5th August 2023 – Sisters Margaret Barrett, Bernadette Ryder and Maureen Tinkler left Heathrow airport on a British Airways flight to Sydney via Singapore. A 22-hour marathon expedition to the “land down-under”. We were on a journey of discovery and, during our three weeks stay, we were introduced to many “hidden gems”: First of all – meeting our Australian Daughter of Charity companions in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Secondly, visiting the four Incorporated Works started by our Sisters. They are – St Catherine’s Aged Care and Seton Villa Service for adults with Learning Disabilities, both situated in Marsfield, Sydney; as well as St Mary’s House of Welcome – a service for homeless people in Melbourne and the Hutt Street Service for Homeless People in Adelaide. It was wonderful to experience firsthand our Vincentian charism of “relational service” being lived out by so many dedicated staff. A big thank you to Sr Debra McCarthy DC, who represents the Daughters of Charity on the Boards of these Incorporated Works, and who planned our visit and accompanied us.
A third important aspect of our visit was undertaken by Sr Bernadette Ryder, our Province Archivist, who spent much time in the Archives in Sydney working closely with Sr Angela Francis DC. Since 1926 so much has been accomplished by our Sisters who have lived and served in Australia. What a history – what a story!
Fourthly a visit to Australia wouldn’t be complete without experiencing something of the wildlife, scenery and culture of the place. At the Symbio Wildlife Park we met some favourite Australian marsupials – koalas and kangaroos not to mention the exotic bird life – with its lorikeets, cockatoos and kookaburras. We also saw the beautiful coastline around Bulli Point. Finally, no visit would be complete without a ferry ride down Sydney’s Parramatta River and a few photos taken with the iconic sites of the Opera House and the Bridge in the background.
it was good too, to be in Sydney at the same time as it was hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We found ourselves caught up in the excitement, cheering both for the Matildas and the Lionesses!
Last of all, a big THANK you to Sr Celine Quadros and all our Sisters in this beautiful part of the world for their great kindness and hospitality.