On Tuesday March 14, 2017, ex-student Janice Kerrison was awarded the 2016 Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award at a special assembly in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre.
Hailing from the OLMC class of 1956, Janice Kerrison (nee Duck) completed her nursing and midwifery training at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and St Anne’s in Perth after completing her high school studies. Ms Kerrison has worked since then as a Community Nurse and as an Immunisation Specialist.
Janice Kerrison has a long history of community involvement and volunteering which includes being Secretary and eventually President of Red Cross Blaxland branch, serving as President of the Ladies Auxiliary at Blaxland Primary School and taking on the role of Secretary of the Blaxland High School P&C Association. She was an inaugural member of Community Aid Committee (sponsored by Penrith Community Health) which became the Lower Blue Mountains Neighbourhood Centre and to this day, continues to serve residents from Lapstone to Warrimoo. In the early 1980s, she played a fundamental role in establishing the Riding School For The Disabled Centre in Blaxland which involved extensive lobbying, negotiations, and project management on her part. The centre has grown and continues to operate today; “The RDA gives rides to about sixty children and adults per week and the Community Centre, which I still manage, is used by four separate community organisations and also has been upgraded,” said Mrs Kerrison.
Principal Stephen Walsh said Janice Kerrison is a true Mercy Girl; “She has dedicated much of her life to the service of others, especially those in most need. Her key role in helping to build the Riding for the Disabled centre in the lower Blue Mountains is just one important example.”
Ms Kerrison said her time at OLMC profoundly influenced her path: “Throughout my life, the values inculcated by my family and through my time at OLMC has prompted me to act rather than just wring my hands or procrastinate. I strongly feel someone has to actually make things happen and act to make a difference. This is how the spirit of Catherine McAuley has influenced my life. She made a difference and I have tried, and in a small way succeeded, to do the same.”
"Mercy …not only bestows benefits, but receives and pardons again and again…"Catherine McAuley
Mercy is defined as empathy or love that manifests itself in action that is practical and thoughtful, warm and open, respectful and enabling.
"Let charity then be our badge of honour…so that it may truly be said, there is in us but one heart and one soul in God."Catherine McAuley
Compassion is a non-judgmental understanding of another’s need, which results in unselfish giving to meet that need.
"Never speak with contempt of any nation, profession, or class of people…"Catherine McAuley
Justice is the treatment of each person with fairness in relation to the equality of all, and the maintenance of a balanced and fair relationship with self and all members of the community.
"Now and again bestow some praise."Catherine McAuley
Dignity is the treatment of each person with respect and the recognition of their inherent value and worth.
"There is nothing of greater importance than the perfect discharge of our ordinary duties."Catherine McAuley
Excellence is the state of achievement of the highest possible standards.
"The proof of love is deed."Catherine McAuley
Hospitality is the creation of a welcoming, open, inclusive and respectful environment for all individuals, through word and deed.
"We can never say 'It is enough'."Catherine McAuley
Stewardship is the grateful and responsible celebration of the sacred gifts God has given us to do the work he is calling us to do.
"If we are humble and sincere God will finish in us the work he has begun."Catherine McAuley
Service is the exercising and ministry of leadership in order to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities.