Aurora October 2018

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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle October 2018 | No.184

Pope Francis and the Hyland’s in Ireland: Stories from the World Meeting of Families 6

Mark Hughes – an inspiration to others: How Catholic education impacted his life. 12

The benefits of CatholicCare’s courses, years on: The Copas family share their story 9


Sabine danc es into Irish Dancing Wo rld Championsh ips

Marriage & Relationship Education Before We Say I Do / FOCCUS / Prepare Enrich

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(Session 3 to be confirmed)

*All workshops can be customised as individual sessions by appointment only, please call our office for further information.

For further information on all our courses please phone 02 4979 1370 or email

A momentous month

On the cover Irish Dancer and St Paul’s Booragul student, Sabine Bowdidge.

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle October 2018 | No.184

Photo courtesy of Brooke Robinson.

Pope Francis and the Hyland’s in Ireland:

At the recent Australian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) awards night, Aurora was the winner of two awards.


Sabine danc es into Irish Dancing World Championships

Stories from the World Meeting of Families 6

Mark Hughes – an inspiration to others: How Catholic education impacted his life. 12

The benefits of CatholicCare’s courses, years on:

The first was for Best Front Cover. The second was for Best Layout & Design.

The Copas family share their story 9

Featured ff Sabine qualifies for Irish Dance World Open Championships


ff Pope Francis and the Hyland’s in Ireland


ff Eileen O’Connor on the path towards sainthood


ff Saint Mary MacKillop honoured in USA


ff A young woman’s call to religious life


ff The benefits of CatholicCare courses years on


ff Investing in educators is investing in education


ff Mark Hughes – an inspiration to others


ff Creating leaders of the future


ff Best face forward for St Paul’s Archipaul 13 ff The healthiest Catholic school canteen ff Creative constructions at St Therese’s

First Word


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14 14

ff Understanding risk in investing


ff Celebrating 60 years of marriage


While congratulations must go to the graphic design team members for their role in Aurora winning these awards, a heartfelt thanks should also go to all of those involved in the production of Aurora. These include our regular contributors, guest writers and photographers – all of whom play a huge part in providing the content for each and every issue. Talking of covers, this month’s cover story is about Sabine, an Irish dancer from St Paul’s Booragul dancing into the world championships in Ireland. In this issue, we start our series about former Catholic schools’ students who have succeeded in their chosen fields of endeavour. The first story is one about Mark Hughes – who is not only a legend in the eyes of Newcastle Knights’ fans but also the founder of the Mark Hughes Foundation.

The Foundation is a charity formed in Newcastle by Mark and Kirralee Hughes following Mark’s diagnosis with brain cancer in 2014. The foundation’s mission is to raise much-needed funds for research, to create awareness of brain cancer and to support brain cancer patients and their families. Other stories worth a read are: ffThe Hyland family represent Australia at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland, and not only see Pope Francis – Joshua gets a high five from him!

Baby Home courses are still making an impact for the Copas family, years after doing the courses

ffEileen O’Connor may well be our next Australian saint – and in our story you can find out more about her life

ffLast but not least, Andrew Hamilton sj of Eureka Street writes for Aurora on how the experiences of refugees impact his life.

ffThe benefits of CatholicCare’s relationship education and Bringing

John Kingsley-Jones Head of Diocesan Communications

ff The Pastoral Placement Program is back 17 ff Visit to Newcastle by Areej Masoud


f f The CDF supports good work


f f A place to call home


f f Pope Francis in the news



Contact Aurora

Aurora online

Next deadline 7 October 2018

Good news! You can still catch up with


f f My Word


f f Frankly Spoken


PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300

f f Soul Food


Subscribe E

f f CareTalk


f f Wisdom in the Square

f f Last Word


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John Kingsley-Jones P 4979 1192 E

f f First Word

f f Community Noticeboard

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@MNnewstoday Aurora appears in The Newcastle Herald on the first Saturday of the month, in The Maitland Mercury, The Singleton Argus, The Manning River Times and The Scone Advocate on the following Wednesday and in The Muswellbrook Chronicle on the following Thursday. The magazine can also be read at

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My Word


A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Abroad thoughts from home I have written previously about my recent time in Nigeria. When I had done what I went to do there, I travelled on to England for my annual leave – something I have done before but not for about 10 years. I am now going to take the great risk, with an Australian readership, of reflecting a little on some of the good things about Britain, why I feel so comfortable there and, to some extent, what I miss when I come home. First, let’s acknowledge some of the things that might prejudice me. I did live in the UK for several years as a child of about 10 to 12, so there is an element of going back to scenes of what was a happy childhood time. Secondly, I’ve spent a lot of my life in the study of history, a lot of it British, so that there sometimes seems hardly a town in England or a street in London whose name isn’t familiar to me and connected to some episode or other that has captured my interest at some time. Thirdly, I just like having old stuff around me. I live in Bishop’s House, after all, and in Maitland because this is where our church’s story began in this diocese and I like things around me that have played their part in that story. In England, of course, as in Rome, such markers of continuity are all around you. There are other things, though, that contribute to my enjoyment of English life. They do parks and gardens and public spaces very well, of course. But what particularly pleases me is that you are not met, at your first coming into a park, by six council signposts telling you what is prohibited. Do they seriously expect people to use their common sense and not kick their soccer balls through other people’s picnics? Apparently they do. And

do people not sue the local authority for not preventing their climbing that tree they fell out of? Perhaps they don’t. Anyway, parks and garden are often heavily enough used to sustain a café for young mums and their toddlers and, despite the numbers, people seem to rub along together, seem to be conscious that they share community space. In a similar vein, one of the things you need to learn in England is the gentle art of not looking at people. This is very different to not seeing people, as that art is practised by, say, a group of teenage girls walking four abreast in one of our shopping malls. The common English practice on footpaths is that, without in any way looking at you, the approaching person begins to veer out of your way while still 10 or 15 yards off. Once I’d started noticing this, I couldn’t stop. It recalled to mind a line in a George Orwell essay of 1940. I don’t have it before me now, and it was wartime propaganda, but he said something like, ‘There must be no country in Europe where it is so easy to get someone to step off onto the roadway’. Nearly 80 years later, that still seems to be the case. There are other things. I like it that there are still public telephones aplenty, albeit connected to high speed internet, and post boxes, even if the post offices have retreated into W.H. Smith stores. And bookshops with real books in them. And a considerable range of national daily papers, the quality end of which seems still to know the difference between reporting the news informatively and just using a bit of news to inflame public opinion. The trashy end of the English press, notorious as it is, at least doesn’t pretend to be serious journalism.

I like town markets. I like local pubs. I like buses and trains that are never long in coming. (I sent a text message back home to a friend, an old London hand, ‘Having a bad day. Just had to wait four minutes for the Tube.’) I like coppers without guns. I like full English breakfasts. I like the generally restrained advertising, the lack of huge billboards, the amateurishness of many TV ads, the 2-foot square ‘golden arches’ outside your High Street McDonalds, the more muted consumerism. I ponder what it means that they still build whole streets of houses that are exactly the same design. Visually, it can look quite good, but does it mean something else? Are people less competitive, less ‘mine is bigger than yours’? I’ll end with noting a little civility that

wasn’t around when I was a boy. Back then, buses had conductors, and as I recall they were a surly lot. Now there’s only the driver, under whose eye you stump up the cash or tap your card. But the custom has grown up of saying ‘Thank you driver’ as you get off. When it’s a bus that you exit from the middle, matronly ladies will call out their thanks from there, and others will get off, walk to the front of the bus and say their thanks before moving on. The English do have their moments.

Bishop Bill Wright Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Frankly Spoken Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.” Letter of his holiness Pope Francis to the people of God regarding the abuse crisis – 20 August 2018

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Sabine qualifies for Irish Dancing World Open Championships


Sabine Bowdidge has just qualified for the Irish Dancing World Open Championships in Killarney Ireland in June 2019. Sabine, who is 16 years old and a student in Year 11 at St Paul’s Booragul, has been dancing for seven years. She says she enjoys being able to “fly across the room” when she dances. To qualify for the championships, Sabine danced on stage in New Lambton while adjudicators watched from Ireland via a video link up. Sabine performed a new set dance The Wandering Musician which she only learned a month before her world qualifying round at the Southern Cross Australia Feis held on 11 August. “I’d never done anything like this before! It was very interesting and I didn’t know how it would go, honestly. For grade exams I am filmed and the video is sent off to Ireland to be judged, however, I have never had to have something filmed and judged live-streamed like it was this time,” she said. The qualifying dance began a day of dancing and competing for Sabine and the rest of her Irish Dancing Academy – Voyage of Irish Dance. “I was extremely nervous. The nerves threw me off a little bit on stage at first as the world qualifying rounds were my first dance of the day. However, to settle my nerves I took a few deep breaths and told myself that I had it,” she said. She then had to wait until the end of the day for the results. “Competing in my other dances helped take my mind off the result slightly. Each dance I did, I had to focus on those but as soon as they were over, I worried again about the result.” At the end of the day, the announcement that Sabine had been waiting for was made.


