John Wallis Foundation

Journeying with people in hope, love and support...

The John Wallis Foundation continues the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service supporting people and communities experiencing hardship and disadvantage. 

We are inspired by a world which demonstrates compassion, justice and love in equal measure to all.

The Foundation runs an annual Small Grants Program, a series of inspiring speakers events, and other activities to strengthen community relationships. 

The Foundation is named in honour of Father John Wallis, founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service.

Due in July 2016 -
Click on image below to download the invitation and flyer for the Melbourne and Yea book launches

Bernadette Wallis, Missionary Sister Of Service, is the author of a newly published book entitled The Silent Book, the engrossing story, both deeply personal and historical, of the disappearing Australian-Irish sign language told through the experience of Bernadette’s own Deaf family. The story is embedded in the Australian landscape and its Aboriginal past.   In writing this multi-layered story, Bernadette invites the reader into the vibrantly alert and alive silent world of her Deaf parents.  

Reviewing the book, Margaret Coffey, broadcaster and journalist writes:

The Silent Book will be revelatory for most of us, as we learn of the history of a ‘threatened’ language once so vital in Australia. It is a fascinating tale in diverse ways: in its closeness to the colonial and rural context of its protagonists, its respect for indigenous naming and knowledge of that same landscape, its careful induction of the reader into a chronology of thinking about deafness and ways of educating deaf children. It adds another rich element to the extraordinary story of those 19th century lay and religious builders of Catholic community in Victoria and NSW.  With all this, at its heart The Silent Book is a moving account of family life and love and hopefulness.

The book will be available at its launch which is to take place in various centres (see dates and places below).  From August it will be available to buy on-line and from December it will be available as an E-book.  Details will be posted on this website.   Proceeds of the book will go to The John Wallis Foundation

The Silent Book will be launched in conjunction with the John Wallis Foundation in the following places:

The April 2016 issue of Highways & Byways is now available.   Click here to download or read

The April 2016 issue of Highways & Byways is now available.   Click here to download or read

2016 SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM draws 137 applications

Bernadette Wallis mss, Liz McAloon JWF Executive Officer, Amanda Freeman and Stancea Vichie mss assessing the Small Grants Applications. 

Bernadette Wallis mss, Liz McAloon JWF Executive Officer, Amanda Freeman and Stancea Vichie mss assessing the Small Grants Applications. 

They just kept coming: applications for funding for many creative initiatives to meet needs of people and communities in all States of Australia.   The small team of the Grants Committee, with help from Judy Cain of the Melbourne Branch of the John Wallis Foundation, spent many hours sifting through the 137 applications.      They were inspired by the creative ideas of the applicants who  saw a need and had the courage to do something about it.   The projects for which funding was sought were simple, practical and able to be done with a relatively small amount of money.   

The range of needs covered in the applications also gave a snapshot of many ways in which people are disadvantaged in our lucky country.   Social, economic, cultural and geographic factors all play a part in people's access to opportunities many of us take for granted.   While the John Wallis Foundation does not have the resources to fund every need, with the help of our generous supporters, this year the Foundation is able to fund 50 of the applications.   The recipients will be announced shortly.   

We hope that those we are unable to fund are able to find other sources of funding for their projects.

The John Wallis Foundation supports projects that are small, local, and completed within twelve months.  Projects accepted reflect the spirit of the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service, that is,

reaching out to people on the margins,

building relationships,

offering practical support

and developing leadership.   

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Our latest John Wallis Foundation Annual Report is available here. Click on the image above to read or download

Our latest John Wallis Foundation Annual Report is available here. Click on the image above to read or download

RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF MANY FAITHS COMBINE TO ADVOCATE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

Thursday 15 October over 50 Faith Leaders (including Stancea Vichie mss) from many Faith traditions met with representatives of the Federal Government and each of the major parties to express their concern for Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, particularly those on Nauru and Manus Island.   Click here for full story.

The John Wallis Foundation is funding 19 projects in the 2015 Small Grants Programme.   Details in the August edition of Highways & Byways.  Click here to read.

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Yarck to Yea:  Ride, Run or Walk

Saturday 12 September 2015 dawned to a clear sky, promising a glorious day for the John Wallis Yarck to Yea Ride, Run or Walk community and fundraiser.  

About 60 enthusiasts gathered at the Giddy Goat Cafe from about 9.00 a.m., many preparing themselves for the day with a coffee, some topping theirs up with an egg and bacon sandwich breakfast.   Registrations and formalities over, cyclists started off on their 29 km ride on the Great Victorian Rail Trail.   Walkers were taken to their starting points, depending on the distance they decided to walk - 5, 9 or 12 km.    

