Kildare Ministries Newsletter

04 April 2019
Issue Two
Welcome to Kildare Ministries
Kildare Ministries' 5th Anniversary Celebrations
  Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    An insight into our Ministries - St. Joseph's College, Echuca
      An insight into our Ministries - Marian College, Sunshine West
Wellsprings for Women - a tribute to Rose
  2019 Calendar Dates
Keep updated!
Kildare Ministries
(03) 9682 2973
54 Beaconsfield Parade
Albert Park, Victoria, 3206


“Autumn draws me into a reflective embrace. The misty air, the golden leaves, the noisy call of geese winging their way southward, all these lead me inward. I relish autumn’s quiet way of doing this. At the same time, I resist autumn. Mainly because it pokes “death” in my face everywhere I turn. I don’t want to let go of summer’s warmth and energizing green. I resist the inherent message of impermanence reflected in this season.”


Thus says Joyce Rupp, echoing my own thoughts as the long warm days of summer disappear along with a very busy Term 1.  As we head into the Easter Break it is worth reflecting on all this term has brought us.  We have celebrated new beginnings for some staff as they began their journeys with us.  Sadly, we have mourned in solidarity with several of our ministries at the passing of beloved staff members.  In these moments we have seen the strength of our community relationships and the love at the heart of all we do.


Our recent 5th anniversary celebrations were an opportunity to reflect on our strengthening identity and narrative.  Together, students across Kildare Ministries’ schools pledged to “commit ourselves to be a community where all people are valued. Guided by the mission of Jesus, we strive to work together in solidarity with the vulnerable in our world to be people of hope, justice and love.”


Recent tragic events in Christchurch have reminded us of our need to be people of hope, justice and love.  As can happen in moments of great human vulnerability, some outspoken public figures used the event to sow seeds of discord and hatred in pursuit of their own agenda.  In response, Labor senator and Yawuru man Pat Dodson censured such comments and spoke eloquently in the Senate on 3 April 2019 of how Australia’s Indigenous people know deeply the consequence of prejudice:


“…inflammatory and divisive comments seeking to attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion, (which) do not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people… First Nations’ peoples know the impacts of murder wilfully carried out and morally justified by hatred of minorities, misplaced power and bullying superiority.  In Gurindji country, they talk of the Killing Times.  Mounted Constable Willshire was stationed at Victoria River Downs in the 1890s. He was a mass murderer in uniform, who took it upon himself to protect the interests of cattlemen by dispersing the traditional owners of the lands at gunpoint.  He took to print, justifying his actions with boastful pride and emboldened by the rightness of whiteness and condemned the First Nations’ people to death…  I have visited the sites of massacres, of mass murders in Balgo, in Forrest River, and at Coniston. Those mass murders took place in living memory.  I have sat down with old Warlpiri men and women who luckily survived those murderous attacks as young babies, hidden from the attacks.  1928 was not that long ago. My mother was just seven years old.  But we are in 2019 now and a mass murderer, rejecting the richness of difference, driven by religious hatred and xenophobia, empowered by military-style weapons, has waged his atrocity in Christchurch. 

The murder of 50 innocent people does not just happen. It arises from the feeding of hate, irresponsible language and the demonising of people of colour, and difference.  We know the real cause of the bloodshed in Christchurch. The real cause was prejudice, hate, and a passion for violent action, aided and abetted by the availability of military-style weapons.  We call out those who exploit fear and ignorance for political gain: who mock the traditional dress of women of another culture; who seek donations from the manufacturers of weapons of war to override our own laws; who argue that it is “alright to be white”.  Their values would plunge our country back into the Killing Times.  We should instead turn our face to the light of a new future, a peaceful, non-violent, tolerant country of hope, respect and unity.  A country where no innocent man, women or child is ever again the victim of mass murder.”


May this Easter break be an opportunity for us all to consider what elements of discord within our hearts need to die so that hope, justice and love can flourish.  With every good wish for the Easter season, from all of us here at Kildare Ministries.


