Speakers

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Brian McCoy SJ grew up in Melbourne and was educated by the Loreto Sisters and Marist Brothers before going to Burke Hall and Xavier, graduating in 1965.  He has spent most of his Jesuit and priestly life in the north of Australia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Before taking up his role as Provincial in July 2014, Brian was the Director of the Tertianship Program for the Australian Jesuit Province. His PhD at The University of Melbourne, later published, was titled: Holding Men: Kanyirninpa and the health of Aboriginal men.

FR BRIAN MCCOY SJ

Fr Frank Brennan CEO Catholic Social Ser

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest and CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia. He is superior of the Jesuit community at Xavier House in Canberra.

He is professor at the P M Glynn Institute at the Australian Catholic University and research professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. He chaired the National Human Rights Consultation for the Rudd Government and more recently has been a member of the Australian Government’s expert panel conducting the Religious Freedom Review.

His latest books are No Small Change: The Road to Recognition for Indigenous Australia, Amplifying That Still, Small Voice, The People’s Quest for Leadership in Church and State and The 2015 Gasson Lectures: Maintaining a Convinced and Pondered Trust.

An Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in the areas of law, social justice and reconciliation, he was the recipient of the Migration Institute of Australia’s 2013 Distinguished Service to Immigration Award and of the 2015 Eureka Democracy Award in recognition of his endeavours which have contributed to strengthening democratic traditions in Australia.

Frank serves on the board of the National Apology Foundation and on the Advisory Council of the Global Foundation. His research interests include conscience and faith, human rights and the rule of law, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and asylum seekers.

FR FRANK BRENNAN SJ

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Barbara Watkins has worked in Catholic Education as an educational leader for many years. The early years of her career was spent in boys’ education in various roles including a variety of leadership roles in independent boys’ schools in Sydney. Barbara worked in the role of Director of Pastoral Services at St Aloysius’ College, Sydney before moving to educate young women in 2001 when she was appointed to the role of Deputy Principal at Loreto Normanhurst a leading Catholic, Independent Girls Day and Boarding School in Sydney. 

Barbara’s leadership skills were integral to the school’s development of the award winning Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model which commenced its development in 2001. Barbara was appointed Principal of Loreto Normanhurst in 2008 a role she executed with passion, integrity and joy for eleven happy years. 

Barbara has been formed in Ignatian Spirituality and in the Charism of Mary Ward. She has broadened her leadership skills via life long learning, holding a Masters in Educational Leadership from Macquarie University in Sydney and taking part in executive leadership courses at Stanford University and London Business School. 

Barbara believes in the power of authentic leadership, underpinned by social justice. She works to grow the capacity and leadership in the adults and young people she works with, particularly championing young women in leadership. 
 

MS BARBARA WATKINS

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Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, Bishop of the Diocese of Port Pirie, SA

 

Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Adelaide on the 14th September 2006, and on the 10th June 2009 succeeded Bishop Eugene Hurley to become the eleventh Bishop of the Diocese of Port Pirie.  The diocese was founded in 1887; the pioneer priests were Austrian Jesuits from Sevenhill near Clare.  Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop founded twenty-two convent schools in the diocese in its early years. 

Bishop O’Kelly’s priestly ministry as a Jesuit was in the schools apostolate.  He was principal of Jesuit colleges in Adelaide and Sydney, and held various positions such as Chairman of the South Australian Catholic Schools Commission, and Chairman of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia.  He was President of the South Australian Council of Churches from 2007 to 2009.  In 1994, he was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for services to education.

Bishop O’Kelly was active in the promotion of the Colloquium on the Ministry of Teaching, a programme of spiritual in service for school staffs, and in his school was involved significantly with refugee and asylum seeker families.

In 2006 he was elected by the Australian Bishops to the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, and the Commission for Justice, Ecology and Development.  In 2009, then 2012 he was elected as Chairman of the Commission for Catholic Education until he completed his term in 2015.  In 2012 he was appointed Deputy Chair in the Commission overseeing the work of Caritas and subsequently was appointed Chair of this Commission in 2015.