Photo gallery, click for further images.

The country was gloriously lush and green, the trail winding gently upwards between rolling hills, through valleys, past wetlands, through the Cheviot Tunnel, then a gentle down hill finale into Yea to the old Railway Station where the arrivals were greeted by aromas of sausages and hamburgers sizzling on barbecue, and the welcoming faces of the people who prepared the meal.    

John Brick makes and barbecues the best hamburgers in the country!

John Brick makes and barbecues the best hamburgers in the country!

St Patrick's Race Club provided the barbecue with salads, as they have done for this event each year.     A great selection of slices, tea, coffee and iced water completed the menu.    Many generous hands had contributed to the feast.  

One person commented:  "All this for a $20 entry fee!  It must be the cheapest fundraiser anywhere!"   That is very much in the spirit of the John Wallis Foundation.   It is about building community.   It is about including people on the margins.   We organise events at minimum cost and even that might be waived if necessary, so no one needs to miss out.  

At the end of the day - gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.... to the many people who helped organise and run the event.   They are too numerous to mention by name, but each has carved an appreciative place in the heart of the John Wallis Foundation.


2015 John Wallis Memorial Lectures

Sister Carol Zinn SSJ speaks in three States

The John Wallis Foundation organised an exciting series of lectures which took place in the middle of June.   The speaker was Sister Carol Zinn SSJ, a leading social justice advocate and environmentalist.    

Sister Carol Zinn speaking at Whyalla, SA, holding up one beautiful, fragile  living planet, our home.

Sister Carol Zinn speaking at Whyalla, SA, holding up one beautiful, fragile  living planet, our home.

Sister Carol  is on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Philadelphia and also a member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the U. S.A. 
Formerly, as NGO Representative to the United Nations, Carol represented 15,000 Sisters and thousands of associates serving in 57 countries.  Her experience ‘around the table’ and ‘in the field’ has led Carol to view poverty as the most serious environmental issue on the planet.   Carol is passionate and inspirational on how each of us can understand and play our part in countering this reality.  In her encouraging way, she reminded her listeners that bringing about change starts "right where your feet are".

Carol gave the John Wallis Memorial Lectures in Melbourne, Port Lincoln and Whyalla in South Australia, in Launceston and Hobart in Tasmania.   We are delighted that Sister Carol was able to speak in places where people would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear an international speaker.   This is very much in the spirit of the Foundation and the Missionary Sisters of Service whose mission is to reach out to those beyond.   

Sister Carol Zinn ssj with Cheryle Thomson mss, one of the organisers of Carol's South Australian lectures. 

Sister Carol Zinn ssj with Cheryle Thomson mss, one of the organisers of Carol's South Australian lectures. 

Wherever Carol spoke, she inspired and challenged her listeners.  She speaks out of the conviction that RELATIONSHIP lies at the heart of both social justice and care for the Earth.   Real relationships involve respect and reverence for the other - whether that other is a human person, a community or the Earth with all its living beings and the environment necessary to sustain our living planet.   It involves openness to the other, the willingness to listen and try to see things from the other's perspective without losing one's own.   This approach to the other was so evident in the way Carol related to her audience, responded to their questions, engaged people over a cuppa and tailored her lectures to the interests of her audience.  

Two lectures Carol gave in Townsville for CRAqld are available on YouTube on the following links:

https://youtu.be/r7u4pRgHB6E

https://youtu.be/yjmKeuI4c90

Click on the gallery below for photos of the Hobart Lecture night:  1: Carol Zinn ssj; 2: Carol with Carmel Hall mss; 3: Audience participation to illustrate a point; 4: Carol with Chris Smith JWF Board Member and Clare McShane, Patron of JWF; 5: Carol with Fr Denis Allen; 6: Carol with planet Earth.

Carol told her audience that we don't have to take on the whole world.   Change happens one conversation at a time, a phone call at a time, an email, a note in the mail, a letter to a person in a position to influence communities at a broader level, and so on.

Thank you, Carol, for the gift of yourself

as you shared your wisdom and experience with us. 

Click on the photo below to see a gallery of images from Carol Zinn's  Whyalla sessions, beginning with Cheryle Thomson mss welcoming people and ending with the organising team: Liz McAloon (JWF executive), Cheryle Thomson mss, Father Jim Monaghan, Carol Zin ssj and  Phillipa Rowland of Catholic Earth Care who responded to Carol's lecture.

