The Southern Cross : December 2010
Page 6 December 2010 The Southern Cross www.adelaide.catholic.org.au news By Rebecca DiGirolamo She is the trail-blazer for female leaders in the South Australian Church. They describe her as "marvellous", "an inspiration", a person of "goodness and faith" and one of "the most influential" female church leaders of today. On January 21, Jane Swift will be retiring as Catholic Education South Australia director -- a position she has held for the past two years and one which precedes a long list of notable appointments in the Adelaide Archdiocese over the past 35 years. "I'm planning, at least for the next six months, a quieter lifestyle and lots of time for reflection and time with family without the demands of a deadline," said Ms Swift. The 62-year-old grandmother of four has been in charge of 48,000 children in 103 Catholic schools across South Australia. She has been responsible for industrial relations and enterprise agreements for 6000 Catholic education staff. In her role as Chancellor, she has helped shape the church into a modern institution unifying family, community and parish while bringing child protection to the forefront of the Catholic community's consciousness. She has been the public face of the church in the media and one of the highest ranked female leaders in the Catholic Church of Australia. "She leaves us with a great legacy and her influence will continue for many decades," said Adelaide Diocese Vicar-General Monsignor David Cappo. Born in Adelaide, Jane matriculated from Adelaide High School as head prefect. It was a sign of things to come. A Bachelor of Arts (Honours English) followed in which Jane learnt the power of a good story as a tool for teaching and a conversion to Catholicism as an adult paved the way for a future in Catholic education. "When I was a little girl I used to play teachers...and so I kind of drifted into it, but it became a great love." Jane's first teaching appointment in Catholic Education was at St Mary's College in Adelaide, where she taught for a decade. She started off as a teacher, then an English and senior school co-ordinator before taking on deputy principal and principal. In 1988, Jane was a consultant to the CEO focussing on curriculum leadership and selection of teaching staff. A year later she was back at the helm, running Cabra Dominican College, at Cumberland Park until 1993. From there on she held various CEO positions including assistant director and coordinator of human resource services. Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson said Ms Swift had made an enormous contribution to the Catholic community. "In all of her different roles, Jane has allowed her personal qualities of goodness, along with her faith, to really influence what she has done." Monsignor Cappo said her influence on the Catholic community would be anything but swift. "Jane Swift has been one of the most influential leaders in the history of the archdiocese." 'MARVELLOUS' LEADER: Catholic Education South Australia director Jane Swift will retire next year after a distinguished career in the Adelaide Archdiocese. Adelaide s Catholic book centre Serving the community since 1962 e Sisters and sta would like to thank all of our valued customers for their support And extend our wishes for a happy and holy Christmas Season. We advise that the book store will be closed from Friday 24th December 2010 We will re-open on Monday 3rd January 2011 27 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide SA 5000 T: (08) 8223 2735 F:(08) 8232 2850 E: email@example.com Swift slows down The Hutt Street Centre's first major appeal since 2005 is focused on ensuring "there's room for everyone at Christmas". And for regular clients Ben and Robin, that's a message that they well and truly understand. Ben has been sleeping rough in the parklands since February while he waits for affordable, short-term housing but he has been given a new outlook on life thanks to the Centre's education and training program. Through this, he has taken up photography which not only helps fill in the hours but has given him hope for the future. "It's great; I'm stopping and smelling the roses and I can't walk past any of them without taking a photo -- it takes me twice as long to get anywhere," he said. "I'd love to get a transit van and travel around Australia taking photos...I love travel and I love nature," he said. Sister Gwen Tamlyn from the Daughters of Charity said Ben was a "natural" and his photos were being used on Christmas cards for the sisters and would feature in several exhibitions in the near future. Robin has been visiting the centre's art workshop for some time and has also taken a photography course which resulted in her exhibiting in the SALA Festival. She has managed to find accommodation at Unity homeless shelter in South Terrace but she is one of the lucky ones, according to Sr Gwen, who said housing was difficult to come by because of the rising rents. "Families are being evicted because they can't pay the rent," she said. The Christmas appeal will help the Centre provide an extensive range of services for people who are homeless, including its education and training program which is totally reliant on volunteers and donations. Program Co-ordinator Clare Horan said that many homeless people couldn't read or write, preventing them from filling out important forms and accessing housing and other services. "It's not something they want to talk about so it can go on for some time without being noticed," she said. The education and training program involves volunteers working one on one with clients as well as corporate groups coming in to help show them how to use computers and access Centrelink, and other government departments and to reconnect with their families. They are also being assisted in writing their life stories which will feature in a 2012 calendar. The clients are learning photography and desktop publishing as part of the project. Clare said there had been cases where rough sleepers were able to finally be housed because the program had given them the confidence and skills to live independently and consider further education and employment. Making room for everyone HAPPY SNAPS: Sr Gwen, Robin and Ben take a look at some of the photographs being used to make Christmas cards for the Daughters of Charity.