Kildare Ministries Newsletter

20 May 2019
Issue Three
National Reconciliation Week:  27 May- 3 June 2019
New Principal Announcements
The Opening of the Brigidine Centre -Kildare College 
      An insight into our Ministries - Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
      An insight into our Ministries - Star of the Sea, Brighton
Trustees Visit - Kilbreda College 
Founding Grace Retreat
  2019 Calendar Dates
Keep updated!
Kildare Ministries
(03) 9682 2973
54 Beaconsfield Parade
Albert Park, Victoria, 3206


As the Trustees of Kildare Ministries travel around the Ministries for a variety of meetings, we are constantly filled with wonder at the work being done in each of those Ministries; and no matter whether they are schools or community works, HOSPITALITY is always a life giving mark of each community.   It’s more than a warm cuppa – it’s something deeper which allows each of us to be open to others in the ups and downs of life.  

Recently we celebrated with the Board of Brigidine College Indooroopilly the achievements of their past twelve months, their hopes for the future and the challenges within that.   Such occasions and conversations with our Ministry leaders are important for good governance and for our work together.   We congratulate BCI on a wonderful year’s achievements, and for the culture of hospitality they have nurtured and strengthened in their community since 1929.  

Following our sojourn in Brisbane, we travelled to Kildare College in Adelaide for the official opening of their new Brigidine Centre.  It’s a wonderful addition to the College, and there was so much joy among the students who will use it in so many creative ways – drama, music and performance, and PE.   We congratulate Principal, Ms Rouggos and her team for this outstanding achievement.   Students will feel both hospitality and hope as they learn in the Brigidine Centre.  

As we come together to deepen understanding of our faith, our charisms and the unfolding story of Kildare Ministries, lively and fruitful discussions have been taking place about the Trustees’ Strategic Intentions for 2019-2020.    How will we all “respond to the cries of the Poor and the Cries of the Earth” in our ministries?  How will we be better informed on emerging ethical and moral issues that will impact on the common good and the common home?   How will we deepen our KM story and our interconnectedness?   We face and discuss these questions using the lens of the Living Justice Principles.   It is life giving, challenging and courageous to build a culture where through scripture, prayer and the reading of  wisdom, we can be focused on contributing to the building of a better world.   Our young people and community works friends have the right to expect that of us.

Thinking about these intentions is to think about the future into which we are inviting students and adults in our communities.   St. Brigid, Bishop Daniel Delaney and Nano Nagle all tried to actively bring about a better future; though it was not without certain risk.   Jesus’ story inspired them, and can do so with us today.     

As we stand on the door step of winter, our reflections and actions can contribute to a better spring in people’s lives.    Each of our ministries will have a different focus on how they will do this.    We wish them well, as we all give action to that challenge!  

From our Kildare Ministries prayer:

May we hear the ancient blessings

Breathed into the ears of our hearts

As we create the path

To journey by a new and different way.




Rosemary Copeland & Maree Marsh csb

Co-Chairs - Trustees of Kildare Ministries

National Reconciliation Week:  27 May- 3 June 2019


The theme this year is Grounded in Truth, Walk together in Courage.

National Reconciliation Week reminds us that there are a group of Australians who still do not enjoy the respect and confidence of the whole community and who are still the most marginalised amongst us.  


Recognition does not just go one way. It is reciprocal. Recognition for Indigenous people completes a virtuous circle of recognition, whereby each of the three great generative forces of our country recognises the rightful place that the others hold in our shared past, present and future, and receives recognition of its own rightful place in return. In 2007, John Howard spoke of “recognising that while ever our Indigenous citizens are left out or marginalised or feel their identity is challenged we are all diminished. . . . that their long struggle for a fair place in the country is our struggle too”. Recognition is not about division or separatism. It is about completing the compact that has been left unfinished for too long, and bringing the country together so that our First Peoples can become more equal sharers in the Australian achievement. “

Professor Davis reminds us that “thinking ethically about reform for the First Nations requires thinking about the truth of our history, and this can be emotionally and psychologically hard. It can be easier to close our ears. But the Uluru Statement issues this moral challenge to all Australians: hear our voices, and pause to listen and understand.” (with thanks to CRA Justice Committee)


National Reconciliation Week urges us to engage in challenging conversations, to unlearn and relearn our history and to positively contribute to the unifying future. This year’s theme calls for truth and courage and requires us to work together and to envisage a better future for our first people.


We invite you to take a moment to re-read the Uluru Statement and to reflect on this year’s theme:  Grounded in Truth, Walk together in Courage.




We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:


Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs.


This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.


How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?


With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.


Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.


These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.


We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.


We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.


Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.


We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.


