Inspirational Women

Chief Executive Officer of Jesuit Mission

A practical, faith-in-action has always inspired Helen Forde and so, she says, her role at the helm of Jesuit Mission where she oversees the Australian Province’s missionary activity in 14 countries feels like “coming home”.

Helen has been Chief Executive Officer of Jesuit Mission for nearly four years and says she knows she’s in just the right place.

Chief Executive Officer of MacKillop Family Services

Lifetime of caring for the vulnerable fuelled by Gospel values

Dr Robyn Miller has devoted her career not only to caring for vulnerable families and children, but also helping change the system to allow for early intervention which supports families who are struggling and helps prevent and treat trauma that can lead to break-down.

National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia

An original article written by Debra Vermeer

When she joined ‘Young Vinnies’ as a kid in Adelaide, it’s fair to say Claire Victory probably wasn’t thinking that one day she would be National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia.

President of the International Catholic Migration Commission

This is an original article by Debra Vermeer

From the age of 12, Anne Gallagher wanted to work for the United Nations, an ambition she went on to achieve, but that 12-year-old could not have foreseen that she would also become the first female President of the Catholic Church’s international agency for migrants and refugees.

For Jacqui Francis, being Executive Director of Townsville Catholic Education brings its share of joys and challenges, but few could have predicted quite the level of challenge that accompanied the start of the 2019 school year when the city was deluged by a flood of historic proportions.

“It’s incredible, because we’re always talking about water here in Townsville, about the fact that we haven’t got enough of it, and now here we are in the middle of a 1 in 100 year flood,” she says.

Chancellor for Ministries

This article was written by Debra Vermeer

Just when retirement was beckoning for Sister Catherine Ryan rsm, she was instead asked to take on the role of Chancellor for Ministries in the Parramatta Diocese – a position she sees primarily as a ministry of encouragement and support.


Finance Officer and Property Manager: Diocese of Broome

This article was written by Debra Vermeer and was first published in Women Matter

Therese Rogers has always been open to the will of God in her life, but it’s fair to say that God surprised her a few years ago by leading her across the country, from country Victoria to managing the finances of the vast Broome Diocese.

Chancellor, Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

When Kath Nadin, a long time Catholic educator, was asked to help the freshly appointed Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes settle into his job, she soon discovered she would wear many hats in her new role.

“When Bishop Columba first arrived, there was just he and I in the office,” she laughs. “So we were both answering the door and picking up the phone and everything else for the first few weeks.”

This article was written by Tracey Edstein and originally appeared in Aurora, the monthly magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle on April 7, 2018.

When the young recipient of this year’s Magdalene Award, Claire McWilliam, thinks about the source of her deep Catholic faith, the faces of women come into her mind. “My faith journey’s been with the women – my mother, women in my parish of Toronto, women belonging to the groups I’m involved in. These women have given me the confidence to remain as faithful as I have.”

Chancellor, Cairns

Written by Debra Vermeer

Being Chancellor of the Cairns Diocese, which extends from the outback to the islands in Far North Queensland, has its challenges, but is primarily about helping and supporting one another, says Eileen Lander.

“This diocese runs all the way to the Northern Territory border, across to the coast and out to the islands, so there are lots of small communities and lots of different needs,” she says.