Friday, May 15, 2015

Sessions Coordinator - Fernando Jativa

Hey all! 
My name is Fernando Jativa and I am the session coordinator! I’ve been living on Melbourne for less than 2 years, but I was blessed enough to find COSDU almost straight away. 
 If I were to describe COSDU in a single word, I would say: FAMILY! And as you can see it is a big one as it has been around for more than 25 years! The COSDUAN’s past and present are still part of this big family! Once a COSDUAN, always a COSDUAN. Now you can find COSDUAN’s everywhere! 
What got me into the committee was not only a decision to help, but also to acknowledge that my God-given abilities will be used fruitfully in this role.  
I like meeting new people, I like to learn, I like to teach, and I like planning. I was very excited to be a part of the committee that will lead COSDU in their spiritual journey.
 As you all know, being in the committee is also a big responsibility! This is not something to be scared about, because it has been a beautiful responsibility to carry. It has never been a burden because as in the Scriptures, if we accept our daily crosses, the “yoke will be easy and the burden light”. 
My main role as the session coordinator is to invite different speakers every week. At the beginning, I thought this was going to be difficult, but I discovered that there are so many people around the diocese who is willing to help and share their knowledge about the faith and other relevant topics. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. 
As a session coordinator and a committee member, you will have the opportunity to choose what are the most relevant topics that the COSDUAN’s need for their spiritual growth. It is not just a matter of being knowledgeable about the faith, but more importantly bringing it to your prayers and entrusting everything to the Holy Spirit. Rest assured that He will always give you a hand on this journey. I can definitely say that Jesus has been with me all the way in this challenging but rewarding duty. 
Last but not the least, as a committee member you will walk a journey that will change your life! You don’t need to be perfect to be in the committee! The first time I came to COSDU I can say that I know about God, but I was not sure if I actually KNOW him and if He knows me. But with His amazing Love and with this family to multiply that Love, I came to slowly know Him and to Love Him. During last year’s AGM I felt closer, but definitely not ready! God does not want us to be PERFECT and READY. He just wants our YES. Like Mary. Like the apostles. Like the saints. The grace and gifts that He has given me back are immeasurable! (Even the amazing girl there, who I invited to give a talk). 
So take this opportunity! Listen to the divine call God and let him change your life! And change the lives of the people around you!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Secretary - Tara Anne De Mel & Cecilia Liando

Hi, name is Tara and I'm the secretary for COSDU 2015. 

Being a part of COSDU has been the highlight of my university life and joining the committee was the most rewarding. The friendships you make, the fellowship you receive and the opportunity to be in this wonderful ministry is a blessing. COSDU is the only catholic society on campus to date and that COSDU has been around for almost 30 years I feel speaks for itself. For me being called to this position has a very different story than most. When the former secretary, Cecilia had to step down form her position I was asked to fill the position. It was very unexpected and sudden and it also being the last year in my degree made the timing very hard to manage. But after much discerning the decision was simple, when God calls -you don't say no. Because HE knows you're ready even before YOU do. So I said yes, and here I am! It has been an amazing journey and a privilege to work on the schematics of COSDU and I loved every moment. But as the leadership of the 2014-2015 committee comes to an end it is time for COSDUans  to step up. So this is a shout-out to all who are interested in carrying on the baton and leading the next generation of COSDUans.

I'd like to start by saying that being the secretary isn't as daunting and scary as it sounds. The technical bits I agree sounds like a lot of work but that's only because you use fancy terms to define it. So to encourage everyone interested in the this role I am going to simplify it the best I can. 
Being the secretary for me has been like a black shirt in a theatre production. You have a defined set of activities you have to accomplish but really it goes above and beyond. The bulk of your job will be administrative work but I believe your main task is to support the committee. To remind everyone of upcoming events, due dates for grants and important documents and just help out whenever possible.  So here is a breakdown of the main responsibilities you will have to do, in no particular order.