In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

New Principal Announcements

The Kildare Education Ministries Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Sally Buick as the new Principal of Killester College and Mrs Tina Neate as new Principal of Kildare College. The Board is confident that Mrs Buick and Mrs Neate, already imbued with the Brigidine tradition and charism will also build upon the proud legacy of Ms Leanne Di Stefano (Killester) and Mrs Margaret Rouggos (Kildare).

Sally Buick
Principal - Killester College

Sally comes to Killester College from Padua College in Mornington a multi-campus, co-educational Catholic College where she is currently the Senior Vice Principal, second in charge to the Principal across three campuses. Previous to this role, Sally was Deputy Principal Head of Mornington Campus from 2012-2017. Ten years previous to that, Sally worked at De La Salle College.

Sally’s most recent qualifications include Masters of Business Administration; Masters of Education and a Graduate Certificate of Not-For-Profit Business Administration. Sally completed her Bachelor of Education at Deakin University and the Graduate Diploma of Student Wellbeing from Melbourne University. Sally completed theological units in Lasallian Leadership accredited through ACU.


The Board of Kildare Education Ministries is confident that the learning and wellbeing focus for which Killester is well known, will continue to improve and develop under Mrs Buick’s leadership. Sally embodies the Brigidine love of learning having undertaken many post-graduate and short term courses and is poised to offer well-rounded educational leadership that is contemporary and innovative and deeply imbedded in Gospel values.


Sally is a member of the St Patrick’s Parish in Murrumbeena and also has a long association with St Anthony’s in Glen Huntly. She has been active in the pastoral care of parishioners as well as fund raising activities for both parishes. The members of Sally’s family are her husband Danny, Madeleine (20 years); Holly (Year 12 at Sacred Heart Oakleigh) and Aden (Year 10 at De La Salle College, Malvern).

Tina Neate
Principal - Kildare College

Mrs Neate is well-known to the Kildare College community as the current Deputy Principal. Her previous role was as Junior High Principal at Riverside International School in Prague and earlier she was a staff member in leadership roles catholic schools in Adelaide including Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Enfield, Mercedes College Springfield and prior to that Kildare College. Tina holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education.

Mrs Neate is a passionate educational leader. She has a deep commitment to exploring every pathway to enhance the teaching and learning opportunities of her students. Her international experience and exposure to professional learning globally gives Tina a wide lens on education which will continue to enrich Kildare College.  She is a strong advocate for girls’ education and brings creative insights to ways in which girls can excel. She also comes to this new role with an extensive working knowledge of Kildare College, positive connections with students and families and is well-placed to continue building Kildare College as an exemplary learning community.

Tina is an active member of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Prospect. The members of Tina’s family are her husband John, former principal of Kildare College (1999 – 2002) and her two sons James (19 years) and Jonathan (Year 12 at Blackfriars Priory School, Prospect).

The Opening of the Brigidine Centre -Kildare College 

There is always so much to celebrate at Kildare. As a Catholic College, we uphold strong Christian values and provide lifelong learning opportunities in an inclusive and nurturing educational environment.

The multipurpose building has been fittingly named the ‘Brigidine Centre’. It is extremely important for the name to have a meaningful connection. One that reflects beautifully on the College’s history, its traditions and future endeavours.

The name honours the five Brigidine Sisters who in 1966 set up a new Brigidine school called Kildare College in the North East of Adelaide, at the request of Archbishop Beovich of Adelaide. It recognises the hard work of all Brigidine Sisters who taught at the College throughout its history, and the presence of the Brigidine Sisters in Adelaide who proudly educated young women in the Brigidine tradition. Furthermore, it cements the importance of their hard work for future Kildare students, and this should certainly be acknowledged and honored with great esteem.

This was a momentous occasion for the whole College community. Our newest building on the College’s landscape was finished and handed over from the builders, Sarah Constructions, to the College, on time after only 180 days of construction. What a marvelous achievement.

We have a staunch belief that “every student matters” and that every student has the right to learn in a stimulating environment, where she achieves excellence and is supported holistically.

Let us be mindful that, just as St Brigid and Nano Nagle did, we too can have our lives transformed by love, compassion and purpose through God’s work in everything we do.



Margaret Rouggos



An insight into our Ministries - Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project

This year we are asking our ministries to nominate a staff member or student who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries. Two ministries will feature in each newsletter. The managers of BASP chose Noelle Mawdsley.

Noelle, a long term BASP volunteer, has tirelessly coordinated the food bank at Albert Park for years and years.  Every week she packs goods going out to asylum seekers and puts donated food into carefully organised boxes and on shelves. Noelle is the most organised person you could ever meet.  The BASP pantry is something to behold.

In November when the Christmas hampers arrive, with Libby’s assistance, she systematically arranges distribution to the many families BASP supports.

