Women’s Taskforce Celebrates One Year

It’s been just over a year since consultations with women across the Archdiocese resulted in the formation of the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn Women’s Taskforce (ACGWT), a peak body dedicated to providing opportunities for connection, faith formation and enhanced participation for women in the Church. 

Despite bushfires, a pandemic and the unexpected closure of the national Office for the Participation of Women, the 12 local Taskforce members pushed on valiantly through a hugely productive first year. 

As well as the inevitable work in setting up a new organisation (negotiating name, branding, structures, processes, goals and tasks) the Taskforce launched a website (womenstaskforceacg.org) audited Archdiocesan decision making forums and lobbied the restructured ACBC to include women’s participation in their new mandate and expand the local plenary delegation to include more than one woman.

Most importantly though, the Taskforce hosted three very successful events which functioned to connect, enrich and encourage the women of the Archdiocese in a very difficult year.  

An International Women’s Day Breakfast was held in March to lament and raise funds for bushfire affected areas of the Archdiocese. 

A Reflection Afternoon in August was broadcast via YouTube to over 80 small groups who gathered around the Archdiocese to enjoy the event simultaneously. Five women’s prayer groups led various expressions of prayer and speakers Clara Geoghegan (an executive secretary for the ACBC) and Bridget Cooney (Archdiocesan delegate to the Plenary Council) offered their perspectives on lay mission. 

Finally, in November, Andrea Dean and Clare Condon ran a zoom reflection on Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, which was extremely well attended.

Goals, tasks and events for 2021 were decided at the closing meeting for 2020 where outgoing Chair, Lara Kirk, handed over the baton to Andrea Dean. 

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