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SISTERS OF MERCY IN AUSTRALIA & PAPUA NEW GUINEA | AUGUST 2021

FROM VISITING IN PERSON TO MEETING ONLINE

D

ue to the pandemic

the marathon that is 2021 is far from over. A few states around the Australia have come to a

Making connections BY LAUREN STARIHA & SALLY BRADLEY RSM

option. Zoom has become the backbone of almost all our interactions from social

2

gatherings to business meetings, and in

as best we can with our plans

demands of living with a pandemic. The

connecting with schools.

for the year. We believe it

fragility of our world today reminds us that

is most important to stay

life is unpredictable, and we have to keep

Australia is celebrating 175 years of Mercy

connected with all our staff,

adapting. Forging connections remains as

Education this year and invited Mercy Works

volunteers, and projects in

important as ever for Mercy Works. Keeping

to be a part of their celebrations. From

these difficult times.

in contact with schools, sharing our stories

behind different screens in our homes

with these communities and the unwavering

in Sydney, we were delighted to be able

on ‘Connection’. We bring

faith that our program coordinators have in

to present to the teachers of Santa Maria

you the next chapter of our

their work, all come together to create an

College. We especially focused on sharing

Mercy Connect Photography

indelible connection.

our stories of our work with Indigenous

standstill yet again, but Mercy Works is still moving forward

In this edition, our focus is

Day. This story shares how

021 has presented a challenge, where we need to learn to balance the

our case, became the way we continued

At the invitation of Claire Easton, Director

Santa Maria College in Attadale, Western

communities in Australia and or new

it brought together Year 10

of Mission at All Hallows’ School, Brisbane,

work with trafficked young women in the

students and their teachers,

we visited in person in April and spoke at their

Philippines. Sharing our good news stories is

from two different schools

whole school assembly. We shared an update

always a special privilege for us.

in Sydney, who have very

on the Mercy Works projects the school is

different life journeys. We also

fundraising for in Simbu and Kiunga in Papua

of mission present within the school

share how we are keeping the

New Guinea. This year they’ve chosen to

communities is truly inspiring to see. A BIG

Mercy Works mission alive

support PNG projects which particularly

thank you to all our supporters in schools

and connected with schools

focus on women and girls. They range from

across Australia. n

across Australia.

Teacher Training to Life

We are most grateful for your continuing support

The shared commitment and sense

Skills Training in prisons. In July our plans

of Mercy Works and all

for the future were

our projects, especially as

suddenly put on hold

we continue to face the

just as our school

challenges and uncertainties

visits seemed to pick

that COVID presents. Thank

up. Even though

you!

we weren’t able to physically visit schools

Sally Bradley rsm

anymore, technology

Executive Director

provided another

n All Hallows' and Sr Sally Bradley rsm Mrs Clare Easton, Director of Missio Paving the Path Banner ls schoo the with or Direct tive Execu


MERCY CONNECT SYDNEY, PHOTOGRAPHY DAY 2021

Two parts to the story BY LAUREN STARIHA & PAUL TAYLOR

history as an important place of cultural

T

significance for First Nations people.

internet and take photos. In 2019, Mercy

of how to use these devices but we often

Connect had the idea to build on this

overlook cheats and shortcuts that would

relationship with technology to foster a

improve our user experience and produce

human connection between two schools

better photos.

oday most of us don’t leave the house without devices that can access the

Most of us have a basic understanding

from different parts of Sydney. In 2020, the global pandemic put these

Day Two | Tuesday 15th June

plans on hold. This year, however, it was

After a rare long weekend, winter had truly

all systems go for the students of Mary

set in with a cold crisp morning wrapping

Mackillop Catholic College, Wakeley and

Parramatta in small rays of heat from the

Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, North

low hanging sun. The students from Mary

Sydney to learn how to take better photos

Mackillop and Monte Sant’ Angelo again

and explore Parramatta together.

made the journey to the Mercy Works offices for the second part of Photography Day.

Day One | Monday 3rd May

Today, it was time to learn how to edit

Ten students from each school made

photos with existing tools and apps. These

their way to our offices for the first Mercy

students have been editing in some way or

Connect Photography Day. If the cold air

another for years whether they’ve realised

and fog didn’t wake them up, the walk

it or not. The skills learnt from apps like

up to the third floor of the building to the

Snapchat and Instagram are so ingrained

Board room certainly did.

in the younger generation that they often

As the small talk began the first sparks in a new connection started to flicker

forget that they are transferrable to older

ction of photos Clockwise from top: Sele p Photo! Grou Day First day; from the

Seeing things differently can be challenging sometimes but a willingness

digital mediums like photos.

to embrace new perspectives builds an

around the room. The day started with a

Connecting these students to bring out

welcome from Sr Sally Bradley RSM, our

the best in their imagination is the ultimate

understanding that connects people.

Executive Director, before jumping into

goal of the day but fostering new friendships

Students and staff with very different

learning about the camera on their phones.

is a close second. Re-partnering in the pairs

life journeys connect and grow in

After learning how to take better photos,

from day one, they began choosing their

their understanding of each other’s

the students paired up (one from each

favourite photos. Narrowing down their

stories, especially of those with refugee

school) and headed out on their walking

photos to five seemed like an impossible

backgrounds.

tour of Parramatta. Together they explored

task but after an hour each pair settled on

Parramatta from a new perspective, with

five captioned photos that would form the

by the generous funding of the Vincent

its extraordinary blend of cultures, and its

photobook entitled ‘Click & Connect’.

Fairfax Family Foundation. n

MERCY WORKS PO Box 2023, North Parramatta NSW 1750 +61 (0)2 9564 1911 mercyworks@mercyworks.org.au www.mercyworks.org.au 37 147 042 466

MINI BILUM Editor Lauren Stariha Design Purple House Design

These workshops were made possible

We are a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and as such committed to the ACFID Code of Conduct for Australian aid and development organisations. See www.acfid.asn.au


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