Home' The Southern Cross : February 2014 Contents Page 6 February 2014
Southern Cross | news
At a time when most people her age
are contemplating retirement, former
South Australian Catholic school teacher
Dianne Colborne is embarking on a very
Dianne, 63, made her first profession
as a Sister of St Joseph on Saturday
December 14 in the Mount Street Chapel,
North Sydney. Monsignor Ian Dempsey,
Brighton parish priest, presided at the
Mass of profession.
Dianne was pastoral associate at
Brighton before she left at the end
of 2011 to undertake a period of
discernment with the Sisters of St
"Some of my friends were taken aback
when I told them," she says of her
"Others who knew me more deeply were
not so surprised, except that I was doing
it at this stage of my life."
Born in the New South Wales town of
Grafton and educated in Sydney, Dianne
taught in Darwin for two years before
moving to South Australia in 1975 to
continue her teaching career. She worked
at Catholic schools at Plympton, Kurralta
Park and Hectorville before being
appointed principal at St Mary's, Glenelg,
and St Joseph's, Tranmere, followed
by short term contracts at a number of
She enrolled in the Ministry Formation
Program which, together with her
decision to take on the pastoral associate
role at Brighton, was a step into this next
phase of her life.
Dianne says she was attracted to the
Josephites partly because of her long
association with the congregation as a
student and a teacher but also by the
"equality of community" and the Sisters'
mission of meeting the needs of those
on the margins. "That's something that
struck a chord with me," she says.
Accompanied by her mentor, Sr Lianella
Girardi, the first part of her discernment
journey involved living in the convent at
Mount Street which she describes as "a
little oasis in the city" and says it was
wonderful to live in this "very special,
very historic" place so closely connected
to St Mary MacKillop.
"It was a time of very deep discernment
where I had to consider is God really
calling me or am I calling God," she
In 2013, Dianne had three experiences of
community and ministry: in the Kimberley
in north west Australia, in the NSW town
of Orange and with a Maori community in
the south of New Zealand.
"They were all wonderful experiences
and an opportunity to see whether I
should be taking this step," she says.
This month Dianne will return to Halls
Creek in north west Australia to work
with Indigenous communities. She says
she is looking forward to returning to the
Kimberley. "The scenery is breathtaking
and the people are so special too."
By Jenny Brinkworth
South Australian Jospehite Sisters Marion
Gambin and Maryellen Thomas have been
elected to the national congregational
leadership team for the next six years.
The Sisters were elected in November
last year during the 26th General Chapter,
at which new Congregational Leader Sr
Monica Cavanagh, from Queensland, was
elected along with the leadership team.
The Congregation holds a Chapter every
six years. It is a special time of reflection
"I'm happy to be called to this ministry of
leadership," said Sr Marion, CentreWest
Regional Leader, which includes SA,
NT and WA. "It's a privilege to serve the
Congregation in this way."
Sr Marion will take up her new role in
Sydney on March 1.
The CentreWest Regional Leader to
replace Sr Marion will be appointed to take
up office in Adelaide on St Joseph's Day
"It has been a great privilege to be the
provincial and regional leader based in
Adelaide," said Sr Marion. "I will take with
me many happy memories."
Sr Marion, originally from Sydney, was
appointed provincial leader of SA six years
ago. She was schooled by the Josephites
at Fairfield Girls' High School when the
Motor Mission Sisters came for Religious
Education lessons. She entered in 1972
and has been an educator in primary
schools across NSW, including a year as a
Motor Mission sister.
Sr Maryellen, who was born in Strathalbyn,
has for the past two years been chief
executive officer of St Joseph's House,
a diocesan aged care facility in Port
Pirie. After leaving school, Sr Maryellen
became a nurse and upon entering the
Congregation in 1977 has continued her
vocation of nursing and caring for the
SA Sisters in national
NEW ROLES: Sisters of St Joseph CentreWest Regional Leader Sr Marion Gambin
(left) and Sr Maryellen Thomas, from the Port Pirie diocese.
A former Chancellor of the Adelaide
Archdiocese has won the 2013 Human
Rights medal for her tireless work in
supporting victims of domestic violence.
Sister Clare Condon, Congregational
Leader of the Sisters of the Good
Samaritan, received the medal from the
Australian Human Rights Commission in
Sydney on International Human Rights
Day (December 10).
Sr Clare was the Chancellor for
Stewardship for the Adelaide diocese
from 2002 to 2005. She was elected
Congregational Leader of the Good
Samaritans in 2005.
Sr Clare said she accepted the medal
on behalf of all the Sisters of the Good
Samaritan who had served human rights in
Australia for the past 156 years.
"Under Sr Clare's leadership, the Sisters of
the Good Samaritan have helped provide
emergency housing for women and
children experiencing domestic violence
and have supported self-determination
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people," said Human Rights Commission
President Professor Gillian Triggs.
"Sr Clare is a determined and
compassionate woman who has made
a very significant contribution to human
rights over a long period of time," she
"She is never afraid to stand up for what
she believes in, nor is she afraid to take
her message directly to Government,
relentlessly lobbying politicians to help
those in need."
Sr Clare joined the Sisters of the Good
Samaritan more than 40 years ago,
modernising the order and broadening
its human rights focus. In recent years,
the Sisters have helped more than 5000
women and children who have suffered
Human rights medalist
CHAMPION: Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs (left)
with Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.
Photo: Matthew Syres
Former Adelaide teacher takes vows
Links Archive December 2013 March 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page