OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Thirty years serving the marginalised, the helpless, the excluded: Jesuit Social Service in Australia

Monday, 1 October 2007

Melbourne (Agenzia Fides) - The Jesuits Social Service JSS in 2007 is celebrating 30 years of activity in Australia with various initiatives including prayer meetings and special solidarity events. Julie Edwards, head of JSS Australia explained the nature of the celebrations: “In thirty years we have care for disadvantaged young people, families and communities striving to understand their lives, needs and hopes. However we have also come to know our society and the causes and the nature of difficulties, from which derives the responsibility to communicate what we learn and to take action”.
Present JSS activities include: supporting minor offenders released from detention; caring for people with mental disabilities, or drug dependence; initiatives to develop the poorest communities; support at the local level and collaboration with communities from the Horn of Africa countries and Vietnamese communities; prevention of child abuse, and support for families where there as been a suicide. This field of action will broaden. Australian Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Mark Raper sj, asked JSS to be in the front line among structures in the province working to promote social justice. This will mean extending the borders of JSS research, policies and initiatives, identifying new causes of exclusion in Australia, and shouldering responsibility for the problem in the whole region. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/10/2007 righe 24 parole 249)