125 Years of Women and Men of Mercy



This project identifies 125 Women and Men of Mercy. These laywomen and men come from a range of backgrounds and can be identified as people who strive to embrace the well-known maxim of Catherine McAuley: "[to perform] extraordinarily well the ordinary actions of every day." They are seen as women and men who exemplify the spirit of Catherine McAuley, demonstrate commitment to Mercy values, and 'Mercy in action' and who are connected to the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy in some way.

ADRIANNE & TERRY HANNAN

Adrianne and Terry have been committed to Mercy with justice for much of their adult lives. Adrianne taught art at Catherine McAuley Westmead and OLMC Parramatta for 18 years. She then retrained as an adult educator, working with management teams to ensure that the workplace was a safe place for workers. Formerly a pharmacist, Terry took up a career as a Trade Union official, specialising in Occupational Health and Safety for workers. He represented workers in situations where their rights at work were being violated. Since retiring, Adrianne and Terry have been active volunteers with St Vincent de Paul, visiting those at risk in their homes.

ALISON DICKINSON

For over 20 years, Alison has worked voluntarily in organisations around the Wollongong area. She has helped with the aged and with those suffering from dementia at Anglicare. She has also assisted people who are visually impaired. Alison spent many years as a volunteer at a school for children with special needs. Alison is extremely sensitive to the needs of the elderly and to children and adults with physical and intellectual special needs. Her Mercy gift is that she understands their frustration and limitations as well as their giftedness and potential. Alison displays that her understanding of Mercy is to be involved in practical ways.

ANNE MAREE CORBY

Anne Maree has been a 'Mercy girl' for all of her schooling, attending Our Lady of Fatima Caringbah and OLMC Burraneer. From her teenage years, Anne Maree involved herself in music and liturgy with great passion. Anne Maree joined the teaching staff of OLMC Burraneer in 2002 as Director of Music. Her commitment and creative input has been a wonderful experience of Mercy for the College community. With Anne Maree's direction, the students have composed their own Mercy College hymn. She has a deep commitment to the pastoral support of her students.

ANNETTE MARSKELL OAM

Annette is a proud and loyal Mercy ex-student and Mercy associate. She was a generous supporter and benefactor of St Mary's House, Campsie and continues to support other works of Mercy. For almost 15 years she worked at Matthew Talbot Hostel, where she showed deep compassion for the men, respecting their human dignity. She is an active participant in her parish community, involved in the liturgy and visiting the sick on a regular basis. Annette has a strong voice for fairness and justice; her stance on Mercy and justice is very clear. She is a woman of Mercy by her way of life.

ANN-MARIE HERD

Ann-Marie is certainly not your 'regular' teacher at OLMC Parramatta where she has been on staff since 1987. She stands out as a woman who not only believes in the Mercy tradition and charism but is imbued with its values, deeply involved in numerous social justice events and Mercy outreach. Ann-Marie was engaged by the Sisters of Mercy to be the coordinator of WYD 2008 where it was so obvious that her love of Mercy was contagious. As an integral member of MAGnet, Ann-Marie brings energy, fun and compassionate service with a high level of skill and organisation. She has an unpretentious and overt love of her faith and Catherine McAuley and deep compassion for the disadvantaged and marginalised.

BARBARA DUNLOP (deceased)

Barbara has been a volunteer at Mamre Homestead since 1991. Barbara has a deep love for young people: those who participate in programs at Mamre and those she meets at the Don Bosco Centre run by the Salesian Brothers and Sisters, where she has also volunteered for 20 years. She reaches out in compassion, building a rapport with them and inspiring them to a better future. She has never shied away from going the extra mile. Barbara sees what needs to be done and takes the necessary action to achieve positive outcomes. She has a strong faith and in the true spirit of Mercy respects all people whatever their faith or background.

BARBARA MCBRIDE

Barbara has been a teacher at OLMC since 2001. Barbara has a great passion for social justice and as the Coordinator of the Mercy Action group, she ensures that her students are provided with opportunities to live out the Mercy values and deepen their understanding of social justice. Barbara has organised many Mercy 5 days, involving students from the five Mercy high schools in Sydney. These days ensure that students have opportunities to learn about living out Mercy through action. The warm, open and encouraging relationships that Barbara has built with students and staff of the Mercy Action group have helped to shape the program to what it is today.

BERNADETTE JACKSON

Bernadette is the Executive Assistant to the Principal and has been at OLMC Parramatta for 25 years. She is thoroughly committed to this role and in practice exhibits her understanding of the Mercy values as expressed in the College. Hospitality is the hallmark of Bernadette's life. She is the warm and friendly face of the College. Many visitors, staff and students express gratitude for the kindness they have received from Bernadette. She goes the extra mile to ensure that all who approach her are welcomed and feel comfortable. Bernadette takes initiatives to ensure that others are helped in a respectful and life-giving way.

BERNADETTE VELLA

Bernadette's secondary education was at Catherine McAuley Westmead and her association with Mercy has been life-long. She truly lives the Mercy values of compassion, respect for human dignity and courageous leadership. In many ways, this has been brought about by difficult circumstances. When pregnant with her second child, her son only two years old, Bernadette was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Seeing a need, Bernadette initiated 'Mummy's Wish', a unique fundraiser providing practical support for mothers undergoing treatment for cancer. Hundreds of women have been helped and it is hoped that in 2014 'Mummy's Wish' will spread its services Australia wide. Bernadette's compassion and courageous leadership identifies her as truly a Woman of Mercy.

BEVERLEY JOHNSON

Bev went to school and taught at OLMC Epping. She was Principal of Monte Sant' Angelo and Emmaus Catholic College. Currently she is the Deputy Chair of the Board of OLMC Parramatta. Bev has been an excellent educator and has put the Mercy values into action throughout her life. In her gentle manner, she shows respect for all and takes pains to ensure that people are comfortable in her presence. Bev actively seeks out opportunities to be merciful to those with whom she comes in contact. A thoughtful phone call or note is a frequent practice. She has a passion for justice and works to achieve it.

BOB THATCHER

Bob worked at Mamre for 25 years, being responsible for the financial viability of Mamre. He grew into his position at Mamre until it went well beyond paid employment. He described it himself as 'a vocation to Mercy'. He creatively designed programs at Mamre that would suit the clients; funding applications were in the interest of the Mamre target groups. He believed he belonged to 'the Mercy Family' and that he carried a serious responsibility for Mercy at Mamre. Bob has a deeply compassionate heart and is always ready to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable. He is a great advocate for people in need and goes out of his way to assist them.

CARMEL & ANTHONY MEARNS

Carmel attended school at Our Lady Help of Christians Epping and OLMC Epping. The children of Carmel and Anthony were educated at St Bernadette's Castle Hill. Carmel and Anthony have 'specialised' in the Mercy value of hospitality, offering welcome in their home to people from all walks of life. They have been quiet and inspirational low-key leaders in their Family Group, mentoring the younger members and looking out for those in need. They reach out in practical ways to those in need. Their daughter, Alison, is seriously ill and they are challenged to advocate for her as she awaits a double transplant. They have known suffering in their lives and a strong compassion has been born out of this.

CARMEN GRIMA

An ex-student of Catherine McAuley Westmead, Carmen has worked in the Administration office of the Congregation Centre at Parramatta for more than 13 years. She has shown great loyalty over these years in her capacity as Personal Assistant to three Congregational Leaders. She shows respect for those she deals with, and is aware of the individual needs of the Sisters. She is always willing to undertake, with great care, the various tasks that come across her desk often working over and above the 'call of duty' when there is extra work to be done. As well as looking after her husband Carmen is an active member of her parish as lector and taking Communion to the house-bound. Carmen is a woman of Mercy, extending compassion to those around her.

