The Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy is one of the initiatives that grew out of the work of Social Policy Connections, as we realised that an advocacy body could not easily manage substantial research work as well. Sir Gus Nossal advised us to forge a link with a major institution, and so we developed our association with the Melbourne College of Divinity. In this way, our supporters have helped both SPC and the Yarra Institute on their journey.
We especially acknowledge the financial support from some key Catholic religious orders, most notably the Redemptorist priests and brothers and the Brigidine Sisters of Victoria. A further grant from the Brigidine Sisters' Education for Justice Project helped fund this website. The Sisters of Mercy (Bathurst), the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the Columban Missionary Society and the Dominican Friars have also helped us financially.
In addition, we are most greatful for the financial support from John and Paula McLeod, Ms Bernadette Reeders, and Drs Jim and Therese D'Orsa.
Very important for us has been the support of MacKillop Family Services which not only helped us financially, but also with our website and invaluable guidance from Mr Graham McKern about fund-raising. Our web providers at Quantum Interactive in Perth, particularly Calum McLeod, have gone out of their way to help with our website and train us to manage it.
We also wish to acknowledge the support and encouragement of colleagues and the several hundred people who have attended our meetings or been part of our consultations. We hope that our new organisations meet your expectations, but we are always grateful for feedback and suggestions.
We welcome and encourage your participation in our activities, as we provide new vehicles for engaging with some of the more pressing issues of our day. Please stay tuned to our website.
The Yarra Institute is most grateful to the professional assistance of Mr Matthew Howard in designing and building the present website. Not least, we thank our colleagues at Yarra Theological Union, especially Sr Kathleeen Williams SM, Fr Larry Nemer SVD, Fr Greg Brett CM, Sr Catherine McCahill SGS and Fr Michael Kelly CSsR, along with Dr Paul Beirne and Dr Charles Sherlock among others at the Melbourne College of Divinity. Without their support and encouragement, the Yarra Institute could not have been born.