The annual induction day for newly-appointed directors of Good Samaritan Colleges was held in Sydney last week, and for the first time, it included new directors of two other entities associated with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
The one-day program, which has been running for the past 10 years, was organised by Good Samaritan Education (GSE), the ecclesial community established to oversee the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten incorporated Good Samaritan Colleges.
“This year we were delighted to have the directors from the Good Samaritan Foundation and Wivenhoe Environment and Conservation join us,” said Kay Herse, GSE’s Executive Director.
“This provided an opportunity for mutual sharing among those responsible for organisations that live out and promote the Good Samaritan charism.”
Kay said the program introduced participants to various areas relevant to their role as director, including aspects of the Good Samaritan Benedictine ethos (“particularly in the area of discernment”), the governance expectations of a director of an incorporated company, the fundamentals of responsible financial governance, and the legislative requirements of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission and the Education Acts in the relevant states.
Among the 22 new directors attending the day was Julie Morgan of Melbourne, who recently joined the Board of Santa Maria College, Northcote. With a background in leadership roles in a range of Catholic organisations, including time spent as an executive in Catholic education, she brings a wealth of experience.
“I feel privileged to belong to such an amazing tradition of education,” said Julie.
“The unique synthesis of European and Australian spirituality is inspirational and something that I feel I can be a part of for a long time.”
Katrina Flynn, a senior marketing professional who operates her own business in Sydney, also attended the induction day. She accepted a position on the Board of the Good Samaritan Foundation because she is “passionate about helping women and girls in need”, and it seemed a “great opportunity” to use her skills for good.
A quote from St Benedict cited during the induction day resonated strongly with Katrina: “Our community should be organised so the strong have something to strive for and the weak have nothing to run from”. She felt it was a great basis for organising society in general, as well as a deeply insightful way of understanding the work of the Good Samaritan Foundation.
Michael McDonald, the Good Samaritan Sisters’ Business Manager, said it was a happy coincidence that the induction day was held during National Volunteers Week (May 11-17), which acknowledges and celebrates the generous service of some six million Australian volunteers.
Currently, he said there are about 85 people across three states (NSW, VIC, QLD) who share their professional expertise, experience, wisdom and time in a pro bono capacity as directors on boards for Good Samaritan Education Colleges, the Good Samaritan Foundation and Wivenhoe Environment and Conversation. Vacancies exist on a number of these boards.
“Volunteering provides an opportunity to engage with the depths of the Benedictine tradition as expressed by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan,” said Michael. “The skills and talents volunteers bring to boards and committees makes a difference to the world in which we live.”