Mary was presented with the award at CHA’s National Conference in Canberra last week. The award recognised over 17 years of dedicated service, in which Mary ensured spirituality remained a cornerstone of the provision of Catholic health care.
Widely recognised as an outstanding provider of sensitive and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care, Mary and her dedication to her mission is not only valued by staff and patients at Calvary Mater Newcastle, but by the greater Newcastle and Hunter Region communities.
When addressing delegates at the Conference, Mary spoke of the vital role pastoral care plays in both the physical and spiritual wellbeing of patients.
“Pastoral care is the human face of health care,” she said. “It’s the human encounter that changes people’s lives. We need uncompromised commitment to pastoral care in health facilities.
“We need to be confident to enter the lives of those who enter our facilities – we need to open our hearts and our minds.”
Greg Flint, CEO, Calvary Mater Newcastle said, “It is fantastic to see Mary’s dedication and talent recognised in this manner.
“Mary has been an esteemed and admired member of the Pastoral Care Service at Calvary Mater Newcastle for over 17 years. She is an exceptional leader in the provision and promotion of pastoral and spiritual care and as a result her reputation extends beyond the Calvary community to local and national stakeholders.
“Mary provides sensitive and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to patients, family members and staff. For many years Mary has been acknowledged and described as providing spiritual care that is empathetic, respectful, warm and grounded in wisdom. It is great to see her immense pastoral care skills recognised with this accolade.”
Mark Green, National Director of Mission at Calvary said, “We are very proud of what Mary has achieved and her leadership, not only at Calvary, but also in the Catholic sector.
“Mary's capacity to be immersed in the full breadth of our community's life, in the things that matter to our people, is inspirational and moving. Her insight that our hospitals and aged care facilities are full of people carrying heavy emotional loads is a poignant reminder of the potential for cognitive and emotional overload. We need to look after one another.”