Sabine performs at Clans on the Coast.

“It was such a big weight lifted off my shoulders when I found out I qualified! I was shocked and my face went red. It was extremely exciting realising that new doors had been opened for my Irish dancing and I’m so honoured to be given this opportunity.” Her dance teacher Marieclaire Beekmans said: “Sabine uses every opportunity to better her dancing, by performing regularly, doing exams and assisting in classes. She is adored by many of our younger dancers. I congratulate Sabine on qualifying for the Worlds, and achieving the title World Qualifier. Her dedication, hard work and talent has paid off!” Sabine’s mum Keryn also shares Marieclaire’s views saying: “I believe that her achievement is pretty awesome and a bit of a surprise. It truly shows what you can do when you put in hard work and dedication.”

Now Sabine is focused on practicing for the championships in June. She is also raising funds to travel to Ireland. “I’m so grateful for my opportunity and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of the support from my teacher Marieclaire, helpers, my parents, friends and family. For anyone aiming to do something they believe is too difficult; put your mind to it and anything is possible,” she said. You can see Sabine perform at the Samhain Festival on 27 October at the Croatian Wickham Sports Club. See This is also a fundraiser for Sabine and other dancers. Brooke Robinson is Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Pope Francis and the Hyland’s in Ireland BY SHANE HYLAND Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) was held in Dublin Ireland from the 21-26 August. This event, the ninth of its kind, gives families from all over the world the opportunity to come together and celebrate, pray and reflect on the central importance of marriage and the family. The event consists of a three-day pastoral congress with various international speakers. The congress was followed by a ‘festival of families’ which is a celebration of family life with testimony from families who have been through difficult times and have found strength in the teachings of Christ and his Church. The meeting concluded with a Papal Mass in which 500,000 people were expected to be in attendance.

Leanne and Alyssa.

The Hyland family attended on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as the conference’s official family delegate as part of a pilgrimage of Australian’s from all over the country. There was something for all ages at the pastoral congress. There was a kids and teens program as well as a YOUCAT tent which was well suited for teenagers who seemed to enjoy hanging out there with other young pilgrims.

He said that families need to say and practice saying ‘Sorry, Please and Thank You’, he said that these are the most important words.

Leanne and I agree that Bishop Robert Barron’s talk on Chapter 7 of Amoris Laetitia (AL) “towards better education of our children” was one of the best expositions of this document that we have heard so far. The Bishop’s ability to use sports analogies to explain the virtue ethics used in AL was amazing and it would be in the interest of all educators of children to listen to his talk which is available on the WMOF website.

He used the analogy of baseball in which players of the game do not learn how to play baseball by reading the rule book, they learn to play by imitating the ‘good person’ and being corrected by their coach. He went on to say that it is only by inculcating the ‘virtues’ of baseball that the player is “free” to play the game. Similarly, in life, virtues are learnt not by reading the rulebook, although rules are important, but by lived experience of habit and correction. The main point of this chapter was to affirm the role of the family as the ‘school of virtue’, where habitual inculcation of virtue occurs through parents who “lovingly correct” their children. The festival of families was held in Croke Park, Dublin. It was an exciting experience for everyone involved as it was the first event in which we were able to see Pope Francis. As the Pope drove around in his ‘Pope Mobile’ Joshua, our eldest was able to get a high five from him. This was certainly the highlight of the whole pilgrimage for Joshua. Pope Francis addressed us, and his message reflected on stories of the families who shared beforehand. His main message was simple and empowering. He said that families need to say and practice saying ‘Sorry, Please and Thank You’, he said that these are the most important words. He made us repeat them many times. He said that we should not go to bed without healing an argument otherwise there will be a cold war for many days. He encouraged us to find moments of tenderness, which can be as simple as a caress on the cheek to let the other know that we are sorry. The Papal Mass was a pilgrimage within a pilgrimage. Our day began at 9am as we started our journey on trains, trams and on foot towards Phoenix Park. The sheer number of people involved meant that it took a lot longer than usual to get there though it was well worth the journey. It was great to hear Pope Francis during the penitential rite asking for forgiveness. He asked for forgiveness for the hurt caused to those sexually abused by clergy and laypeople in the church, for the exploitation of those forced to work in institutions, for the silence of the hierarchy, for the poor treatment of single mothers, and for the failure to respond with compassion and justice. The rain managed to hold for most of the Mass, though the wind was quite relentless. The Mass itself was beautiful. The choir was magnificent, and the international flavour of the Mass was made manifest with the first reading in Gaelic and the second reading in Spanish. I felt a great sense of HOPE, hope for our Church, hope for the world we live in to turn away from lives that are ego driven, selfish and acts of evil and hurt. In the hope that families turn to each other and really be with one another. This was an experience that our family will never forget, and we encourage everyone who is interested in learning more about the importance of marriage and family to attend the next World Meeting of Families which will be held in Rome in 2021.

Shane, Alyssa, Joshua, Lachlan and Leanne Hyland.

Shane Hyland is a Religious Education teacher at St Mary’s Campus, All Saints College, Maitland.

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Eileen O’Connor on the path towards sainthood BY JESSICA WARD

Eileen O’Connor is closer to becoming Australia’s second saint, with the title ‘Servant of God’ being declared by the Vatican. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP appointed Father Anthony Robbie as postulator for Eileen’s cause in March, and the Vatican has found no obstacles in the way of investigating Eileen’s life. Archbishop Fisher hopes that O’Connor’s “heroic and saintly example’’ would “inspire everyone to live faithful lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.” “Eileen’s was a life of immense suffering and judged by today’s standards many would have viewed it as lacking in dignity, value or hope.”

“That she is on her way to possibly being our next saint shows even a short life, marked by incredible suffering, can be an inspiration to all and reminds us of the dignity of every human life.” “She is an outstanding role model for today’s Australian youth and for the lay apostolate in particular.” Sr Margaret Mary Birgan, the former congregational leader and the project leader for Eileen O’Connor, has described the news as “simply wonderful” and the new Servant of God as a “very human, beautiful soul.” ffBorn in the Inner-Melbourne suburb of Richmond on February 19, 1892, Eileen Rosaline O’Connor suffered a crippling break in her spine at age three. She lived her short life in constant nerve pain from what was later diagnosed as tuberculous osteomyelitis. ffThe O’Connor family moved to Sydney when Miss O’Connor was 10 years old and despite her poor health and immense suffering, she co-founded the Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor with local

Eileen and the foundation nurses c1916.

Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, also fondly known as the Brown Nurses, continue to help those who are disadvantaged, sick and poor in Newcastle, Macquarie Fields and Sydney, thanks to the help of benefactors and volunteers. Sr Margaret Mary said that Eileen’s is “a story waiting to be told and now we priest Missionary of the Sacred Heart Father Edward McGrath in April 1913. ffAt the time there was no publicly funded health care available, so Miss O’Connor instructed her “daughters” to care for the sick and dying poor in their homes. ffAt just 115cm tall, the nurses lovingly referred to Miss O’Connor as “Little Mother”.

She will be following in the footsteps of Mary MacKillop, who was canonised in 2010. Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop is very well known in Australia, but is now also being honoured in USA. Saint Mary MacKillop will be honoured by an American university as part of a move to rename campus buildings which had the names of priests who covered up the sexual abuse of children.

The University of Scranton, in the US state of Pennsylvania, decided to remove the names of three bishops from the Scranton area, following the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. The report detailed sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania as well as the failure of church leaders to respond to these situations. “These bishops had covered up the crimes and misdeeds of men who were under their jurisdiction and placed children in harm’s way,” said University of Scranton president Rev Scott R Pilarz in an open letter to the university’s community.

