I was born and grew up in Brisbane. It was through my love of sport that I met the Good Shepherd Sisters in the late 1950s. Initially I was attracted by their warmth and down-to-earthness. They showed this in the way they related to each other, and even more so by their support of the young women and older women in their care.
As a Good Shepherd sister for more than 50 years I have been part of both the old – residential care services for teenagers struggling with personal and family issues, having trained as a teacher and worked in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. Then, when our residential care services and schools were phased out I was involved in some work in hostels for young women who had difficulty in adjusting to early adult life. After obtaining a Social Science degree at University I worked as a family support worker and an informal counsellor.
I am a member of the Province Leadership Team. Also, for a number of years I have been Province Treasurer and member of the Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand Finance committee.
In the 1980s the injustices imposed upon Indigenous Australians began to surface within the consciousness of mainstream Australian society, and I studied the hidden history of this land. Over time I had the opportunity to form relationships with some Aboriginal people. In the 1990s I returned to Brisbane and became involved in Queensland Churches Together, an organisation formed by a number of the Christian Churches of Queensland enabling them to work together to support and advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples.
In 2007 the sisters in Australia established the Good Shepherd Reconciliation Scholarship. I was asked to help to research and develop this Project where Good Shepherd funding can help make a difference by supporting the tertiary education of Indigenous women throughout Australia. Each year about 20 to 25 women are supported by a small grant to assist their study, either for equipment or other study costs. This increases their leadership capacity and financial empowerment.
I am also an avid stamp collector and family historian – quite a mixture!
'Eliminating Human Trafficking - Here and Beyond' was the theme of the 2020 annual conference of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH)
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region
Reconciliation holds special meaning in the Australian nation - it describes the long journey towards full acknowledgment of the rights of First Nations Peoples
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand provides services and governance for Good Shepherd ministries, enabling sustainability and ongoing development into the future
First Nations women in Australia are offered support to complete higher education. This increases their capacity for leadership, and personal and financial empowerment