National Committee of Associates – Members’ Profiles

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Joanne Rosewall – Victorian Representative

By way of introduction, my name is Joanne Rosewall and I currently live in Dandenong, Victoria and am the Victorian representative on the National Committee, having been elected to this committee in 2010.

A little bit of background about myself – I was educated by the Presentation Sisters in Dandenong at St Gerard’s Primary School and St John’s Regional College. At University I studied Childcare and then worked in Residential Care.

Together with my husband, Darryl, we have 8 children, and 2 grandsons.

I am currently employed in the Canteen at the Primary School which both I and my children all attended. Finishing up as a parent volunteer last year, after 26 years at the school, having been heavily involved in education and the school community, I am very happy to be still around helping and encouraging the other parents to continue to provide the activities and pastoral care offered by the Sisters when they started with our community many years ago.

Alongside this busy life, I am also a Board Member of Wellsprings for Women, a gathering place for women founded by Ann Halpin, a Presentation Sister. This centre provides opportunities for the women to learn English, Computers, Personal Development and Arts and Crafts in a safe, caring environment.

As part of my own faith journey I am a member of two of the faith sharing groups which meet monthly, and are made up of Associates and Sisters in the Melbourne area.

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Sybil Thompson – current Secretary/Treasurer and Tasmanian Representative

I was born in Queenstown prior to the outbreak of the Second World War but after Dad enlisted in the army we moved south, first of all to Judbury then to Geeveston until we moved back to Hobart when Dad returned.

I first became an Associate in 1996 while teaching at the Presentation school, St Mary’s College in Hobart.

Although not taught by the Presentation Sisters myself, I have had a long association with them, teaching at Corpus Christi School in Bellerive where my five children received their primary school education before transferring to St Mary’s College where my mother had worked some years previously.

Since retiring from teaching in 1999, I have been more fully involved in the Associates and am currently the Secretary to both the Southern and State Committees.

I was one of two Associates representing the Tasmanian Associates at a national meeting of representatives of Presentation Associates and Congregation Leaders, facilitated by Paul Bullen, who came together to review the life story of the Associate Movement and set directions for its future.

I have recently re-married and we live in a retirement complex run by Southern Cross Care. As mentioned before, I have five children, four boys and a girl, who are the proud parents of my twelve, plus one on the way, grandchildren.

I worship at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, which has very fond memories for me as I grew up in the Cathedral Parish and now feel that I have done a full circle of life.

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Margaret Hallinan – Queensland Representative

Hi my name is Margaret Hallinan and I live in Rockhampton Queensland. I am the new Queensland Representative on the National Committee.

I was educated by the Presentation Sisters in Brisbane and was imbued with the charism of Nano Nagle as lived by the sisters who taught me. I entered the Presentation Sisters and was a member of the Queensland Congregation until 2003. I taught in many parts of Queensland as a teacher, Assistant to the Principal Religious Education and Principal. I have also worked in the Rockhampton Diocesan Catholic Education office as Assistant to the Director Religious Education. I finished that role in 2001 and decided that I wanted to finish my professional life with children so became Campus Minister in one of the local catholic schools and did that until 2010 – when an advertisement in my Church Bulletin led me to apply for the position that I currently hold which is Diocesan Coordinator of Pastoral Planning. This role is very challenging yet it enables me to live the message of Nano in a different way by meeting with people who ‘walk and work in the outback’ and sharing hospitality with them.

My becoming an associate was interesting. I went along to the Preparation sessions and then needed to discern whether to sign up. Having lived and breathed the Charism of Nano for so many years – I kept coming back to one of my favourite sayings to go one pace beyond and hence I signed up and am now the Secretary. Nano is certainly an inspiration and to evidence the charism alive and well at St Ursula’s Yeppoon is a blessing.

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Caroline Thompson – current Chairperson and Lismore Representative

Hi my name is Caroline Thompson and I live in Rosebank, just north of Lismore, in beautiful Northern New South Wales. I represent the Lismore Associates on the National Committee.

I have had the privilege of being a Presentation Associate for over fifteen years. My first contact with the Presentation Sisters came when I began teaching at Trinity College in Lismore in 1989. Trinity was founded through an amalgamation of St Mary’s College run by the Sisters and Marist Brothers St Joseph’s – the boys’ school which was literally across the road. As well as having daily contact with the Sisters, one of my roles as Religious Education Coordinator at the school was to ensure that the charism of the Presentation Sisters was celebrated and enriched through liturgy, prayer and staff in-service. This brought me into contact with the story of Nano Nagle and the wonderful legacy of the Sisters who had been in Lismore and contributed so much to both the school and the community.