“This is simply wonderful news and my sister companions and I are extremely happy that Eileen has been recognised in this way,” she said. “Eileen has always belonged to the people of God, not us, and we pray that she becomes a ray of sunshine to the faithful today as she was in her short life. “We are extremely grateful to Archbishop Fisher and Bishop Randazzo. “May she inspire many others to devote themselves to the needs of the outcast and forgotten as her own life becomes better known.” Photos courtesy of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor.

Jessica Ward is Digital Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Saint Mary MacKillop Honoured in USA If Eileen O’Connor does achieve sainthood, she will become only the second person in Australia to become a saint.

have the opportunity to tell it.”


McCormick Hall, named after Bishop J Carroll McCormick, will be renamed MacKillop Hall in honour of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, who founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart in North Sydney and was named as Australia’s first saint by Pope Benedict XVI. Rev Pilarz said Saint Mary was to be honoured for her role in exposing the sexual abuse of children in the care of the church. Mary MacKillop “publicly exposed the sexual abuse of children by a priest. In her life, she faced persecution and excommunication, during which she was assisted by the

Jesuits until later being absolved,” he wrote. In choosing to honour Saint Mary, as well as the others, “we hold up the example of their lives as a reminder always to be a voice against abuse and violence no matter the cost, to champion the poor and oppressed, and to treasure the bonds of friendship and community that are at the heart of The University of Scranton.”

Brooke Robinson is Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

A young woman’s call to Religious Life BY MONIQUE SINGH

The first time God inspired me with the sense of a calling to Religious Life, I was about 16 years old and living in Taree. I had been reading a small book and through it God spoke – though I could not picture how that would become a reality. Rather, I had set my eyes on a career in dance, and pursued this dream for quite a few years. I noticed the voice of God leading me, sometimes in extraordinary ways, and I learned to trust that voice in the joys and difficulties that life presented. I am grateful that the gift of faith had been nurtured in my early years and that God allowed me to see his presence more and more in the everyday. Moving to Brisbane to further my dance studies, I met the Canossian Sisters. Over some years I found again there was an attraction; again God was speaking to me. There was something about their way of being with people, the simplicity and joy shining through their lives, that was inspiring. God spoke again in this liminal time … all aspects of life were gradually coming together, united in the faith dimension. I surrendered the desire to control and allowed the Spirit to gently guide me to new possibilities and opportunities for growth that were beyond all of my imaginings. Through the assistance of Spiritual Direction I discerned what came to me as a clear call to Religious Life,

Monique making her initial vows.

manifesting through prayer, retreats, volunteering and experiences in daily life. After a time of ‘Come and See’ I applied and was accepted into the formation program with the Canossian Sisters. I made my First Profession in Brisbane

(2014). The ministry I am serving in is education. Having completed studies in 2017, I am currently teaching Visual Art and Design to secondary students (year 8-12). There is a great diversity in the ministries of the sisters though all seek to ‘make Jesus known and loved’, as

our Foundress St Magdalene of Canossa envisaged. Having just made my fourth renewal of vows, I continue to be humbled and amazed by the gift of the grace of vocation, and look forward to what God has in store in the next phase of this incredible journey.

Soul Food Truth is not determined by a majority vote. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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The benefits of CatholicCare courses years on BY BROOKE ROBINSON

‘We often spend years studying for a career – but rarely give time to learning how to be a great partner or a great parent – and yet that is the most important role we play.’ That’s according to Kristen Copas who recommends two CatholicCare courses – Marriage and Relationship Education and Bringing Baby Home. Kristen and Robert Copas were married 7 July 2012. Before they walked down the aisle, they took part in a marriage & relationship workshop called Before We Say I Do facilitated by CatholicCare. In 2013, when they had their first child, they did the CatholicCare’s Bringing Baby Home workshop. Years later, the wisdom they learnt in those programs has stuck, and they still use the techniques in their daily lives. The Marriage and Relationship Education workshop presents research around what makes relationships survive and thrive through the highs and lows of life, by looking at the theories of Dr John Gottman from The Gottman Institute. The research looks at the importance of couples building a friendship as their foundation. It recommends turning towards each other in communication & conflict rather than turning away or against, and consciously filling each other’s emotional bank accounts by doing things together. Kristen says of her and Rob’s relationship: “Even if we can’t leave the house, we make time just to spend with each other. We work intentionally on our marriage

rather than just letting things happen on auto pilot. If we notice things slipping, it’s usually because we haven’t been intentional in making time for us or connecting as a couple. Simple rituals, such as having a coffee together also help to strengthen our relationship daily.” Bringing Baby Home helped Kristen and Rob work through the emotions they experienced transitioning from a couple to being a family of three, then four, then five. Family dynamics shifted with each new birth, and they discovered it is normal for those relationships to change. Kristen and Rob have learnt to be intentional in their parenting. “We try to use the Gottman Theory principles for behaviour management – knowing that the kids’ behaviour (even if it is negative), is often their way of bidding for our attention. We try to look at what they need and sometimes when they are “acting out” it’s a chance for us to reconnect with them and fill their emotional bank accounts, rather than just punishment and consequence,” Kristen said. They have created family rituals, such as sitting together at the table for every meal, which gives them time to reconnect and talk to each other about their day and model positive communication to their children. Kristen recommends the courses to anyone in a relationship regardless of how long a couple has been together. “It hasn’t always been an easy six years of marriage but with the knowledge we

Treasures of Italy 2019

Accompanied by Fr Peter Street

Kristen and Robert with children Callie, Charlie and James.

have from Marriage and Relationship Education and Bringing Baby Home, we have worked as a family to keep going. “Some days with sick kids, work stress, life stress, and feeling overwhelmed, it feels like it would be easier to give up, but we stick together and always come out the other side of things better and stronger. These courses have taught us to be intentional and work every day

towards a stable, happy healthy family.’ See page 21 for Marriage and Relationship Education and Bringing Baby Home course details.

Brooke Robinson is Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Becoming an effective leader

I’ve recently been promoted into a management role of a large team. Q I’ve previously supported this team in a temporary capacity but that

experience did not allow me much time to lead the team effectively. I’d like to develop my skills in effective management and leadership – what should I consider and read to get me started?


CatholicCare’s Assistant Director and registered psychologist Tanya Russell, addresses an issue each month. The advice provided is general in nature and does not replace ongoing support and advice from your health professional. To talk to someone about counselling support, P 4979 1172. Call Lifeline 24/7 on P 131 114.

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You are already one step ahead in that you have an idea of who is in your team and the possible dynamics of the team. In the first two or three months, an effective leader will take the time to gain an understanding of the team, the individual members, the operations of the team, and not make too many drastic changes, unless absolutely necessary. Not all managers are natural-born leaders. There is a difference between the two. Managers are often good at running the daily operations of a team, maintaining the status quo, they may be systems and process oriented, they manage risks as they arise and work to set goals. However, leaders take a bigger picture approach and some of the qualities of effective leaders include:

Do you have a question for Tanya?

ff Leaders don’t just work to set goals; they create vision and articulate that vision to their teams so everyone is aware of why they come to work.

Email your question to or write to Aurora-CareTalk PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300.

ff Leaders inspire and motivate their team to do their best through coaching rather than managing. They communicate often and well. ff Leaders take the time to build

effective working relationships with individual team members. They don’t necessarily know personal details about each team member’s life, but they seek to understand each individual’s work, their strengths and their weaknesses so that they can bring the best out in their people. ff Leaders believe in their own continual self-development, professionally and personally, and will take responsibility and accountability for their actions and decisions. They do not take credit for others’ work and give credit and praise where it is due. ff In supporting individuals to be the best they can be in the workplace, leaders will identify and support future leaders in their team, and nurture and support them for potential succession planning. Even if the leader has no plans of leaving, they recognise the value of growing talent up within the organisation and creating opportunities for growth within their team members. ff Leaders will challenge the status quo when necessary and have courage to take risks and make difficult

decisions. They do not avoid the difficult conversations but the way strong leaders approach these difficult situations will continue to earn the respect of their team. ff Leaders continue to work on their emotional intelligence: they have strong self-awareness, they are aware of others and their emotions, they are able to manage their own emotions and choose to respond in a thoughtful way to others; hence building effective working relationships. It takes time to find your feet as a new manager and leader but the good news is that becoming an effective leader is a skill set that can be learned. There are so many great leadership resources – I encourage you to also listen to TED talks on this topic. A particularly interesting speaker and author is Simon Sinek – consider reading his book (he has a few) titled Start With Why. Once you start looking around, you will also find great websites where you can subscribe to leadership based e-newsletters which are often full of helpful tips. Good luck.

