increasingly becoming 'aggressive, discourteous, grumpy and fearful', praised 'hope' as the factor 'that gives you strength' and noted that 'a lack of hope leads to a loss of perspective'. That lack of perspective was especially evident in terms of federal policies and responses to refugees and asylum seekers. Costello attributed the absence of hope and perspective in Australia and its position in the global village to 'a failure of leadership - our leaders are weak' and called for NGOs and churches 'to try to "live" and provide some leadership'.
Urging those present to take heart in hope, 'the core of resilience', and the catalyst to answers to national and international challenges, Costello said a person is not just ' a biological freak in a cosmic zoo' but someone of worth and value. Attendees were encouraged to pursue clarity and 'the deeper purpose that keeps us going. In all things our problems are usually relational - hospitality, connection, relationship and belong are incredibly important.'
A panel discussion, facilitated by Major David Eldridge including Rev. Costello, Mr Yuill, Wilma Gallet and Marg Hamley, then addressed various topics including 'identity in mission', the role of NGOs and faith-based providers, professionalism and engagement, holistic approaches to pain and issues of flexibility and integration.