Catholics have once again featured prominently on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year. Awarded for their service to the community in a variety of fields from education, healthcare, outreach, and to the Catholic Church in Australia, many of them say they are humbled and surprised by the honour.
Ms Rebecca Davies AO of Edgecliff, was honoured for her service to medical research, particularly in the area of Juvenile Diabetes and heart health, and to the Sydney Archdiocese.
“I’m just blown away. It was so unexpected,” she told The Catholic Weekly.
Ms Davies has worked and volunteered with several organisations including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Heart Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Health Ethics Committee. She also serves on the Finance Council and the Development Fund Board of the Sydney Archdiocese.
She became involved in research into Juvenile Diabetes after her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“My faith talks to me about the need to use whatever gifts I have for the benefit of the community,” Ms Davies said. “That’s where we are Christ’s hands and feet in the world. That’s why I’m so passionate about healthcare and medical research, because that makes a real difference to people’s lives in a very tangible way.”
Mr Ross Tarlinton OAM of East Ballina, who has worked in Catholic and state education over his extensive career, said the award was “a great honour.”
“I was quite surprised. It’s a bit of a fuss for just doing your job. I think it’s actually a reflection of the great leaders I’ve worked with in various institutions, both Catholic and government.”
Mr Tarlinton was Principal at several Catholic schools including St Joseph College in Hunters Hill, Marist College in Canberra St Joseph’s College Tweed Heads.
He said working with young people was the best aspect of serving in education, in particular being able to “provide balanced opportunities” to them: “Opportunities to grow in their faith as well as to grow physically and spiritually.”
The founder of the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Mr Bernie Fehon OAM, was awarded for service to the community through social welfare programs.
The initiative, begun in winter of 2006, raised around $42 million for St Vincent de Paul throughout the country since its inception, and has become one of our ‘best exports’ says Bernie, who lives in Blaxland.
This year on June 21 this year 1400 CEOs will take part in locations around Australia and $2.7 million has already been donated.
“While I had the idea it only took off because a small group of other people though it was a good idea and committed to it, and it’s only grown because dozens and then thousands of people have taken part.
“It’s been a real joy for me personally to be on that journey.”
Receiving the honour was “a bit unexpected and a bit surreal, the sort of thing you think happens to other people”, he said.
Mrs Margaret MacMillan OAM of Wahroonga runs a support group for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their carers. The mother of six said she feels “very humble” after receiving the Queen’s Birthday Honour.
“I think there’s a lot of people more deserving than myself,” she said.
The support group meets once a month to listen to guest speakers and Mrs MacMillan also puts on a lunch once a month for those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and their carers.
She said she would like to give Alzheimer suffers and their carers “a day off” and also “the understanding that they can cope.”
As a member of Holy Name Parish in Wahroonga, she said her Catholic faith has been a major influence in her life and in her children’s lives.
“We’ve been very privileged and it’s done our kids good.”
Ninety-five year old Sr Mary D’Apice AM from Bronte, who entered religious life in 1946, as a Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart, has worked in education over several decades. Also a medical doctor, she has lectured for many years on spirituality and human development.
Sr D’Apice said she always hoped to impart in her students “an understanding of their own development so it could help them in their own lives.”
She says the Catholic faith has always shaped her life and aspirations. “It’s been the background to my whole life.”
She was surprised and humbled by the Queen’s birthday honour. “I’m grateful really that the Church has been recognised and the role of religious,” she said.
Catholics named on the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List (not exhaustive):
Officer (AO) in the General Division:
Mr Joseph ASSAF AM
For distinguished service to multiculturalism, and to business, as a supporter of community education projects for people from linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to cultural harmony and inclusion.
Ms Rebecca Anne DAVIES
Edgecliff NSW 2027
For distinguished service to the community, and to medical research, particularly in the areas of juvenile diabetes and heart health, and to the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
Sister Joan Kyrle EVANS
Mosman Park WA 6012
For distinguished service to the international community of Thailand through humanitarian assistance programs for the disadvantaged, and to improving the lives of women, children and the elderly.
Mr John (Jock) Stephen MURRAY
Lindfield NSW 2070
For distinguished service to the transport, infrastructure and freight industries, through roles in policy direction, planning and implementation, and to Jesuit education.
Professor Michael Francis QUINLAN
Nedlands WA 6009
For distinguished service to medicine, particularly through strategic leadership in the development of tertiary medical and social education in Western Australia as an academic and clinician.
Member (AM) in the General Division:
The Reverend Father Joseph John CADDY
St Kilda East Vic 3183
For significant service to the community through a range of social welfare initiatives and policy reforms, and to the Catholic Church in Australia.
Sister Mary Dorothy D’APICE
Bronte NSW 2024
For significant service to the Catholic Church in Australia, and to education.
Professor Andrew McLACHLAN
Gladesville NSW 2111
For significant service to pharmacy as a researcher, educator and administrator, and
to professional medical and scientific organisations.
Medal (OAM) in the General Division:
Dr Catherine Mary DAY
North Ward Qld 4810
For service to education.
Mr Bernard Philip FEHON
Blaxland NSW 2774
For service to the community through social welfare programs.
The Reverend Deacon Gregory M KERR
Macquarie Hills NSW 2285
For service to youth through a range of roles.
Mr William Joseph LOVERING
Sorell Tas 7172
For service to the community.
Mrs Margaret Elizabeth MACMILLAN
Wahroonga NSW 2076
For service to people with Alzheimer’s and their carers.
Mrs Carmel Rita NASH
Norman Park Qld 4170
For service to education in Queensland.
The late Mr John Joseph O’BRIEN
Late of Stafford Heights Qld 4053
For service to the community through social welfare organisations.
Dr Meegodage Senake PERERA
Wantirna South Vic 3152
For service to the Sri Lankan community of Victoria.
Sister Patricia Emmanuel POWELL
Bathurst NSW 2795
For service to the Catholic Church in Australia, and to the community.
Mr Francis Patrick SHEEHAN
Invermay Park Vic 3350
For service to the community of Ballarat.
Mr Ross Gregory TARLINTON
East Ballina NSW 2478
For service to secondary education.
Dr Mark Rhodes TURKINGTON
Drummoyne NSW 2047
For service to education.
Mrs Donna Louise BAKER
Lane Cove NSW 2066
For service to sport in a range of roles