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St Nicholas


Investing in educators is investing in education BY BRITTEN THOMPSON

“We believe our educators are our best resource in all of our services.” These are the words of Kerri Armstrong, the General Operations Manager of St Nicholas Early Education - and it is an understanding which underpins St Nick’s driving philosophy. St Nick’s strong commitment to its educators enables St Nick’s to provide a high standard of early education which focuses on the child as an active participant in their learning journey. She went on to say: “We support our educators by providing infrastructure for them to grow professionally and to give each member of our team the opportunity to develop the skills they require to do their job to the best of their ability. “We provide plenty of opportunities for educators to undergo professional development,” Ms Armstrong said. Educators recently took part in a professional development day in which they learned about the Reggio Emilia inspired approach to early education which underpins St Nicholas’ own playbased and child-led curriculum.

All 120 educators also learned Cup Theory, a framework developed by Sandi Phoenix which helps educators support children in developing a strong sense of wellbeing. “We provide plenty of opportunity for all educators to have release time from their duties in classrooms. This provides time for educators to undertake research and to do the important documentation of learning stories about the children in their care,” Mrs Armstrong concluded. Speaking of the support she receives, Leanne Boughton, the Centre Director at St Nick’s Singleton, said: “At St Nicholas we’re really fortunate to be well supported by the management team. “We have the autonomy at the centre to be able to take our role on independently, but we’ve always got that support around us when needed. “We meet together regularly as directors at directors meetings and that’s another good support. You always know you’ve got another director you can phone if you need them any time,” Ms Boughton said. By supporting their educators, St Nicholas Early Education is able to provide your

St Nick’s educators at a professional development day. child with individualised, child-led, play-based early education as well as consistent care provided by an educator who transitions from room-to-room along with your child. This means you, as a parent, will always know who to talk to about your child and your child will form a bond with an educator who is familiar to them and understands their unique needs.

To experience St Nick’s for yourself contact us at to schedule a tour of your local centre or call (02) 4979 1110 for more information.

Britten Thompson is Team Leader Digital, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Celebrating our


St Nick’s educators



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Mark Hughes – an inspiration to others


In the first of our features on former Catholic schools’ students and the successes they have achieved in their chosen field of endeavour, we speak to Mark Hughes.

Mark needs little or no introduction to Novocastrians given the success he has achieved as a rugby league player with the Newcastle Knights and the role he now plays with the Mark Hughes Foundation. The Foundation is a charity formed in Newcastle by Mark and Kirralee Hughes following Mark’s diagnosis with Brain Cancer in 2014. Its mission is to raise much needed funds for research, to create awareness of brain cancer and to support brain cancer patients and their families. Which Catholic schools did you attend? From Kindergarten to Year 2, I was at Holy Spirit, Abermain and from Year 2-6 I was at Holy Spirit, Kurri Kurri. From Year 7 to Year 10, I was at St Peters in Maitland and then from Year 11, I was at St Marys in Maitland. Why were Catholic schools the school of choice? My parents both attended Catholic schools. Because they went through the Catholic school system, they wanted me to follow in their footsteps and follow the same path as them. What do you consider are the main benefits that you received from a Catholic education? The schools I attended gave me the belief, discipline, some great teachers who I still

see to this day, a great circle of friends and lots of options to fulfil my love of sports. Do your children – Zac, Dane and Bonnie – attend Catholic schools, and why? Yes. I feel like I came out of Catholic schools as a good human being so I want the same for my children. I have had a lot of success in my life and my Catholic education has helped me make the right choices and choose the right paths. How did your Catholic education help you face and overcome some of the major challenges in your life such as becoming a professional rugby league player and coping with the major challenge to your health when you were diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014? You learn beliefs and good disciplines in the Catholic schools’ system. These beliefs and disciplines have helped me handle all the highs and lows of my life. For example, I think I handled my highs (winning grand finals with the Knights in 1997 and 2001) fairly well because I never got carried away with them. This was because when I was at school I idolised certain rugby league players. At the time I made a promise to myself that if ever I became successful in rugby league, I would treat all people – and especially rugby league fans – with respect.

The way Mark responded to the challenge of facing the lowest low of his life – being diagnosed with brain cancer – is detailed in how he and his wife set up the Mark Hughes Foundation as follows: “We began the Foundation when we realised how underfunded brain cancer was in Australia in comparison to other cancers. The lack of funding meant very little research into treatments or cures for brain cancer and, as a result, not much has changed in the shocking brain cancer mortality rates over the past 30 years. “We had no idea when we started our Foundation and set about raising funds for some much needed research, the incredible amount of support we would receive from people everywhere. “To date the Foundation has raised over 10 million in five years, funded a Brain Cancer Biobank, Travel Grants Program, 10 research projects including two Fellowships and a Brain Cancer Care Coordinator. Amazing! And all thanks to our supporters and our tireless volunteers. “Ultimately research means better outcomes for brain cancer patients but research is expensive – so we will continue to make it our priority to raise funds and ensure those funds get to where they are needed most. Our Foundation is a very small organisation that runs mostly on the generosity of our supporters and some community grants

You learn beliefs and good disciplines in the Catholic schools’ system. These beliefs and disciplines have helped me handle all the highs and lows of my life. which allows us to keep the running costs to a bare minimum so that one day, maybe in my lifetime, together, we will find a cure for brain cancer.” This year in October Mark and a group of 40 MHF Supporters will trek to Borneo to raise funds for brain cancer research. “This year we will bike ride over 120km, trek the Sandakan death march in the footsteps of our Australian soldiers, climb Mount Kinabalu (over 4100m) and whitewater raft our way from one side of Borneo to the other. It is a significant challenge!” If you would like to donate to this worthy cause please follow the link below: borneocoasttocoast2018.

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Creating leaders of the future


Student leaders from St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen were joined by secondary schools from across the Upper Hunter for the Burn Bright Leadership Day at St Luke’s Hall in Scone. 150 students in Years 8 to 10 from Merriwa Central School, Scone Grammar School, Scone High School, Muswellbrook High School and St Joseph’s were selected to attend the training day based on their leadership potential or roles within their school. The day, designed in consultation with Burn Bright and Where There’s A Will Foundation, aimed to develop the leadership skills of students by involving them in a range of challenging and engaging activities in a positive and supportive environment. Burn Bright is a not-for-profit organisation that runs a range of leadership and wellbeing programs and camps that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of schools across the country. These programs aim to improve the wellbeing of young people to help them improve classroom outcomes and develop as strong leaders. “We actively partner with schools to deliver highly dynamic and engaging programs, that excite young people and help them to build solid foundations from which they can flourish,” said CEO of Burn Bright, Andy Skidmore. Throughout the day, students learnt about building positive relationships and making connections as a foundation for leadership; what it means to be a leader; how values drive your leadership ability; the importance of vision, enthusiasm and energy to assist in achieving leadership goals and potential; how to surround yourself with positive and supportive people and how to make an impact on your school and community. “Students had the chance to discuss their own abilities, to lead and inspire others as well as learn ways to seek out support amongst peers and in their relationships,” said teacher from St Joseph’s, Telaine Kelly. “Students from St Joseph’s displayed high levels of motivation as they took on the day’s challenges with

Best face forward for St Paul’s Archipaul The Archipaul Portrait Prize showcases the portraiture talents of students at St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul. Now in its 18th year, the annual art show aims to provide an inclusive environment for the St Paul’s school community and an opportunity for Visual Arts students across the school to demonstrate their artistic talent. The event also provides a collaboration opportunity for both staff and students as they work together and support one another to put together the special evening. The show exhibits artworks from a range of mediums including painting, etching, printmaking, skateboard design, jewellery design, digital and wet photography, sculpture, mixed media, drawing and ceramics.

Student leaders from St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen.

integrity and zest. They enjoyed themselves immensely and I wish to thank them for immersing themselves in such a positive manner.”

as it gave me the opportunity to learn how to become a better leader and form many new friendships throughout the day.”

Students were also greeted by a special visitor on the day – Luther, a principal from Liberia in Western Africa and his wife, Christine, who recently established a school in the area called the Best Brains Academy. He spent the day observing the activities as a professional development experience and spoke to the students about his hopes of taking these types of activities back to Africa to enhance the wellbeing of his students.

Where There’s A Will Student Leadership Coordinator, Lindy Hunt said, “The day gave students the opportunity to develop new friendships and strengthen relationships between schools.

