Former world marathon champion Robert de Castella is the featured speaker at the upcoming Dare to be Different Forum, to be hosted at Xavier College in Melbourne by Xavier Social Justice Network (XSJN).
The forum, with the theme ‘Discernment to Action’, will also feature addresses from the Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Australia, Fr Brian McCoy, and Old Xaverian Shaun Bourke.
In 2010 de Castella launched the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), a charity that uses running to celebrate Indigenous health, wellbeing and pride to create inspirational Indigenous leaders.
Each year IMF selects 12 Indigenous men and women aged 18 to 30 years old, mostly non-runners, and over the course of six months takes them on a transformational journey to run the New York City Marathon.
Fr McCoy’s address will draw on his extensive life and priestly experiences in Aboriginal communities in northern Australia.
Fr McCoy entered the Society of Jesus from Xavier College in 1966. He was appointed as Provincial for the Australian Jesuit Province in 2014, and in 2017 initiated the ‘Bookends Project’, which brings together the Jesuits’ concerns for Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers.
He received a Doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2014 that focused on the health of Aboriginal men.
Bourke is in his final year of a Bachelor of Education at Monash University.
Since leaving Xavier in 2014, Bourke, while undergoing a Bachelor of Education at Monash University, has volunteered with the St Vincent de Paul Soup Van, becoming President of the Fitzroy operation in 2017.
He has also been involved in advocating for Indigenous youth through his extensive volunteering in Bourke, NSW, a remote Indigenous community with high levels of youth crime.
The forum, moderated by XSJN volunteer and former ABC Radio National journalist Margaret Coffey, is targeted to all ages from Grade 5 upwards.
When: Thursday 5 September 7:30–9:30pm
Where: Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre, Xavier College, 135 Barkers Rd, Kew, Vic.
Tickets: General admission $15 Concession $5. Book Here
Indigenous art showcase
An Indigenous art exhibition and fundraiser presented by McCulloch & McCulloch /EVERYWHEN Artspace, Flinders, in association with the Xavier College Student Committee for Indigenous Affairs, will run alongside the Dare to be Different forum.
The sale of artworks from the exhibition will raise funds for Purple House, which provides dialysis services to remote communities throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Food vans will be on site from 6pm so that guests to the forum and exhibition can gather with the Xavier Community and share a meal.