CAROL HARDING

Carol was a student of OLMC Parramatta in the 1960s and has been an employee of St Michael's Family Centre, Baulkham Hills since 1991. Her ten children were Mercy- educated. Carol regards her work with women and children as an opportunity to carry on the work of Catherine McAuley. Carol has had extensive involvement in the community and this was recognised when she carried the Olympic Torch for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Carol believes that everyone has a right to be respected, valued, to be safe and free from fear. In living justice, compassion and service, Carol empowers the downtrodden and disadvantaged. Carol was the 2011 recipient of the Catherine McAuley OLMC Parramatta Alumnae Award.

CAROLE DAY

Carole was a long-term, reliable member of the Mercedes Theatre Group. She earned the respect of all for her generosity of spirit and active support of others. As a teacher and Religious Education coordinator in a Mercy school, Carole was tireless in promoting Mercy values within the school environment. To maintain and strengthen the Mercy charism, Carole celebrated Mercy through school liturgies; she promoted the life story of Catherine McAuley; she initiated and award system for students based on the Mercy values. Carole involved the school community in raising funds for Mercy Works and for the Sisters of Mercy mission in Peru.

CATHERINE DICKINSON

Catherine is a clinical psychologist and works with young children who suffer from autism, anxiety and behavioural difficulties; she also works with their parents/carers. She uses her skills to help children function in acceptable ways within the family, the community and school. Catherine comes to this work with a strong sense of Mercy. She shows great patience, understanding, empathy, care and love for the children. The parents and carers experience her compassion. In establishing trust with the children, Catherine is creative, wise and warm. Her chosen clientele reflect her Mercy values and provide the opportunity for her to put them into practice.

CATHERINE MCNULTY

Catherine has been a teacher at OLMC Parramatta since 1984. This has been a deliberate choice because Cathy has consistently seen the benefit of working with the Mercy charism – an opportunity to do good works for the benefit of others. Cathy is highly respected for the way she lives Mercy in her daily encounters in the College community. Despite personal setbacks, Cathy emanates Catherine McAuley’s words: “You must be cheerful and happy, animating all around you.” In 2012, Cathy was engaged in the Mercy 5 Formation Program where the project she undertook with others was the development of a Pastoral Care program that embedded the Mercy Values in the students in a context of care and compassion.

CATHERINE MILGATE

Cathy is a past student of St Patrick’s and OLMC Parramatta. On leaving school, Cathy trained as a nurse at the Children’s Hospital, Camperdown and as a maternity nurse at St Margaret’s Hospital Darlinghurst. Cathy has been working in childcare for more than 40 years. In retirement, she volunteered in the Centacare/ Catholic Care pre-adoptive program. Cathy and her husband, Les, have cared for babies as young as a week old and saw this work as a privilege. Cathy has been involved in community in so many ways and received a Community Service Award for her services to the community in 2006. The spirit of Mercy has been lived in Cathy in her deep commitment to mothers and children.

CATHERINE SAMMUT

In all aspects of her parish role and in the wider community, Cathy has lived her deep faith and her commitment to Mercy values, especially in her interaction and participation with the Sisters of Mercy. She is a great supporter of Mamre House, organising activities to assist in fundraising at the Spring Fair. She participates in Mercy 5 activities as well as the Mercy Action group associated with OLMC Burraneer. She serves on the Board of Stella Maris Aged Care Facility Cronulla. Cathy is currently the Pastoral Associate in St Aloysius’ Parish, Cronulla. In this role, Cathy is the face of Mercy to those who are distressed, grieving and lonely.

CECILY MAY

An ex-student of OLMC Epping, Cecily’s whole adult life has been an expression of Mercy and compassion to her family, neighbours and many people in need. Cecily actively supported the Sisters of Mercy in the Asquith parish, organising the fete for a number of years. After completion of studies in Pastoral Ministry, Cecily became a parish pastoral worker, seeking out and supporting many people who were alienated from the church and others suffering financial difficulties. Cecily worked a catechist for 30 years and established a family-based sacramental program. With her late husband Greg, Cecily joined the Refugee Resettlement Committee in the 1970s; some 200 Vietnamese families and Polish asylum seekers were settled. Cecily volunteers as the secretary of Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace.

CHERIE DEHN

Cherie was educated at OLMC Wentworthville and St Patrick’s High school Parramatta. She taught at OLMC Wentworthville for more than 35 years. Cherie is outstanding in her commitment to the Mercy value of Option for the Poor. She welcomed children with disabilities into her classroom and ensured that they were respected and treated fairly by all. This behaviour was modelled by Cherie. For children who were grieving, Cherie organised their participation in the Rainbows and Seasons for Growth Programs. Cherie has a great capacity to be merciful: to reach out to those in need, offering hospitality, presence or a meal. She is sensitive to those who are lonely and has a capacity to maintain meaningful relationships.

CLAIRE CLEAR

Claire was the teacher-librarian at OLMC Epping for 15 years and established long-lasting positive relationships with the Sisters during this those years and long after.. She has been a Scripture teacher for over thirty years and is still involved in her local State primary and high schools. Claire has a great love of literature and continues to share this passion with her peers and past students of OLMC. Her love of music and her participation in parish music and massed choral events helps to continue the tradition of music which has been inherent in schools of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy.

CLARE HINCHEY

Clare was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at OLMC Epping and worked at OLMC Parramatta as Library Assistant. She was an active member of the Epping parish, organising children’s liturgy and involved in the music ministry. Clare has always had a strong interest in and commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She used opportunities to educate students to highlight justice for First Australians. She has continued her own education in this area by taking a number of trips organised by Aboriginal guides to the Australian outback. Concern for our environment is a passion of Clare’s. Clare has always been prepared to raise her voice when faced with racism or negative attitudes towards those who are vulnerable.

CLARE MINTO

Clare’s schooling was at St Kevin’s Eastwood and OLMC Epping. On leaving school, Clare trained as a nurse at Prince Alfred hospital; she regarded nursing as her vocation. She continued her nursing studies to triple certificate level. In maternity care, Clare was gently encouraging and reassuring to the new mothers. Clare herself is mother to ten children. Clare and her husband worked hard to ensure that all their children received a very good education. Clare is a woman of integrity, candour and uprightness, totally selfless and extremely thoughtful. She has always shared the spirit of Catherine McAuley in her dependence on Divine Providence.

CLARICE WILKINS

Clarice worked as secretary for many years at St Kevin’s Eastwood. She started in a voluntary capacity in the 1960s. Her competency and diligence was recognised and she gained paid employment after some years. Clarice was a woman of Mercy – approachable, caring, loving and compassionate to the children. For more than 50 years, Clarice has shown a commitment to Mercy in action by not only ‘doing her job’ but by being so gracious and merciful in all her dealings with those with whom she comes in contact. The Mercy spirit continues to live on in Clarice as she exercises her role as parish secretary at St Kevin’s Eastwood.

CONNIE YUE

Connie is the Business Manager of the Congregation office of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy. Being a paid employee has not stopped Connie from becoming a woman committed to the Mercy charism. Many comment on Connie’s ability to carry out the business of her work in a kind, discreet, merciful manner. Whilst much of Connie’s work is behind the scenes, it is felt that she carries it out as though Catherine McAuley was sitting in the room with her! Many of the Sisters feel a freedom to talk over intricate business problems with Connie – she has a capacity to put them at ease.

CORALIE FALLON

Coralie was Mercy-educated - an ex-student and College Captain of All Hallows Brisbane. Coralie’s passion has been to keep alive the Mercy ethos. She was so inspired by the work in Site II Camp in Thailand and the plans of Sr Denise Coghlan rsm for the Cambodian resettlement after the Vietnamese withdrawal that she wanted all Mercy ex-students to know of the works the Mercy Sisters were involved in. She saw this as being done by awareness-raising in order to arouse compassion for the plight of the poor. Thus, Mercy Endeavour was formed, with a special link to the refugee world. Coralie is a born leader - vibrant, capable, articulate – alive with Mercy!

DAVID BOURNE

David began his teaching career at Catherine McAuley Westmead and served on the staff there for several years. Later he taught at Mercy College Chatswood, Assistant Principal for some years. Currently he is Principal at St Paul’s Greystanes. From early days, it was clear that David saw teaching as a special, privileged ministry and still David believes that the spirit of Mercy and community he experienced at Westmead has stayed with him. Now, 30 years later, it is obvious that the Mercy values of compassion, hospitality, option for the poor, justice and courageous leadership are very much alive in David’s ministry in education.

