Lismore Central Council Gets its First Young Adult Conference

Members and staff in Lismore Central Council have collaborated to establish the first Young Adult Conference. Members got straight to work, engaging with elderly locals, many of whom experience social isolation and loneliness.

Lismore Central Council has its first Young Adult Conference – the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Conference!

The Conference is an initiative of Lismore Central Council staff, Central Council President Gail Gaudron, Regional Director, Clare van Doorn, and local Carmelite nun, Sister Di Moralde.

After months of preparation and collaboration between Gail, Sr. Di and Lismore Member and Community Engagement Coordinator Rosetta Leo, the Conference was formed on 18 June 2021. The founding members are Sr. Di (Spiritual Advisor), Jona Andersen (Vice President), Renee Arringer (Secretary) and Rosetta Leo (President).

The mission of Frassati is to ‘fill the gap’ between local community needs, and the services that currently exist. Conference activities will include home visits to the housebound, homeless outreach, Buddies Days, and social events for members. And the conference has already started planning a fundraising campaign to raise funds for a much-needed Vinnies Van Service for Lismore!

Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions and precautions meant that some community activities had to be postponed in the latter part of last year, but, as soon as it was possible, Frassati Conference Members organised a Christmas morning tea and gathering with the residents of the St Matthew’s local parish units.

Conference Members served the residents tea, coffee, fruit, and sweet and savoury Christmas treats. Residents clearly enjoyed the opportunity to gather and catch up with each other. They all participated in a fun icebreaker game which helped us learn a little bit about each other. The gathering ended beautifully with the singing of Christmas Carols by Sr Di, Sr Jean, and Annabel.

Conference President, Rosetta, said ‘at the end of the event, as one resident and I washed up, she said to me “your group has opened the door to a whole new world for us”. I was deeply moved. I thought to myself that this is what being a Vincentian is all about’.

Another resident gave the Conference a small donation to support their conference work and it has already been put towards fundraising for the Vinnies Van.

The residents have asked the Conference Members to return so further morning teas will be held on the first Thursday of each month (COVID-19 restrictions permitting).

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