The face of the Australian Church is changing. Many parish communities are becoming increasingly ethnically diverse with a growing number of parishioners, in recent times, coming from African and Asian countries. This richness of culture adds to the presence of those parishioners who have already come from Latin American, South East Asian and European countries. Our parishes are called to provide pastoral care for and invite the gifted contribution of migrants and refugees in the midst of our parish communities and neighbourhoods. This workshop will provide strategies and approaches for building up the life of multiethnic parishes so that these communities can be truly ‘catholic’ in the mission of evangelisation, united in faith and diverse in expression.
Brenda Hubber has worked for the Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office for over 15 years. Prior to this, she was a legal secretary, an office administrator in the private sector, an electorate officer for a state politician, and held various secretarial and administrative roles in the tertiary education sector. Brenda is currently Chair of the Victorian St Vincent de Paul Society’s Refugees, Asylum Seekers & Migrants (RASM) Committee and a member of the national Vincentian Refugee Network. Along with the Episcopal Vicar for Migrants & Refugees, she co-ordinates a network of about 50 migrant chaplains that provide pastoral care to over 20 language groups. Brenda works in partnership with various internal agencies of the Melbourne Archdiocese to provide pastoral support to the migrant chaplains and their communities. She also works in partnership with some external organisations to advocate for the better treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants that come to call Australia ‘home’.