DULCIE MASON

Dulcie has been a volunteer at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility for 17 years. Dulcie is a trained nurse and as a volunteer post-retirement, has devoted herself to the residents, especially Sisters Isabel, Carmel, Marie Margaret, and the Lynch Sisters Maria and Margaret. Dulcie is a most giving woman, kind and thoughtful. She treats each one in her care with the greatest of respect and sensitivity. She has shown overwhelming loyalty to the Sisters of Mercy at Cronulla during some of the very difficult years of change. In 2011 she participated in three Mercy Mission workshops and her lived experience and knowledge of Mercy made a rich contribution to the group.

ELAINE BUTLER

Elaine has worked for the Sisters of Mercy for more than 25 years, firstly at St Michael’s Family Centre and now at the Mercy Congregation Centre. Elaine is a woman of Mercy because she gives expression to so many of the Mercy values. She has shown a caring commitment, compassion and dedication in her dealings with staff and residents. She is not judgemental of the women in crisis care at St Michael’s and is generously welcoming of all. Elaine is always ready to listen respectfully to anyone in need and has contributed very positively to the creation of Mercy spirit in the workplace. Her sense of humour is a great gift!

ELIZABETH COVE

Elizabeth worked for several years as Personal Assistant to the Administrator/Manager of St Michael’s Family Centre. She gives expression to the qualities of Mercy: caring, commitment, compassion and dedication in her dealings with staff and residents of the Crisis Centre and Clare Residence. In the difficult period of the phasing out of St Michael’s Family Centre, Elizabeth showed courageous leadership, taking over management duties in a very professional way. She is always generous with her time, well beyond the ‘call of duty’. Elizabeth is pivotal to forming a culture of Mercy with her sense of responsibility and genuine care for others.

EMMA SAAD

Emma attended OLMC Parramatta and was an active participant in school activities, especially the Mercy Action Group. Post-school, she has continued her Mercy journey by being involved in the MAGnet group where she participates with compassion and enthusiasm in support of the group’s activities. Emma has an open and easy-going personality, always willing to help those in need. She is a key organiser of MAGnet events: the Wilcannia-Forbes Breakfast program, Peru Fundraising Dinner, the High Tea for Mums of PNG, the Mamre Fair stall and the Trivia night. Emma participated in the Peru Immersion experience in 2011, something that cemented her commitment to Mercy and social justice.

FARSHID MAHMOUDI

In his youth, Farshid became aware of the role compassionate people played in his life. In the 1990s, Farshid was assisted by the Sisters of Mercy and since then has been involved in many of the activities associated with the Mercy ministry to refugees. Farshid is a Man of Mercy who is on call to assist where needed – as a furniture removalist, driving, minor maintenance work. He lives the Mercy value of hospitality. He regards his work with refugees and the poor as a privilege, reflecting that he receives so much from their presence in his life. Mercy and compassion have become his ‘principal path’.

FRANK JONES

For 22 years, Frank was involved with the drama productions of the Mercedes Theatre Group, ensuring that staging and props were of the highest quality. He was totally committed to the group over those years and pivotal to its success. Frank is a frequent visitor to Marymount, a work of the Sisters of Mercy, where he attends to any electrical problems that need fixing. He volunteers his time to ensuring the safety of many of the Mercy houses. Frank is an active member of his parish. As a man of Mercy, Frank has a most compassionate nature, sensitive to responding wherever he sees a need.

GERARD HERMENS

Gerard has been the Director and Chair of the Mamre Board since the establishment of Mamre, a sponsored work of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy. Through his leadership, Gerard has brought to the role a wide range of management skills and professional learnings. He has a keen sense of the Mercy values and is vitally concerned for the mission of Mamre. As Board Chair, Gerard has been successful in engaging members to formulate sound working procedures and strategic planning. The human dignity of the person motivates Gerard in his dealing with others. He has led the Board with sensitivity, wisdom, creativity and the application of sound business principles.

GLENN WADDELL

Glenn has been associated with the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy for more than 35 years, working both at OLMC Parramatta and the Mercy Congregation Centre. Glenn is a hard worker, kind, a good listener and a professional in his work. He is available whenever there is a need, assisting with maintenance and care of the properties. He takes great pride in his care of the grounds. He has the ability to solve unusual problems in a creative way. Glenn has shown his commitment to Mercy by being willing and available to respond positively to the practical needs of the Sisters.

HEATHER SERTORI

Heather was educated at OLMC Parramatta, a boarder from Yenda, completing the Leaving Certificate in 1947. She has been a wonderful role model for her large family as the nurturing matriarch, quietly encouraging her family to live out their faith through acts of kindness, compassion and Mercy towards others. Heather gives without expecting anything in return. For more than 30 years, Heather worked as a counsellor for women experiencing pregnancy difficulties. In particular, she provided support for women suffering distress following abortion, helping them to find forgiveness and acceptance. At the age of 82, Heather continues to actively participate in her parish, still teaching catechism to primary school children. She excels in doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well!

HELEN HAROLD

On completion of her nursing studies, Helen was employed at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility, Cronulla. It was obvious that nursing was a vocation rather than a job for Helen. Helen showed courageous leadership in a spirit of Mercy as rapid changes occurred in nursing administration. She was particularly supportive of the Mercy Sisters involved in administration. The transition to lay leadership was a difficult period and Helen acted as an intermediary between the administration and nursing staff, ensuring that the change was implemented as smooth as possible. Helen worked diligently to ensure that Mercy values and practices were retained as part of the fabric of Stella Maris.

HELEN WATCHIRS

An ex-student of OLMC Parramatta, 29 years as a human rights lawyer, Helen has been the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner since 2004. Helen brings a strong Mercy ethos to her work. Helen has focussed on human rights with its many faces - including refugees, those suffering with HIV/AIDS, those with disabilities – and is passionate about tissue and organ donation and eliminating the stigma for people who need these donations. Helen believes her most memorable human rights achievement has been conducting an audit of detention centres where human rights abuses can be hidden if not subjected to independent and rigorous oversight. Helen was ACT Business Woman of the Year in 2012.

JACQUIE MCCALLUM

Jacquie boarded at OLMC Parramatta. After a successful teaching career, she spent four years as a volunteer at Mamre House. There Jacquie saw a need and did something about it, starting a pre-school program for the children of the Southern Sudanese women participating in programs at Mamre. Her special affinity is with children, especially those who are vulnerable and ‘at risk’. Jacquie ensured that each child felt special and loved. The Rainbow Crèche program was so successful that after Jacquie’s departure from Mamre, the program is able to continue successfully. Jacquie now volunteers at Jarjum College in Redfern, a Jesuit initiative for Aboriginal children She is currently a member of the Mercy Futures group.

JAMES BROOKING

James attended school at Holy Cross Woollahra and has volunteered weekly for more than 20 years at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility. Every Saturday afternoon, James leads the Residents’ sing-a-long. He also organises New Year’s Eve concerts for them. He shows great respect and love for the frail aged and treats them with the utmost care, love and dignity. He speaks with each resident, knowing them by name and encouraging them. James has a special rapport with those who have dementia. In his professional life, James is a funeral director and has planned many funerals for the residents – always with sensitivity and deep respect. He is involved in his parish as an acolyte.

JAMES MASON

James is a teacher at OLMC Parramatta. He is a man who quietly goes about his work with great compassion and professionalism. His daily interactions with staff and students show a depth of faith that is witness to the meaning and reality of a God-centred man. He is a strong role model for the girls of what a man of Mercy looks like. He looks for the good in others. His teaching is Gospel-centred. James runs the junior rock band and has busked in Parramatta Mall to support the Vinnies’ Appeal and to raise funds for St Michael’s Family Centre, thereby leading students to an increased awareness of the plight of women in crisis.

