Speakers included Jarrod McKenna (World Vision Australia National Adviser for Youth, Faith and Activism), the Rev. Elenie Poulos (UnitingJustice Australia National Director), and Julie McCrossin (broadcaster and journalist). As well as presentations from the main speakers, the expo featured workshops on a range of issues from asylum seeker justice to climate change and standing up for the rights of seniors.
The expo came into existence as a joint initiative of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT, UnitingCare NSW/ACT and Paddington Uniting Church, and built on the tradition of social justice concern within the Uniting Church in Australia.
Ms Poulos, UnitingJustice Australia National Director, spoke about the role of the Uniting Church and its responsibility to speak out against injustice. She stated that the issues on the church’s agenda were not just Christian values but universal values, including the welfare of the human race, standing against racism, defending basic rights and the protection of the environment.
What can we do? A common theme weaving throughout the day was to never do for others that which they can do for themselves. It was about empowering others and encouraging participants to learn, pray, give, speak and work in the area to better understand and advocate for issues close to their hearts. It was about taking action with voices being a very powerful tool.
Following the Faith and Justice Expo was a youth rally. The rally was a reflection and celebration of how we can put our faith in action with Jarrod McKenna as keynote, worship lead by Oneheart Sydney and performances by Speakeasy.
Overall, the event inspired, challenged and equipped participants to work with others for the common good with an incredible line-up of speakers who were ready to share their wisdom.