  • Making announcement slides and presenting them each week at sessions. This is where you get to compile the upcoming weeks events and present them to COSDU. If it seems scary to present in front of people and you don't want this role simply because of it, think again. I'm sure your committee will be flexible about it and work with you. In addition you'll be "presenting" to a bunch of your close friends so it really isn't that bad. Making announcement will include working with the sessions coordinator and other committee members on upcoming event that COSDU would like to publicize. 
  • You will be in charge of the membership list and the COSDU constitution making sure it is up to date and is reflective of COSDU's changing needs respectively. Also getting everyone to sign the attendance sheets when required is part and parcel of the job.
  • You will need to attend training sessions that are held by UMSU, like secretary training and AGM training. These will really help you in the managing of day to day activities of COSDU.
  • You will need to liaise with UMSU and UMSUint (Previously called MUOSS) regarding grants, events, and general affiliation. Honestly Liaise is just a fancy word to say you are the person that needs to make sure we get the paperwork and what not done and done right. You're like the J.A.R.V.I.S to COSDU and the rest of university.
  • You will take meeting minutes at each committee meeting. The template and writing style is quite straight forward so it very simple. The only catch is that you must pay attention at all times AND will need to be able to determine the important points from the multitude of chatter that may happen :) . Other than that things like needing to be a fast and  accurate typist didn't stop me from getting the job done.
  • You will be in charge of the COSDU email account. It will be your responsibility to reply to emails and filter out the unnecessary ones and and informing the committee about said emails, especially the important ones eg. UMSU. Simply it will be your job to maintain the email account.
  • It will be mostly your responsibility to maintain the Google drive account. Uploading and organising document according to week and event is important. 

Finally I would like to say that COSDU committee is not like a regular comm. we are like a family, and family has got your back. Ask any of the current comm. members and they will tell you that everything was made so much easier because we did it as a team and helped each other out.  So if being integrated into COSDU's running or wanting to help out more is your calling, consider this position. Discern about it and May the Lord guild you! God Bless!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

President - Christabelle Caroline Cheah

Hey there! Being President doesn’t mean that you have to do great things or be a superman/superwoman. All it really requires is for you to be willing to be the hands and feet for God and to help COSDU flourish into what God is calling YOU and this wonderful community that you are in to become. So…  You may be wondering what being the President of COSDU would entail of you. You’ll need to:

-            Take care of each ministry in COSDU
-             Oversee and ensure the overall smooth running of COSDU
-            Keep the Spiritual Directors informed of COSDU’s wellbeing
-            Supervise and delegate tasks to committee members
-            Chair and prepare AGM
-            Call and chair committee meetings
-             Liaise with The Archdiocese
-            Attend AGM and other necessary training conducted by UMSU

If you feel that you have ideas for COSDU, you want to help it grow, you want to show people and let them experience for themselves the love that God has through COSDU and you want to be there to provide a family for people to come and share fellowship together, this role may be for you! As President, you may think that it is a very daunting task but it really isn’t as long as you keep steadfast in prayer, lean and trust in God. Always remember that God blesses you with more strength and graces to do all things than you can ever imagine yourself to have!

Being President has taught me to pray always, and trust wholeheartedly. Do not be afraid for God will never abandon you and trust me when I say this because you literally have 9 wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who will be walking you through this journey. I have never felt so close to 9 people at any one time and I’ve never felt God working through me in such a tangible manner that being in my role has shown me. You will learn so much, grow so much, cry and laugh so much. You will make the closest friends in your term and you will realize that God is truly in every person that you meet. I promise you, it’s an experience you WILL want to experience. If you feel called in the slightest way possible, I invite you to pray about it because I will be praying for you
J God Bless!

Belle J

Vice President - Calista Adabelle

What I’ve come to observe is that being a Vice-President, as with Any Other role, is daunting, because COSDU is not just another club, but a society that builds character and a lifestyle of its members. While it is important to take one’s role in God’s ministry seriously, the key is to remember that you are not expected to do it alone. You will have past committee members, your own committee members, the chaplains and most importantly, God, to provide you counsel, guidance and strength. That is the one thing, that anybody confused about whether to run for any position, should bear in mind as they discern about what the next step is.
Also, I have shared this very long ago for those who are concerned with how much time they may have on their hands to help out, but I thought it bears reminding : 

“Busyness becomes dangerous only if your activities replace real accomplishment or if you are neglecting God or the people in your care. The key to overcoming empty busyness is… by understanding His call and purpose for your life and prioritising your activities around them.” 

