News & Events

Celebrating International Women's Day

The women who pack The Big Issue for distribution to subscribers have now dispatched 500,000 copies of the magazine through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise (WSE).

The theme of this International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change and we are proud to support the WSE and help provide opportunities for women to positively change their lives.

We have just begun supporting the WSE since with 59 subscriptions across the year, as Birthday gifts to our sisters.

The initiative is designed to offer a safe and viable work opportunity for vulnerable women, as an alternative to selling The Big Issue on
the street.

WSE employees hand-pack subscription copies of the magazine, giving them an income and helping them gain new skills and career pathways for the future.

Some of you may already be familiar with the fortnightly magazine, which is sold on the streets around the country. Since 1996, more than 6500 people have sold the magazine, putting more than $24 million into the pockets of homeless and disadvantaged men and women.

If you would like to find out more about The Big Issue or subscribe for $12.40 per month, visit

We hope you enjoy the magazine!

Harmony Day March 21st 2016

From the First Peoples of this land, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, whose rich cultural heritage enriches our nation, to the unique cultures  of all "those who have come across the seas" since, we have much to celebrate and honour.

This Harmony Day, our Congregation Centre staff and sisters will celebrate the cultural diversity of our workplace which includes Members with cultural links to Ireland, Malta, China, England, and Liberia.

To read more about Harmony Day 2016, please visit the Harmony Day Website.

Join us on Palm Sunday - Welcome Refugees Rally

Representatives of numerous religious and social justice advocacy groups as well as individual members of the Australian Community will gather at the Palm Sunday Welcome Refugees Rally this Sunday, March 20th, commencing at 1.00pm in Belmore Park, opposite Central Railway station.

A number of speakers will address the rally, including:

  • Joel Shakespeare (former Save the Children worker on Nauru)
  • Jessica Walker (Queensland Teachers Union, Yeronga High School & Save Mojgan campaign)
  • Dr Sue Wareham (Medical Association for Prevention of War)
  • Faith speakers including: Rev John Barr (President, NSW Ecumenical Council) Ms Wies Schuiringa (Religious Society of Friends – Quakers) Rev Myung Hwa Park (Uniting Synod NSW/ACT)
    Fr Shenouda Mansour (Coptic Orthodox Church) Rabbi Jacki Ninio (Emanuel Synagogue) Rabbi Gad Krebs (Kehillat Masada Synagogue)
  • Ian Rintoul (Refugee Action Coalition)
  • Shokufa Tahiri (Afghan refugee)

Following the rally, those present will march to Victoria Park (Cnr City Road and Broadway).

For more information about the Rally, please download the flyer below, prepared by the Refugee Action Coalition, or visit their website by clicking here.

No media download found.

The information above was taken from the Refugee Action Coalition Website.

International Women's Day 2016

There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities:
violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

From our inception, the Sisters of Mercy worldwide, have had a particular focus on women and children, with Catherine McAuley recognising the significant role women play in shaping society and future generations.

In addition to our traditional ministries of education and protection of women through the provision of housing, and other opportunities for independence, today the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta work directly, or support others who work, in a variety of settings to protect, support and empower women. To read more about, or support, the work of these entities, please click the links below:

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has five focus areas for its efforts, click on the relevant link to learn more about how you can give your support:

To read more about the particular International Women's Day programmes of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women within our region, click on the following Fact Sheet.

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By Purchasing a Purple Ribbon today, you can support the UN in making positive Changes in the lives of women and children within our Pacific region.

Arrupe Place Wins Western Sydney Community Award

The following is a reproduction of the Media Release Prepared by JRS:

“This has been a truly collaborative process,” said Maeve Brown co-ordinator of Arrupe Place of the award which recognised the project’s “capacity building, advocacy and leadership.”

“This award is a testament to our exceptional partners whose great support has helped Arrupe Place work,” she said.

Ms Brown said that Arrupe Place had been established by the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) in 2015 to provide a welcoming space for those people seeking asylum in need of essential services in Western Sydney.

JRS partnered with 8 other organisations to provide these services at Arrupe Place. Those include the Red Cross, Refugee and Casework Service (RACS), the Sisters of Mercy, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Training for Change, Sisters of the Good Samaritans, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Sisters of Charity. As well as two other partners, STARTTS and Baker & McKenzie who have provided free support for asylum seekers with civil law issues.

“We were drawn together with the common goal of providing a safe haven that allows asylum seekers to live with dignity and become self-sufficient whilst waiting for their claims for protection to be assessed,” said Ms Brown.

The ZEST Awards, led by Western Sydney Community Forum, were established six years ago to showcase the work of the Community Sector in Greater Western Sydney region. They are designed to highlight the range and diversity of the community work which promotes a positive image of the region.

“Arrupe Place ensures that accessing support is easier and less stressful for those most in need by housing our many varied services in this one location in Parramatta,” said Ms Brown.

“We are able to offer a range of services from English language and cooking classes to food provision and legal aid, as well as most importantly, offering a sense of community.
“Asylum seekers can drop into the cottage provided by the Sisters of Mercy, receive legal advice from RACS, employment support from Training for Change, arts and playgroup programs from ICE, even emergency aid from the Red Cross as well as a cup of tea and a chat with our JRS caseworkers.”

Ms Brown said that Arrupe Place assisted over 1,500 people seeking asylum in 2015. RACS has run 38 Legal Clinics and information sessions, providing legal advice.

“It is wonderful to see such a great project winning the recognition it deserves,” said Tanya Jackson-Vaughan, Executive Director of RACS. “JRS is a great partner to work with.”

Over 100 individuals and families with young children have received emergency financial assistance from Red Cross. A Sister of the Good Samaritan social worker leads the team of JRS caseworkers, providing guidance and support. A Volunteer Coordinator from the Sister of Charity coordinates and supports more than 50 volunteers who have made 33 home visits. Volunteers from the local community ran over 100 English classes, providing valuable language tuition to 78 people. Close to 300 people supplemented their weekly groceries with fresh vegetables and key staples.

“Most importantly, asylum seekers visiting Arrupe Place have a place where they feel safe and less isolated, and where they can access programs that have led to increased participation in the local community,” said Ms Brown.

Communications contact: Alex McGregor on 0404 015 556

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