Noelle is also totally unflappable.  She handles all requests, deliveries and the unexpected people coming in with good humour and graciousness.  And most importantly of all, Noelle is so welcoming to our asylum seeker friends. 

Noelle is supported regularly by Sister Gwen Tamlyn who is really amazing at sorting the linen donated to BASP!


Libby Saunders

We also asked Libby's colleagues and regular BASP volunteers to answer a few questions about Libby. Here is what they had to say:


What words would you use to describe Libby?

Libby's colleagues struggled to keep within the word count when asked for words to describe Libby. Many adjectives were used including the following: committed, efficient, innovative, resourceful, cheerful, compassionate, genuine and inspiring.


Why is Libby so inspiring?

Libby's commitment and resourcefulness helps the people seeking asylum with the myriad of problems they present with and she is innovative in her approach to problem solving. She thinks outside the box.


What is a funny thing that Libby has done?  

Libby has a great sense of humour. Libby has the ability to evoke positivism despite the incongruity of the situations and realities faced by asylum seekers.


What does Libby do that demonstrates to the community that she is a ‘Brigidine’?

Libby gives meaning to the BASP imperative 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me'. Libby acts with strength and kindness. Seeing Libby in action is a personification of everything BASP stands for. 


How does Libby give expression to this year’s KM value of Hospitality?

All Libby's ‘work’ life is about hospitality; she is a welcoming voice & smile to asylum seekers that come to our doors.


What does Libby do to relax?

Libby relaxes by walking with a friend at some ungodly hour every morning, and has been doing so for 30 years. She finds joy spending time with her children and grandchildren. Libby has two beautiful grandsons (she is 'Bibby" to them) and they, with her daughter Molly and her son Nick, are her anchor.


An insight into our Ministries - Star of the Sea, Brighton

When asked to nominate a staff member or student who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries, Star of the Sea College chose Mary HarmesMary Harmes has been the driving force behind the Social Justice activities at Star of the Sea College for the past 11 years.

As the Social Justice Co-ordinator at the College, Mary’s kindness to all she meets ensures that everyone feels welcomed into the Star community. Her creative ideas and support for those who wish to be involved is well regarded by students and staff and her capacity to mobilise others into action is legendary.

Social Justice at Star is extensive and many of the programs the school supports have been initiated by Mary.  Regular programs supported by the College include:

  • Weekly Soup Van support
  • Sacred Heart Mission volunteers (every second Monday and every Friday)
  • Friday Night School (tutoring for non-English speaking students, many of them refugees)
  • St Kilda Mums (assemble new Mum packs)
  • Sale of ‘The Big Issue’
  • Kildare Ministries Educating for Justice Student programs

All of these programs need volunteers and Mary coordinates the many students and staff who are involved in making a difference in our community. 

Mary also co-ordinates all fundraising and appeals for:

  • Caritas
  • St Vincent de Paul (Christmas Hampers)
  • ACRAF awareness
  • Birthing Kits assistance
  • Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP)
  • NSW Drought Appeal

Mary raises awareness of these issues and motivates staff and students to develop programs to support each cause. 


Mary feels her greatest success has been supporting Clarissa from the Big Issue with her weekly visits to Star.  Mary contacted the Big Issue 9 years ago to find out how Star could get involved.  Since then Clarissa has travelled to Star each week (now from Bendigo) to sell the Big Issue. Most importantly Mary has supported Clarissa in finding permanent accommodation and reduced the worry in her life.  Staff and students have embraced Clarissa and it is incredible to see how this program has positively changed Clarissa’s life.

Mary views change holistically and combines the motto of ‘changing head, heart, hands and feet’ for ultimate success.  Mary applies Nano Nagle’s values and the Star motto ‘Deeds not Words’ to her work.  She has a deep theological knowledge and approaches her work as ministry.  Mary is a member of the Kildare Ministries Mission & Ministry Sub-Committee of the Trustees, and the Justice Coordinators’ Network allowing the depth of Mary’s experience and wisdom to be shared across all 10 schools and 3 community works of Kildare Ministries.

Mary’s parents taught her to include ‘the other’ and she has not only lived this belief but has also shared this wisdom with the students at Star.

.Social Justice is close to Mary’s heart and she aims to ‘Teach the girls to stand in solidarity with people and not to judge’.



Trustees Visit - Kilbreda College 

The ‘ministry visit’ is a welcomed opportunity for the Trustees to gain invaluable insight into the future plans of a school or community work. Early in May the Trustees visited Kilbreda College in Mentone. Greeted by welcoming students and enjoying an extensive tour of the college, highlighted the excellent facilities and developments that are planned for at Kilbreda. The learning walk was very interesting and demonstrated a student focused learning agenda.  A chance to meet staff and to share some hospitality was shared over morning tea.