Indeed, it will not always be easy to juggle your newfound responsibilities amidst your other ones, but if God calls you to it and you accept and approach with an openness to be touched by the Lord, you will find joy in your busyness.

To those who question how ready and able you are specifically for this role, I have two things to run through with you, the first being the responsibilities this position entails :
1) Assisting the President, where possible, to ensure President is not overloaded
2) Administrative registrations for Orientation
3) Organising the Welcome BBQ in Week 3 each semester
4) Liasing with UMSU International
5) Organising Festival of Nations and Night Market
6) Keeping an Assets List and keeping track of the inventory
7) Checking the Assets List with UMSU once a year

The additional roles of VP are not completely specific, as any other responsibilities may be rotated, shared or added on based on the committee you’re working with – that is, the flexibility of the role allows for you to do more things than those listed above. For example, it could be looking out for the committee members who seem to be struggling, reminding them of possible deadlines and of things like the next committee meetings.

Secondly, if you think this is something you are passionate in, do not be afraid, for God does not call the ready – He makes the chosen ready. As long as you are open to His gentle prodding and guidance, you will be in for a roller coaster ride’s worth of growth that will change your life in a way you won’t regret. J

As I sign off, I’d just like to leave you with one crucial point : every committee member is as important as the other. Working as a VP to my committee has been a fascinating journey of learning to step up and yet learning your limits. It is a great role that helps you to grow in confidence, yet learn to be humble, as you will be in a position of great awareness of how much you will need the support of other people.

If anyone is interested at all in this role, don’t hesitate to come talk to me about it or ask me questions as you discern about how you may best grow with your fellow cosduans!

Treasurer - Christine Tee

Treasurer Role Description

The job description of the treasurer pretty much covers all money-related aspects!

1) Keeping track of COSDU’s accounts
· Noting down cash inflows and outflows
· In a book or excel spreadsheet, whichever suits you best. 
2) Applying for grants
· Grants can be applied for functions and asset purchasing from UMSU
· The treasurer will need to ensure grant applications, application of payments and other necessary documents are submitted on time. 
3) Reimbursements
· Reimbursing those who have spent on behalf of COSDU, once they’ve handed you the receipt.
· Can be done easily now with online bank transfers!
4) Collection of money
· Collect money whenever necessary e.g. at eat-in dinners, mass donations, o-week booth
5) Attend training by UMSU
· Attend short training sessions by UMSU in which they inform you about how to be the best treasurer for your club!
6) Budgeting
· Coming up with budgets for future events with the committee
7) Prepare Treasurer’s Report
· This is the last thing the treasurer would need to do at AGM!

On a side note, having good time-management and being meticulous about money matters would definitely be a plus point but frankly, the most important thing is to have the heart to serve God and desire to see COSDU continue to grow and flourish in the direction of God’s will! YOU can do it God bless, all!

Music Coordinator - Antonius Jason

Hi guys! My name is Jason and i am the music coordinator for COSDU.
Generally, my job is pretty straightforward:
1. To arrange praise and worship for the sessions and music for the masses.
2. To coordinate the music practices for the said sessions and masses
3. To take care of the storage and all musical instruments.
4. To arrange other music events (sometimes we are asked to help to perform or do praise and worship elsewhere)

About why i (and why you should) take the responsibility as music coordinator.. i am honestly not sure. All i want to do was to help, and i wasn’t passionate enough about other roles since i don’t think i have the quality for those. and as well i want to serve people to get closer to God, and since i can’t preach or find a speaker for that then music is the best way to get people to know and get closer to God. You also help other musicians serve God by doing praise and worship :) I am not the best musicians, but that doesn’t stop me from getting the job. You don’t even need to know stuff about music, since you’re not required to play anything as long as you can find your musicians. Being able to play will of course help though.

