Mission and Role

Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation

Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World.

The Justice and Peace Office is an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

Justice and Peace Office Team

Dr Michael Walker

Social Justice Facilitator

Dr Michael Walker has more than 20 years of experience in advocacy, mainly at the SDA trade union, where he previously collaborated with the JPO on campaigns about retail trading hours and penalty rates. Prior to that, Michael interned at the Chicago-based Shriver Center on Poverty Law, working on equitable access to public housing and welfare benefits, and volunteered at the Jesuit Refugee Service in Kings Cross.

Michael completed his PhD in 2020 which was a study on Uber drivers self-organising to improve their working conditions. Michael is also a member of Christian Life Community, an international lay Catholic association, where he has served as Asia-Pacific Animator and as Chair of the New South Wales EXCO.

Email: michael.walker@sydneycatholic.org

Mobile: 0439 584 221

Dr Robbie Lloyd

Research and Project Officer

Dr Robbie Lloyd is a professional educator, mental health worker and reform agent in community health. He has worked for over 30 years in frontline community-based mental health and alcohol & other drugs support across Australia, in New Zealand, Indonesia and India. He has also been part of the Global Mental Health movement across Asia Pacific since 2012, with colleagues from the Creating Futures Collaborative for Rural, Remote, Indigenous & Islander Mental Health. This network is coordinated from James Cook University in Cairns, working to honour First Nations healers and medicines alongside western ways, in training local people to become the frontline workers in MH & AOD and Trauma Informed Care. Robbie has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for nearly 30 years, and he is also involved in the Adult Community Education movement across Australia, sitting on the national board of Adult Learning Australia for the past five years. He is passionate about building programs to support vulnerable community groups, including traumatized young people in Years 9&10 who are enrolling in Special Assistance High Schools after being rejected by mainstream schools because of their acting out behaviour due to trauma.

Email: robbie.lloyd@sydneycatholic.org

Mobile: 0417 570 980

Julie Macken

Research and Project Officer

During the early 1990’s Julie wrote a number of documentaries including, Mary the story of Saint Mary MacKillop, The Business of Saint Making and Muslim Converts, before joining  The Australian Financial Review as a senior writer for over a decade.  From 2007 onward she worked with Federal Labor, the NSW Greens, United Voice (then the LHMU) Greenpeace and more recently, ActionAid. She is currently doing a PhD at Western Sydney University into the question of Australia’s treatment of refugees. In 2016 she got together with Carmen Lawrence, Pamela Curr, Wendy Bacon and Claire O’Connor to form, Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru.She is passionate about changing the way Australia treats those who ask for our protection and how we treat this ancient land.

Email: julie.macken@sydneycatholic.org

Fr Peter Smith

Justice & Peace Promoter

Fr Peter Smith has been a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia since 1985. He is the Promoter of Justice and Peace for the Archdiocese. Peter is also the Parish Priest of the inner city parish of St Columbas North Leichhardt and an adjunct of the University of Notre Dame, Sydney.

Peter is the Co-editor in Chief of Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics. He has published articles on a variety of Social Justice Issues and presented at a number of international conferences including for the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development. He is a co-founder and partner of the Refugee Welcome Centre Lilyfield and a Founding member of The Global Catholic Climate Network (now the Laudato Si’ movement).


Ruth Moraes

Research & Project Officer

As a Research and Project Officer, Ruth is involved in establishing and supporting parish social justice groups to engage in charitable works and advocacy for vulnerable people in accordance with the social teachings of the Catholic Church. Among other advocacy initiatives Ruth has researched and drafted a several submissions to various state and federal government inquiries. She was also instrumental in organising the Sydney Street Feast as a response to Pope Francis’ call to celebrate an annual World Day of the Poor.

Before joining the Justice and Peace Office, Ruth developed a strong research background when verifying and editing updates to The Laws of Australia encyclopaedia and legal journals. She worked and volunteered on human rights projects in New Zealand (on the rights of persons with disabilities) and India (on the right to food).

Ruth has a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (History) double degree  from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and spent a year completing the Emmanuel School of Mission Programme in Rome, Italy. Ruth has also recently completed a Master of Liberal Arts (Theology) at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Her thesis focussed on the importance of integrating social justice issues and bioethical issues like Pope Benedict XVI called us to do in Caritas in Veritate.

Email: ruth.moraes@sydneycatholic.org