Year 8 student, Anna Lloyd commented, “The Burn Bright Leadership Day was a great opportunity to learn about leadership and what it means to you. “We listened to five spokespersons who held leadership roles and I realised that leadership is much more than what meets the eye – it is more than just standing on stage with a microphone in your hand or wearing a badge. It is about showing respect to others, helping those in need and leading the way. The leadership day was extremely beneficial and I am going to use more leadership in the future.”

“Where There’s A Will conducts leadership activities that are focussed on our community model called PERMA. We put students in experiences that generate positive emotions and engage them in a different way to what they experience in a classroom so they develop positive relationships with people from across the Upper Hunter. This brings real meaning to the activities and gives students a feeling of achievement as a result of their involvement. “All students benefit from such activities and they go away with new friends and skills that they can use not just at school and in their community, but in their lives generally,” she said. Gabrielle Sutherland is a Marketing and Communications Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Millie Harris, also in Year 8 said, “I enjoyed Burn Bright


This year’s showcase was a beautiful display of students’ creativity, problem solving skills, hard work, spirituality, playfulness and risk-taking. Visual Arts and Visual Design students created their pieces in class as part of the portraiture component of the curriculum – with Chuck Close inspired paintings from Year 10 to Pop Art portraits in Year 8. With students providing their Visual Arts and TAS projects for display, Year 9 students provided beautiful background music and Year 11 Hospitality students served up delicious catering on the night. This year’s overall Art Show winner was Abbey Nugent (Year 12) and the runnerup was Abbey Liu (Year 12).

Eloise Way with ‘Fallen Angels’.

This year’s major Archipaul award winners were: ff Senior Encouragement Award – Adam Foster (Year 11) ff Junior Encouragement Award – Samantha Moir (Year 9). The overall winner of the Archipaul Portrait Prize was Year 11 student, Eloise Way, for her piece ‘Fallen Angels’. “The exhibition is a wonderful testament to the talent and skills of both teachers

and students at St Paul’s,” said Sarah Adams, Leader of Pedagogy in Creative Arts and Languages at St Paul’s. “We are planning on adding a Packing Room Prize next year. This will be chosen by the people who unpack and hang all the works who are not professionals within the art world.” Amy Theodore is a Marketing Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.



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The healthiest Catholic school canteen BY MARY MILEVSKI

Students of St Paul’s Primary School, Gateshead are enjoying a new menu after being the first Catholic School in the Hunter New England (HNE) region to successfully meet the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy through the NSW Government’s Menu Check Service. After seeing a kid’s health message from Good for Kids, myself and Edna Martin contacted the team at HNE Health for more information regarding the new guidelines for school canteens. We then arranged a visit with Renee from HNE Health to go over our existing menu and advise us on how we could modify it to meet the Strategy guidelines. Our main motivation was to support our school community. Staffed by amazing

volunteers, our canteen is used by many students. This means students from busy families can enjoy the convenience of recess and enjoying lunch orders from a canteen which offers nutritious and diverse food choices at the school. Some of our volunteers also attended a Canteen Manager's Workshop (hosted by HNE Health). This was a great way to network and gain ideas on what items could be added to the new menu. The workshop also outlined the procedure for final approval via the Menu Check Service. The whole process of researching and changing our menu items took about a term. The final approval from NSW School Canteen Menu Check Service only took about 2 weeks.

Project officers Renee Reynolds and Matthew Pettett from Good for Kids. Good for Life. present Principal Mr Greg Cumming and the St Paul’s School Leaders with a framed Healthy School Canteen Certificate and a fresh fruit and vegetable box.

The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy was developed by the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Ministry of Health, with support from the NSW Catholic Education Commission and the Association of Independent Schools. The Strategy classifies foods and drinks as every day and occasional. By the end of 2019, canteen menus must meet the ratio of 75% every day to 25% occasional foods to be compliant with the Strategy.

including; canteen manager workshops, generalised canteen menu feedback, support via telephone or school visits and assistance with filling in the menu check application form. If your school would like support with the canteen, please call Renee Reynolds on 02 4924 6529. For more information on the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy visit

Good for Kids offers support to canteen managers across the HNE region

Mary Milevski is P&F Secretary at St Paul’s Primary, Gateshead.

Creative constructions at St Therese’s A creative construction project is currently underway at St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton. The first creative construction project is a cubby house, with more to follow. Year One have collaborated and plan to create a little ‘village’ that could include a general store with a post box and a café where pets are welcome. Needless to say we are very excited! The inspiration behind our new venture is a year one student called Aleks. He told me that he wished he had a cubby house within the bushes. He independently drew some sketches of a cubby house, with some labels and possible measurements and presented his ideas to School Groundsman/ Learning Support Teacher, Mr Daniel Rufo, who was most impressed! Aleks shows a creative and imaginative mind – ‘I wish I could be a bird and fly in and out of my nest all day’. Daniel Rufo leads the construction team each Thursday afternoon, joined


by Aleks and two buddies. Throughout the week they ‘check in’ with Daniel and often help him with additional jobs around the school. Aleks is like other infants’ students who enjoy playing amongst the trees in the long garden bed within the playground. The branches of the bushes create natural rooms and hallways. The students show imagination and creativity in their play such as cooking, shopping, and building. We see so many positives from our creative construction groups: ff Following our commitment to play based learning where children can imagine, create, explore, problem solve, and collaborate. ff Allowing for children to explore friendships as they work as a team with Daniel. ff Creating opportunities in Mathematics – measurement, position, patterns, and shapes.

Aleksander, Roman and Jacob. ff Exploring how places can be used and cared for, and looking at places that are meaningful and purposeful as part of our Geography unit next term. ff Providing students with opportunities

to experience education outside the four walls of the classroom, participate in physical work and enjoy the fresh air! Teresa Pearce is Year one teacher at St Therese’s New Lambton.


Wisdom in the Square

The lives of refugees are a compass for finding my way BY ANDREW HAMILTON SJ

For some of us wisdom comes only when we leave home. The most significant experience in my Jesuit life was a threemonth stint in a Cambodian refugee camp in 1984, after the Vietnamese military had driven out Pol Pot but faced resistance from various groups. I had been a priest for about 15 years and had been teaching theology for seven. I was feeling a little discouraged by the apparent roll-back of Vatican II and by my recognition of my limitations. My stay at the Thai border was a time of discovery both of myself and of ministry. I spent the time teaching English (unskilfully) to Cambodian refugees who worked in hospitals and schools run by overseas volunteer agencies. The heart of my experience was to move from seeing refugees as a problem or as a group, to know them as persons, as friends, each with their own face, hopes and fears, and many with a resilience and generosity I would have associated with Christian saints. To be with them was a gift, and to stand with them in their struggle to find a life and a home was a matter of decency. My time at the Cambodian border reshaped my faith, too. I was there during Advent and Christmas, a cooler time when the rice was growing. The Advent Mass readings came alive in

fresh ways. Isaiah’s prophecies that God would bring the exiles home to a green and happy homeland were poignant and real when read at sunset in the rice fields. The Gospel stories with their village contexts, too, came alive in the daily life of camp and village. The fragility and the gift of the universal Catholic Church came alive in the simple daily Mass. I was also blessed by the company of many volunteers who freely gave years of their lives to help the people in the camp. Among us were Evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, disillusioned Catholics, all united by recognising in refugees our brothers and sisters. Instead of judging their religious allegiances from outside, I was able to explore them from within, and was gently prodded to move beyond my sense of Catholic superiority. At the end of my time in the camp I recognised that, like so many other volunteers, I had come into their lives and would soon leave them. I promised myself that I would be constant. I returned to the camp in following summers and gave time to Jesuit Refugee Service, then in its beginnings, to advocacy for refugees, to ministry in the Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne and also to small communities of Cambodian and Laotian

Catholics, commitments from which I have drawn life. That first experience and my continuing contact with people who came to Australia seeking protection from persecution have shaped my subsequent life and ministry. In preaching and teaching theology they led me to focus on the Gospel stories, and particularly on Jesus’ relationship to the people who were locked out of society. He noticed them and made them feel at home and alive. When speaking of the hope that Jesus brought, too, I have always imagined it first as hope for refugees and other homeless people. If the way I or others spoke of Christian hope was not good news for them, I thought, it would not be good news for anyone. In my relationships with people, I learned – though I have too rarely put the lesson into practice – always to look people in the eyes and not to see them through such labels as Catholic, Indigenous, prisoner, wealthy, addicted, socialist, feminist and so on. We see Christ’s face if we look into the eyes of all the people we meet, and especially of those who are most vulnerable and who share the rejection and suffering he met. Writing for Catholic and other magazines has become an increasingly important part of my ministry. Through my

To be with them was a gift, and to stand with them in their struggle to find a life and a home was a matter of decency.

