Archived News Item

Outstanding line-up of speakers for Conference

The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia is delighted to announce an outstanding line-up of speakers for the Mercy Justice Conference to be held from November 6 to 8 this year.

Speakers include this year’s Australian of the Year, Professor Mick Dodson, and the 2007 Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery.

Artwork: Sally Bradley RSM

Mercy Justice Conference Speakers

Mick Dodson AM
Professor Mick Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is currently Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University and is a Professor of law at the ANU College of Law. Mick Dodson is a vigorous advocate of the rights and interests of the Indigenous Peoples of the world and is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In 2009, Mick Dodson was named Australian of the Year by the National Australia Day Council.

Professor Tim Flannery BA MSc PhD
Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading thinkers and writers. Tim is a scientist, explorer, and conservationist whose landmark works The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers have changed the way we think about the environmental challenges facing our world today. In 2006 he co-founded and was appointed inaugural Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. Named Australian of the Year in 2007, he quickly made that role an active one in the global arena, working with governments and business in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific to spur action on climate change.

Margot O’Neill
Margot O’Neill is a senior reporter with ABC TV’s Lateline programme and has been a journalist for 25 years. Margot has twice won a Walkley Award including for “Best Investigative Reporting” and has also been awarded a UN Media Peace Award and the national Human Rights Award for TV reporting. Margot is the author of the book called Blind Conscience (2008) telling the harrowing and inspiring stories of some of the key players in the refugee advocacy movement during the Howard Government.

Denise Coghlan RSM
Denise Coghlan is a Sister of Mercy from the Brisbane congregation. She is one of the four founding members of Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia. With a Cambodian Metta Karuna team, Denise has worked for 20 years for reconciliation, peace and justice and the full human development of people hurt by war, oppression and exile. Denise is very involved in the ban cluster bombs and anti-landmine movements, both in Cambodia (one of the worst landmine affected countries) and internationally.

Madge McGuire
Madge McGuire is the Director of Catherine House Inc. which was established in 1988 by the Sisters of Mercy in Adelaide. Catherine House works with women experiencing homelessness; its primary purpose is solving women’s homelessness. In September 2008, Madge visited several sites overseas as part of a research study into the establishment of a social enterprise to employ women with mental illness.

Janette Gray RSM
Janette Gray is a Sister of Mercy who lectures in systematic theology at the Jesuit College of Theology in the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne. Jan has previously lectured in Western Australia and the United Kingdom. Her teaching areas are the theology of the human person, Church, the interface between Church and contemporary society, Church and social responsibility, feminist theology, and Christian-Muslim relations.

Dr Maryanne Loughry RSM
Dr Maryanne Loughry is a Sister of Mercy of the Adelaide Congregation and a psychologist. Presently she is a visiting research scholar at the Centre for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College and the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, as well as Associate Director for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia.  Maryanne is currently researching the issue of climate induced displacement in the Pacific region.

The conference will also feature comedians, singers and storytellers: Trent McCarthy & Akoch Manhiem, Ajak Kwai and Indigenous Musicians.

The Mercy Justice Conference is an initiative of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia.

“Embrace the Other and Welcome Difference…”

Queanbeyan NSW, November 6-8, 2009

This conference is a gathering for people who are interested in looking at justice through a mercy lens, and so we invite Sisters of Mercy, colleagues in ministry, and all those seeking justice in our world.

For further details about the conference, speakers and registration forms, follow this link.

Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator