Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - Australian Good Shepherd Sisters in collaboration with the Mary MacKillop Foundation (Australia's first Blessed, beatified by Pope John Paul II in Sydney in January 1995) have launched the annual Indigenous Reconciliation Scholarship, offering young Aboriginal girls opportunities for development and integration. The scholarships, worth 7,500 dollars each, are awarded to young Indigenous girls anxious to study at university but whose families cannot afford to pay the expenses.
The Sisters have received applications from 200 girls in search of sponsors to help them continues their studies. The Sisters hope other Catholic or civil bodies or associations, will promote similar initiatives since education is a key factor for human, cultural and social growth for all young people, Aboriginal Australians in particular, to promote full insertion in society and reconciliation.
The Indigenous Reconciliation Scholarship programme launched some years ago by the Mary MacKillop Foundation has had excellent results enabling several young women to find good insertion in the professional and civil field in Australia.
In Australian there are about 120 Good Shepherd Sisters (http://www.goodshepherd.com.au). They have communities in 67 countries and they charisma is to promote reconciliation at all levels, particularly in situations of conflict, oppression or injustice. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 9/11/2007 righe 26 parole 264)