Broken Bay Central Council
The Conversations Conference
Q1. What is Conversations Conference? Conversations Conference is a free service of St Vincent de Paul Society that aims to break down the language barriers in our community through conversations in a friendly environment. We encourage non-English speaking immigrants or people of any religion, age, gender or race to participate and gain confidence in conversational English to integrate in the Australian community.
Q2. What do you enjoy the most about the Conference? We enjoy the nature of conversations as we discuss different topics each week and learn from each other. We talk about travels, music, experiences, favourite food, different cultures to name a few. Everyone is encouraged and supported to speak as much or as little as they felt comfortable to do. There was a distinct lack of judgement of peoples’ stories, experiences or language ability, altogether it is a very positive, friendly and supportive environment.
Q3. How do the actions of your group or ministry speak about the love of Jesus? Through the kindness and show of empathy to one another. The mentors are there to provide a supportive environment for participants to be able to build more confidence in speaking in a social environment. Also as a mentor we learn from our participants as they share their culture and experiences.
Q4. What are you passionate about? We are passionate about helping others to improve their communication skills and integrate in the Australian society. Being involved in Conversations Conference is a great opportunity to help people improve their confidence in conversational English while being able to learn about their interesting backgrounds and experiences which helps in learning our view of the world.
Q5. If you could ask Jesus to change one issue in the world today, which would it be? We pray for the people in the world to shake off poverty and find comfort wherever they are, free from diseases and for the wars to stop and create harmony in the world so that everyone can live a peaceful life and enjoy pure bliss.
Q6. How has being part of this ministry effected you? Being part of this ministry has made a difference in my life and the lives of others because of the friendship and care that we offer, we are able to help non-English speaking people to integrate in the Australian society. We are able to break the language barrier in a small scale and we see the growing confidence of our participants each and every week. It’s quite a satisfying experience. We aim to grow this community and have the model adopted across NSW where many of the refugees or migrants could potentially benefit.
Q7. How can parishioners get involved? If you know friends or family members who may benefit from meeting new friends who are keen to learn conversational English or if you would like to participate as a mentor, please contact Christian Salandanan to register on: (02) 9568 0288 or via email at: email@example.com . Conference meeting is held every Thursdays from 6.30pm to 8pm. Meetings are currently held online via zoom. We will announce once health risks due to Covid-19 is much lower to meet face to face. It’s usually held at the Chatswood Parish meeting rooms corner of Kirk and Archer street just opposite Our Lady of Dolours Parish Catholic Church.