Catholics In Coalition for Justice and Peace

Sunday Seminars

CCJP holds four Sunday Seminars a year in Sydney.  All are very welcome to attend.

Venue: 9 Alexandra Ave, Croydon, Sydney NSW
Time: 10am - 12pm (including a morning tea break half-way through)
A donation of $10 is requested if able. Refreshments are provided at morning tea.

To see photos from our Sunday Seminars, visit our Photo Gallery.

Upcoming Seminars

February 19th 2017: Exciting News for AGM & Sunday Seminar

Exciting news for February's Sunday Seminar and AGMCCJP proudly announce that we will have Linda Burney MP as speaker for our 2017 AGM (Sunday Seminar) on 19 February 2017. Ms. Burney will speak  on the proposed changes to the Constitution and the recent Centrelink issues.

Date: Sunday 19th Feb

Time: 10.00am -12.30pm followed by a light lunch.

Venue: Convent of Mercy, 6 Victoria Rd, Parramatta

We are grateful for Linda's willingness to speak at our Semianr and share her experience and time with us.

Download an edited transcript of Ms. Burney's address on 19th Feb 2017

November 10th 2016: ACU Strathfield, Sydney - Bringing Laudato Si to Life

A update lecture on Bringing Laudato Si to Life by Fr Sean McDonagh, a Columban Priest - a marvellous writer, film-maker and lecturer on environmental issues and the consequences for the poor, the island nations and the world.

For more information on times and location, click here

Please find below links to a podcast & powerpoint slides by Fr Sean McDonagh SSC, as presented at the various Sydney events held on Nov 10th – 12th.

Poowerpoint can be downloaded via this LINK:

Podcast: Listen via this link:

Past Seminars

21 August 2016: How inequality corrodes democracy and what we can do about it

Speaker: Professor Carmen Lawrence

Please note the changed venue for this seminar

About Prof. Lawrence: After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times W.A Minister for Education and Aboriginal affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government. She shifted to Federal politics in 1994 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle and was appointed Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. She has held various portfolios in Opposition, including Indigenous Affairs, Environment, Industry and Innovation and was elected national President of the Labor Party in 2004. She retired from politics in 2007. She is now a Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia where she is working to establish a centre to research the forces driving significant social change in key areas of contemporary challenge as well as exploring our reactions to that change.

Venue: Mercy Convent, 6 Victoria Rd North Parramatta
Date: Sunday 21st August 2016
Time: 10 - 12.30 (including a morning tea break)

Please help us spread the word about this seminar by inviting friends and family. You can also use this flyer.

15 May 2016: Housing and homelessness

Guest speaker: Adam Farrar, Senior Policy Officer, Shelter NSW

Adam Farrar is a Senior Policy Officer with Shelter NSW, the State’s peak advocate for housing justice.
In May 2016, Adam spoke passionately on Housing and Homelessness at our Sunday Seminar.  His address uncovered and explained the multiple layers of consideration that surround the housing market and its impact on the poor

This Sunday Seminar also included time to workshop election strategies, sharing ideas for taking action on social justice issues in the lead-up to the election on July 2nd.

Download an edited transcript of Adam's address

21 February 2016: Annual General Meeting and Sunday Seminar on “Domestic Violence – There’s never an excuse”

Following our Annual General Meeting, Inga Lie, Trainer and Counsellor from the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, gave a talk about this important topic.  The event was also a fundraiser for RDVSA.

Here was the the flyer

15 November 2015: Towards Paris - Our Climate Change Targets

Our speakers were Amelia Anthony (Millie) and Grace Liley from AYCC (The Australian Youth Climate Commission) who will talk to us about the role of young people in the lead up to the Paris Climate Conference.  Download a flyer


20 September 2015: Laudato Si'

Pope Francis has written us a letter about our home, the Earth. How will we answer it?

