Advocacy Training Workshop Down Under

On October 24 and 25, a Christian Brothers’ Oceania Province training workshop in advocacy was conducted in which the Province Directors of Formation- Mary Murphy, Ministry- Peter Clinch and Networking/Communication-Bernie Gartland met with the Regional Coordinators of Ministry and Formation. Another person, already working for the province from each region, was invited to attend and to take on the role of Justice Contact Person that now includes “Advocacy”

The meeting was called by Peter Clinch who as Ministry Director was responding to the Oceania Chapter’s direction “that priority be given to the promotion of an awareness of structural injustice and an understanding of the place of advocacy as a dimension of all our ministries.”  The gathering was chaired by Shane Wood who, after returning from Geneva, has been appointed Justice and Advocacy Co-ordinator for Oceania and hosted by Phil Glendenning from the Sydney Edmund Rice Centre for Justice.

A discussion paper was prepared by Mary Murphy and Shane Wood that looked at how the Community Development and Human Rights approaches were both needed to frame where ministry needed to focus processes and outcomes. The two days were then given over to examine what “advocacy” means and how to incorporate this dimension into all ministries and to strategically link in with the Edmund Rice Centre as the focus for Advocacy in Oceania as well as working at the UN level with Edmund Rice International. Some of the issues and topics covered included:

  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • UN processes
  • UN Periodic Review
  • Human Rights Council
  • How to Advocate
  • Edmund Rice International
  • Dealing with Media

The hope of the meeting was that across Oceania Province and the ER Network, people in our communities and ministries would be invited to see beyond their own good work and ministries to a bigger picture of prophetic visioning. Advocacy is not creating more work but working in a different way with an added awareness of how issues are related and how we can work more strategically and effectively to address, not just the effects, but the structural causes of injustice and suffering. Maybe this is what the 2002 Chapter meant by “The Prophetic Call to a Quest for Justice.”

Thanks to Jim D’Arcy cfc for this article

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