Following the conviction of Archbishop Philip Wilson in May 2018 Bishop O’Kelly was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Adelaide Archdiocese on 3 June 2018.  He continues to be the Bishop of Port Pirie.

BISHOP GREGORY O'KELLY SJ AM DD

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Fr Ross, after teaching at St Aloysius’ College for a decade, joined the Jesuits in 1984. In 1991, he began the task of establishing what is now known as Loyola Senior High School Mount Druitt. With a significant indigenous student population there, he introduced Aboriginal Studies into the curriculum. In 1993 the School opened and he was Principal until 1997 when he appointed Socius (Assistant) to the Provincial and Province Education Secretary for the following six years. He was then appointed Rector at St. Aloysius’ College (SAC), Milson’s Point, during which time he was instrumental in establishing Redfern Jarjum College. Subsequently, he was appointed Rector at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview in 2011 and last year returned as Rector at SAC.

FR ROSS JONES SJ

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"Nishadh Rego came to Australia to study at the age of 17 and is a proud Indian-Australian. Nishadh is Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia and in this role is responsible for developing and implementing JRS Australia’s advocacy strategy; leading it's strategic lobbying and community organising initiatives; and contributing to policy development/analysis on issues affecting people seeking asylum at a national and regional level. 

Nishadh represents JRS Australia on a number of national working groups on asylum and refugee policy, including the Refugee Council of Australia's (RCOA) Fair Process Working Group, the National Visa Cancellations Working Group, and the Sydney Alliance's 'People Seeking Asylum' core team. 

Prior to joining JRS, Nishadh served and accompanied young men seeking asylum at a specialist homelessness shelter in Melbourne for two years whilst completing his Masters. In the last eight years, Nishadh has worked in a range of research, policy, and stakeholder engagement roles with the Australian Red Cross, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Australian National University (ANU), and as a Middle East and North Africa Fellow at Young Australians in International Affairs. At Red Cross, Nishadh led a team which created and piloted what is now the In Search of Safety community conversations program in over 35 schools in the ACT & S/E NSW in 2012-2013. 

Nishadh holds a Masters of International Relations (Deans Honours List) from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelors of Economics/Arts (Honours) from the ANU."  

MR NISHADH REGO

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Shawn Andrews is a descendant of the unceded Mununjali people of South East Queensland and the Palawa people of Tasmania. Shawn is a highly respected Indigenous educator, renowned public speaker and keynote presenter, a thought leader and passionate advocate for equality. Shawn’s life and career has been shaped by his commitment to educate Australians with the truth about Australian history and the desire to demonstrate that Indigenous Australian culture is sophisticated, strong and beautiful. 

Shawn is the founder of Australia's first Indigenous education provider Indigicate,

MR SHAWN ANDREWS

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Tom is the Chair of Jesuit Education Australia and the Provincial Assistant for Province Planning and Renewal. Tom was educated at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview. Prior to joining the Jesuits in 1999, he completed an Arts/Law (Honours) degree at the Australian National University and worked for a number of years as a lawyer. He also has a Bachelor of Theology and a Masters of Theological Studies from the University of Divinity, a Graduate Diploma in Education from ACU and a Masters of Arts in Catholic Educational Leadership from the University of San Francisco.

Tom was ordained in July 2007 and missioned to Xavier College, Melbourne in 2008. He was the Rector of Xavier from 2010 until June 2014.

He lives in the Jesuit Community attached to the Hawthorn Catholic Parish where he assists with masses each weekend.

FR THOMAS RENSHAW SJ

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Kathleen Upfold is currently the Director of Campus at Xavier College Kostka Hall. Kathleen has worked in government and Catholic schools, including single six boys, single sex girls and coeducational settings. She has held a variety of Senior Leadership positions across these schools in student wellbeing and curriculum. Kathleen has been a teacher of English, History, Legal Studies and Religious Education.

In 2013, Kathleen completed the Full Spiritual Exercises in daily life and in 2014, went on the Leadership Pilgrimage to follow in the footsteps of St Ignatius of Loyola across France, Spain and Italy.

MS KATHLEEN UPFOLD