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Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney honoured in Australian Defence Service Awards

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Major General Douglas Laidlaw AM CSC, left, with Vicar General Fr Gerry Gleeson and the Archdiocesan Director of Communications and News Media Marcus Middleton. Photo: Oscar Colman
Major General Douglas Laidlaw AM CSC, left, with Vicar General Fr Gerry Gleeson and the Archdiocesan Director of Communications and News Media Marcus Middleton. Photo: Oscar Colman

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has been honoured in the annual NSW Employer Support Awards for its contribution to the Australian Defence Force.

Across a national field of more than four hundred employers, two Catholic institutions, the archdiocese and Monte Saint Angelo Mercy College North Sydney both received equal second place with “honourable mentions” in the “not-for-profit” category of the NSW awards, for the way they allow and support their employees to serve in the Defence Forces.

As a former reservist Army chaplain, Archdiocese of Sydney Vicar General Fr Gerald Gleeson said he was delighted by the recognition of the contribution the archdiocese makes to the broader Australian community.

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“The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health, education and social services in the country. However, it is great to see we are also recognised in other areas,” he said.

“This honour also demonstrates our enshrined Catholic values of service not only to our faith, but the communities we live in.

“I could say many of our staff at the Archdiocese participate in some form of volunteer or extra-curricular service to their communities. It is what Catholics do.”

Head of Joint Services Support Division, Major General Douglas Laidlaw AM CSC said that nationally reserves make up 30 per cent of the total ADF workforce.

“Our NSW employers are exemplifying outstanding support to reservists and therefore to Defence capability. It is through this support that Defence is able to achieve its mission and protect our national interests,” MAJGEN Laidlaw said.

“Whether it be through your flexibility, financial contributions, understanding, commitment or a mix of these, you are leading the way in supporting Defence reservists. Congratulations on your achievements and thank you for your ongoing commitment.”

Archdiocesan Director of People and Culture Anthony Micallef said that encouraging reservists to pursue service can be demanding for employers, however the benefits it offers to the Australian Defence Force and those who participate far outweigh the operational challenges we experience.

“We thank the Australian Defence Force for acknowledging the great demands placed upon employers for reservists, however despite the challenges, we see it as a wonderful opportunity for employees to learn, grow and thrive by being exposed to different ways of thinking and doing.”

In addition, he said that encouraging all staff across the archdiocese—including those in senior leadership roles—to engage in volunteer activities is just one way the archdiocese continues to working towards its ambition to be a leading employer.

“We are proud of the care, support and flexibility we provide our people to pursue opportunities and goals outside of their ordinary work that are meaningful to them. This is one of the rewarding differences working for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.”

“Our ambition is to provide our staff with a working environment that enhances and supports all aspects of their lives, not just their strictly professional endeavours.

“We are constantly looking at ways to improve the work experience for our people, and this is just one of the many areas where we have worked to ensure our employees live happy and well-rounded lives.

The archdiocese offers a range of benefits to our people to ensure they are looking after their family life, their mental and physical well-being and their careers. Some examples include generous leave entitlements, attracting salary packing options, a hybrid work environment, access to a broad range of mental, physical and financial wellness initiatives, and dedicated learning and development programs, just to name a few.”

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