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The Australian Scene The Catholic Church began in Australia on 26 January 1788, when the first Catholics arrived in Sydney Harbor with the first fleet. The first Catholics were neither priests, neither brothers nor nuns, in fact, they were no regular priests here for the first 38 years of European settlement. The first Catholics- English, Scottish and Irish- were lay people. From the beginning the Catholics were poor. They were migrants, usually uneducated and most were convicts.

From the beginning in Australia the governors thought religion as a good idea because they thought that it would make people behave themselves. The fact that many of the first Catholics in Australia were of Irish origin has had much to do with the kind of Catholic Church we have today. When the first Catholics came they were a minority group. About 75 percent of the people here were Protestants or non-Christians. The British of the time were very hostile towards the Irish as the British held Christian views, which ultimately lead to a rebellion in 1798 in Ireland.

The governor was unsure about having a Catholic priest in the colony, as he feared it might encourage rebellion among the Irish settlers. However, three convict priests eventually arrived in the colony between 1800 and 1801, Father Harold, Father Dixon and Father O’Neil. Father James Dixon was the first to celebrate public mass in 1803, under the strict instructions that he not encourages rebellion. In 1804, 300 convicts created a rebellion, but lost. Father Dixon was blamed and left Australia soon after. In 1817, 7 years after the last priest, Jeremiah O’Flynn migrated to Australia.

He was not allowed to preach in public, however did so anyway and went into hiding. 1820 saw the official arrival of Priests to Australia with Father John Therry and Father Philip Connolly. The first Catholic bishop in Australia was John Bede Polding, who was an English Benedictine monk. Polding’s dream was to establish a Church founded on monastic ideals, in which scholarship and sublime liturgy, accompanied by Gregorian chant, would civilize and convert the new country, just as they had in earlier centuries in Europe. But Polding’s priests were mainly Irish, nd this was not their conception of what the Church should be like. The Australian catholic community and the newly appointed Irish bishops however, were able to divert Polding’s vision. There are over 130 religious orders in Australia, including Josephite Nuns, Christian brothers, Mercy Nuns and the Marist borthers who were some of the first religious orders established in Australia in 1857. John Bede Polding founded the first religious order in Australia, the Good Samaritan Sisters in 1857 and by 1866 Fr Julian Tenison Woods had established the Sisters of St Joseph.

By 1871, the Josephites were running thirty-five schools in the Adelaide diocese and by 1910 over 5000 sisters were teaching across Australia. The sisters were able to set up Catholic schools in the city, but also established little parish schools all over Australia, providing a Catholic education for the children of the poorer bush community. The largest of the male teaching orders, the Christian Brothers, had 115 brothers teaching in thirty schools by 1900. These brothers and sisters that ran the religious orders were able to provide education all around Australia that was the core foundation for schools for hundreds of years.

Mary MacKillop was born of Scottish parents, Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald in Fitzroy, Victoria on 15 January 1842 among humble and troubled beginnings. Mary was the eldest of 8 children and was well educated, supporting her family who was financially troubled by earning her living as a governess at 18. After meeting Father Tenison Woods, Mary decided to follow her call from God in 1866, opening the first Saint Joseph’s School in Penola. The following year Mary took her vows of poverty, obedience and chastity to the Catholic Church.

In 1873 the approval from Rome came through for Mary to set up the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart and by 32 she became the Superior general. In her time Mary opened several schools across Australia, providing education to all those who wished to learn. Bishop Shields excommunicated Mary from the church in 1871 after she took a courageous step in challenging the new guidelines that went against everything her Sisters were about. This however was lifted after 5 months with the death of Bishop Shields saw him deeply regret his actions. On the 8 August 1909 Mary died, after struggling with her health for the last half of er life, leaving behind a legacy. In her lifetime Mary had established 40 schools and had 120 other young women join her in the mission and nearly a hundred years after her death Mary MacKillop is in the process of canonization to become Australia’s first Saint. Caroline Chisholm rightfully earned the title of ‘emigrants friend’ through her work with the poor migrants to Australia last century. Born in England in 1808 Caroline migrated to Australia after marrying Catholic army officer Archibald Chisholm in 1830 at just 22 who together had 9 children.

Caroline first started her tireless work by creating a small school educating the daughters of soldiers, Caroline continued her work by helping female migrants who were being exploited and formed a ladies committee. She was eventually allowed a building by the governor, however it was filthy and riddled with rats. Never-the-less Caroline established a home for female immigrants and an employment office, which provided over 1000 jobs. She also improved the treatment of immigrants on the ships, which were usually cramped, filthy and boring through only paying the ships for migrants that were left in good condition.

As well as introducing the family reunion scheme for migrant families, reuniting hundreds. Caroline set up countless new settlement towns in the bush for migrants, educating them on how to live on the land and even creating cookbooks for them. Caroline had also convinced the government to build shelters during the time of the gold rush to travelling families, which are known as Chisholm’s shakedowns. Caroline Chisholm spent her final years bed ridden in England, dying in 1877 at age 63 in poverty. Australia recognized Caroline as one of our greatest women, and became the first non-royal to appear on the Australian $5 bill.

Today’s Catholic church looks very different from that of the 1950’s, mass attendance rates have fallen, the number of priests, sisters and brothers is declining and their average age is increasing. Roles that were once restricted to priests and Catholics – in education, health care and many other fields – are now filled by lay people and non-Catholics. These changes in the Catholic Church is seen documented in the TV series ‘Brides of Christ’, were the church is portrayed as old and out-dated, before it changes with the times, introducing new nun’s habits, having a lay teacher nd many more. Yet the changes that have taken place have been primarily been changes in rules and practices, with teachings re-interpreted but at large have not been changed. Culture saw the downfall of the church with no one quiet expecting the impact of the flower power and sexual revolution. The invention of the car and television also saw a radical decline in church numbers. The Church’s hold on modern society seems to be weakening, opposed to its once strong teachings, with modern spirituality is expressed openly through an array of religions in the 21st century.

Nursing Question

Before embarking on any professional or academic activity, it is important to understand the background, knowledge, and experience you bring to it. You might ask yourself, “What do I already know? What do I need to know? And what do I want to know?” This critical self-reflection is especially important for developing clinical skills such as those for advanced practice nursing.
The PMHNP Clinical Skills List and PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form provided in the Learning Resources can be used to celebrate your progress throughout your practicum and identify skills gaps. The skills list covers all necessary skills you should demonstrate during your practicum experiences.
For this Assignment (just as you did in PRAC 6645), you assess where you are now in your clinical skill development and make plans for this practicum. Specifically, you will identify strengths and opportunities for improvement regarding the required practicum skills. In this practicum experience, when developing your goals and objectives, be sure to keep assessment and diagnostic reasoning in mind. As you complete your self-assessment this week, you may wish to look back over your self-assessments from prior practicums to reflect on your growth.
To Prepare
Review the clinical skills in the PMHNP Clinical Skills List document. It is recommended that you print out this document to serve as a guide throughout your practicum.
Review the “Developing SMART Goals” resource on how to develop goals and objectives that follow the SMART framework.
Review the resources on nursing competencies and nursing theory, and consider how these inform your practice.
Download the PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form to complete this Assignment.
The Assignment
Use the PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form to complete the following:
Rate yourself according to your confidence level performing the skills identified in the Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form. 
Based on your ratings, summarize your strengths and opportunities for improvement.  
Based on your self-assessment and theory of nursing practice, develop three to four (3–4) measurable goals and objectives for this practicum experience. Include them on the designated area of the form.