story-tellers, Marcia Howard and Amy Saunders. Both women are passionate supporters of social justice issues in their own right and as members of the music groups "Goanna" and "Tiddas".

Conference delegates will also experience a performance of “Returning Sudanese” by Akoch Manhiem, Trent McCarthy, Ajak Kwai and Tim Purdie. This unique presentation, which was part of the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, is about former Sudanese refugee, Akoc Manhiem, and his journey back to his village for the first time in almost a decade.

Read about the artists here.

If you’d like to be more informed about issues on our national and international agendas, and have opportunities to reflect, to network and to act, then why not come along to the conference?


All interested people are encouraged to send completed forms and payment as soon as possible. Details of the conference and registration forms can be found here.

What? Mercy Justice Conference: “Embrace the Other and Welcome Difference…”
When? November 6-8 2009
Where? Queanbeyan Conference Centre (short distance from Canberra CBD)
Cost? $300 (includes lunch, morning and afternoon teas on both days and dinner on Saturday evening)

Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator