Inspired: Honouring the Legacy and Living the Mission of Mercy

Tania Hicks, Dean of Year 8

Our faith-based Professional Learning Day theme was ‘Inspired: Honouring the legacy and living the mission of Mercy’. It included workshops titled ‘Living Mercy’. These workshops allowed staff to hear from members of the wider Mercy network, who in their work have contributed significantly to different Mercy ministries. This significant part of the day proved to be inspirational for our staff.

Below, some of our staff share their reflections on the workshops they attended.

Tania Hicks, Dean of Year 8, generously shared the highlights of her PhD in a workshop that was both engaging and interesting. Tania’s enthusiasm for the research, her strong faith, and her acknowledgement of the importance of teachers in providing this connection to faith in all their interactions with the girls regardless of the subject area framed this excellent session. Tania was as inspirational to us as she claims we are to the girls. Thank you so much, Tania, for your exemplary demonstration of being a Mercy woman. Meg Anderson

Sister Sally Bradley

When I saw the schedule for our professional learning day, I was really looking forward to exploring Mercy in the context of Santa Maria College and the wider community. My Mum and I were both educated in the Mercy Tradition. I have always been inspired by the work of the Sisters of Mercy and their ability to be progressive and understand the needs of a community and help in a way that respects community culture and the dignity of individuals.

I was privileged to go to a Zoom workshop run by Sister Sally Bradley and Lauren Stariha from Sydney-based MercyWorks. I gained a wealth of knowledge about the work done by the organisation. I was particularly inspired by Sister Sally’s passion for the ways MercyWorks lives out ‘Mercy in Action’ within many disadvantaged communities in Australia and the South-East Asia Pacific region.

Lauren, the communications coordinator for MercyWorks, spoke about how she focuses on listening to people’s stories and sharing them with the public. Hence, they connect with the human being and feel inclined to act and help. I am very grateful for the opportunity to hear about MercyWorks and am inspired by their action in the community. Emily Hunt

Sister Joan Buckham

Sister Joan Buckham offered a fascinating account of her life as a teacher, principal, and chaplain. She told many entertaining and inspiring stories about the people she has encountered along the way. Her overriding message was of the importance of kindness and to “listen with an ear to the heart”. She recommended Hugh McKay’s book The Kindness Revolution and encouraged us to start a kindness revolution of our own at Santa Maria. I left the workshop feeling blessed to have joined a Mercy community. It made me reflect on my Mercy experience so far. Though it’s only been two years, I can see the depth and richness of Mercy values in action and the legacy of the sisters that I’m sure our students will carry with them when they leave. Megan Dowling

Sister Emma Llewellyn

Sister Emma Llewellyn’s story was so inspiring. She shared her journey to becoming a nun in her 30s and what this has been like. I think it’s incredible she has such a strong sense of faith and to know she wants to dedicate her life to God at such a young age. Faith of that magnitude has become very rare in this era. Sister Emma explained her work with MercyConnect, which is dedicated to helping refugee students and their parents settle into life in Australia comfortably and with as much support as possible. They are currently supporting refugee families in over 300 schools Australia-wide. Amber Price

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