“If we want to be spiritually transformed it is essential to include letting go as part of our journey. Each autumn I now seek inspiration from those dying leaves gathering in ever deeper layers on the ground. As the trees let go of what enabled them to sip of the nourishing rays of summer sun, their falling leaves will eventually become a rich humus to nourish spring’s greening growth. If I stay open to the inner and outer changes that naturally arise, (if I dance more and drag my feet less about impermanence), my life can be a nourishing source for personal and world transformation. I hope the same for you.” (adapted from ‘Autumn and Impermanence’, ©2018 Joyce Rupp)




Andrea Grant

Mission Leader 

Kildare Ministries

Welcome to Kildare Ministries

David Alcock
Business, Finance and Risk Manager

We are delighted to welcome to Kildare Ministries, David Alcock as the newly appointed Business, Finance and Risk Manager.  David comes to us with breadth and depth of experience. He has been a major contributor to Catholic Education through his work with a number of schools as Business Manager.   In addition, he dedicated five years to the Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries as Deputy Chair of the Trustees as well as the Chair of the Finance and the Social Outreach Committees. Further, David has been most generous with his time, skills and talents volunteering his services to many parishes and committees over the years.  This gives David invaluable insight into the current landscape of PJPs and the various obligations and structures within them. To deepen his knowledge of his faith and practice, he is also currently undertaking a Theology degree.    

As the Business Finance and Risk Manager, David will work across our 13 ministries and assist the Trustees and the KEM Board with their statutory obligations.  David commenced with us on 3 April 2019 and will make arrangements to visit each ministry as a first priority.

On behalf of the Trustees of Kildare Ministries, we congratulate David on his appointment and look forward to the positive contribution he will no doubt make to the development of the business, finance and risk management of Kildare Ministries.    

Lisa Gray
Manager - Presentation Family Centre 

Kildare Ministries welcomes Lisa Gray to the position of General Manager of Presentation Family Centre. Lisa commenced her part-time role on Monday 25 March which allows her time and space to also continue her work with the Victoria Police as the Regional Community Engagement Advisor.  In 2018 she was awarded the Victorian Police Multicultural Excellence Award.

Prior to her work with Victoria Police, Lisa worked with the Mornington Peninsula Shire as a Partnership Development Facilitator.  Lisa brings to the role many years of experience in family services including in health and wellbeing, family violence, social inclusion, child protection and youth services.

Lisa volunteers as the Manager of Player Welfare at the VFL Frankston Dolphins and is a Non-Executive Board Member of Road Trauma Support Services. 

Lisa attended the first Principals and Managers network meeting in March (before he actual start date) and we look forward to Lisa’s management and leadership of PFC.  Congratulations on your new appointment and welcome.  

Kildare Ministries' 5th Anniversary Celebrations

On Ash Wednesday our ministries took part in a liturgy to celebrate Kildare Ministries' 5th Anniversary. All students were invited to take part in a pledge and read it together.
"We, the members of *_______* of Kildare Ministries commit ourselves to be a community where all people are valued. Guided by the mission of Jesus, we strive to work together in solidarity with the vulnerable in our world to be people of hope, justice and love."
We were delighted to mark the occasion by our expression of solidarity with the most vulnerable. Take a moment to share this memorable event through the pictures and videos below.

Killester College, Springvale

Killester College also created an amazing video on the day they celebrated the 5th Anniversary. You can access this video by clicking here:


Marian College, Sunshine West


St. Joseph's College Echuca


Brigidine College, Indooroopilly


Brigidine College, St. Ives

Brigidine College, St. Ives also prepared a video of the celebration held for the 5th Anniversary. You can access this video by clicking here.


Star of the Sea College


Clonard College

Clonard College prepared a video of the celebration held for the 5th Anniversary. You can access this video by clicking here.

Kilbreda College

Kilbreda College's  video of the celebration can be accessed by clicking here and downloading the file.


Kildare College



Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Kildare Ministries Petition - Please sign!

