Good Shepherd Day is celebrated in Australia

We are the future leaders and stewards...

Each year Mission Partners (sisters and lay) celebrate this important anniversary by reflecting together on our common commitment to the vision and mission of Good Shepherd.  The focus of the 2018 gatherings was an exploration of 'The Heart of the Matter'. 


On 20 and 22 June 2018, almost 200 people from across the network gathered to celebrate Good Shepherd Day and feel energised to achieve our common purpose.   This time of reflection was the perfect occasion to celebrate our rich history and make a renewed commitment to our work.

Photo:  Stella Avramopoulos, Barbara Walsh, Maree de Bondt


'For whom are we here?' 

In Melbourne and Sydney, the Sisters shared their approach to change and transformation. We were encouraged to consider the personal and professional path needed to continue our journey as custodians of Good Shepherd’s mission.

Sr Barbara Walsh spoke about approaching change ‘gradually and gratefully’. Sr Noelene White entreated us to stay focused on those ‘for whom we are here’. Sr Anne Dalton invoked Trasna and the ‘crossing place’. Trasna presents pilgrims with a decision point between taking the safe and familiar route or having the courage to choose a new path.

Province Leader, Sr Monica Walsh encouraged us to always value relationships as the heart of the Good Shepherd mission. Sr Pamela Molony spoke about looking at the seeds we are planting today and what could be diverting our attention away from the future.

We are co-responsible.... 

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand CEO, Stella Avramopoulos asked us to 'think about the magic we see in the people we work with'.  Stella reminded us that we are the future leaders and stewards co-responsible for creating a healthy, sustainable organisation. And that we have to be creative in responding to the needs of our time. 

Shared discussions

Facilitator, Mark Bloodworth led discussions about who we are as Good Shepherd people and what we need to equip us for the journey ahead.

A special acknowledgment

There was special acknowledgment of Gendrie Klein-Breteler, Mission Leader, who has been involved with Good Shepherd for 45 years.  As well as her strong commitment to Good Shepherd Mission and Spirit in Australia and New Zealand, Gendrie has been a member of the Asia Pacific Partnership Team since 2008, and is currently a member of the Asia Pacific Integration Committee. 

More photos

Click here - Good Shepherd Day celebrations in Melbourne & Sydney

Quotes to remember

‘It’s so important to have a day away from the operations and be reinspired by the values and history of the organisation.’

‘I think it’s really important to spend a day each year engaged in reflection and deep thinking about what we are doing, why it’s important and how we keep doing it better.’

‘Lots of inspiration, motivation, positive energy, love, caring, awesome people, blessings, leadership, fun, great stories, achievements and lot more were under one roof.’

Sr Mary Carroll who made the closing remarks in Melbourne spoke about the fourth vow that the Sisters of the Good Shepherd take — and that is a vow of zeal. The Sisters vow to work with love and compassion. She said she felt a lot of ‘zeal in the room’!  

Later, Stella reflected on the day

It was so inspiring to celebrate Good Shepherd Day with Sisters, Board members, teams and volunteers from across our network in Melbourne and Sydney last week.

The aim of the day was to energise us to achieve our common purpose and continue our Good Shepherd journey together. The theme was ‘the heart of the matter’ and we certainly had great discussions about who we are, what our purpose is and how we can shape our future together.