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ACMRO News March 2024

The Registration for the 7th ACMRO National Conference 2024 is Ongoing

The ACMRO team invites you to register for the 7th ACMRO National Conference 2024. The conference, with the theme: “Welcoming seasonal workers in Australia: Gift and Responsibility” will address the issues of seasonal and migrant workers in Australia, emphasising their contributions to Australian society beyond their labour. Seasonal workers come from overseas, specifically from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste, and travel and work temporarily in Australia. They do not only come to Australia to support their families, but they also bring rich cultural experiences, traditions, language, and faith. The conference will explore how faith communities in Australia and Australian society can welcome and learn from these gifts, fostering positive change.

The conference, which runs from 18 July to 19 July 2024 at ACU Melbourne, will provide delegates with an opportunity to receive formation through the lens of the Gospel values and the Catholic Church’s social justice, specifically emphasising the moral responsibility to ensure that migrant workers are treated justly and with respect while working in Australia. It will encourage people across the country to actively support seasonal and migrant workers, particularly those from the Pacific islands and Timor-Leste. Moreover, the conference will serve as a platform for raising awareness and promoting just outcomes for seasonal and migrant workers through informed discussions, advocacy, and policy development in support of these vulnerable workers, emphasising the social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of this critical issue.

Register Now

For more information visit the ACMRO website

Meetings of the Catholic Immigration Offices and Multicultural Offices Directors and the Network of Parishes and Ministries providing Pastoral Care with Seasonal Workers

ACMRO’s work with these two valued networks has improved coordination and enabled ways to celebrate and advocate for the welfare of our migrant communities and workers across the country.

The Catholic Immigration Offices (CIO) and Multicultural Offices Directors meeting held on 14 March 2024, included discussions and planning for the upcoming Refugee Week on 16 to 22 June 2024, the 7th ACMRO National Conference, and possible activities in celebration of the Jubilee Year, particularly the Jubilee of Migrants on 05 October 2025. The CIO Directors will again meet in Brisbane in November this year.

The Network of Parishes and Ministries providing Pastoral Care with Seasonal Workers held its meeting on 07 March 2024. During the formation session, Randall Prior, VIC Community Connections Coordinator, as well as Sr. Helen Nolen, ACRATH representative, provided their pastoral and practical insights about relevant topics on interculturality, the difference between the cultural contexts of being oral-based and literacy-based, and how seasonal workers value the sense of community.

The Network of Parishes and Ministries providing Pastoral Care with Seasonal Workers meets quarterly online via Zoom and is open to everyone. The next online meeting will be on 05 June 2024. To obtain more information, please contact Don Gomez at

To learn about the PALM scheme for seasonal workers, please click here

Celebrating ACMRO-ACRATH’s Network’s Women Involved in Pastoral Ministry for Seasonal Workers

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the ACMRO highlights the ministries and contributions of two amazing women who are members of the ACMRO-ACRATH’s network of parishes and ministries doing pastoral care with seasonal workers. Sr. Sheela Thomas and Denise Talbot had a sit-down interview with ACRATH, sharing about their ministries with migrants and seasonal workers.

Sr. Sheela, from the Diocese of Port Pirie, is a member of the Sisters of the Society of St. Anne-Madras from India. In this interview, she speaks on the lived experience of migrant workers in Port Augusta, SA. On the other hand, Denise lives in Perth, Tasmania, just south of Launceston, and is a parishioner of Kings Meadows Parish in the Archdiocese of Hobart. Denise shares how she and her local community welcomed seasonal workers in Tasmania.

Sr Sheela Thomas’ interview can be accessed here

Denise Talbot’s interview can be accessed here

Refugee Week 2024 Poster

The poster for this year’s Refugee Week coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia is now available for download.

Refugee Week will be from 16-22 June 2024 focusing on the theme “Finding Freedom: Family; To Unconditional Love; To Strength in Times of Adversity; To Unwavering Bonds.” The poster features Aline, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who now lives in Toowoomba after spending many years in a refugee camp in Sudan. Aline says, “I look forward to teaching my daughter to work hard. We can fulfil our dreams if we are determined enough, thanks to the opportunity we have here in Australia.”

To learn about Aline’s story and to download the poster, please click here

ICMC Appoints Davide Bernocchi as its New Secretary General

The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) announced the appointment of its new Secretary General, Mr. Davide Bernocchi, effective 01 June 2024. Mr. Bernocchi will take over for Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, who has been the organisation's Secretary General since 2016 and who is about to finish his second term.

Over the course of his more than two decades at Catholic institutions across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Mr. Bernocchi has managed an extensive program, most of it in emergency contexts involving significant numbers of internally displaced people and refugees. Currently, he is the Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) country representative for Moldova and Ukraine.

The ICMC was founded in 1951 to assist Catholic organisations in responding to the needs of displaced people and refugees. Among its other functions, the ICMC offers assistance and protection to vulnerable people on the move; it also advocates for and is involved in policy work for sustainable solutions for refugees and migrants.

For more information, please click here

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