As part of our 5th Anniversary Celebrations, Kildare Ministries is harnessing the yearning for justice embedded in our ministries to stand in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers.  The mental health of people indefinitely detained in Australian immigration detention centres has deteriorated to a critical level.  Kildare Ministries is calling on the Australian Government for an immediate response to this humanitarian crisis. 


If you would like to sign our petition, click here and spread the word amongst your networks!


Fundraiser for the Palm Sunday Walk
Walk for Justice for Refugees
Sunday 14th of April - 2pm



An insight into our Ministries - St. Joseph's College, Echuca

We asked two of our ministries to nominate a staff member or student who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries. St Joseph's College Echuca chose their Front Office team. 

"Hospitality at St. Joseph’s starts at our front desk. Nothing is more important than the first impression people receive about our College and would like to acknowledge our ‘front of house’ staff.

Kildare Ministries' core values are extremely evident in the way that these staff interact with carers, students and colleagues. Justice – when sorting out fees or bussing issues. Wonder – celebrating often and spreading lots of joy by the cheerful way they go about their work. Courage - when dealing with difficult situations. Compassion – when working with sick students or needy families. Hope – when they solve problems and bring purpose into the lives of others and in 2019 our focus value of Hospitality.

Calling the school by phone or walking through the front door is always a cheerful, hospitable and experience for all. People are always greeted in a cheerful and welcoming manner and their requests or issues dealt in a patiently and professionally.

Thank you ‘front of house’ staff for all that you do to make St. Joseph’s College the hospitable place that it is known to be."


Michael Delaney

We also asked St Joseph's leadership team to answer a few questions on their fearless leader. Here is what they had to say:


What words would you use to describe Michael?

Michael’s staff spoke in glowing terms about the qualities he brings to his role.  They described him as: extremely kind, dedicated, person-centred, spiritual, respectful, loyal, visionary, inspirational, authentic, methodical, calm and reasoned.


Why is Michael so inspiring?

Michael’s questions are evocative and challenging.  He leaves the door open for walking through and exploring big ideas.  He constantly communicates that there is no ‘I’ in team and we are all on this journey together.


What is a funny thing that Michael has done?  

Michael is not above embarrassing himself with the occasional game of “Oh [dear]” (card game) with the team.


What does Michael do that demonstrates to the community that he is a ‘Brigidine’?

Michael models the Kildare Ministries values daily and always leads by example.  His searching and learning is never done and through words and actions he “walks the walk” of strength and kindliness.


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

Michael has been committed to placing ‘Hospitality’ at the forefront of our thinking this year through continually referencing the value when presenting to staff, students and the broader St Joseph’s community.  More than that, he leads the way by the way he lives hospitality.  His door is always open and he gives an abundance of time to consideration of matters of importance to staff.


What does Michael do to relax?

Michael loves a game of golf and enjoys spending time with his family.  As a guilty pleasure he indulges in trashy novels over the holidays.


An insight into our Ministries - Marian College, Sunshine West

When asked to nominate a staff member or student who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries, Marian Sunshine West chose Kerrie Williams, Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing.

Kerrie Williams has been a valued staff member at Marian College, Sunshine West, for over 30 years. She started her educational journey at the College and has held many teaching and leadership positions. She is currently Assistant to the Principal - Student Wellbeing. This position embodies Kerrie’s ability to be welcoming to all, whilst ensuring that everyone is treated equally and with respect. She supports students and their families and is able to show empathy and compassion when dealing with issues that arise.  

Of particular significance is her work and commitment to the development of student leadership. It is appropriate, then, to allow one of the past College Lampbearers, Breaze Cremona, to describe the impact Kerrie has had on her:


"I have had the privilege of being taught and guided by Kerrie and the impact that she has had on me is something I will cherish forever. She builds inclusiveness and positive relationships with students whilst maintaining her integrity. Kerrie ensures that everyone feels welcome and has a sense of purpose whilst at Marian and beyond. She lives and demonstrates the rich traditions of Kildare Ministries, inspiring students to be just, hopeful and compassionate young people in the Christian tradition. Kerrie taught me to keep my head held high, stand up for what I believe in and encouraged me to make a difference in everything that I do. Her determination to ensure that women are strong and ready to respond to the changing needs of our world is something I will always strive to achieve in the future."

