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An historic event

An historic event

On Friday 10 August, 35 Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) Council Members, including those who serve on CCSP’s dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent Committee, gathered in Sydney to discuss current issues facing Catholic school parents.

This was an historic event, marking the CCSP's 100th meeting since it was first established in 1995 as the peak body representing parents of children in Catholic schools in NSW and ACT.

CCSP Executive Director, Linda McNeil, said it was a memorable meeting that commenced with a smoking ceremony in Hyde Park in honour of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (celebrated on 9 August).

"There was such a special tone and feeling at this meeting. It was great to see both of our parent committees gathered together in one room talking about issues that are high on the education agenda now and those issues that are starting to emerge," Ms McNeil said.

During the meeting, Lana Turvey-Collins from the Plenary Council 2020 discussed the aims of the Plenary Council, which is to engage Australians in an open and inclusive process of listening, dialogue and discernment about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Ms McNeil said that following Lana’s presentation, CCSP Council Members walked away with a clear sense of the role they can play in helping the Church to move forward with its goal to discern, decide and act about the future of the Catholic Church.

“Lana’s presentation was an excellent opportunity to engage CCSP Council Members in an open discussion about the Plenary Council 2020 and she challenged us to think about the pockets of our community that we are less familiar with and to engage those people in a conversation about what they think the future of the Catholic Church should look like. 

“It’s a real opportunity to connect with like-minded Catholics as well as those who do not share in our Catholic values and have authentic conversations and gain some insight about our faith - past, present and future.

“In particular, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island parent group are also keen that they can bring the deep sense of Aboriginal spirituality and its connection to our Catholic faith to the dialogue.

“I think ultimately what Catholic parents want from the Plenary Council is a transparent process where the common themes that emerge are identified and parents are not only informed of the outcomes, but involved in the process and given the opportunity to shape the future of the Catholic Church in our part of the world.

“This initiative is a world first, so it’s incredibly important that it’s done right and it gives the Church in Australia a real way forward that ensures the Catholic faith remains relevant and accessible,” Ms McNeil said.

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