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Geraldine Doogue delivers the John Wallis Memorial Lecture 
in Toowoomba

About 350 people attended Geraldine Doogue's John Wallis Memorial Lecture in Toowoomba on 31st March.     Geraldine's chosen topic was 

The Australian Spiritual Search - a Complex and Beautiful Thing

The John Wallis Foundation Toowoomba branch did a fantastic job preparing for and hosting the evening.   On arrival, guests were greeted with a glass of wine or fruit juice, all donated for the occasion, together with a team of helpers to serve the drinks and clear away the glasses.

Geraldine Doogue

When Geraldine entered the hall, people broke into spontaneous applause.   Comments on her talk included:   "That was a magnificent lecture!"  and "Geraldine was fantastic.   I could listen to her all day."

The mission of the Foundation is to be a bearer of hope.   Geraldine was certainly a bearer of hope in Toowoomba that night.   Her audience left that night, uplifted and re-energised.   Thank you, Geraldine.  

A copy of Geraldine's lecture will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

Some of the team who prepared and hosted the evening, from left: John & Therese Erbs, Loretta Coman, Pat Quinn, Therese and Neville Hunt.

Some of the audience at the Geraldine Doogue Lecture, Toowoomba.

Some of the audience at the Geraldine Doogue Lecture, Toowoomba.

The John Wallis Foundation Reports on a Year of Growth

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The 2014 John Wallis Foundation’s Annual Report is full of energy and the exciting developments of the past year.   These include:

·      The support of a number of projects

·      Events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Missionary Sisters of Service

·      Regional Groups growing in their sense of identity and mission, encouraging projects to meet local needs

·      Community and Fund-raising events

Click here to read the John Wallis Foundation Annual Report

 John Corcoran Wallis: a Man of Vision  

Melbourne historian and writer, Dr Fay Woodhouse, has written a very brief biography on Father Wallis, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service.  It is entitled John Corcoran Wallis: a Man of Vision.  Click here to download. This remarkable man deserves to be more widely known.   The Missionary Sisters of Service and the John Wallis Foundation are hoping that Fay will write a full authorised biography of Father John in the not too distant future.   

 

70th Anniversary Celebration at Yea

Missionary Sisters of Service cutting the jubilee cake at the Yea celebration 

Missionary Sisters of Service cutting the jubilee cake at the Yea celebration 

In June the Catholic parish of Yea hosted a wonderful celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Missionary Sisters of Service.   Yea was the parish in which Fr John Wallis was born, baptised and grew up.    The Yea people embrace him as their own.  They have also embraced the Missionary Sisters of Service and the John Wallis Foundation, as they came into being through Fr. John's vision and initiative.    

The hospitality of Yea is becoming legendary among us, having experienced it over a number of encounters.   Thank you all you wonderful Yea people. 

Join the 70 for 70 Club!

We are looking for people - or groups of people - willing to raise $1,000 in 2014 to support and grow the work of the Foundation -  we want to increase our capacity to practically support projects and initiatives which challenge injustices, nurture spirituality, and build trust, friendship and hope amongst those on the margins. 

Launched at the March Retreat of the Missionary Sisters of Service and past members and friends in Melbourne in March 2014, the Club is up and running!

Already nine people have signed up and are organising ways to raise the money. A few ideas coming forth so far include.........

  • Holding a series of dinners for 10 people

  • A bike-a-thon ending with a sausage sizzle

  • A barbecue & Trivia Night

  • A fabulous Art Auction of works by the MSS Sisters!

  • A Games night - cards, spinning wheel, etc!!

If you or a group would like to join us, please contact Liz McAloon on 03 9873 5520 or johnwallisfoundation@gmail.com - we will give you ideas, support and will help you in whatever way we can!!

Click on the photo on the right and see some photos of the Art Auction of various pieces of art or craft, beautifully transformed by Andrea Butler's presentations. 

Launching the 70 for 70 Club! (l to r) Andrea Butler Admin MSS & JWF, Frances McShane MSS, Pat Brain MSS, Doreen Jones MSS, Amanda Freeman JWF Board Member and Liz McAloon JWF Executive Officer.

Launching the 70 for 70 Club! (l to r) Andrea Butler Admin MSS & JWF, Frances McShane MSS, Pat Brain MSS, Doreen Jones MSS, Amanda Freeman JWF Board Member and Liz McAloon JWF Executive Officer.

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