JAN & LEN FONTANA

Jan worked for 15 years at St Michael’s Family Centre as a volunteer and then in paid employment. She also volunteered at Mamre House. Len has been associated with St Michael’s for more than 20 years, working quietly, doing odd jobs and maintenance wherever he saw it was needed. Jan always showed great respect for the women who were resident in the Crisis Centre and Clare Residence at St Michael’s, showing them care and compassion. Len had a particular impact on the children, fixing their toys whilst the children watched. He was a positive role model for them. Jan and Len were key people in the organisation of the Old Boys’ reunions and other functions at St Michael’s. They are people who show their commitment to Mercy through action.

JAN CHIVERS

Ex-student of OLMC Parramatta, Jan Chivers OAM was awarded the Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award in 2012. Jan completed her education in 1963 and currently lives in Cowra in western NSW. Throughout her life, Jan has been very actively involved in the Red Cross and her local parish. She has worked as an early childhood teacher and as the Coordinator of the Cowra Family Support Service. Jan strongly identifies with the Mercy values which have been the moral compass by which she has charted her path. This is particularly evident in her commitment to service in its many aspects.

JAN SMITH

Jan has made a life-long and deep commitment to the Mercy life and Mercy values, firstly as a student at OLMC where she was Head girl in 1965, as a Sister of Mercy in the Parramatta Congregation for a time and in applying her Mercy values and strong ethics in her NSW Public Service executive career. She is a great supporter of the Sisters of Mercy and their ministries. She served on the OLMC Board for a number of years and is always prepared to be involved and contribute positively. Jan is thoroughly convinced of the place of Mercy and is an enthusiastic member of the Mercy Futures Group.

JANINE WEBSTER-CROSS

Janine is the Chief Counsel of the Office of Fair Work Ombudsman. Since childhood, Janine has been drawn to stand up for those ’on the edge’, those being treated unfairly. Her current focus is justice in workplace relationships and practices. She assists employers and employees to understand their rights and obligations. In her actions, Janine uses the two feet of Mercy – working directly with people in need and lobbying institutions to respect the rights of the worker. She values truth, integrity and honesty and has chosen to work in Human Rights because she wants to assist those who are in need.

JOAN JAGOT

Joan has strong connections with the Sisters of Mercy and especially those connected with St Michael’s Family Centre, and Marymount Spirituality Centre. Joan exemplifies Catherine McAuley’s happy, cheerful nature, with a capacity to lift the spirits of those who may be feeling down. In pain herself, she does not allow this to stop her from being with people in their experience of life, listening with deep respect. Joan is not afraid to speak her truth, ready to challenge what she sees to be unjust. In retirement, Joan continues to live Mercy, visiting the sick and helping wherever she sees a need.

JOHRA BRACKENBURY

Johra was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at OLMC Wentworthville and Catherine McAuley Westmead. She has always taught in Mercy schools and is currently teaching at OLMC Wentworthville. Johra comes from a family committed to Mercy – her father greatly assisted the Sisters when they lived in community at Wentworthville. Johra has a capacity to ‘go beyond’ – committed to making a difference wherever she sees a need. She shows respect and sensitivity to those in her care. The Mercy value of justice is strong in Johra – she is involved in various social justice projects including the organisation of the Vinnies' hampers. Johra ensures that the spirit of Mercy is alive.

JOYCE KING

Joyce has been connected to the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy since 1925 and would be one of the few people alive who has met every Parramatta Sister of Mercy! She never wanted to be a Sister but she wanted to work with them and considers them her family. Joyce has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Mercy values in her compassion for the less fortunate and for those deprived of family life. Respect for human life has been the hallmark of Joyce’s life. Before retiring for the night at Stella Maris, she visits every nursing home resident. Joyce’s capacity to give so cheerfully has been an inspiration to so many.

JULIANNE MANSON

Julieanne is an Arabana woman from Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) country. Her Mercy connections are through Valda Dickinson rsm with whom she has studied, worked and shared immersion experiences in Australia, Kenya and Nairobi. Julieanne has been committed to reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous most of her adult life. She has been tireless in promoting and advocating for indigenous Australians as the first peoples and custodians of the Great Southern Land. She has persisted in providing education as a way of broadening mutual understanding and empathy. She encourages others to share her appreciation of the earth as our mother. In all this, Julieanne is kind, compassionate, tolerant and patient

JULIE & PAUL CLEMSON

Julie was Mercy- educated at St Michael’s Stanmore and Paul by the Sisters of Mercy in Condoblin. Their daughter attended OLMC Parramatta. As a couple, they are seen as ‘saints’ of Blacktown parish, always ready to drive people who need transport, willing to help people with their shopping – without fuss. They share what they have with others. Living Mercy values just seems to come naturally to them. They are very involved in parish – often ensuring that the ‘behind-the-scenes’ jobs are done with no attention-seeking. They are the parents of eight children with a strong family life and a vibrant faith. They are people of few words and much Mercy action!

JULIE FLYNN

Julie is an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta and was employed there for nine years as Director of Pastoral Care. Julie is currently the coordinator of Mercy Connect Sydney. Whilst working at OLMC, Julie was active in keeping the Mercy values alive in the students, staff and parents. She brings these same values to her work at Mercy Connect. Julie is fair and just in her dealings with people and in tough decisions she always acts with compassion, respecting the dignity of the person. In facing racism issues, she is proactive in espousing a compassionate stance. Julie is a woman who uses every opportunity to show Mercy in action.

KATE ANDERSON

Since 2008, Kate has been very involved in the MAGnet group. Kate stands out as a leader, encouraging young women to be involved and committed. She has initiated many of the projects of the MAGnet group. She is a woman who not only believes in the Mercy charism and tradition but is imbued with its values, becoming deeply involved in any social justice events and outreach which give witness to Mercy. Kate’s compassion for the marginalised and disadvantaged shines through. Educated at Monte Sant’ Angelo, Kate is now employed as the Director of Mission and Justice by the North Sydney Sisters of Mercy and is Coordinator of the Mercy 5 program across the two Sydney Congregations.

KERRIE WALSHAW

Kerrie is an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta. She is the current Chair of the OLMC Board. Kerrie values the Mercy education she received and is committed in her role as Board Chair to ensuring that OLMC continues to be a school of excellence in the Mercy tradition. Kerrie is proactive in ensuring that the Mercy values are embedded in the policies and practices therein. She is respectful and kind in her dealings with all members of the College community. Kerrie is extremely generous in time given to the role she holds; she is available ‘over and beyond’ the call of duty. She is also an enthusiastic member of the Mercy Futures group.

KERRY ANDERSON

Kerry has worked in catering at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility for 27 years and has been a loyal employee for all that time, working behind the scenes to ensure that all that happens in the kitchen is of the highest standard. Kerry shows deep respect for the residents, taking a personal interest in them. She has a strong sense of justice and is generous in her time and work. Kerry ensures the highest standard of hospitality for the families of residents; this is particularly evident in times of grief. It was Kerry’s involvement and generosity with her catering staff that enabled the Auxiliary to successfully fund-raise through dinners for large numbers.

KERRY MURPHY

Kerry Murphy is a solicitor, specialising in the field of immigration. He comes from a family with strong connections to the Sisters of Mercy, both his parents generously giving of their time and services to them. Kerry has given countless hours of pro-bono work in supporting asylum seekers in their applications for refugee status. He has always used his gifts and talents to benefit those who are most vulnerable. Rather than chasing the dollar, Kerry has chosen to work with the most marginalised and disadvantaged. He works to empower and protect their dignity. Kerry has been a great support to Helen Barnes rsm in her ministry with refugees and asylum seekers.

KITTY GUERIN

Kitty is the first lay principal of OLMC Parramatta. Over ten years in this position, Kitty has been active in keeping the Mercy values alive in the College community. She herself has acted out of these values and has promoted them strongly. In leadership, Kitty has ensured that OLMC has kept its strong tradition for providing excellence in education for girls. She has retained a strong academic emphasis coupled with involvement in social action and advocacy. Kitty has been an active member of many associations and has held leadership positions in them. In all her roles, Kitty has shown the face of Mercy.

