Home' Aurora : Aurora October 2014 Contents 19
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
MEN (ARE) ALIVE
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Look around the church. Where are
all the men? Apar t from the top spots,
they ar e often involved less fr equently
and avidly than the women. Why this
relative disconnect between men and
Questions like these prompted Rober t
Falzon and other men in Brisbane, just
over ten year s ago, to use their proven
talents in business and professions to
reach out to men. They wanted to involve
ordinary men deeply in the life of the
Church by allowing them to experience
together the Spirit of Christ alive
Look at the website. Their apostolic zeal
and broad outreach is there to see in the
number of parishes and the number of
men who have experienced their many
My home parish, Wallsend-Shor tland,
hosted a MenALIVE weekend three
years ago. Men's faith-sharing groups have
flourished here since then.
The group I belong to benefits from their
S-O-A-P technique. From the coming
Sunday gospel we silently and individually
choose a Scripture word or phrase; we
record our personal Obser vation about
it; we write a pr actical Application to our
life ; we finish by penning a simple Pr ayer
that brings it together.
We conclude discussions by offering our
individual prayer s, which always seem
to have us saying a communal 'Amen' to
what we had individually written from
A woman has now joined our group. She
wanted the experience which made
her man mor e alive in faith when he got
home. Her insights and contributions
ar e so valuable. She's an honorary man
on those Wednesday nights ! Don't
Father Kevin Corrigan travelled to
Brisbane six year s ago to experience
the MenALIVE weekend he had read
about. It wa s so good he brought the
team to Forster to benefit 35 of his male
parishioner s. Some of them continue to
gather for the S-O-A-P exercise. One
For ster man, Glen Strong, has reached
out to Father Kevin's current parish
at Nelson Bay.
On the weekend of 18-19 October, the
MenALIVE team will work with the men
of St Michael's, Nelson Bay. Glen has
signed up eight or nine already, following
a promotional visit to 'the Bay'. Others
from For ster have offered to assist at the
weekend itself. "They ar e mindful," Kevin
says appreciatively, "of moving other men
into the experience, which is not overly
confronting but actually stimulating."
Obser ving male church-goers, Kevin ha s
noted, "ther e ar e quite a few standing
BY MICHAEL O'CONNOR
around by themselves . MenALIVE brings
them together. Since men tend to have
crises quietly the companionship of other
men can promote their well-being."
Male well-being spreads, believes Kevin,
to wife and children, to workplace and
community. All benefit from men's active
par ticipation with others in the local
The men of St Michael's can expect a
letter inviting them to this event. Kevin
and other men will be per sonally inviting
as well. They extend a genuine welcome
to men from other parishes to join them.
The profound insight of Saint Ir enaeus
-- "the glory of God is man fully alive" --
embr aces both gender s , of course, and
should be rendered in neutral language.
There is value, however, in the non-PC
for m when it encour ages males to find
fuller life through mateship with one
another and Jesus in the Church.
Please visit www.menalive.org.au.
(l-r) Paul McKay,Timothy Passfield, Fr Kevin Corrigan, Norman Ainsworth and
BY JENNIFER RUMBEL
Young learner driver s taking par t in an
innovative new licensing program in Taree and
Raymond Terrace need driving mentor s in
order to start tur ning the keys to their future.
Jennifer Rumbel explains.
"Adam" was charged with unlicensed
driving, with the magistr ate giving him
one month to obtain his 'L' plates or face
gaol time. Adam negotiated payment for
his outstanding fines and secured his 'Ls'
before approaching "Driving Change", an
innovative progr am that assists with driving
lessons and the use of a vehicle for his
test. Adam knows a licence is the ticket
to freedom and happiness for his family,
with oppor tunities for employment and
The Driving Change progr am, which
assisted Adam, is run by the George
Institute for Global Health to provide
extra suppor t to help young Aboriginal
and Torres Str ait Islander people to obtain
a driver's licence, allowing them better
access to employment, education and
The Institute has a car, lots of really keen,
excited young people enrolling, and now
we need mentors; driver super visors to
help these learners gain their licences.
Many of the young people we are working
with need a driver's licence to access jobs
but have no super vising driver to gain the
hours of practice needed.
The volunteer mentors will be required
to go through an application process and
be available for a minimum of at least one
two-hour driving session per for tnight. All
checks and training costs will be covered by
Aboriginal Legal Ser vices field officer
Lou Stanton, who channels young clients
through the Driving Change program, said
the program was par t of a holistic approach
in educating young road users to be safe
and responsible drivers.
Par ticipants have already under taken
driving lessons, funded by the NSW Police
Manning/Great Lakes Command $5000
gr ant under The Aboriginal Str ategic
Dir ection Plan 2014/2015.
"Helping young driver s obtain their
licences to a provisional level increases
their confidence and job oppor tunities
and their ability to carry out family duties.
Doing it in such a suppor ted manner
allows these young driver s to under stand
the responsibilities that go with a driver's
licence, and makes them much safer driver s,
to the benefit of the communities in which
they drive," said Mr Stanton.
Progr am leader Professor Rebecca Iver s, of
The George Institute and The Univer sity
of Sydney, said, "Driving Change is a
community-led program that helps break
through the barriers that some young
Aboriginal people have to getting a licence,
such as access to identification documents,
limited availability of super vising drivers or
cars and prohibitive lesson costs."
Austr alian data show that Aboriginal and
Torres Str ait Islander people are almost 1.5
times more likely to be seriously injured,
and almost three times as likely to die, from
road traffic injury compared with other
To be a volunteer mentor or to learn more,
please visit w ww.drivingchange.com.au. You
can P Taree Manager Jennifer Rumbel 0410
589 223 or E jrumbel@georgeinstitute.
org.au or P Raymond Terrace Manager
Peter Kafer 0414 857 457 or E pkafer@
"Adam" was delighted with the
outcome of the "driving change"
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