This course has grown into an intensive full-time program of up to three weeks’ duration, for which through extra work involving written assignments the participants can obtain academic credit with the University of Newcastle via the Broken Bay Institute.
The principal presenters of the course each year have been Fr Paul Maloney O.S.A., the director of the Augustinian Spirituality Centre at Greystanes (Sydney) and Mr Paul Wilson, who is employed full-time as the Justice and Peace Officer of the Australian Province. The former instructs in Augustinian spirituality and tradition, and the latter in social work and immediate matters in relation to volunteering in a supervised context. The underpinning thread is the Gospel principles of social justice, especially as evident in the words and deeds of St Augustine.
Seven women and one man participated in the course during February 2013, coming from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. A greater proportion of them are aged in their early twenties and are university students, while two of them are teachers. For the number of hours that they will serve as Augustinian Volunteers for the next twelve months, they will be placed in an area of social disadvantage in their home town, and receive supervision and support from AVA.
The 2013 preparation course concluded on Thursday evening, 21 February when Fr Tony Banks O.S.A. (Provincial) formally presented the new Volunteers with their certificates at Brookvale. Mr Paul Wilson spoke in commendation of the eight participants: “Our 2013 Volunteers have commenced their year with a shared study of major theological concerns in Justice and Peace. We congratulate our new AVA members on their commitment and focus over these weeks and look forward to the important work they will do as they now commence ministry on behalf of the Augustinians."
AVA volunteers are serving in Sydney and Brisbane, with the principal focus this year being service to Aboriginal youth at Redfern in the inner City, which occurs in conjunction with a longer-established Aboriginal organisation that is active there.
Quite recently tax-exempt status was granted to donations made to AVA; a Foundation had been established to source funds and to be the receipting entity of donations that are received.Course in 2014
AVA completed its seventh annual two-week full-time formation course with a closing liturgy on Friday, 21st February 2014. As usual the course presenters were Mr Paul Wilson, the full-time Justice and Peace Officer of the Australian Province, and Fr Paul Maloney O.S.A. There were ten participants in the course, some of whom accepted extra assignment-writing in order to receive credit for the course from the Broken Bay Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Newcastle. The course featured two main elements: firstly, the Church’s teaching on social justice and its practical implications for Augustinian Volunteers and, secondly, the spirituality of St Augustine of Hippo, which supports and underpins the social justice tasks that lay ahead for the Volunteers.
The course utilised two Sydney venues: the Broken Bay Institute at Pennant Hills and at the Augustinian formation centre in Brookvale, and there were immersion experiences at a number of other locations in the greater Sydney metropolitan area. Most of the course participants will now join the Augustinian Volunteer program for 2014. Augustinian Volunteers in 2016After adopting its well-tried preparatory practices of the past, AVA in 2016 has fifteen Volunteers in the field, one in Adelaide, one in Melbourne and thirteen in Sydney. Of those in Sydney nine volunteer in Redfern, being five in the Aboriginal program with Tribal Warrior, and four in The Settlement(afte-school tuition). The remaining four Sydney-based Volunteers assist in Western Sydney with migrant services. Of the fifteen volunteers in 2016, one is serving her fifth year and another her fourth year.
AVA Preparation course for 2017As usual, next year begins with a full-time two-week live-in course upon Justice and Peace at the Broken Bay Institute (affiliated with the University of Newcastle) and immersion experience with present Volunteers in inner and western Sydney. The couse takes place from 30 January 2017 to 11 February 2017 inclusive. Full details are available by contacting Paul Wilson at the contact points hereunder.Another video Augustinian Volunteers Australia https://vimeo.com/20315070
Mr Paul Wilson engaged part-time in Brisbane in July 2006, and moved to Sydney in a full-time role in January 2008. For further information about AVA, feel free to contact him.
Mr Paul Wilson, Justice and Peace OfficerOrder of St Augustine P.O. Box 7278 Warringah Mall Brookvale NSW 2100
Mobile phone: 0438 646 294 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTo see a typical issue issue of the Augustinian Justice and Peace Bulletin (April 2014), click here.