KRISTEN ROEHRIG

Kristen taught at the Mercy schools of Catherine McAuley Westmead and Holy Cross Woollahra. Kristen was admired by her colleagues as a ‘Mercy Girl’ because of her commitment to the Mercy charism of the school. In teaching, she shows leadership and initiative, empowering the students to achieve to the best of their potential. Through the many vicissitudes of her life, Kristen’s faith has been her guiding light. It underpins every decision she makes and her approach to every person with whom she comes in contact. In all that Kristen does, the Mercy values of compassion, hospitality, justice and respect for the dignity of each person shine through.

LES SONTER

Les’s involvement with the Sisters of Mercy spans more than 50 years. As an electrician, he met up with the Sisters at Marymount Castle Hill and OLMC Parramatta. He worked for many years at St Michael’s Family Centre. He was always on call in an emergency and the Sisters became his friends. Les’s cheerful nature lightened many difficult situations. He became a type of ‘father figure’ to some of the small children from the cottages at St Michael’s, often taking the opportunity to teach them new skills. Les treated the children with dignity and respect. He often played Santa at the Christmas parties and helped with various fund-raising activities.

LISA OVERTON

Lisa was educated by the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy and has taught in Mercy schools, currently associated with both OLMC Burraneer and St Francis de Sales Woolooware. For the past eight years, Lisa has been the coordinator of the Mercy Action group at OLMC, encouraging students to actively participate in Mercy action. Lisa’s sense of what makes a school a Mercy community is active, passionate and broad. She is most enthusiastic about Catherine McAuley and it is clear that Mercy is ‘caught’ by those who surround her. Through the local parish, Lisa facilitates visits to Mamre House for those about to be confirmed. Lisa is a real Mercy woman.

LOREN MEEHAN

Loren attended school at OLMC Burraneer where she became immersed in the Mercy Action group. Whilst she continued on to De La Salle College where she was actively involved in the Lasallian Foundation Justice Group, Loren remains ‘Mercy at heart’. When the Queensland floods impacted on the lives of so many, Loren, with a friend, responded in compassion. They initiated and ran a fundraising event and then delivered the money personally to some of the victims of the disaster. Loren continues to be involved in Mercy action, organising fundraisers at least three times a year. She is one of the founding members of the MAG Great Southern seniors.

LOUISE CAMPBELL-PRICE

Louise is an Aboriginal woman, one of the Stolen Generation. As a member of the Mercy Aboriginal Network, Louise has educated people in seeing the Aboriginal perspective on many issues. She is passionate about passing on her culture; in response, she set up Yula Pula in the Morriset area where Aboriginal people can come together to share their crafts with younger members. Louise continues to show heroic leadership in her community. She challenges the Church to give her people recognition; she challenges employers to treat Aboriginal people with respect and she challenges injustices within society. Louise’s passion and love for her people keeps her motivated in difficult times.

LYNETTE ALLARA

Lyn was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at Holy Cross College Woollahra. Lyn has lived her life by the Mercy values she learned at school. Throughout her life, Lyn has sought out and helped many people in need. She has been a faithful companion to the elderly and shut-ins, visiting them and cooking for them. She is hospitable to all, opening her home to others, sometimes at considerable cost to herself. As an active member of the Soroptimists, serving as both President and Treasurer at different times, Lyn has been active in good works – feeding hungry children, being involved in a breakfast programme, educating in health issues, raising money for overseas works.

MAGGIE MAY

Maggie was Mercy-educated and has had a long-term and active interest in environmental issues, climate change, sustainable living and social justice issues. Her concern has always been for people at the margins. Her understanding and concern about climate change meant moving from the city to a country property, where she and her family could live in a way that was economically and environmentally sustainable. Maggie has undertaken study and employment that helps students and workers know and act on their rights at work. She is actively involved in her local community; one example is her involvement in using music to engage with indigenous and other youth

MARCIA SHEPHERD

Marcia was educated at Holy Cross College Woollahra. It was here that she became aware of Mercy values that could be lived in her life. As a teacher, she used the many opportunities that came her way. She spent countless hours with children in need, encouraging them in their learning and finding opportunities to affirm them, helping them grow in confidence, especially through drama. She was always student-centred in her approach to teaching.  In retirement, Marcia is an active member of the Soroptimists, serving as both President and Secretary at different times. She has been active in good works – feeding hungry children, educating in health issues, raising money for overseas works.

MAREE WIESEMES

Maree was involved in the Mercedes Theatre Group, working with Sister Noni Ball for 14 years. She used her acting skills to bring great joy to others. Her loyalty to the group and general concern for the members, particularly the most vulnerable, made her a real woman of Mercy in the drama group. Maree volunteers as a catechist in the State school and continues to juggle employment with this commitment. Maree lives the works of Mercy in very practical ways, taking an active role in her parish. Maree is involved in the weekend liturgies and takes communion to the sick in a nursing home when called upon.

MARGARET & BARRY BLAKE

Margaret was a Parramatta Sister of Mercy for some years and taught at OLMC Parramatta. Later, she was part of a team responsible for the development of the RE curriculum in the Sydney CEO. Margaret and her husband Barry are deeply spiritual people who live the gospel call to be good news to the poor and disadvantaged. They volunteer their time and talents in their local parish, where Barry also serves as pastoral associate. Margaret assists with the music and choir and volunteers with St Vincent de Paul twice a week; Margaret and Barry also volunteer at St Canice’s Kitchen for street people.

MARGARET BUNT

Margaret was educated at OLMC Epping and subsequently taught there as an English teacher and later Coordinator. She was an integral member of staff and a real model of Mercy during several years when there was unsettlement due to ill health of the Principals. Margaret was very strong in her sense of justice and compassion, especially for the girls of Lebanese families, who were often caught in cross-cultural living. She was seen by the staff, students and parents as a woman of warmth, hospitality and compassion. To this day, Margaret, with her husband, Ted, shows much interest in Mercy life.

MARGARET COULTER

Margaret has worked at Monte Sant’ Angelo and is currently employed as the Development Officer at Mercy Works. She is thoroughly immersed in the Mercy spirit and demonstrates it in every aspect of her work. Margaret is a gentle woman who has a deep respect for all people. She is passionate about the value of promoting Mercy Works as far and as widely as possible because she believes that the work done on the ground is very effective. In that way a more fair and just society can be achieved. Outside of work hours, Margaret spends much time with the sick and elderly, visiting them and taking them on outings.

MARGARET KINGSTON

Margaret worked in three Mercy schools: OLMC Epping, Emmaus College and as Assistant Principal at Catherine McAuley Westmead. A convert to Catholicism, Margaret was noted for her commitment to the Religious Education and Pastoral Care programs. In the beginning times of Emmaus, Margaret played a vital part in the embedding of Mercy values into the school community and its programs. Throughout her teaching career she has modelled for both staff and students a sense of justice and consideration for students from economically poorer families. Her hospitality and real compassion, especially in difficult situations, serve as an inspiration to others.

MARGARET PADGEN

Margaret was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at OLMC Goulburn. She taught at OLMC Epping and at Emmaus College. She was also a very generous volunteer at St Mary’s House, Campsie. Margaret was a PE teacher and taught in many of the Mercy primary schools. She taught Religious Education and was involved in all forms of liturgy and celebration. She is a thoughtful and generous woman who showed particular concern for children and families in need. Margaret’s relationships with the Sisters of Mercy during her teaching career were very positive and continue to this day.

MARGERY JACKMAN

Margery has been Principal of Catherine McAuley Westmead since 2005. She is an extraordinary woman, passionately committed to Mercy education, particularly of young women. She is inspired the Mercy tradition and charism, the life and legacy of Catherine McAuley and lived Mercy lives. Margery continues to use her gifts of Mercy leadership, drawing out enthusiasm for all things Mercy as she models it with deep integrity and joy. Her compassion for the disadvantaged and marginalised shines through her in passion to engage the staff, students and parents in events and projects of social justice and Mercy outreach. She has been particularly supportive of the establishment and continuation of MAGnet.