This job is physically demanding, you need to allocate time every week for practicing PnW and sometimes for mass. You find musicians and leader (which is sometimes frustrating because there are times when everyone is having assignments and exams and are very busy) you make slides for PnW and mass songs, and you have to come early to set up the musical instruments (and they’re not light to carry around) and tidy it back to where it belongs every session. You also arrange transport the instrument for mass with someone’s car. But worry not! you can always ask for help from anyone. after all that’s what COSDU is good about :)

It is tiring, but it is definitely rewarding. You get to know this musicians you play with. you hang out and bond with them, and mostly, you bond with God even during practice. You touch people’s heart when you see them mindlessly praising during praise and worship. And of course you learn a lot from everyone, how to play your instruments better, how to set up, and even how to roll cables ( you have to be one with them to be able to do it :p )

If you have passion for music, and the commitment for it, then pray about it and go for it. I’m sure God and everyone else will be very supportive :)

Friday, May 01, 2015

Social Justice Coordinator - Mario Wahyu Prabowo

My name is Mario. I am COSDU''s Social Justice Coordinator for 2014-2015.

What is Social Justice? Well, to put it short, it's about being kind to others. Why I decided to take on this role? It all began in the beginning of 2014. At that time, I was thinking of starting to give back to society as my new year resolution, mainly because I realized that I've been so blessed in my life, so much that I think it'll be injustice if I don't try to share my blessings to others. And so, I started to do some volunteering works with Friends of Refugees. However, I was just doing it for the sake of doing it. I don't have any attachments or anything, I just want to feel good for doing something to others. Very shallow, but that's all I could do at that time. Until one day, there came a time when I was feeling really down that I came upon this man in Detention Centre. He was so joyful, so friendly, and he gave this aura of a free man, so much that I thought he was one of the staff there before. I was really surprised when I found out that he was actually one of the refugees, and he has been there for years!!!! He didn't know anything about his future, but even in that situation, he still looked really joyful and the only thing he cares about is how to make his fellow refugees inside that detention centre not to lose hope. It was a really amazing experience for me, and I felt like I saw Jesus in that person. After that encounter, I was more interested in knowing more about Jesus in the ministry that I'm doing, and that's when things got interesting. Little by little, I could see Jesus more and more in others, in the refugees I helped, in the other volunteers, in the Friends of Refugees organizers, in strangers, and even inside me. Then, there came a point when I thought that I wanted to introduce Jesus to my friends, the cosduans, and that's how I decided to be the Social Justice Coordinator.

The role of Social Justice coordinator itself is quite simple. Other than helping the other committee members, I only need to plan two sessions for one year (which is nothing compared to session coordinator) and 1 social justice activity for the whole year (Little Sister of the Poor, where we visit nursery to serve and cheer elderly people). Other than that, it's entirely up to me how I want to bring the social justice to COSDU. Not the social justice with the definition in Wikipedia or something, but the social justice that I have come to understand after I experienced it myself, the one that I am still learning even until now in my journey with God. 

As for my experience itself, it's been quite an interesting journey I guess. It started with a hype, for both me and COSDU. We were quite fired up with the Friends of Refugees, each week more and more people are coming. But then, things started to go down. Less and less people are coming, till there are less than 5 people still involved with the ministry now. But even then, I don't think of it as my failure or anything. As I said in the beginning, it's a journey, and just like any others, there's no success or failures in it, it's just about the walk, which you can either be grumpy about it, or enjoy it. I chose the latter one. True, if we see the results alone, it seems like a total failure given the number of people involved now. However, in the process, I could see some of my friends growing in faith to be who they are now, and I could see myself growing as well. We all learned something from it and became better people because of it, and it's truly something that I will never regret. I don't know how others see it, or how the Social Justice ministry in COSDU itself will go from now on, but at least for me, it's a wonderful experience and I hope that Social Justice ministry will keep being alive in COSDU, not in the way I want it, but in the way God plans it :)

Kind regards,


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