Children's advocate to deliver Vinnies' Ozanam Lecture

The head of the Children First Foundation, who was inspired by watching a documentary at school to work with Mother Teresa, will deliver the eighth annual Ozanam Lecture for the St Vincent de Paul Society in Melbourne on Thursday evening.

Moira Kelly AO has spent the past 20 years working to rescue and assist the recovery of children orphaned, maimed or traumatised by war, neglect, abuse, poverty or political turmoil, especially in Asia and Europe. Her work has been recognised worldwide and in 2001, Moira was awarded an Order of Australia.

The Ozanam Lecture celebrates the spirit of social justice and the charisma of the Society's founder, Frederic Ozanam, the young Parisian University student who responded by providing practical support and friendship to the poor and destitute created by the Industrial Revolution.

The Society's Victorian State President, Syd Tutton said, "We are proud to continue the tradition of presenting excellent lecturers who advocate for society's disadvantaged and continue to raise community consciousness of contemporary social justice issues. The Society's passion for justice continues, providing friendship and support valued at over $5 million annually and assisting over 600,000 people in Victoria alone."

The biography of Ms Kelly on the Foundation's website says she was just eight years old when she watched a documentary at school about the life and work of the late Mother Teresa. Arriving home, she vowed to her mother that one day, she would work with the Calcutta Saint. Many years later, Moira did indeed work with the celebrated nun and it was then the seeds of her own personal philosophy were sown. "Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved."

Respondent Fr Peter Norden, Policy Director for Jesuit Social Services, who is best known in recent years for his work in mental health policy, substance abuse programs, the impact of gambling, youth suicide prevention and the entrenchment of the disadvantaged in Australia. Fr Norden has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Science and Planning at RMIT University.

Thursday's event will take place at 7:30 pm in St Francis Church, in Lonsdale Street, in Central Melbourne.

Ozanam Lecture (St Vincent de Paul Society 23/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Children First Foundation | Moira Kelly
St Vincent de Paul Society
Jesuit Social Services
Frank Brennan SJ: The Church's Voice and State Powers for Justice and Peace: Seeking Decency, Harmony and Equality for All (2004 Ozanam Lecture)

24 May 2005