MARIA FERRARI

Maria has worked alongside Valda Dickinson rsm at the Curtin Detention Centre, caring for asylum seekers. Maria has worked with people suffering trauma and multiple levels of stress, and so many benefit from the wisdom gained from her experience. She is generous in her commitment to displaced persons. As a nurse, Maria has spent most of her adult and professional life in the healing profession. She has worked as a Mental Health nurse in seven detention centres within Australia and Manus Island, PNG. She brings sensitivity and respect to her involvement with others. Maria is a woman of compassion, courage, integrity and truth which is evident in all her dealings with asylum seekers.

MARIA PEARSON

Maria is an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta and was Assistant Principal there from 1998 to 2005. She is now Principal of Mount Saint Benedict Pennant Hills. As Assistant Principal at OLMC, Maria was active in keeping the Mercy values alive in the students, staff and parents. She herself acted out of these values. Her main role in the College was in staff relations and she always showed fairness and justice. In the tough decisions, she acted with compassion, respecting the dignity of the person. Outside her school activities, Maria is actively involved in her parish as a senior server, reader and communion minister. She is also active in the Benedictine School Association.

MARIANNE DWYER

Marianne was educated by the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy at St Patrick’s Primary and OLMC Parramatta. She worked very closely with the Sisters of Mercy in ministry and remains very connected to them. She worked at St Michael’s Family Centre, Baulkham Hills and Emmaus College as a counsellor. In all that she does, Marianne demonstrates the Mercy values. Marianne has involved herself and her family in various Mercy projects including fund-raising for St Mary’s Campsie and St Michael’s Baulkham Hills. She is actively involved now in the North Rocks parish – as Deputy Chair of the Parish Council and as a member of the Parent Executive team of Christ the King school.

MARIE PARMENTER

Following her mother’s death, Marie came to OLMC Parramatta as a boarder. Post-school, she qualified as a nurse, social worker and psychologist. Marie was one of the first nurses in Australia to have had a university-based training. The concept of social justice for disadvantaged and marginalised groups in society has drawn her to support people with intellectual disabilities in her research, clinical practice and teaching career. Marie currently supports research into the needs of people with life-long disabilities who are ageing, together with the needs of their frail-aged parents. She also volunteers with Intellectual Disability Rights Service to support people with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system.

MARISA BRATTONI

Marisa attended school at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary Wentworthville, Catherine McAuley Westmead and OLMC Parramatta. She taught in primary schools for six years and was particularly touched by the challenges faced by children with special needs. As a Special Education teacher, Marisa worked in this area for 15 years. She advocated for the children in her care. Marisa now works at the Edmund Rice Centre, developing educational material in the area of human rights, social justice and advocacy for schools. Her particular focus is asylum seekers and refugees. She is a woman of great faith who has demonstrated the Mercy values of compassion, creativity and care for those in need.

MARY & PAUL BOWE

Mary was educated at St Mary’s Rydalmere and OLMC Parramatta. Mary and Paul, the parents of five children, live the gospel call to be good news to the poor. They are involved in their parish, offering their Ugandan priest support in his attempts to enliven the parish. As a teacher Paul has shown great respect for his students especially those who are disadvantaged. He is currently working with four students with autism to prepare for their HSC. As a media advisor, creative programmer and conference organizer, Mary brings her deeply held Mercy values to her work.

MARY HARTE

Mary has always lived in Stanmore. Educated by Mercy Sisters at Stanmore and OLMC Parramatta, she continues to maintain strong bonds of friendship with her school companions. Living since her marriage opposite the Mercy convent, Mary has proved an excellent neighbour to many Mercy Sisters. She has demonstrated a deep faith throughout her life – as a widow and as a mother to six children. Always thoughtful and responsive to the needs of others. In very quiet and self-effacing ways, Mary lives the works of Mercy – as a catechist in State schools for many years, taking communion to the sick, cooking for families in need, visiting the sick, assisting the lonely.

MARY KENNEDY

Mary’s children attended St Michael’s school, Baulkham Hills. Through her contact with the Sisters of Mercy, Mary became involved as a volunteer and part-time worker at St Michael’s Family Centre. At the Centre, Mary showed great Mercy hospitality, reflecting respect for everyone, never invading their privacy. She came to realise that in her daily life she could make a small difference to the lives of others. She was a tireless volunteer when it came to special events at St Michael’s and was one of the first to be involved with the Old Boys’ Reunions. Mary continues to volunteer at Vinnies; her life makes a difference to many.

MARYANN & RICHARD VELLA

Maryann and Richard are friends and volunteers of Marymount Mercy Centre, Castle Hill. They are extremely generous with their time and show kindness and care to the sick and frail aged members of the community. They assist with all the special occasions of the Centre. Maryann assisted to catalogue and still maintains the library, looks after the sacristy washing, prepares program booklets and organises mail outs. Richard assists with manual labour and is always ready to assist where needed. They show deep acceptance and appreciation of the multicultural nature of the wider community. They offer the Mercy values of hospitality, compassion and respect for human dignity.

MARY-ANN & TONY CASSAR

Both Mary-Ann & Tony were educated by the Sisters of Mercy – Mary-Ann at Greystanes and Catherine McAuley Westmead and Tony at OLMC Wentworthville and Toongabbie. They are involved in their local parish, visiting the sick and offering hospitality to those in need. In retirement, Tony continues to provide pro-bono advice to people in need and is now engaged in voluntary work with St Vincent de Paul, regularly visiting the sick and elderly. Mary-Ann uses her cooking skills to feed the hungry. Tony and Mary-Ann help out with transport in the parish and give generously to causes that support refugees and overseas aid.

MARYANNE AYRES

Maryanne attended OLMC Burraneer. She works tirelessly for the Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia by fund-raising and awareness-raising. Her focus is on the plight of the girls and young women. She educates the OLMC Burraneer girls by speaking with the Mercy Action Group and leading them in knitting projects. She visits Africa annually at her own expense and works as a volunteer at the hospital in Addis Ababba. By her actions, Maryanne continually demonstrates all of the Mercy values, particularly her compassion, her respect for human dignity and her very practical option for the poor. She is passionate about the Fistula Hospital and the girls and women for whom she cares.

MAUREEN BRYANT

Maureen has worked at Stella Maris for about 12 years, firstly as coordinator of cleaning services and currently as the Pastoral Care person at Stella Maris. Maureen is a woman who gives of herself for others, having a real respect for Mercy values and Mercy traditions. She goes beyond the expectations of her role, always willing to ‘meet a need and do something about it.’ Maureen has a real empathy for the aged and is a willing advocate for them. It is known that Maureen has great compassion for ALL residents and is generous in her response to them. Her quiet and gentle presence reflects the face of Mercy to them.

MAUREEN CASEY

Maureen Casey has been extremely supportive of the Sisters of Mercy and has demonstrated this in her commitment to the Gospel values of love and service, justice and mercy, both in her teaching and personal life. She taught English and History at OLMC Epping for 12 years and at OLMC Parramatta for 15 years. In both these schools, Maureen was English Co-ordinator. Since her retirement she has been active as a volunteer with Drummoyne Community Centre as an internet tutor and for the past 5 years has been a volunteer English tutor for Mercy Works, assisting refugee students with literacy support.

MAUREEN ORROCK

Maureen’s mother died when she was very young and so she attended the boarding school run by the Sisters of Mercy in Rockhampton. It was here she developed a great love for the Sisters of Mercy. Later in life, Maureen was a volunteer at St Michael’s Family Centre for 15 years. Here she showed great empathy for the most disadvantaged women in the Crisis Centre and those in Clare Residence. She had a gift for finding the right words to offer encouragement. Maureen’s commitment to Mercy continues to the present day. Maureen holds in her heart the saying of Catherine McAuley: ‘The poor need help today not next week.’