I am currently Head of Curriculum at St John’s College Woodlawn, completing a Doctor of Education degree through the Australian Catholic University and active in co-ordinating Presentation Associate activities for the Lismore group. Life is busy but I take inspiration from Nano who trudged those dark and dank streets of Cork with courage and persistence.

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Pauline Kingsbury – Western Australia Representative

Pauline is now into her second term on the National Committee of Associates. She is one of the “original” members of the National Committee. Pauline is the immediate past Chairperson of the National Committee, having served two terms in that position.

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Alison Stephanie Wiese - Wagga Wagga Representative

Alison commenced her term of being the Wagga Wagga representative on the National Committee of Associates in 2010.

As I am coming up to my 57th birthday I find that I have now lived half of my life in Perth, Western Australia and the other half at Milbrulong via Lockhart, New South Wales.

Following my schooling with the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions and some years of secretarial/accounting work, travel and completing nursing and midwifery studies, I married Colin, a farmer, and we have two adult children. We are still living at “Fairlight” after having retired from active farming and continue to participate in various community activities and take opportunities for travel.

In 1994 I took up an invitation to participate in the formation of a new Associates group in Lockhart under the guidance of the Lockhart Presentation Sisters (Wagga Wagga Congregation) with Sister Clare Gaynor and Sister Nola Fox at the helm. Having already experienced the wonderful support and care of the Sisters, personally and in the Lockhart community, it was indeed a privilege to be nurtured and enlightened on the charism of Nano Nagle.

Becoming as Associate has provided on going personal growth opportunities to take up some new challenges including taking on the role of National Representative for the Wagga Wagga Associate groups (Lockhart, Wagga Wagga, Young and Sydney/Campbelltown). I have been a founding member of the Wagga Wagga Diocesan Council of Australian Catholic Women and member of St Mary’s Lockhart Parish Council.

My first National Associates meeting in 2010 allowed me to share in the Associate experience of other parts of Australia as well as participating in thoughtful discussions on the future of the Associate movement and learning from the valuable wisdom and experience of the Presentation Sisters and other Associates.

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Anne Coull – Ex Officio Archivist

I was born and educated in Tasmania and for the most part have lived here with the exception of a couple of “sorties to the mainland” working, mainly with the Department of Defence – Army in Melbourne. I decided back in the mid 70s to request a transfer back to Tasmania, preferably Launceston, and was fortunate in obtaining a position within the Australian Taxation Office. I must add that whist I have spent the larger part of my working life as a Federal Public Servant, I did commence work upon leaving school in Private Enterprise. Reflecting back, I now appreciate the experience I gained in working for a Launceston family-owned electrical wholesaler firm.

I was educated by the Presentation Sisters both in my primary and secondary years. In some respects I think I have been known by the ‘Presentations’ all my life as my parents were a strong presence in our school and parish.  In those days, nothing could get past the Sisters, even when my elder sister and I decided to spend our “school money” which in those days was paid on a weekly basis.

I have been involved in the Associate movement since its inception in Tasmania and was one of the “originals” who made their commitment as an Associate on 12 March 1994. Since then I have meandered the path of being one of the founding members of the Tasmanian State Committee which held its first meeting way back on 28 November 1996, which sometimes feels such a long time ago.

In 1998, Sr Marjorie Boutchard, who was the Associate State Co-ordinator, asked if I would take over the production reins of the “Tasmanian Associate” Newsletter. This was a big challenge but one that I enjoyed.

Over the last few years I have assisted in running the Preparation Programme for prospective members in the northern part of the State.

2006 was a major milestone in my Associate journey as Ann Stanfield from Hobart and myself were elected by our fellow Associates to be the new Joint State Co-ordinators. It was in this capacity that on 18 November we signed our new Tasmanian Associates Constitution.

I was invited by the Congregation Leadership Team to be the Tasmanian Representative on the Associates National Committee and it was only last year, 2008, that I completed my term of office both as Representative and also that of Secretary/Treasurer to the National Committee.

My life journey so far has led me down many paths but I thank all who have been an influence in my life in particular my fellow Associates, here in Tasmania and also those I have met with over the years during my time on the National Committee.

Apparently my work for this committee has not ended as at the 2008 meeting I was asked if I would assume the mantle of being Ex-Officio Archivist. I can’t help myself, I accepted!!

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