Congratulations Sr MaureenCongratulations to Sr Maureen Sullivan who was nominated in this year’s Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Award. Sr Maureen has been a volunteer at McAuley House since 2006. She is a companion to the women in residence, and a support to staff who run the 23-bed facility.
McAuley House, a program of McAuley Community Services for Women, supports women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and who are often experiencing mental health illness and family violence.
Sr Maureen, a qualified teacher, turns her hand to helping with crossword puzzles, playing board games, knitting or just sitting around the kitchen table listening to a woman who wants someone to talk to. Or you might find her sweeping the leaves from the front door, or down in the laundry washing, sorting and folding clothes. No job is too menial or too small.
“It’s my privilege to be part of the lives of the women who come to McAuley House. I am constantly amazed by their resilience and courage because they have overcome such difficulties. The women are an inspiration to me,” Sr Maureen said.
The road to wellness for the women at McAuley House can be a long, hard journey. Sr Maureen travels beside the women with love and sensitivity. She drives them to hair and medical appointments. She takes them on trams and buses to learn the local transport systems. She prepares cosmetic packs to lift their spirits. She prepares rooms for newcomers and always makes a special effort to welcome them. Maureen listens to their stories and walks beside the women in times of grief and sadness. She also shares their times of joy, especially supporting the monthly Birthday nights for past residents.
“McAuley House is a great Mercy ministry; giving women opportunities, respect and dignity. I am honoured to be a part of this.”