Sr Kath Honoured for Distinguished Service

Congratulations to Sr Kath Tierney, Treasurer of the McAuley Community Services for Women Board,who was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) on Australia Day.

Sr Tierney received the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community through roles in health, education, aged care, and social welfare organisations, and to the Catholic Church in Australia.

“The award is acknowledgement of, and a tribute to, the extraordinary opportunities that I have had and to the many committed and faith filled people with whom I have worked in ministry, in the Congregation/Institute and in the Church.It is a recognition of the dedication of so many staff, volunteers and Board Members who have spread mercy throughout the Community,” Sr Kath said.

“I believe this, and other such awards, highlight the many works of mercy that are conducted in the name of the Sisters of Mercy and the Church. Also, it gives a focus to the service areas in the Church which engage with the marginalised to bring about change in our society.”

In a July 2014 interview, when talking about the work of McAuley Community Services fro Women, Sr Kath said: “Our faithfulness to the tradition and our belief in the absolute dignity of every woman who comes to us, gives us a slight edge when it comes to values. So when we do come to a point sometimes of having to make compromises, we will not compromise our values and how these values drive service delivery.”

“If a woman comes to us, even if she does not fit into the funding model, we will take her. We will find a way to make that person fit. And we don’t just look at finding a place for the woman; we ask what else we can do for this woman. We hope to always go the extra mile for her.”

As well as serving on the Board Sr Kath works as a governance and management consultant across the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea and in the broader community.

Sr Kath spent 19 years with the Mercy Family Care Centre in Geelong, which was one of the founding services of MacKillip Family Services.  Sr Kath’s involvement in governance and management is driven by her belief that collaboration and cooperation between service providers and policy makers can result in better outcomes for the people served.

“Always we need to have in mind that we as people in the service sector must value add to a situation -as a board, as staff and as volunteers. We need to keep asking, how we, in our roles, make a situation better. How do we make a woman feel that she is important and restore her dignity, and ensure that children know safety when in our services?”