MELANIE HOGAN

Melanie is an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta. Whilst at school, Melanie took seriously the Mercy values and was actively involved in as many school activities as she could fit into her daily routine. On leaving school, Melanie began a career in corporate finance. Realising that something was missing, she studied film and television. She now produces and directs films designed to inform and educate on issues of social justice. Her first film, Kanyini, an award winner, was instrumental in starting an educational program called ‘Yarnup’, initiating relationships between young indigenous and non-indigenous leaders. Melanie is conscious in all her work of the value system which underpins her life.

MERCIA IGNACZ

Mercia has been associated with the Sisters of Mercy for almost 60 years, attending OLMC Parramatta, joining the Sisters of Mercy for a short time, and then teaching in Mercy schools at Rydalmere, Ryde, Enmore, Baulkham Hills South, Blacktown and Baulkham Hills. Her children were Mercy-educated. Mercia was also a volunteer at St Michael’s Family Centre for 12 years, working mostly in Clare Residence. Her care for people was often unseen; she respected the families’ need for privacy. In her care, families felt respected and cared for in difficult and sometimes traumatic times. She showed them compassion and respected their dignity. Her work was truly ‘Mercy in action’.

MICHELLE ROWLAND & MICHAEL CHAAYA

Michelle attended OLMC Parramatta and served three years on the Board of OLMC. She is currently the Federal member for Greenway. In their personal lives, Michelle and her husband Michael, both lawyers, are passionate about causes that impact on the lives of children and families - true to the spirit of Catherine McAuley. They offer respite foster care for a child from Barnados when called on; they are involved in mentoring programs – Michael with the Smith Family Learning for Life Mentoring Program and Michelle supporting Foster Care Angels, where children who have been taken from their families are provided with backpacks containing items for basic hygiene. Michelle is a strong supporter of ARCAN – the Australian Rare Chromosome Action Network.

MIKAYLA MULCAHY

Mikayla attended OLMC Burraneer where she was an active and committed member of the Mercy Action Group. When attending De La Salle College, she was very involved with the Student Lasallian Foundation Justice Group. When the Queensland floods impacted on the lives of so many, Mikayla, with a friend, responded in compassion. They initiated and ran a fundraising event and then delivered the money personally to some of the victims of the disaster. Loren continues to be involved in Mercy action, organising fundraisers at least three times a year. She is one of the founding members of the MAG Great Southern seniors.

MOIRA LOADER

For many years, Moira has been the Religious Education Coordinator at OLMC Burraneer. In working with students, staff, parents and the surrounding community, Moira is first and foremost a woman of compassion, joy and humility; she is courageous in her leadership, creating esprit de corps in the Mercy mission. Her hospitality is generous and joyful, ensuring that students and parents who are new to the College experience welcome in the spirit of Catherine McAuley. In her role she has embedded the Mercy story into the hearts of the students through history, creativity, prayer and amazingly creative liturgies. This has impacted the whole school community, ensuring it is truly a community of Mercy.

MYRA BUCKINGHAM (deceased)

During her life Myra was a dear friend of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta. She would often introduce herself as a ‘Mercy Associate’. She first met the Sisters at Gladesville, where she was involved in a variety of pastoral ministries, especially those that focussed on the development of faith in children.

To nourish her faith, Myra attended courses in Spirituality, Scripture and Prayer and shared her faith with others. Simplicity, generosity, humility, faithfulness and compassion were always present in Myra’s relating with others. In her will, she gave generously to St Michael’s Family Centre for the on-going support of women and children in need. Myra’s life was one for others.

NOELA KELMAN

Noela was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland and taught at OLMC Parramatta for almost 20 years; she was a founding member of Mercy Endeavour. As a Religious Education teacher, Noela had a passion for social justice and took leadership in this area. There can be no doubting that Noela is committed to Mercy in action – through her experience as a teacher and then through Mercy Endeavour, where she has supported Sisters of Mercy and their work in refugee camps. She has ensured that Mercy schools and ex-students of Mercy schools are involved in this work with refugees Australia-wide.

PAT SHELLEY

Pat has been a long-time volunteer at Mamre Homestead. She has great love and respect for the Sisters of Mercy and has made the Mercy values her own. As a volunteer in the Mamre Craft and Gift Shop, Pat showed outstanding hospitality and welcome. She sewed curtains, cushions, tabletops and other items needed for the Homestead Tearooms. In her parish, she was involved in the liturgy and cared in practical ways for the sick and lonely. She became a volunteer Ward Nanny at Westmead Children’s Hospital, assisting and supporting parents of sick children. Pat continues to live Mercy, showing the ‘loving kindness of the heart of God’.

PATRICIA LAMEY

Patricia attended OLMC Parramatta. She has spent most of her life doing what many would consider ‘tough work’ in a way that is truly reflective of the spirit of Catherine McAuley. Her area of specialisation has been working with troubled youth, many of them with drug and alcohol addictions. What marks Patricia out is how respectfully and compassionately she cares for these young people, respecting their dignity and encouraging them to be their best selves. Patricia is a Mercy woman, a quiet achiever, unaware of the impact she is having on those in her care.

PATRICIA ROCHFORD

Patricia is a proud ex-student of OLMC Parramatta. Now based in London, she organised the 50 year reunion of her class from there. In her professional career as a consultant, Patricia has stood confidently for justice for women, especially in business, Board memberships and leadership. The unique leadership programme she developed combines her extensive business knowledge with her psychological training and her deep understanding of the qualities required of outstanding leaders in the demanding global business environment of the 21st century. The Australian Government awarded her the Centenary Medal in recognition of her services to business. She is others-centred, committed to truth and faithfulness to Mercy values.

PAUL LENTERN

Paul was the Director of Mission at OLMC Parramatta. He was Board member of Mercy Works and now serves on their Program Committee. At OLMC, Paul educated staff and students in social justice issues. His excellent ability to network enabled him to transfer accurate information. He developed valuable skills in the students, educating them with techniques and knowledge for future action in matters of justice. At Mercy Works, he shares his knowledge and experience with generosity and concern. Paul is a calm and considered man of Mercy, respectful of others. A clear thinker, he is able to state his views with clarity and is not deterred by obstacles or opposition.

PAUL WITNEY

Paul, the Music Coordinator at OLMC Parramatta, is a composer, musician and educator, with his works being in demand both nationally and internationally. He has at his core the Mercy values and a commitment to continuing the strong Mercy tradition of music at OLMC. As a gift to OLMC Parramatta for their 120th anniversary, Paul wrote a piece of music based on the Suscipe of Catherine McAuley. Paul’s gentle and compassionate nature makes him a wonderful role model. He is consistently supportive of the works of the Sisters of Mercy, always willing to involve students in various Mercy functions. His interest and enthusiasm for all things ‘Mercy’ is genuine.

PEG GROGAN

Peg was a foundation member of the Mercedes Theatre Group and remained connected in a variety of ways over 25 years, many times in ‘behind the scenes’ ways that enabled others to shine!  Peg has been involved in the works of Mercy in so many ways – as a parent leader in Antioch, a volunteer at Chisholm Cottage, a pregnancy counsellor and volunteer with St Vincent de Paul. She spent some years volunteering in state schools as a catechist. Still active in her parish, Peg takes communion to the sick and is a minister of the Eucharist.

RAMESH NAIR

Ramesh’s association with the Sisters of Mercy is through his work with Helen Barnes rsm. Ramesh, a psychologist, specialises in working with those who are most vulnerable. He shows great care for people; another’s welfare is his first priority. He is a gifted professional, exercising compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty that is quite courageous and a deliberate, conscious concern for the suffering poor. He provides a welcoming space. Ramesh is not afraid to challenge Government bodies, calling them to account on their management; he also challenges the vocabulary used when referring to refugees and asylum seekers and easy options do not fit well with Ramesh.

ROBYN MCCABE

Mother of Rebecca McCabe rsm, Robyn is an ex-student of St Anne’s, Bondi Beach. She has spent most of her life helping those who are vulnerable and ‘at risk’. She has volunteered with Meals on Wheels and established the Care and Concern group in St Aloysius Parish, Cronulla, which has been serving the needs of the disadvantaged in Cronulla for the last 12 years. She uses fund-raising to connect the rich with the poor – in the real spirit of Catherine McAuley. She was recognised by OLMC Burraneer for her contribution to the local community. She practises deep compassion in her palliative care work of accompanying those who are dying.

