National – ASCM bi annual executive meeting was held in Brisbane in January at the Australian Catholic University. This meeting was a time of shared reflection, worship, prayer and song during which SCMers from all active states met to facilitate the business and life of ASCM. This meeting was the first carbon neutral meeting of the ASCM with a resolution being passed to purchase carbon offsets to neutralise the carbon emitted by our air travel to the meeting. By buying the carbon offsets from a local not-for-profit, volunteer based, community organisation we have ensured that enough trees are planted to facilitate the dendro sequestration of the carbon emitted by our air travel which is one of the primary causes of global warming. Preparations are also underway for ASCM’s next national conference on the theme of Habitat to be held during Perth in June/July 2007. JG, the national Magazine also continues to be produced regularly. The most recent issue was on the theme of Heroes.
Australian Capital Territory – The branch at the Australian National University in Canberra attracted wide interest from students following their annual Orientation Week activities on campus. A welcome dinner was held at the house of a local SCMer and attracted a large number of people, including many joining the ASCM for the first time. The ACT are also preparing to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Students this year as is the tradition of their branch and the WSCF.
New South Wales – The Sydney SCM branch is a cross campus branch involving students from the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney. The branch meets monthly for dinner at the house of a local SCMer and attends various events of interest organised in Sydney. Recent events attended by Sydney SCMers include the Survival Day Celebrations of the Indigenous Gadigal Tribe held on Australia Day, a national public holiday that commemorates the invasion or settlement of the first Europeans in 1788. SCMers also attended a weekend retreat on the gospel of non-violence lead by John Dear SJ.
Tasmania – The ASCM minutes secretary continues her involvement from Tasmania. She is currently completing her PhD and is the only SCM student in Tasmania at this time.
Western Australia – The ASCM is meeting regularly at three universities in Perth; Murdoch University, The University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University. The organisation of SCM activities throughout the branches is assisted by a dedicated staff worker, Clare Schultz who meets regularly with the students throughout the branches to keep them in touch with local events of interest to SCMers. The WA Area Council is also hosting the 2007 national conference and has been busy planning and preparing for that.
Victoria – There is loose network of SCM friends and interested students operating in Victoria. Their energy and commitment allowed the National Conference Day and July General Committee Meeting to be held Melbourne last year following WSCF AP - SCM Joint Women’s Programme.
Queensland – The SCM in Queensland has recently employed a new staff worker Caroline Loader who has been working hard to build a branch community of students in Brisbane at the Australian Catholic University. The Queensland Area Council hosted the January executive meeting and organised professional development training for ASCM staff and office bearers at the meeting.