Editorial credit: Agent Wolf /

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companionship with refugees I learned that good religious and other writing is not a matter of strong passion, of using academic or theological words or of piling up shoulds and musts. It requires first of all what Ernest Hemingway called a ‘bullshit detector’, recognising when your words do not speak out of your own life or catch the lives of the people about whom you are writing. The lives of refugees, of people on Manus Island and Nauru, have provided that for me. By measuring government policies, politicians’ words and my own words against the lives of such people, I have found a compass for finding my way in our church and world. In many ways that public world is a desert: brutal, selfish, self-opinionated and timid. The Church, too, is travelstained and ashamed. But when we look further we can see blades of grass springing up through the dust: people linked by decency, compassion and righteous anger. They keep speaking truth to power, visiting the imprisoned, feeding and clothing the hungry and relating to refugees as our brothers and sisters. In that is wisdom. Andrew Hamilton is a Jesuit priest, editorial consultant of Eureka Street, and policy officer with Jesuit Social Services.



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Understanding risk in investing: As easy as crossing the road We all want to see our investments grow. So, why do we need to think about risk? That growth doesn’t happen spontaneously – it comes from how your money is invested. That rate of return is generally correlated with the amount of risk that the investment takes on. The higher the level of risk, the higher the potential return.

Risk – and decisions guided by risk – aren’t only found in investing. Most of the decisions we make in life are guided by risk, even if we don’t consciously think about it. One good way to think about it is crossing the road. You could say that you should never cross a street because the risk of being hit by a car is significantly higher than if you never step off a footpath. While this is true, it doesn’t take into account the other factors that play into your decision, including ways that you can limit the amount of risk that you face.

The trade-off that comes with risk is that there is a higher chance of the investment option either not meeting its investment objective – the amount of money a fund expects to make – or actually losing money.

Ways to limit your risk

Understanding risk

To start, decide what kind of road you want to cross. A busy highway is going to be a lot riskier than a country road. Likewise, with your investments, you can make the choice to invest in something with a higher level of risk – which may result in a higher return – or invest

When you look at an investment option, its risk profile considers the chance of seeing a negative return or loss in the long term. Just like with the returns, there are no guarantees for performance.

You can do things that give you more control over the risk you face – both in crossing the road as well as investing.

As you age, most people’s risk tolerance goes down as their accumulated wealth increases.

conservatively to protect your funds and see a lower, more stable return. You can look both ways before you cross the street, ensuring that there aren’t any imminent dangers to be aware of. When dealing with financial matters, taking care to observe what’s happening around you – like general economic conditions – can help you prevent calamity. Without belabouring the metaphor, investing is inherently risky – but it can bring about significant growth to your investments as well. There are a lot of things you can do to help get the outcome that you want and expect. How much risk is right for me? How do you know how much risk you should have in your investments? That is very difficult to answer because everyone’s circumstance is different. If you’re willing to accept a negative return or loss of some of your capital, a higher level of risk may be appropriate. The same goes if you have a long investment horizon, or don’t need the money for a longer period of time. On the other side, if you don’t want to see a negative return or are content with a lower rate of growth, more conservative risk may be appropriate for you. Generally, the younger you are the more

growth assets you can hold because you have more time to recover from any losses. As you age, most people’s risk tolerance goes down as their accumulated wealth increases – they want to protect that money. This is the basic model we use for LifetimeOne, our default investment option. LifetimeOne automatically adjusts your investment mix, from high growth to become more defensive as you approach retirement age. Want to know what’s right for you? The best way is to speak with a financial adviser about your goals and work backward from there. Members of Australian Catholic Superannuation can receive personalised advice and recommendations from a qualified adviser for no additional cost. Learn more about the ways we can help you plan for your future at catholicsuper. This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess your own financial situation and needs, read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for the different financial products and consult a financial adviser, if required, before making an investment decision or a decision to acquire or replace financial products.

We have seminars coming up in your area! Let us answer your questions about super and your future. Register now to reserve your seat at

Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Townsville

PO Box 656 Burwood, NSW 1805



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Celebrating 60 years of marriage BY EMILY UNICOMB Marriage isn’t meant to be a fairy tale – it’s a commitment. That’s according to Sheila and Ken Hickey of Salamander Bay who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on the 6 September.

it’s not hard to see what first attracted a young convent-schooled girl from Largs to the handsome, Telarah larrikin.

At the event, there were many in far younger marriages who looked on in awe and marvelled at the Hickey’s luck in being blessed with a fairy tale marriage.

Nor is there any doubt that she remains, the great love and light of Ken’s life. There is a quiet, subtle strength in Sheila, that belies her understated elegance and quiet nature and Ken considers himself very lucky to have made the grade with her and that she ignored the naysayers who weren’t so taken with him!

Yet Sheila and Ken would be the first to tell you that, while they believed in together forever on that day way back in 1958, that marriage isn’t meant to be a fairy tale, it’s a commitment.

Family was always crucial to the Maitland-born-and-bred couple whose early years of their marriage were spent in South St Rutherford before they moved into their own home in Compton Street.

In their 60 years of marriage, Sheila and Ken have raised four daughters, all of whom are in successful long term relationships. They were also on hand to help out with the raising of nine grandchildren and these days are enjoying three great grandchildren – and like all great grandparents are excited at the prospect of more!

It was from here that Ken and Sheila proudly took their daughters to Mass every Sunday, but their beliefs have always been reflected as much in their hearts as in their knees. Their kindness to others has always been highlighted by their actions not merely their words.

Sheila often jokes that they have only stayed married to prove to all those who predicted it wouldn’t last wrong! But to believe that you would have to be deaf to the affection in her voice when she speaks of Kenny and blind to the way her eyes immediately hone in on her husband when he enters a room. Always quick with a joke and a cheeky grin, Sheila and Ken Hickey.

Indeed, it was faith and family, that combined to keep them strong when thirty-five years ago a freak work accident left Kenny unable to work again. When Sheila and Ken moved to Salamander Bay in 1990, it seemed a fitting “reward” to a couple who’d endured more than either of them deserved. Yet while there’s no denying the devoted couple’s love for The Bay, the distractions of bowls, fishing and travelling together they continue to make themselves available for volunteer work and lending a hand to others. Whether it’s Kenny helping out a neighbour by watering their garden or putting their garbage bin out while they are away or Sheila’s work with the Catholic Women’s League, their generous spirit continues to shine through. Perhaps, the real secret to their “fairytale” marriage isn’t only how much they love and care for each other, but how willing they are to also care about others; be it family, friends or strangers. Their commitment to putting their faith into action, not just prayer, is an example to all married couples. So congratulations Sheila and Ken not just on 60 years of marriage, but for touching the hearts and lives of so many others as you shared those wonderful, happy, sad, testing and triumphant 60 years.

Emily Unicomb is the granddaughter of Sheila and Ken Hickey.

The Pastoral Placement Program is back! BY ZOË MARR

The Pastoral Placement Program returns in 2019, and applications are now open. Pastoral Placement Program is an opportunity for those who feel called to work in the church to experience the different ministries of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. This is an exciting opportunity to discern the voice of the Spirit in your life and to share your gifts, hopes and ideas as a source of renewal for your local church. It is hoped that by engaging in this program, you will experience a real encounter with Jesus Christ which may lead to the discovery of a personal vocation and to full participation in the life of the Church. The 12 participants in the Pastoral Placement Programs in 2015 and 2016 found their experiences very worthwhile, as it opened their eyes to the vast ministries that are in our local church. One participant, Sam Hill, has been a full-time Family Ministry Coordinator in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle after completing her placement in 2015. The aim over ten months, is to place the participants in the following ministries. This is to get a sense of what is involved in working in the mission field of diocesan life. Some of those placements could be with: ffParishes – Liturgy, Pastoral Care, Faith Formation ffChaplaincies – Hospitals, Port, Schools

ffCatholic Schools – Administration, Pastoral Care, Teaching, Religious Education & Spirituality ffCatholicCare Social Services – Child, Youth and Family Services, Disability Programs ffDARA – DARA’s Van and Refugee Hub ffPastoral Ministries – Faith and Ministry Formation, Mum’s Cottage, Marriage & Relationship Education ffYouth Ministries – ACTiv8 Chisholm, Diocesan Council of Ministry with Young People (DCMYP) ffSt Nicholas Early Education ffCatholic Mission ffShared Services – such as HR, Technology, Finance, Communications and Record Management. For any queries and for further information about this program please call the Office of Life and Faith on 4979 1328 or email To apply, please visit the Positions Vacant page at the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s website Applications close November 2018.