ROZ PALISI

Roz is connected to the Sisters of Mercy through her association with St Michael’s Family Care in a variety of roles – resident, carer, partner in ministry, staff member, friend. Roz responds to situations with “What needs to be done? Do it NOW!” She is attentive to those in need - their vulnerability, dignity and right to expect the best in terms of a Mercy response. She has worked for people with disabilities, provided shelter in her home to vulnerable women and children, offered hope to those who struggle to gain employment. Roz is not afraid to speak on matters of justice. By her life, she tells the Mercy story.

SABINE HARRIS

Sabine’s connection with the Sisters of Mercy is through her employment in the parish of OLQP Greystanes. Sabine, a quiet, gentle, peaceful woman easily engages with all whom she encounters. She has an amazing capacity to connect people, bringing various parish endeavours together. Sabine provided wonderful support to Margaret Sheppard rsm in her ministry at Curtin Detention Centre, engaging the parishioners, the social justice group and the wider Holroyd ecumenical group in responding to the ongoing needs of asylum seekers. Sabine also lives Mercy in her volunteering: companioning juveniles, visiting the sick and lonely, offering practical care to those who are suffering loss and grief.

SALLY COPPINI

Sally was educated at OLMC Parramatta and worked closely with Noni Ball rsm in the Mercedes Drama Group for 25 years. As well as being involved in all aspects of productions, Sally also showed merciful response to those who were troubled. She has an innate sense of justice and fairness for all. As a teacher, Sally’s quiet demeanour and strong sense of justice earns her the respect of staff and students. Sally has always fostered and maintained a harmonious relationship between school and parish. As a woman of Mercy action, Sally supports, in numerous ways, a friend who has Alzheimer’s disease.

SANDRA NICHOLSON

Sandra Nicholson an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta, commenced her career with Victoria Police in 1975, working in most aspects of policing. Sandra was an Assistant Commissioner of Victoria Police (2005-2010) and its highest-ranking woman when she left the force – after a career spanning 35 years. She was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2004 for services to policing and the community; and the Most Outstanding Female Leader Award in 2005. As a Mercy woman, Sandra was regarded as an honest, flexible and supportive leader, a strategic thinker with excellent communication skills and a “can do” approach, treating others with respect and empowering them to fulfil their highest potential.

SARAH MENASSA-ROSE

Sarah attended OLMC Parramatta. As a student, she was seen as a beautiful model of ‘energetic’ Mercy. Amongst her fellow students, Sarah did not speak empty words but acted courageously for justice. Sarah was a founding member of MAGnet . Now, as the mother of two young children, Sarah continues to engage at the forefront of social justice issues, involved in ministries of education, formation and service to the disadvantaged, marginalised and poor. She has a deep love of all things spiritual. Sarah listens attentively and acts with energy and thought, showing determination to make a difference, unbounded by race and faith tradition.

SHARON HOLSTEIN

Sharon’s connection with Mercy is through her work at Mamre House. Sharon has served as the Homestead Functions Coordinator, Development Officer and Customer Relations & Events Manager over a number of years. Her sense of Mercy hospitality is consistently demonstrated in her interactions with guests and with her colleagues at Mamre. Her ever-present smile, gentle nature and the ease with which she accommodates any request ensure that those who use the various resources of Mamre are made to feel welcomed, relaxed and perfectly looked after in sometimes-stressful situations. Sharon’s warmth and generosity enables her to pass on the Mercy and Mamre Stories with great enthusiasm and integrity.

SOPHIE RYAN

Sophie is an ex-student of OLMC Parramatta and a current member of the OLMC Board. Sophie’s main vehicle for ministry is and has been through education, so dear to Catherine McAuley. She began her 38-year teaching career as a teacher at St Anthony's Primary, Girraween, a Mercy school. Sophie was Principal of St Oliver's Primary, Harris Park, another Mercy school, from 1988 to 1994. At present, she is employed as a consultant with the CEO. Sophie works passionately to promote the development of Mercy in schools that were started by Parramatta Mercy Sisters. Sophie is a champion of the disadvantaged and a strong advocate for the education of young women.

STEPHANIA DAJUK OAM

Stephania was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at St Enda’s, Toongabbie, and OLMC Parramatta. In recent years, she has taught at OLMC in the area of Social Science. Stephania has achieved outstanding work with the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW which led to the establishment of the Saturday School of Community Languages. Stephania has also contributed significantly to the language, culture and welfare of the Ukrainian community. Her commitment to the ideals of multiculturalism, equality and justice has enriched the lives of many Australians. Stephania is a powerful example of what it means to live out Mercy values and was the recipient of the 2010 Catherine McAuley OLMC Parramatta Alumnae Award.

THELMA STANNARD

Mother of Helen Stannard rsm, Thelma was an enthusiastic member of the Caringbah Circle of Mercy Group and is now a resident of Stella Maris Aged Care Facility. Through her life, Thelma has displayed an outstanding option for the poor, offering hospitality and a Mercy heart. Thelma spent many years cooking and serving meals for the poor at St Canice’s Kitchen, Kings Cross. She also spent most of her life filling boxes with clothes and food for the poor in Papua New Guines and Zimbabwe. She was always on the lookout for resources that could assist them and as soon as she posted one box she would start filling another.

TONY ATKINS

Tony became involved with Stella Maris Aged Care Facility whilst his mother was a resident there. With a background in finance and technology, he ensured that a computer system was installed for payroll and initiated other record-keeping systems to increase efficiency. Later, Tony was employed as a staff member. In all his working, Tony demonstrated his support of the Sisters of Mercy; he was generous in all his undertakings. Even when it came to taking annual leave, Tony timed it so that he was always available to prepare the pay for staff. He showed deep respect for each individual who was part of the Stella Maris community.

VALERIE BEDROUS

Valerie has worked for the Sisters of Mercy for many years as a cleaner. She has assisted with the many changes that have taken place over the years, with the convent building undertaking many changes of function. Valerie has shown loyalty and discretion in all aspects of her work. She has generously offered hospitality whenever there is a function, showing courtesy and concern for all. She is always cheerful and willing to respond where there is need, and her Irish wit is a rich gift in all circumstances. Valerie is a woman rich in Mercy, sensitive and compassionate and a very special presence in the Parramatta Mercy world.

VICKI BOURNE-FALLON

Vicki was educated at Holy Cross College and is currently Principal of Holy Cross Primary school, the first lay Principal. Vicki has built on the firm Mercy foundations of Holy Cross. She leads the staff, students and parents in responding in Mercy to various needs in the school and local community. Mercy is celebrated with joy at Holy Cross, with a focus on Mercy Traditions, Charism and Values, liturgies that highlight Catherine McAuley and fund-raising for Mercy Works. Vicki, with the students, was an active participant in the Mercy Summit 2013 and strongly supported the student project of the Mercy Values Fair.

VINCE STEED

Vince has been associated in a number of roles at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility for many years. He began as a volunteer, organising the garage sales to raise funds. For more than 12 years Vince was employed on the maintenance staff. In all that he has done and continues to do, Vince is totally dedicated to all things Mercy. He models that he is a Man of Mercy by assisting the Sisters and residents in every way he can; by his unstinting generosity in terms of time; by his availability and assistance as a member of the Auxiliary.

YORDANOS HAILE-MICHAEL

Yordanos’ first contact with the Sisters of Mercy was in 2000 when she and her children arrived in Australia and stayed for some months in Supported Accommodation at St Michael’s Family Centre before moving to one of the Transitional Housing properties. During her time at St Michael’s, Yordanos showed amazing compassion and support to so many in spite of the traumatic life of torture and trauma she had experienced in Eritrea in Africa. She has embarked on a production with three other African women, telling the stories of their lives: “If this work can help even one woman’s life, give her the courage to break free, then it is worth doing.”