Two Decades of Caring for Migrants and Refugees in Australia

women and childThis week the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) will celebrate 20 years of work caring for migrants and refugees, with a colloquium on Thursday 27 August at 7pm.

The fifth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium will be held at the Philippa Brazil Lecture Theatre, Daniel Mannix Building, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne.

The Colloquium is titled, ‘20 Years of Migration Policy in Australia, the Church’s Pastoral Response’. It will be chaired by Sandie Cornish, an expert in Catholic Social Teaching and Province Director of Mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Australia and New Zealand. A questions and answers session will follow the keynote addresses.

Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli will deliver an address about the Catholic Church response to migration and asylum seeker issues in Australia over the past 20 years.

Historian, researcher and teacher from Swinburne University, Professor Klaus Neumann will provide an historical overview and commentary about Australian Migration Policy over the last 20 years. Professor Neumann recently wrote a critical history of Australian and New Zealand responses to refugees and asylum seekers. He is the author of ‘Across the Seas’, a book about Australia’s historical response to refugees, published in June 2015.

The Hon Michael Danby MP, Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, will speak about the Labor Government’s contribution to migration and immigration to Australia over the past two decades.

The Government was invited to provide a speaker, but unfortunately had to cancel at late notice.

Fr Fabio Baggio, a missionary of the Scalabrinian Congregation, will offer a global perspective on migration issues during the last 20 years. Fr Baggio is currently an Ordinary Professor at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome and Director of the Scalabrini International Migration Institute in Rome.

Members of the public, journalists and photographers are most welcome. The colloquium is free to attend.

Additional parish resources to celebrate migration awareness month are available at:

For further information about the ACMRO Colloquium, please contact Fr Maurizio Pettena at:

Media queries, please contact Aoife Connors at | 0450 348597