Kerrie’s love of the College allows her to approach all tasks with a positive attitude always putting the needs of the school first. Kerrie captures the essence of the Kildare Ministries Core Values in the Brigidine tradition in all that she does for this school community.


Ray Pisani

We also asked the leadership team at Marian SW to answer a few questions on their fearless leader. Here is what they had to say:


What words would you use to describe Ray?

Ray has been described as loyal, passionate, empathetic, just, hope-filled, genuine, compassionate, a good listener, honest, reflective, thoughtful and deeply faithful. 


Why is Ray so inspiring?

His commitment to learning the story behind the human face and keeping the interests of his students at the centre of his decision-making inspires his staff to support him. 


What is a funny thing that Ray has done?  

Not that working with Ray doesn’t have its funny moments – he LOVES dressing up for Book Week, and then there was that time at the Kildare Ministries Conference he became lost while out walking…


What does Ray do that demonstrates to the community that he is a ‘Brigidine’?

Ray embodies the Brigidine heart of Marian Sunshine West through his relationships with staff, students and families.  He listens with the aim of really hearing the voice of the other and is always welcoming and accommodating of others’ needs. His passion for the students and the wider community is never ending; he goes out of his way to understand and assist all who walk through the doors of Marian College. Ray will challenge those whose words do not sit within or alongside the Brigidine and Kildare Ministries ideals, seeking to understand but faithfully upholding the values he so strongly supports. 


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

Every aspect of Ray’s leadership is an expression of hospitality: welcoming new and returning staff, his support for the leadership team and the endless hours spent caring for the students and their families, the enrolment policy, the welcome he extends to all families.  It even extends to washing the feet of parents and students at Easter liturgies.  The students know Ray to be “a good man”.


What does Ray do to relax?

Away from work Ray enjoys spending time with family and friends especially his wife and daughter.  He has a passion for his garden and loves his football (both round and oval varieties)  He also loves walking for recreation and exercise (which could be problematic if he has a tendency to become lost – Ed).

Wellsprings for Women - a tribute to Rose

Wellsprings for Women has lost a treasured staff-member after months of illness.


Rose Elias 52, died on 16 March, leaving a legacy of a welcoming and caring nature and a smile that brightened everyone’s day. About 50 members of Wellsprings held a tribute for Ms Elias on 19 March. During the event, they shared stories and memories, speaking passionately about the impact she had on their lives. Some spoke of how Ms Elias helped them out of isolation and to become happy and fulfilled women who were connected to the community. “The Tribute was both a time to mourn Rose’s death and celebrate her life and legacy,” Wellsprings chief executive Dalal Smiley said. “We certainly missed her so much especially at such a difficult time following the New Zealand tragedy, as she would have been the key person our participants would go to for comfort, reassurance and succour”.

Arriving in Australia in 1998, Ms Elias often said her family were the first South Sudanese to settle in Dandenong. She started at Wellsprings on a placement as a community-development student, meeting the service’s founder Sister Ann Halpin. Since 2005, Ms Elias had taken on various roles at Wellsprings including running the home visitation program, establishing the mentor program and providing one-to-one support. “What stood out about Rose was her innate ability to make people feel welcomed, valued and loved,” Ms Smiley said.

“She had an unshaken determination to remain positive despite the difficulties that she encountered along the way. She was particularly gifted at lifting everyone’s mood from grumpiness to joy.”

Ms Elias was also heavily involved with her Sudanese community, especially with MaMa Land which helped settle South Sudanese families in Australia.

May Rose rest in peace.


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

2nd May (Wellsprings)

27th August (Star of the Sea)


Justice Coordinators

8th May (Online)

22nd August (Online)

8th November


Faith Leaders

10th May

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


Founding Grace Retreat

15th-17th May



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

Keep updated!

Kildare Ministries Newsletter