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  • Caring for Creation –
    Catholic Education Melbourne’s response to Care for our Common Home

    In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, the Religious Education Conference has gone green. 

    We have sought to make this Religious Education Conference a practical and visible witness to living sustainably on our God-given planet. Therefore, we will be providing all information and resources through an online platform for delegates to access on smart devices. Wherever possible, we have sought out suppliers whose practices align with these teachings and we have tried to consider all aspects of this conference for its social and environmental impact.

    Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ reminds us that as Christians we are called by God to be trustees of this planet. We need to treat it and everything on it with respect, as it is created by God.

    The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 2015, n. 5).

    Many of us recognise that by living the way we currently do, we are impacting negatively on the environment and on the lives of those who depend on it for their own survival. We have not yet realised the full impact of living a throw-away lifestyle, not only on future generations, but on our existing human population. Water pollution, deforestation and soil erosion are side effects of our growing need for cheaper and newer products.

    Another is the impact of environmental damage on the lives of people who produce these products. Many of these communities have to live in substandard conditions, with limited access to education, medical assistance or support to improve their living conditions because of the economic power of many big businesses and their relentless drive for profit. Our current lifestyle has severe repercussions on the environment and our global social, economic and political stability.

    Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical that ‘humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it’ (n. 23) Catholic Social Teaching makes this call clear with its emphasis on the dignity of the human person, solidarity, the common good, the preferential option for the poor and our responsibility to be stewards of creation.

     Water  The bottles of water are supplied by Thank You: the bottles are made of 50% recycled plastic (rPET) and are BPA-free. Thank You is a social enterprise and 100% of their profits is directed to funding food, water, health and sanitation programs across the world. thankyou 
     Tea & Coffee  beraldo  The coffee is Beraldo organic Fairtrade coffee. The tea is SereniTEA organic Fairtrade tea (supplied by Beraldo Coffee).
     Keep Cup  Conference delegates all receive a Keep Cup, designed in Australia to encourage the use of reusable cups and reduce the use of disposable cups. You may choose to use your Keep Cup during the conference.  keepcup 
     Food Share  The Catholic Leadership Centre donates all food not consumed (in line with government food safety regulations) to Innerspace, which provides a drop-in shelter as part of a number of health and harm minimisation services for drug users. innerspace 
     Paper   To prevent unnecessary deforestation and excessive land-fill this conference is as paperless as possible. All paper used by Catholic Education Melbourne and the Catholic Leadership Centre is supplied by Office Max.  Office Max has made a conscious choice to reduce carbon emissions and source environmentally sound paper. officemax 
    Field of Mercy Components  The plastic spikes used in the Field of Mercy installation will be re-purposed after the conference and forwarded
    to Scent of a Flower florist for re-use.
     Public Transport  To promote the reduction of carbon emissions we encourage all delegates, where possible, to use public transport to travel to and from the conference. Delegates can get to the conference via tram, train or bus:
    • Tram 12 (Victoria Gardens – St Kilda) and tram 109 (Box Hill – Port Melbourne) – stop 18. These trams can be accessed from Southern Cross or Parliament station. 
    • Train to North Richmond Station on the South Morang line or Hurstbridge line. 
    • Bus routes 246, 302, 303, 305, 309, 313, 315, 318, 340, 905, 906, 907, 908. For route information see the Catholic Leadership Centre web page or the Public Transport Victoria website.
  • 'Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.' (Luke 6: 36)