College principal, Nicole Mangelsdorf presented information regarding the developing Master Plan and other issues and developments impacting on Kilbreda, especially the development of the new train station.  The involvement of thirteen Year 10 students in the ‘artist in residence’ project in conjunction with the Mentone Renaissance project was exciting news!  Amongst other things, the student will create the design and paint the mural on the external wall of the college on Como Parade.  The whole area is being redeveloped and should be completed by mid-year – which is not too far away.    

The Trustees would like to thank the community of Kilbreda College, not only for their hospitality which is always welcoming and warm but also for the care that is taken in the education and pastoral care of their students through an innovative agenda.

Founding Grace Retreat

On 15-17 May thirteen staff from Kildare Ministries’ schools gathered in Lancefield for our annual Founding Grace Retreat.  Across our 3 days together retreatants were invited to reflect deeply on the Kildare Ministries Principals of Living Justice, contemplating ‘where two or three are gathered’ and what might this be inviting us to as the hands, feet, eyes, voice and heart of God.  Through the sharing of individual and communal prayer as well as informal conversation and hearty meals we enjoyed coming to know one another in the spirit of trust and companionship.  We are enormously grateful to our school leaders for offering this experience to their staff and know it will enrich our shared ministry.  Particular thanks to Paul Spence who led the Retreat with such heart and to all our retreatants who entered into the experience wholeheartedly and with beautiful care for one another.

Andrea Grant

Mission Leader



Retreatants have offered the following reflections on their experience:

It gave me a greater understanding of the work of the Kildare Ministries and how we are connected at a much deeper and spiritual level - an amazing gift attending the retreat - thank you.


It was an amazing retreat - thank you so much for your honesty, respect and care. I would welcome the opportunity to attend a retreat such as this in my school holidays - to welcome refection in spirituality with such amazing people was wonderful.


I loved the honesty and rawness of people's contributions. I loved hearing of others challenges and know we are not alone. I loved that I was reminded of my own journey with Jesus and the unique life I can live because of this gift. I will be more aware and reflective in my day to day work and so more attentive to the young people I care for in my role.


Would highly recommend this retreat for staff members who have broader life experiences. Loved the The Prodigal son artwork and explanation of the scripture.  Enjoyed the contemplative style as such a direct contrast from school routines and demands. Liked that there were no handouts or set rules and expectations to contribute personal ideas. That the themes of each session were well connected and lead into each other. That I came away with a sense of the Living Justice Charter. Enjoyed networking with people from other schools in such an informal environment.


To experience open honest and true love for who we are is such a gift. Such a beautiful time of reflection and connection that I will hold very close to my heart as I walk through my days.


That it was a gift from my school and KM, that I feel loved and part of KM, that our ministry together is precious and unique. That it was life giving. That the sharing of others was a privilege to witness. I loved our facilitator’s insight, depth, humour, humanity, compassion, spiritual direction and profound honesty. I would entreat my colleagues to attend if they can.


For me personally it was wonderful to have conversation and experiences with others who are all trying to do the very best for our students and their families. To see that we are a part of a wonderful ministry doing great things for young people is very moving and at the same time give a bigger picture of our purpose. Thank you.


I would like to acknowledge the trust of the school leaders who sent the people to the retreat - it was so beautiful to be in a group and feel so welcomed. The songs, scriptures, and representations used allowed for honesty and reflection. It brought a sense of calmness and belonging. Thank you.


Deep hearted thanks for nurturing our faith in a lovely and gentle way. For guiding us, encouraging us to think deeply yet kindly about our lives and the way we choose to live them. It was such a treat to be here and I will never forget it, I will treasure this experience.


We need to do these as a leadership team. We need to do these as a staff. I love that we all came from different schools and roles but there is also something special about doing these kinds of retreats for specific teams and staffs and schools. I love it. I have loved it. I will treasure this. Thank you.


Thank you for the opportunity to know my God and Jesus again.


You need to do one of these. It is life-changing. It is important to 'be still and know that I am God'.



2019 Calendar Dates

KEM Principals Meetings

30th May

2nd September


KM Principals and Leaders Meeting

31st May

14th November


KEM Business Managers

Friday 18th October


KM Chairs of the Board Network

27th August (Star of the Sea)


Justice Coordinators

22nd August (Online)

8th November


Faith Leaders

8th November



Student Seminar 

22nd May

30th October


KM Leaders and Faith Leaders Retreat

BCI & Ormiston (Brisbane)

7th-9th August


Kildare Ministries Pilgrimage

18th September - 3rd October


Student Leadership Retreat

4th-6th December


New Staff Induction

3rd September


New Leaders Seminar

30th August


For a full program of the Formation Events for 2019, please click here.

Keep updated!

Kildare Ministries Newsletter