CCJP are showing an enlightening discussion on the Encyclical Laudato Si' - On Care for Our Common Home, by an expert panel:

Fr. Sean McDonagh, Columban. Sean was one of the chief advisors to the Vatican in the composition of the encyclical.
Dr Lorna Gold, Head of Policy and Advocacy in Trócaire
Dr. John Sweeney: John is an expert on climate change and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The discussion afterwards will be facilitated by Sr Margaret Hinchey rsm

Download a flyer for this seminar to share with your community

21 June 2015: The Trans Pacific Partnership – What does this mean for us?

Speaker: Dr Patricia Ranald

Dr Patricia Ranald is a Research Associate at the University of Sydney. She is also the Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET), a network of community organizations, including church groups, human rights groups, unions and environmental organizations. AFTINET advocates for fair trade policies based on human rights, labour rights and environmental sustainability.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Sydney. Her Doctoral thesis in International Relations at the University of NSW was a comparative study of the World Trade Organisation and regional trade agreements, and won the UNSW Humanities Research Centre Award for best doctoral thesis of 2000.

She was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, and currently teaches researchers in the ACTU education programme. She has published widely on the social impacts of globalisation and trade agreements. Her publications range from refereed journal articles and book chapters to submissions to parliamentary inquiries and popular publications.

Her books include Trade Justice, 2005, and Stopping the Juggernaut: Public Interest versus the Multilateral Agreement on Investment,1999.

Download an edited transcript of Dr. Ranald's revealing address.

Download the audience Q&A  from Dr. Ranald's address.

'It's Time To Change Our Constitution'

with Kirstie Parker

Ms Kirstie Parker is Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. She is a Yuwallarai woman from northwest NSW, a daughter, a sister, an aunty and a mother and grand-mother. Kirstie lives in Lismore.

The National Congress is a national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. It is owned and controlled by its membership and independent of Governments.

The transcript for Kirstie's seminar will be available here soon. Please check back again later or sign up to our email alerts to be notified.


Women in prison - Why should we care?

Date: 16th November 2014

Speaker: Kat Armstrong

Kat Armstrong is an ex-prisoner released from prison in February of 2003.

Kat started mentoring women prisoners whilst incarcerated and continues to do so. She is the Director and an ex-officio Executive member of WIPAN (Women in Prison Advocacy Network)

Unfortunately Kat's seminar could not go ahead but you can find out more about WIPAN here

"Welcome, Talk and Tea”

Date: 19th October 2014

Sharing experiences of the current security laws with members of the Muslim Community



“The Effect of the Budget on the Poor”

Date: 21 September 2014

Speaker: Ben Spies-Butcher

Dr Ben Spies-Butcher is a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development and a lecturer in Sociology and a Member of the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion at Macquarie University. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney. His research focuses on the economics and politics of social and environmental policy, and on political participation. He previously worked as Senior Researcher at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education on human rights issues. Ben is active in a number of non-government organizations and social movements, particularly around Indigenous rights and housing.

Download an edited transcript of Ben's engaging presentation.

"Homelessness and the mentally ill"

Date: 17 August

Speaker: Sr Anne Jordan, Cana Communities

Sister Anne is the coordinator of Cana Communities and has spent almost thirty years working with Sydney's homeless people.

Cana Communities supports people who are most in need, who are suffering from loneliness, mental illness, addictions, homelessness and other factors which alienate them within society. From modest beginnings in 1975, the charity has grown to encompass five homes and three shelters in inner Sydney, and a farm in western Sydney.  It is supported by more than 700 volunteers.


“CCJP – Sydney Alliance: A Partnership”

Date: 20 July 2014

Speaker: David Barrow, Sydney Alliance Community Organiser

Download an edited transcript of David's address



"What does the Budget REALLY mean for the ABC?"

Date:  15 June 2014

Speaker: Mal Hewitt, President of Friends of the ABC NSW

Click here to download a summary of Mal's address


"West Papua - our forgotten neighbours"?

Date: May 18th

Speaker: Joe Collins, Secretary and a co-founder of the Sydney branch of the Australian West Papua Association (AWPA)

The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) is a human rights organisation focusing on the territory of West Papua.  AWPA’s role is to lobby both the Australian Government and the International Community to raise concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua. The West Papuan people face great challenges including ongoing human rights abuses, the exploitation of their natural resources with little or no benefit to themselves, the danger of becoming a minority in their own land and victims of a HIV/AIDS epidemic. AWPA raises awareness in the international community about the historical wrongs and history of West Papua and supports the right of the West Papuan people to self-determination.


"The Moral Bankruptcy of Australia’s Asylum Seekers Policy”.

Paul PowerDate: 16th March 2014

Speaker: Paul Power, Chief Executive Officer of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).

