Around 150 friends of the Good Samaritan Sisters gathered for high tea in Brisbane earlier this month to celebrate the vital work of the Good Samaritan Foundation.
Established in 1999, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan Foundation promotes and raises funds for outreach projects operated by the sisters and their partners throughout Australia and overseas in Kiribati, the Philippines and Timor Leste.
These projects include supportive accommodation for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, counselling for women and men in prison, support for Indigenous communities, education scholarships for young people in Timor Leste, and early childhood learning programs in Kiribati and the Philippines.
According to Sarah Fraser O’Brien, the Foundation’s recently appointed Business Manager, many friends of the sisters, old and new, including many long-term supporters, local and state politicians, and company executives, enjoyed a “beautiful” high tea at the Victoria Park Golf Function Centre, and learned about the Good Samaritan Sisters and their many ministries.
Sarah said guest speaker, Lisa Newman, former Lady Mayoress of Brisbane and an ardent supporter of the Foundation, “spoke from the heart about homelessness and domestic violence”, and Terry Nodwell from Energex, the corporate sponsor of the high tea, was moved to tears as he praised the work of the Foundation and Lisa’s role in “touching the lives of homeless women in Brisbane”.
“The event was important to the Foundation because in front of a new audience we profiled our unique history and outlined our future vision,” said Sarah.
Sarah started as the Foundation’s Business Manager in March this year and brings a wealth of skills and experience from her time in the corporate sector. She said her decision to join the Foundation was influenced by the “values and ethics of the [Good Samaritan] work environment”.
“Living the values is something that resonates within me,” she said. “I admired the women I had met within the congregation and was inspired by their story.”
Having worked in organisational change management, Sarah said she loves a challenge. “The Foundation finds itself in a dilemma. The market place is saturated with worthy causes and donor fatigue, especially in light of the recent spate of natural disasters.
“The Foundation needs to respond to this market differently if it is to embrace the opportunities that are out there. Hopefully I can help build a Foundation team that achieves new heights, and along with the Board, achieve our aim of continuing the ministries and the spirit of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan well into the future,” she explained.
The Brisbane high tea event also provided an opportunity to show-case the Foundation’s new-look logo and soon-to-be launched website.
Once the website is live, Sarah said there will be a Good Sam Facebook page and Twitter stream. “The aim is to send daily messages of hope as well as broadcast event updates and important information,” she said.