St Vincent de Paul Immersion Trip
The Immersion Trip provides challenging social justice work visiting various works of the St Vincent de Paul Society as well as other support agencies.
Visits are made to venues like Ozanam Industries at West Ryde. Ozanam Industries proudly employs Australians with varying forms of disabilities in a supervised, monitored and supportive work environment. Here the students together with the staff who travel with them get to work alongside those employed.
Other venues include the Wayside Chapel at Kings Cross which works with young people with addictions and serves the surrounding community with various support networks as well as being a ‘meeting’ place. The Marian Centre at Lewisham where women and children who experience domestic violence find a safe haven was also visited. A very special activity is the visit to St Canice’s Parish at Elizabeth Bay where students work to prepare and serve food in a soup kitchen environment. Here they are able to chat with people with very different life experiences.
A highlight for the whole group is participating in Night Patrol. A Vinnies van visits key areas in the centre of Sydney during the late evening. Our group usually meets the van in Martin Place. People who experience homelessness know to meet the van and are supplied with a cuppa and sandwiches and a friendly smile. The group usually finds this really challenging and yet very rewarding. The people are very open and welcoming of our company. Blankets, scarves and beanies and snacks are collected prior to the trip to be distributed to those who are ‘living rough’. The people are very grateful and happy to receive such gifts.
The whole experience over the three days is unique in that those attending are able to look at their own lives and see how important it is to reach out to those who are marginalised.
From the Catholic Missions Trip to Broome WA
Rich with Aboriginal culture and spirituality, Beagle Bay and Lombadina-Djaridjin are the settings of some of the most enlightening moments for those who travelled with Mr and Mrs Ryan, and Catholic Mission guide, Lana.
Guided ‘tagalong’ tours with elders from the communities, enable those participating to appreciate the rich culture and spirituality of Indigenous Australians, as well as their deep connection to the land. They especially enjoy the means they are shown of living without the need for technology. Adventures included spearing mud crabs and drinking honey from flowers.