Social Justice Action

The Social Justice Action Charter is available HERE

A video introduction to St Kevin’s Parish Social Justice Action and this webpage:


This brief video outlines the recently revived and previously active Parish Social Justice Group. It indicates what it does, how it endeavours to keep everyone well informed on social justice issues, and how you can comfortably become involved.  (3 minutes 15 seconds)

Video Recording of ‘So Many Good Works’ (St V De Paul behind the scenes)

The  St Vincent De Paul Society cares for and looks after a multitude of disadvantaged and homeless people living amongst us. Their Welfare Call Centre Team Leader, Lynne Tull, shares the values that drive their work. This incudes home visitations, supporting the homeless, Welfare Call Centre, Advocacy, Education Programs, Soup Van service, No Interest Loans Scheme, CEO Sleep Out, and much more below the surface. A one hour video of this inspiring St Kevin’s Parish Social Justice Action online event on 16 May 2024 can be viewed HERE 

Recording of A Night on the Camino De Santiago
A video recording of the Social Justice Action live zoom presentation on 17 April 2024 of ‘A Night on the Camino De Santiago’ is available HERE.
The presentation by SJA member Lawrence Cecconello thoroughly describes his powerful 2023 ‘Camino walk’ and experience – physically, mentally and spiritually, and also includes exquisite photos and videos of his experience. The
Zoom session was chaired by St Kevin’s Parish Social Justice Action Convenor, John Costa.

Excellent recent McKinney Lecture by Sr Brigid Arthur now available free online

“What is happening to Asylum Seekers in Australia These Days”  Video hereThe presentation is very informative and insightful, and  begins at around ten minutes from the video start. The 30 minute presentation is followed by a 20 minute Q&A.Sister Brigid Arthur CSB, AO, is an Australian Brigidine sister, educator, refugee advocate and activist on social issues, and 90 years young. She was co-founder of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, has acted as litigation guardian for children, and has been a teacher and principal of several Catholic secondary colleges and a Science Teacher. She is also an author, trustee of Kildare Ministries, Life Member of Catholic Social Services Victoria and a winner of the 2021 Pro Bono Public Impact Award.


Direct to your home via Zoom, “Values & Actions of St Vincent de Paul Society”Through this SJA event,  listen to, learn from and ask St V’s Lynne Tull about the core values of this highly active organisation and how their fundamental values guide the operations of the society in the areas of Social Justice and welfare.
7:30pm – 8:30pm, Wednesday 16 May 2024.
Free, but Registration essential, via  phone to the Parish office 9850 5983 or email  A Zoom link will be provided close to the event date.


From ACBC 2023-2024 Social Justice Statemen
The Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement for 2023-2024, Listen, Learn, Love: a New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is available HERE
A 6 minute video of the Foreword to the ACBC Social Justice Statement 2023-2024 can be viewed HERE

The Australian Electoral Commission is required to distribute the Yes and No cases prepared by parliamentarians in a pamphlet to Australian voters. These are now available and linked for your convenience HERE

The University of Melbourne has produced a brief and  very helpful and accessible set of resources “”VOICE facts: Your questions, expert answers”. World-leading constitutional law expert Professor Cheryl Saunders AO explores in greater detail various Referendum issues as part of our VoiceFACTS series. The series aims to help create meaningful and sustained debate and equip our community with the information they need to participate.   HERE

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission resource on the Indigenous Voice Referendum

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission (NATSICC) 2023 resource book includes on pages 20-21 a helpful section “Catholic Social Teaching and the Referendum”. This may be read/downloaded HERE










The Voice Referendum 2023 – Indigenous Voice Referendum 

Extract from Pope John Paul II Address to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, Alice Springs, 29 November 1986:

“The establishment of a new society for Aboriginal people cannot go forward without just and mutually recognized agreements with regard to these human problems, even though their causes lie in the past. The greatest value to be achieved by such agreements, which must be implemented without causing new injustices, is respect for the dignity and growth of the human person.”

Extract from Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si,    Para 146,  24 May 2015:

“…it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed.

Extract from Frank Brennan, Indigenous Voice  to Parliament Webinar, 24 May 2023, Garratt Publishing. Opening the Doors Foundation:

“I think those statements from John Paul and (Pope) Francis give more than enough reason for arguing there is a place for putting Indigenous Voice into the Australian Constitution”

‘Voice’ webinar series seeks to inform and encourage meaningful debate.

Details on our News page (HERE)

St Kevin’s Parish Social Justice Action & St Gregory’s Parish  ‘Indigenous Voice & Issues’ Online Forum 

A link to the video recording of this well attended forum on 12 April is available on request together with a summarised text copy of its Q&A. Contact the St Kevin’s ( or St Gregory’s Parish Office ( or the Parish Social Action Action group.

The related 20 April excursion to the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Thornbury was similarly well attended and appreciated. Watch this space for updated information on the Indigenous Voice Referendum.

Keeping Koori kids in an education of their Choice”

The above video from the ‘Opening The Doors Foundation’ (OTDF) provides an Overview of the great work of this Foundation over many years in helping Koori kids develop their interests and talents.  It is taken as linked to the ODTF website on 15 July 2022.