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Visit to Newcastle by Areej Masoud from Bethlehem, West Bank Areej Masoud is a Palestinian Christian born in Bethlehem, living within minutes from the birthplace of Jesus. Like many Palestinians, Areej’s family fled to another country because of the challenge of living under Israeli occupation. The daily conflict and lack of freedom to move within the West Bank was too much for a family with young children. After 10 years of living in Qatar, the family moved back to Palestine. Living in both places gave Areej a perspective of a normal childhood and an oppressed one. Masoud believes simply that Muslims, Jews and Christians should be able to live peacefully in the land, as they did for many centuries. “Before the conflict, Christians, Muslims and Jews were living together. Now because of politics, we have to live separately. We did it before, why not again?” she asks. “The number of Christians living in Palestine is quickly declining,” she said,

“because so many have emigrated to escape the sectarian violence.” She now has just her immediate family and her maternal grandparents living in Bethlehem, but still faces the stresses of oppression in her own land. Hoping to find answers to her personal conflict, Areej studied Religious Studies and Psychology at the Catholic Bethlehem University and wrote her dissertation on Zionism and the Kairos Palestine document, with the supervision of one of the document’s authors; Fr. Dr. Jamal Khader. “My studies enabled me to manage conflict within myself through a greater understanding of my reality, my faith and most importantly the definition of justice found in the Biblical narrative.” Even though Areej is not directly working with her Religious Studies degree, she is still putting her faith and passion for serving her community into work. She volunteers her time in editing blogs on Reconciliation Theology and Theology of

Before the conflict, Christians, Muslims and Jews were living together. Now because of politics, we have to live separately. We did it before, why not again? the Land. She is also the moderator of Christ at the Checkpoint (Young Adults). “I always seek opportunities to speak up on behalf of my people and welcome the chance to tell the Palestinian story, which is the same for both Christians and Muslims.” Areej Masoud has been brought to Australia for a speaking tour by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network. She will speak at Jesmond Park Uniting Church, Robert St, Jesmond


Two Bishops’ Dialogue Tuesday 23 October 2018 6:30 - 9:00pm St Aloysius School Hall 24 Heritage Dr, Chisholm Light refreshments will be provided.

An opportunity to gather as an Ecumenical and Interfaith community, with both Bishop Peter (Anglican) and Bishop Bill (Catholic). Both Bishops invite you to join them in conversation to address:  How do we reach out to the Community?  What can we do together to fill the missing gaps?

RSVP by 17 October to Jenny Harris at the Diocesan Offices P 4979 1111 or E

at 6.00pm on Monday 22 October. PIEN is a network of Australian Christians whose mission is to seek lasting peace and justice for the people of Palestine and Israel. PIEN has around 500 active participants drawn from ten denominations across all states and territories and relates closely to the National Council of Churches in Australia and to the heads of churches in Jerusalem.

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The CDF supports good work The Catholic Development Fund (CDF), which started over 50 years ago, was established to assist with building schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. It is a very different entity today. It now operates as a provider of financial services to the Diocese, assisting with the management of finances not only for the Diocese but also for its agencies, its 57 schools and the 39 parishes in the Hunter Manning region. “To help us support the Diocese its agencies, schools and parishes, the CDF is able to accept funds from external clients for Term Investments and for Notice Saver accounts,” explains Anne Campbell, CDF Office Manager. DARA’s Van provides food and friendship to more than 150 marginalised people in our community – the homeless, socially isolated, financially stressed and all who are vulnerable.

“The CDF is also a provider of financial services to all the Catholic schools and all the parishes of the Diocese. “We also provide loans to the Diocese for a range of projects and activities,” she adds.



So why should anyone invest in CDF? The funds invested in the CDF are used to provide financial support to the Diocese which enables the Diocese to carry out a range of activities such as: ffbuilding new schools – such as St Bede’s Catholic College in Chisholm which opened its doors earlier this year and Catherine McAuley Catholic College in Medowie which is a $26 million development due to open in 2022 ffexpanding St Nicholas Early Education through the building and opening of new early education centres at Cardiff, Chisholm and Lochinvar as part of a program to expand the number of long day care centres under the St Nick’s brand to 20 within five years ffbuilding affordable housing – the Diocese has delivered 74 dwellings to the community with sites at Maitland, Mayfield, Booragul and Mount Hutton ffacquiring and refurbishing offices for CatholicCare in Singleton, Muswellbrook and Forster ffdelivering refugee services through the Refugee Hub which identifies, reaches out and supports those in our community who are disadvantaged, marginalised, oppressed or isolated by cultural, ethnic or religious differences ffsupporting the Diocese’s work in youth ministries, chaplaincy and parish services – we spend about $1 million a year on this ffsupporting Zimmerman Services which provides a range of services to assist survivors and their families on their individual healing journeys. If you would to find out more about Term Investments or Notice Saver accounts, please contact the CDF on 1800 810 330.

The CDF team is made up of Kathryn Weekes, CDF Customer Service Officer; Anne Campbell, CDF Office Manager; Sean Scanlon, CEO of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle; Cath McDonell, CDF Customer Service Officer; and Jenny Chung, Treasury Manager.

John Kingsley-Jones is Head of Diocesan Communications, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Term investments with the CDF offer a way to invest while also supporting the Catholic community. Earn a competitive rate of interest, while choosing the timeframes that are right for you. Choose from 3, 6 or 12 month options. For more information about our services, including our Terms and Conditions. Freecall 1800 810 330 or visit Investments with Catholic Development Fund (CDF) are guaranteed by Bishop William Wright, Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. The CDF is not subject to the provisions of the Corporation Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The CDF is also exempt from the normal requirements to have a disclosure statement or Product Disclosure Statement under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth). Neither CDF nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959. CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of the Diocese.



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2018–19 is titled A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land. It confronts the growing challenge of homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia. The latest Census figures show that more than 116,000 Australians are homeless. Yet these people are only the tip of the iceberg: welfare agencies report growing numbers of families and individuals struggling to meet the cost of mortgages or rents and turning to specialist housing services, which are often unable to meet demand.

The Scriptural basis of the statement is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–35), about an outsider who does something that rich and influential men refuse to do: he stops to help a man in desperate need, takes him to safety and pays for his care. The statement also draws on the example of Pope Francis, who has reached out to men and women on the streets of Rome and reminded us forcefully of the rights of people experiencing homelessness around the world. The Bishops consider the extent of our housing crisis and Australia’s falling rates of home ownership. They focus especially on those in our society who

are most vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness. We are reminded that safe and secure housing is a human right, asserted both by the Church’s social teaching and by the Declaration of Human Rights. Homelessness is a challenge for all levels of society: for government, for Church and community, and for us as individuals. Each one of us can make a difference and, when we join with others, we can be a real force for change that ensures everyone has a place to call home. Read the statement at

Pope Francis in the News BY BROOKE ROBINSON

World Meeting of Families Pope Francis has reflected on his August 25-26 visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. The thousands of families participating from around the world, he said, were “an eloquent sign of the beauty of God’s dream for the entire human family.” “God’s dream is unity, harmony and peace, the fruit of fidelity, forgiveness and reconciliation that he has given us in Christ,” the Pope said. “In the mystery of his love, he calls families to participate in this dream and make the world a home where nobody is alone, unwanted or excluded.” The witness given by couples during the meeting, he continued, was a reminder that love in marriage is a gift from God that is “cultivated every day in the domestic Church” and spreads “its beauty in the great community of the Church and of society.” Pope Francis said that although there were moments of great joy during his trip, there were also moments of “pain and bitterness” caused by the suffering endured by survivors of abuse and “the fact that Church leaders in the past did not always know how to adequately address these crimes.”

His meeting with abuse survivors left “a profound mark,” and he said he prayed for forgiveness “for these sins, for the scandal and the sense of betrayal” felt by survivors and members of the Church.

Pope gifts a car to the homeless

Editorial credit: Boris Stroujko /

Crosscare to drive families to view accommodation.

Pope Francis said to an audience in Rome on Wednesday 5 September.

Pope Francis is leaving a gift for the homeless in Dublin after visiting the city for the World Meeting of Families.

