The latest media releases from the Australian Jesuit Province.
14 July 2023: Statement – Theo Overberg
The trial of Fr Theo Overberg SJ has concluded with a verdict of guilty on three charges of indecent assault. The charges were laid in relation to offences when Fr Overberg was a teacher at St Ignatius’ College Riverview in the mid-1970s.
7 December 2022 – Appointment of Bookends Project Officer
Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ announces the appointment of Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO to the role of Bookends Project Officer for The Bookends Project in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) for 2023.
12 October 2022 – A Province-wide Young Adult Ministry – The Cardoner Network
Provincial Fr Quyen Vu SJ announces the establishment of a Province-wide Young Adult Ministry, The Cardoner Network, to engage in ministries of faith, service and community with young adults.
3 May 2021 – Jesuit composer conferred Honorary Doctorate by ACU for contribution to liturgical music
Australian Jesuit composer Fr Christopher Willcock SJ has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Australian Catholic University (ACU) for his contribution to liturgical music within the Catholic Church.
ACU conferred the honour on Fr Willcock at a graduation ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 28 April 2021.
4 May 2020 – Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and ACU announce new collaborative relationship.
The Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and Australian Catholic University are pleased to announce a new agreement for the delivery of ACU accredited courses by the Jesuit College of Spirituality (JCS).
This collaboration, which will start on 1 January 2021, opens new opportunities for JCS and ACU students both domestically and internationally.
4 May 2020 – Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and University of Divinity Joint Statement.
From 1 January 2020, Jesuit College of Spirituality, a work of the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus, will change its higher education provider and cease to be a College of the University of Divinity.
30 October 2019 – Australian Jesuits announce new expanded operating model and governance structure for Spirituality Ministry.
The Australian Province of the Society of Jesus (the Australian Jesuits) have today announced a new agile operating model and governance structure for their Spirituality Ministry to come into effect as of 1 January 2020, in response to a changing world and an evolving, more spiritually discerning community.
The changes support the first of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the global Society of Jesus for the next ten years, announced in February this year, and priorities identified in the Australian Jesuits’ five-year Apostolic Plan announced in April.
20 February 2019 – The Society of Jesus announces Universal Apostolic Preferences for the next ten years
The Society of Jesus last night announced Universal Apostolic Preferences to guide the Society in terms of focus of attention and resources for the next ten years.
The Provincial of the Australian Jesuits, Father Brian McCoy SJ said, ‘With our strong focus here on social justice, spiritual formation and formation of youth, the preferences already align well with the work of the Society in Australia and will help inform our own Apostolic Planning over coming months.’
17 December 2018 – Announcement: Redress, Review, Reporting
The Australian Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) has joined the National Redress Scheme for those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
In the spirit of openness and transparency, the Australian Jesuits have also today announced the appointment of The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC QC, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria to review the movement of former Jesuit brother, Victor Higgs, from Adelaide to Sydney.
The Society has today released its second Safeguarding Children Annual Report, reporting its responses to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, as well as reporting complaints of abuse received in the 12 months to 30 June 2018.
9 October 2018: Joint Statement – Victor Higgs
On 9 October 2018 former Jesuit Brother, Victor Higgs was found guilty of offences committed whilst teaching at the College between 1971 and 1981. Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview and the Province of the Australian Jesuits make the following statement in response.
“To those who suffered abuse by Victor Higgs we apologise without reservation for the pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the crimes committed against them.
“We express our deep regret and sorrow for what occurred.”
31 October 2017: Australian Jesuits welcome Redress Scheme
The Australian Jesuits have welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s Redress Scheme for survivors of past institutional child sexual abuse, tabled in Parliament last week.
‘In contrast to the bill that has been tabled, we believe the Scheme should follow the Royal Commission’s recommendations in these areas, that all survivors should have access to the Scheme, the maximum payment should be $200,000 and the Scheme should run for longer than ten years’, Fr McCoy said.
2 June 2017: Australian Jesuit Province responds to divestment call
Australian Provincial Fr Brian McCoy SJ has committed the Australian Jesuits to joining with other organisations around the world in responding to the call to divest from fossil fuels.
6 February 2017: Jesuits at the Royal Commission this month
Four Jesuits are set to appear before the Royal Commission during the ‘wrap up’ hearings into a broad range of issues related to the Catholic Church’s response to issues of sexual abuse.
10 November 2016: Jesuits welcome redress scheme
The Provincial of the Australian Jesuits, Fr Brian McCoy SJ, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a National Redress Scheme for survivors of sexual abuse.
‘I’m very pleased at the prospect of abuse survivors having an independent and fair process for seeking redress for the harm that they have suffered in institutions.’
7 September 2016: Comprehensive strategy to safeguard children and young people
A comprehensive strategy to enhance professional standards for the safeguarding of children and young people has been announced by Father Brian McCoy SJ, Provincial of the Australian Jesuit Province.
9 March 2016: Province statement regarding Victor Higgs
A statement from Jesuit Provincial Fr Brian McCoy in regards to Victor Higgs, a former Jesuit Brother who was sentenced in Adelaide earlier this year after pleading guilty to charges of abuse: ‘We condemn any abuse of children or young people, and offer an unreserved apology for the trauma caused by any Jesuit who betrayed others in this way. We also encourage anyone with evidence of criminal behaviour committed by anyone in our ministries to report the matter to the police so that the appropriate investigation can be undertaken.’
Province Communications Manager: Mr David McMahon