We thankfully acknowledge OTDF permission to link to this informative video  (11 minutes 32 seconds)







Francis Sullivan: 30 years on, Keating’s Redfern speech demands we back the Voice: Watch it hereFrom Francis Sullivan,  Pearls & Irritations, John Menadue website 16 December 2022 (Released by by Catholic Social Services Australia, 13 December 2022)Francis Sullivan tells us 30 years on,  Keating’s Redfern speech demands we back the Voice: Pearls & Irritations, John Menadue website 16 December 2022,  Released by by Catholic Social Services Australis,  Read/Watch it  HERE


The path to The Voice, The Drum, ABC TV (13 December 2022)

Extract from Ellen Fanning, The Drum (Duration 21 minutes)Ellen Fanning and the panel* discuss the path to The Voice and whether there’s an economic imperative for the Voice as well.* Chris Gambian, Eddie Synot, Clare Armstrong and Christina Ryan. 


Timely Summary of Fr. Frank Brennan ’An Indigenous Voice’ presentation from the 22 November McKinney Lecture Since a Church Video Recording of this event regretfully failed, below is a brief summary of Fr Frank Brennan’s presentation together with links to a direct audio recording and text transcript, subsequently made directly  available by Frank.  An un-advertised and complementary last minute 2nd presentation by Wiradjuri man and Anglican Priest Rev. Glenn Loughrey at the event was unfortunately not captured.Fr. Frank’s key point was that it is now 15 years since Prime Minister John Howard placed constitutional recognition on the national agenda. For the good of our First Nations peoples, for the good of public administration and for the good of the nation, it is essential that this matter now be brought to timely successful resolution. That cannot be done without the Albanese government now taking the prompt initiative to call the Opposition to the table. A personal sound recording of Fr Frank’s remarks is available HERE, a Transcript plus copy of Fr Frank’s presentation together with his Referendum chronology handout and Recommendation how to proceed is available HERE 


“Go Forth into where many people struggle, and offer service as an echo of the love shown by Jesus”. On Sunday 13 November Pope Francis celebrated Mass with the poor by re-opening of a mobile health clinic in St Peter’s Square offering free medical screenings and care to those in Need. Furthermore, as part of his November attention to all children who suffer, are homeless, orphaned or victims of war,  Francis recently spoke passionately “For Children who Suffer” in the powerful video above.

A 2nd visit to the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM) in Northcote has been arranged for Wednesday 30 November from 12:00pm-2:00pm to explore i) timely Indigenous Issues, and i) Opening The Doors Foundation (enabling Koori Kids to have an education of their choice). Those interested in the ACM visit are invited to provide contact at  or phone 0409 967 207,  John Costa SJA

Brief summary of 29 September 2022  Asylum Seekers – and a New Government  Presentation by Sr Brigid Arthur AO, csb.

A Brief summary of key points from the Presentation and discussion is available HERE




Will you consider offering some support to Asylum Seekers or Refugees?  

Now Inviting ‘Expressions of Interest’

St Kevin’s Social Justice Action committee has in mind two alternative opportunities for supporting either Asylum Seekers or Refugees.

They are via two different programs, and  work in ways that fit in with your interests and time.

Training and support provided. WWC required.

We’re arranging an information session. To find out more Register an Expression of Interest now via email to

John Costa 0409 967 207

Other SJA Committee members in alphabetical order are:    Lawrence Cecconello, Terry Maher and Carmel Purdey.

Some Current Social Justice & Environment Issues

* Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Response to the 2022 – 2023 Federal Budget
Edited Extract from Media Release,  Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 26 October 2022

The 2022-23 Federal Budget has failed to live up to the public expectations for a more compassionate and fair country for refugees and people seeking asylum.

ASRC is deeply disappointed that key commitments have not been met in this budget, including increasing humanitarian intake, abolishing Temporary Protection Visas/Safe Haven Enterprise Visas and providing appropriate social services for people seeking asylum.

This highlights the need for the Government to meet the public’s expectations, its election promises and repair the damage done to Refugees / Asylum Seekers over the previous decade in the May 2023-24 budget.

Key Points

  • No increase in social support for people seeking asylum
  • No increase in the humanitarian intake
  • Increase spending on offshore and onshore detention
  • Increased funding for women on temporary visas facing domestic and family violence
  • Lack of needed reform to address refugee visa backlog


* Plenary Council officially endorses Uluru Statement from the Heart
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, 5 July 20222
At the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, members voted in favour of endorsing the Uluru Statement from the Heart. HERE

*Aboriginal Catholic Ministry for Victoria.
Extract from Sherry Balcome, Manager, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV);
The website offers historical and present story of struggle and survival of a small group of Aboriginal Catholics. HERE

*Plenary Council backs action on ecology, Church governance reform
Extract from the ACBC, 7 July 2022
……..Members also voted on two motions in Part 8, Integral Ecology for the Sake of Our Common Home, with those two votes achieving a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes, therefore passing. The Council said ecological conversion is “both personal and communal”, and that there was “urgent need for action” from Catholic entities through the development of, or alignment with, Laudato Si’ Action Plans inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical letter of the same name. SOURCE

*Supporting parishioners with particular needs
Our second Committee member (at this stage) EmmI Raquel is currently working on this. Watch out for details. We welcome thoughts, suggestions and involvement in this regard, and will keep everyone informed.

*Refugees in need of welcoming support.
This parish has a long background in providing information on and supporting refugees, and a Parish family remains committed to a particular refugee family. With an influx of refugees there is much more we can do, and we know how to do it, however to make it viable we need people to express interest. We won’t attempt what we can’t do well.

*Other Issues’ (see SJA Charter HERE)

Key Resources including Catholic Social Justice Statements

St Kevin’s Parish Special Collections Schedule 2023 (with Principles & Policies)  HERE

Social Justice Statement from ACBC  HERE

Social Justice Statement from Catholic Social Services  HERE

Social Justice Newsletter from Catholic Religious Australia (CRA)  HERE
If you’d like any information or would like to join with us please use the contact Us link Contact us HERE