Food for Thought

Jesuit Social Services’ Annual Dinner made a return this year after a hiatus amidst the pandemic and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy was the key speaker on the night that focused on social justice.


Social justice was on the agenda as Jesuit Social Services hosted about 280 guests to its Annual Dinner on Saturday, March 25th at Melbourne’s Q Events – the first time the event had been held since 2019.

The largest event on the organisation’s fundraising calendar, the event featured an array of entertainment, raffles, auctions and insights into Jesuit Social Services’ ongoing work to build a just society, in addition to a powerful Frank Costigan QC address by Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.

Senator McCarthy, a Yanyuwa Garrawa woman, the Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Health, and a Labor Senator from the Northern Territory, spoke from the heart about the impact that a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament would have.

“Having a Voice enshrined in our Parliament will allow First Nations people to be empowered and always have a say in policies that impact them – what we can hopefully achieve is a better Australia,” she said.

Earlier in the evening, the audience was treated to a performance by Artful Dodgers Studios participant Mia Prestige, who sang her original song Clouds, as well as a speech by Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.

Ms. Edwards discussed the growth of Jesuit Social Services since the last event in 2019, including the expansion of The Men’s Project and the establishment of the Centre for Just Places and the Ignatius Learning Centre, and the impact that the organisation’s advocacy has on improving outcomes for people and communities. There was then an opportunity for attendees to pledge to support Jesuit Social Services’ work and ensure the organisation can continue to draw on its 45-plus year of service delivery to change systems, policies and practices that perpetuate inequality, prejudice, and exclusion.

Jesuit Social Services was grateful to see attendance from the Province and many schools and individuals from the Jesuit Network.

By Kathryn Kernohan, Media Relations Manager, Jesuit Social Services.

You can help to advocate for social change and promote the health and wellbeing of all by making a donation to Jesuit Social Services.

Photos by Janark Gray and Andrew Gillett.

Jesuit Social Services Annual Dinner 2023

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Fr John Martis SJ (left), Dr Guglielmo Gottoli and Provincial, Fr Quyen Vu SJ (right). Photo: Janark Gray