RCOA is the national umbrella body for agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers. Paul has been CEO since 2006. Paul leads the organisation’s policy development and public education on refugee issues and its advocacy with the Australian Government, international networks and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

To download Paul's presentation please click here.

"Australian Aid – the Coalition Government’s Approach and what it means for the poor” 

Speaker: Jack de Groot, Mission Director for St Vincent’s Health Care Australia
Date: 16 February 2014

We begin again in 2014 with Jack de Groot, former CEO of Caritas, as speaker. This seminar will be preceeded by a short AGM.



Date: 17th November 2013

Our speaker for the November Sunday Seminar is Sr . Maribeth Larkin.

She is coming to Australia at the invitation of The Sydney Alliance. "The Sydney Alliance brings together diverse community organisations, unions and religious organisations to advance the common good and achieve a fair, just and sustainable city. The Sydney Alliance is a non-party political organisation." Sr Maribeth has been a leader and to the forefront of similar work in the USA.

For a full bio of Sr. Maribeth, please click here

Download an edited transcript of Sr Maribeth's address by clicking here

Rivalry of the Word:  Some Language Issues in Timor Leste.

Date: Sunday 20th October 2013

Our speaker is Sr Susan Connolly, of the western Sydney-based Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission. She is one of Australia's most respected advocates on behalf of the East Timorese people. The Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission in St Marys began with the response of the Sisters of St Joseph to a request from Bishop Carlos Belo in 1993 for help for the people of East Timor.

Susan will talk about language and literacy, outlining some of the problems with language(s) and their effects on education and ordinary life.

For more information on the Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission click here

To download a flyer for this seminar please click here

"Lock the Gate": The Peoples' Response to CSG and Other Mining

Date: Sunday 15th September 2013

Our speaker is Maggie May who is completing her PhD in Industrial Relations at Griffith University in Brisbane. Maggie has had a long term and active interest in environmental issues, climate change, sustainable living and social justice issues.

She lives in Kyogle in northern NSW, and is part of the that region's "lock the gate" movement against Coal Seam Gas exploration.

To learn more about the Lock the Gate movement, please click here and come along to the seminar. 

You can also download a flyer for this seminar.

Health: a quick check-up

The health issues needing to be addressed during this election year

Speaker: Jack de Groot, Mission Director for St Vincent’s Health Care Australia
Date: 18 August 2013

Once you spend more that $610 out of pocket if you are low income then you can get 80% of Medicare cover to a certain level.  But you have to be able to spend $610.  If you are healthy the threshold is $1221[1].  This favours the rich disproportionately who can already afford to pay.  So in the seat of Wentworth $11 million was claimed in safety net benefits but in Braddon in NW Tasmania was $460,00 [2]

In Australia 65% of those in the lowest income group report a long term health problem compared with just 15% of the most wealthy[1].

Click here to download notes from Jack's illuminating presentation


Reforms in education and superannuation - class warfare or fair deal?

Speaker: Dr Ben Spies-Butcher
Date: July 21st 2013

Dr Ben Spies-Butcher is a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development and a contributing author to their recent publication More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now.  Ben is a lecturer in Sociology and a Member of the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion at Macquarie University. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney. His research focuses on the economics and politics of social and environmental policy, and on political participation. He previously worked as Senior Researcher at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education on issues of human rights. Ben co-wrote the paper ‘Reforming Australia’s hidden welfare state’ for the CPD.

The Intervention and Constitutional Change: What does this really mean for Reconciliation?

Speaker: Jeff McMullen
Date: 16th June 2013

A journalist, author and film-maker for over 45 years. Throughout his professional life Jeff McMullen has written, filmed and campaigned around the world to improve the health, education and human rights of Indigenous people. In 2006 he was awarded Order of Australia (AM).

A strong crowd heard Jeff McMullen speak passionately about an issue on which he spends a major part of his time, both professionally and personally, the Intervention into Aboriginal people's lives by Federal Government, and the possible changes to the Constitution to formally recognise Aboriginal people. Jeff presented, through first hand examples, the injustice that the Intervention has imposed on Aboriginal people, how it has adversely affected their daily living, their health and nutrition, work prospects, and the educational, health and future prospects of their children.

Download a summary of Jeff's passionate address by clicking here.

Download an edited transcript of Jeff's address by clicking here.


Previous Seminars from 2013 & 2012

To view previous Sunday Seminar Transcripts and Summaries, click here