JOURNEYING WITH YOUTH
By Fr Ramesh Richards SJ
When I was asked to temporarily take the lead at The Cardoner Network (TCN), it felt to me like one of its young adults: filled with dreams and ambitions, ready to leave the difficult COVID period behind, and grow into its fullness. My eight months as Acting CEO of TCN has been exciting and life-giving, to say the least.
There were three main highlights of Cardoner during that period, the first of which was the resumption of immersions and volunteering across the Northern Territory, Nepal and Thailand post-COVID. It has been truly wonderful to witness the energy and thirst for service that these young adults possess as they leave the comforts of home behind them!
The second was prioritising the community aspect of the Two Wolves Community Cantina. The Cantina goes to the margins of society where young adults and people living on the margins can share stories over a burrito and brownie.
At the beginning of the year, Cardoner partnered with an organisation that trains recently arrived refugees in culinary arts and opened a restaurant based on the ethnic background of the cohort. The ground floor that used to house the Cantina will in August become a Ukrainian restaurant! The basement of Jesuit House will be undergoing minor renovations to make it a conducive gathering space for young adults. More updates soon!
Thirdly, in recent months with The Cardoner Project becoming The Cardoner Network, we are excited and proud to include The Wolves in Action, the Jesuit’s young adult ministry in South Australia, and The Cardoner Community in Victoria into the one Jesuit Province Young Adult Ministry, The Cardoner Network. It’s a blessing that we are now about to help with collaboration and coordination of engagement with young adults across all Province ministries.
It is the nature of Young Adult Ministry to evolve by firstly discerning the pulse and needs of the young adults. As Cardoner continues to evolve, it requires a CEO who is able to engage and maintain relationships with our diverse range of stakeholders, be financially savvy and be open to learning, especially learning from young people.
Cardoner is excited to welcome Stuart Salier as the new CEO of Cardoner. Stuart has been in the role since the end of July and has hit the ground running. Stuart joins us after 25 years at Optus, most recently as Director of Optus Insurance Services. He began at Optus as corporate counsel and has held a number of roles there, including Deputy General Counsel and Director of Investor Relations. Stuart brings a range of corporate competencies to this important leadership role, including his demonstrated capacity to form strong relationships and work productively with a range of stakeholders. His extensive experience in finance and the management of risk, together with his proven ability to problem–solve and collaborate, will enable him to seize the opportunities for growth in this important ministry.