Experience of Good Shepherd at international and regional levels

About

I have been a Good Shepherd sister since 1983. I am originally from New Zealand – a Kiwi!  Before I joined Good Shepherd I had been with the Royal New Zealand Air Force in secretarial and administration and flight operations - my background was very much administrative.

In Good Shepherd

In 1985, after First Vows, I joined the small community in St Kilda, Victoria. We worked with women who were involved in street prostitution. My ministry also included: pastoral support for young women in the Remand prison; outreach to older homeless women with addiction problems.  I had also worked with homeless alcoholic men. While back in New Zealand in 1987- 88 my work with people with addictions led me to train as an Addictions counsellor and I completed a Diploma in Addiction Studies.

I professed Life Vows in New Zealand in 1990.

1992-1995 - Missioned to the Generalate to work in the Secretariat for the English speaking region.

1995-2000 - In Australia I worked with Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services in communications and administration. I studied for a Diploma in Editing and Writing and was the editor of a local newsletter. This led me to part-time university study and I completed my BA in Policy Studies, with a “minor” in communications in 1999.   

2000-2005: Missioned to the Generalate to set up and run the Congregation’s International Justice and Peace Office. While very challenging, this was a wonderful experience of networking and raising awareness of relevant issues across the Congregation.  With our NGO office at the UN, and working in collaboration with other Congregations, we were able to raise awareness and report on issues like economic justice, trafficking of women and girls, poverty eradication – all issues we continue address from our different realities.

2006-2014:  I became involved in Mission Education and was also editor of the Province E-Bulletin! We developed a new Mission and Justice programme for our growing number of Partners in Mission.

2006-2015: Province Leadership Team member.

Since 2012 I have volunteered with the Good Shepherd Health and Wellbeing Team at the Women's Prison. I now coordinate the volunteers. This ministry has kept me connected with the “grass roots”.

2007-2015, and 2015-2019: I was appointed the Area Community Leader for the sisters in Victoria. It has been a privilege caring for the sisters. I continue to be a Contact/Coordinator for the sisters in Victoria.

2016 to present: Province Leadership Team member, member of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans.)

2018 to present: Province Safeguarding Coordinator.

The Challenges

For me a commitment to social justice has been important and challenging. This commitment binds with my love of Good Shepherd mission.

I was privileged to serve in Rome twice and face the challenges of inter-cultural community living and learning languages.   

Facing the challenge of the ageing of sisters in the Province - so many have given many long years of deeply committed service to Good Shepherd Mission. Our Province has developed partnership and co-responsibility for mission with Mission Partners.  We have tackled restructuring head on!  We have developed a “ministry arm”, through Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. It has been a challenging and exciting journey!  I think we sisters are privileged to work with committed lay Mission Partners.

The Inspiration

The integration of spirituality and justice is very important to me, and integral to my understanding of who we are as Good Shepherd people. I served in various capacities with Good Shepherd in Asia Pacific from 2011 to 2019, and was a member of the Congregational Spirituality Committee between 2011 and 2014. My experience is that Good Shepherd spirituality is alive and active in mission across Asia Pacific.

It is it is important to continue working to integrate Good Shepherd spirituality in the ongoing work of mission and justice within Asia Pacific, the region we are aligned with.  Justice and spirituality are integral to who we are as Good Shepherd, and how we “do” our work!

During 2015 I participated in a Pilgrimage in Germany focused on the life and spirituality of the 11th Century mystic, now Doctor of the Church, St Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard is an inspiration to me, as is St Mary Euphrasia, foundress of Good Shepherd.

Projects

ACRATH, in Australia

ACRATH, in Australia

Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) was unable to hold its annual conference in 2021, due to COVID-19. Now ACRATH has released its Annual Report for 2020

Planning for Good Shepherd Child Protection Workshop

Planning for Good Shepherd Child Protection Workshop

Three members of the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Justice Peace team met in Sri Lanka from 3-7 April 2019 to plan for a regional workshop on Child Protection/Child Rights

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region

Reconciliation in Australia

Reconciliation in Australia

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

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand provides services and governance for Good Shepherd ministries, enabling sustainability and ongoing development into the future