Perth Archbishop reflects on diversity in Joondalup

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe addresses the guests at the City of Joondalup’s 2019 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast. Picture: Chris Kershaw
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe addresses the guests at the City of Joondalup’s 2019 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast. Picture: Chris Kershaw

THE State’s most senior Catholic leader was in Joondalup yesterday to talk about diversity, tolerance and respect.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe addressed more than 150 local high school students and guests at the City of Joondalup’s 2019 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, which was this year themed Diversity in Communities.

He said while the multicultural and multi-faith nature of the City was something to be “proud of and grateful” for, it was something the community should never take for granted or become complacent about.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Mayor Albert Jacob and the Sacred Heart College Contemporary Band and Singers. Picture: Chris Kershaw

“The ongoing success of a respectful multicultural society depends on the willingness of all of us to genuinely make room for each other,” he said.

“Being tolerant is not enough. We also need to be a respectful community.

“It’s good we tolerate each other and live and let live, but it’s much better if we respect each other and allow ourselves to be enriched by each other.”

St Mark’s Anglican Community School students Nick Davison, Caitlin Hetebry, Patrick Kenny and Katie Marshall with Moore MHR Ian Goodenough and principal Steven Davies. Picture: Chris Kershaw

The Archbishop also turned to the issue of religious freedom and spoke of the many “world views” which compete for space.

“The concept of a ‘world view’ refers to the deepest convictions we, as individuals and communities, cherish about what it means to be a human person in relationship with self, with others, with the world around us and with God,” he said.

Sacred Heart College principal Peter Bothe and students Dorcasse Bugeme-Akonkwa, Jessica Haskis and Alex Krajcar. Picture: Chris Kershaw

He also said he tried to “follow a suggestion made by the past three popes”.

“It is the task of the church to proposed endlessly, but never to impose,” he said.

“In a multicultural and multi-faith environment, a mature society will enable and encourage the expression of a variety of ‘world views’, as long as they are proposed for reflection, discussion and consideration rather than imposed by any kind of intimidation or coercion.”

Duncraig Senior High School chaplain Matt Denholm and students Jennifer Storey, Haylee Walsh, Coco Murak-Hughes and Grace Vague. Picture: Chris Kershaw

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said Diversity in Communities was an apt theme for the City of Joondalup with almost 40 per cent of residents born overseas, more than 10 per cent from non-English speaking backgrounds and more than 30 different religious organisations based within its boundaries.

“Having 40 per cent of residents born overseas is a remarkable thing to reflect on,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“Think about what that means in terms of what those people bring to share with the rest of us.

Mayor Albert Jacob and Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren WA president Jan Standen. Picture: Chris Kershaw

“I’m not sure if that level of diversity is replicated right across the country… but it is a good example of the multicultural nature of our Australian society.”

The breakfast also featured performances from the Sacred Heart College Contemporary Band and Singers, including an Indigenous Our Father and Welcome to Country, and raised more than $2000 for Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren.

Sacred Heart College band member and The Voice Australia grand finalist Jordan Anthony. Picture: Chris Kershaw
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe. Picture: Chris Kershaw
Picture: Chris Kershaw