Australasian Catholic Press Association members met at Rydges Mount Panorama in Bathurst for our annual conference from 10 to 12 September.
The conference began on 10 September with the AGM, in which the committee farewelled NZ Vice President Anne Gilroy after three years in the role. NZ Catholic Editor Michael Otto was elected to the committee to replace Anne as NZ Vice President.
The conference program began on 11 September. Wiradyuri Elder Dinawan Dyirribang welcomed delegates to Wahluu (the Wiradyuri name for the mountain on which Mount Panorama was built), and shared his own story and that of the Aboriginal people in the region. Other speakers included Sr Patricia Powell from Rahamim Ecology Centre and Fr Steve Sinn from The Bridge Community. In another session, Jeremy Yuen from Wollongong Diocese spoke about their recent work on rebuilding the website and delegates shared some of their experiences in engaging the Catholic community on social media.
On day two of the conference, Dr Saranne Cooke explored what the Church can learn about culture and governance issues from the corporate world (and vice versa). Jacqueline Highfield and Monika Lancucki explored how the Church can do to promote truth, justice and healing in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse. Stephanie Lorenzo from Voices of Faith spoke about the international campaign to better promote women leaders in the Church. Finally, Bernard Holland spoke about Catholic Earthcare’s work to promote sustainability in Catholic communities.
The conference also included a tour of Mayfield Garden, including wine tasting with Renzaglia Wines, and culminating in a fireside prayer for drought-stricken communities (pictured).
The conference dinner featured a talk from former ACPA President Annie Carrett, as well as the announcement of the 2019 ACPA Awards winners.
A new history of the Australasian Catholic Press Association was also launched at the conference. The work, compiled by ACPA Archivist Fr Frank Freeman SDB, provides a valuable overview of the history of the association. Attendees were able to take away copies of the booklet, while members who weren’t there will be able to order a copy of the book for themselves.
ACPA would like to thank the conference’s major sponsor, Australian Catholic Super and Retirement Fund, for their support for the conference. We would also like to thank our other sponsors, ACU, BBI, Caritas, CDF Bathurst, Catholic Mission, Renzaglia Wines and McGrath Wines.