Gendrie has worked as volunteer and staff member in Good Shepherd empowerment programmes for women and girls for over 40 years. Her current role is Mission Leader, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. Since 2007 Gendrie has been a member of the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Partnership Team.
On Australia Day 26th January 2016 Gendrie received an Order of Australia for her "significant service to the community through social welfare organisations, particularly to the disadvantaged and women and girls”.
Below is the formal acknowledgment of this honour from Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
We are incredibly proud and delighted that one of our staff members received an Order of Australia award on Australia Day: 26 January, 2016.
Gendrie Klein-Breteler, Mission Engagement Coordinator, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, was appointed a Member in the General Division for her “significant service to the community through social welfare organisations, particularly to the disadvantaged and women and girls”.
Gendrie said the honour has only been possible because she is part of Good Shepherd. “This award is for all my colleagues and volunteers at Good Shepherd – and the courageous and inspirational women we work with. I’m proud to be part of a network of such dedicated, compassionate and responsive people,” she said.
“This award is a recognition of the collective effort within the whole organisation and the communities we work in.”
Gendrie has been with Good Shepherd since 1972. She worked as a volunteer for three years before taking up a leadership position to provide residential care for teenage girls in Melbourne, Australia. Over the decades she has provided counselling and integrated support to young women, implemented a women’s prison program and set up “Outlandish”, an environmental program designed to open up volunteering and employment opportunities for women. Of particular note was her outreach support for women who had been in prison or who were involved in street-based sex work.
“Good Shepherd’s services and programs are constantly evolving to respond to changing needs in the community,” Gendrie said. “We support individuals and families, with a focus on women and girls, to build their safety and resilience, increase their access to education opportunities and improve their financial security."
Gendrie remains as passionate as ever about working with others to create opportunities for women and girls through her mission work. This includes developing and delivering mission programs for staff, volunteers and Board members.
Congratulations Gendrie, this honour is very well deserved.
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Indigenous women in Australia offered support to complete higher education. This increases their capacity for leadership, and financial empowerment