Season of Creation

The blue Skoda will be donated to the social care agency of the Catholic church in Dublin, Crosscare, to help Dublin’s homeless.

Pope Francis invited all to pray on the fourth World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, 1 September. Assisi, Italy was the place where prayers were offered for the World Day of Prayer.

“For us Christians, the center of the Lord’s Day, Sunday, is the Eucharist, which means ‘thanksgiving.’ It is the day to say to God: thank you, thank you, Lord; thank you for life, for your mercy, for all your gifts,” the Pope said.

The vehicle is well known as a result of a photo of Pope Francis, travelling through the suburb of Ballymun in the blue Skoda, going viral on social media. Conor Hickey, the Director of Crosscare, was very grateful for the gift. Mr Hickey, speaking at the World Meeting of Families, detailed that the level of homelessness had grown to crisis point in Dublin in the past three years. He said there always 50 families waiting to find accommodation, and as soon as one family is placed in permanent housing, there is another family on the waiting list. The car will be used every day by

Pope Francis said of the event, ‘we celebrate in union with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, and with the participation of other Churches and Christian communities’. For the first time, this prayer event was ecumenical in nature, and kicked off the Season of Creation which lasted until 4 October.

True rest is found in Christ The commandment to rest on Sundays is an invitation to be centered on Christ and to give praise and thanksgiving for the gift of life, not to waste the day in distraction,

This is how Catholics should aim to spend Sunday, he said. Not erasing the previous six with distractions but reflecting on the past week and thanking God for its blessings and its challenges; “making peace” with what has happened, saying: “Life is precious; it’s not easy, sometimes it’s painful, but it’s precious.” “Life becomes beautiful when the heart is opened and finds true what the Psalm says,” he concluded: “‘Only in God does my soul rest.’ Brooke Robinson is Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Community Noticeboard


Community Noticeboard “Before We Say I Do” 2018 Marriage Education is a vital part of planning for a life partnership. CatholicCare offers a selection of courses for married and soon-to-be married couples to assist them in preparing for, and maintaining, their commitment to one another. Couples are advised to attend a course around four months prior to the wedding. Book early as some courses are very popular. “Before We Say I Do” is a group program held Friday evening and Saturday as advertised and the FOCCUS group program is three Monday evening sessions. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – Before We Say I Do at Singleton CatholicCare, 19 and 20 October. Friday 5pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – (FOCCUS) at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 29 October and 5 November. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Marriage and Relationship Education Course – Before We Say I Do, 23 and 24 November at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. FOCCUS Individual Sessions by appointment only. We also have a wait list for our Bringing Baby Home Workshop which assists couples transition to parenthood. For further information on all our courses please contact Robyn Donnelly P 02 4979 1370 or E

For your diary

2018 Two Bishops’ Dialogue Will be held Tuesday 23 October, 6:30‑9:00pm at St Aloysius School Hall, 24 Heritage Dr, Chisholm.

Street, The Junction. Further information P Ellen Hazelton 0407 513 813.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Mass in Morpeth Cemetery The Catholic Community of Morpeth warmly invite all family and friends who have loved ones buried in the Morpeth Catholic Cemetery to our annual Mass in the cemetery on 5 November at 6pm. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop of Wollongong, Brian Mascord. Please bring your own chair. In the event of rain, Mass will be held in the Morpeth Church. P 49336201.

An opportunity to gather as an Ecumenical and Interfaith community, with both Bishop Peter (Anglican) and Bishop Bill (Catholic). Both Bishops invite you to join them in conversation to address: How do we reach out to the Community? What can we do together to fill the missing gaps? RSVP by 17 October: Please contact Jenny Harris at the Diocesan Offices P 4979 1111 or E Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People - Thread Day DCMYP Thread Day will be held on Saturday 27 October at 12:30 PM at Diocesan Offices, 841 Hunter St, Newcastle West. It is a gathering of those involved in youth ministries in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. A chance to network, be refreshed and share ideas. RSVP Council for Australian Catholic Women The diocesan contact group for the Council will meet on the following Saturdays, 9am for 9.30am and all are welcome. Dates are 27 October, 24 November (Christmas gathering; time may change slightly). The group meets at St Benedict’s Centre, The Chapel (entrance through driveway), 25 Farquhar

Mater Graduate Nurses Association 72nd Annual Reunion Sunday 11 November. RSVP by 27 October 2018. For further information, please contact Carol Scotman P 0408 756 418 or E St. Aloysius Girls High School Reunion Looking for past students of St. Aloysius Girls High School, Hamilton, Forms 1-4 (1962-1965) for a reunion at the Duke of Wellington Hotel New Lambton on Saturday 24 November, contact Colleen 0412 321 740 or Janice 49540276.

October 10

World Mental Health Day


International Day of the Girl Child


Anti-Poverty Week


International Day of Rural Women


Marriage and Relationship Education Course (see opposite)


World Mission Sunday


Areej Masoud speaking in Jesmond (see page 18)


Two Bishops’ Dialogue (see opposite)


United Nations Day


Council for Australian Catholic women meeting (see opposite)

DCMYP Thread Day (see opposite)

Samhain Festival (see page 5)


Marriage and Relationship Education Course (see opposite)

Bishop Bill opens and blesses St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm.

November 1

All Saints


All Souls

2-4 Bishop Bill visits Branxton and Singleton parishes.

For more events please visit and

Stay up to date with news from across the diocese




Last Word


A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Book Review: Hearts Burning Within Us BY BRITTEN THOMPSON

For centuries, Christians have longed to find clarity surrounding the meaning of the life of Jesus as well the significance His birth has for our lives. For answers to these queries, we turn our eyes to the Bible for guidance and understanding. While there are many different ways to explore the Bible, the book Hearts Burning Within Us offers a structured approach to reading and prayer in the tradition of our ongoing quest for understanding. In Hearts Burning Within Us, Peter Malone Msc. has created 50 units which he has built around readings in parishes and framed with the Church’s seasons and festivals. The greatest appeal of Hearts Burning Within Us is its simplicity which makes the readings accessible and digestible for individuals and groups. The intricacy of the details provided surrounding the

Chef Bartholomew Connors, Cathedral Café.

Ingredients ff 225g (1 ¾ cup) self-raising flour

background of the texts chosen for inclusion in the book provides an avenue for growing and deepening the reader’s understanding and intimacy with the passages included in the book. It is recommended to approach the texts in the Benedictine tradition of Lectio divina. This involves five separate steps – reading; meditations; prayer; contemplation; go and do likewise. Spending time with each reading in this way allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the text while understanding the reading’s practical applications. To simplify the process further, Hearts Burning Within Us includes a guide to using Lectio divina to dissect each reading. Hearts Burning Within Us was created to be easily and readily accessible to participants in groups and as individuals.

Spinach, chive and cheddar savoury scone This brunch recipe is perfect for spring weekends served with your favourite cup of tea. Makes approximately 8 large scones.

ff 1 tsp salt


ff 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 165°C (fan forced).

ff 1 tsp baking powder

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients to create a breadcrumb consistency. Sprinkle in grated cheese and spinach.

ff 100g sharp grated cheddar cheese ff 150ml (2/3 cup) milk

‘Cut’ the milk into the mixture with a knife. Do not over-work the dough.

ff 55g (1/4 stick) of butter

Place on a lightly floured bench and press to about an inch thick. Cut your size and shape scone and place on a greased baking tray.

ff 5 sprigs of finely chopped chives

Dab top of scones with a little milk and tiny amount of extra cheese.

ff 1/3 cup of frozen or fresh cooked spinach

Place into the oven for 15 minutes. These scones are savoury so can be served with garlic oven roasted mushrooms (as pictured), smashed avocado salad or whatever you wish.

The idea is to provide readers with a way to study scripture without needing the presence of a priest or someone who has studied scripture at length. In instances where questions cannot be adequately addressed, they can then be posed to someone qualified to provide answers. Overall, Hearts Burning Within Us offers us an accessible program with the necessary framework of formation for anyone seeking to encounter the divinity of Jesus Christ through scripture. Peter Malone is a Missionary of the Sacred Heart. Hearts Burning Within Us was first published by Coventry Press in 2018. Britten Thompson is Team Leader Digital, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Chef Bart’s culinary gifts can be enjoyed at Cathedral Café, 843 Hunter St Newcastle West. 9am–1.30pm, Monday to Friday. P 4961 0546.

Enrolments still open for 2019!


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