An Emmaus is the highest honour the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese bestows on teaching staff. The CSO established the awards to recognise, affirm and celebrate the significant contribution made by the recipients to aspects of excellence in Catholic schooling in the Diocese.
Ms McEwen received her Emmaus Award for School Support. She has been the pastoral care worker at St Joseph’s for more than 11 years and her citation noted she is much valued and provides care for staff, students and their families. Nothing is ever a problem for Ms McEwen, and she epitomises the saying “never see a need without doing something about it”.
In her role at St Joseph’s, Ms McEwen ensures all students have access to clean uniforms, and food if required. She works with students who may be experiencing difficulties and provides programs to assist them. Her caring nature has allowed her to develop strong and respectful relationships with not only students, but also parents and other members of the community in the Wingham area.
“I feel so honoured to be a recipient of the Emmaus Award,” she said. “Our principal Mel Hunt and all of our teaching staff are very supportive of the pastoral care role in our school, and the wellbeing and welfare of students is always a priority.”
Ms Hunt reciprocated and said there was absolutely no doubt about how much Ms McEwen loves her work at St Joseph’s.
“She goes above and beyond when we have school events and is always willing to share her gifts and talents with the school community, through sewing, cooking and lending an ear when it is needed,” Ms Hunt said.
“Jo’s pastoral role often reaches out to the wider community and she has organised and co-ordinated for our school to be on a roster to cater for the many volunteers who are currently in our community working to help families get back on their feet after the bushfires.
“St Joseph’s is absolutely blessed to have Jo as our pastoral care worker.”
Ms McEwen said she was “very grateful for this support, which made her job a joyous one”.
“Thank you so much,” she said.
Thank you, Joeanne.