A Brief Biography
Born the year the Second Vatican Council opened, in many ways my Catholic story has mirrored the energies of an evolving Church. I started my life in Perth, grew up as a youngster in London and New York, before returning to Sydney in the 1970s with my parents and three siblings. Educated in State and Catholic schools, I did the adolescent ‘spiritual search’, questioned everything, and found my way back to my Catholic tradition.
In the 1980s
Having rediscovered my Catholic faith as a young adult, I became a key player in the introduction of Antioch to Australia, a Catholic youth ministry that engaged over 30,000 new youth participants in its first seven years. This decade included the completion of two bachelor degrees: Arts (UNSW) and Theology (Catholic Institute of Sydney), being among the early cohorts of women to undertake studies at the theologate at Manly (NSW). In the 1980s, the Catholic Adult Education Centre was my workplace, from where I coordinated the RCIA in Sydney Archdiocese and was a key contributor to the strategic writings of a successful Archdiocesan Renewal Program, PARISH 2000. By this time, eight years of intense involvement in a number of ecclesial movements underpinned my efforts, having worked alongside an unforgettable array of talented Catholic leaders of all ages and backgrounds. I initiated and co-organised two major runs for Catholic causes between capital cities. Running, softball and touch football were regular pursuits. My first book was published.
In the 1990s
. . . I founded The Story Source, a parish resource ministry, prolific in output over a twelve-year period, servicing a third of Australian Catholic parishes. The one time The Story Source entered the awards of the Australasian Catholic Press Association it took out the top award. As a freelancer I also collaborated with thirty diocesan and national bodies and made some terrific contacts across diverse areas of church life. As a founding editor of Network News, a significant communications tool of the Australian Catechumenate Network was born, and is still in circulation. The Catholic Story, which was to be the main program of the national Catholic Enquiry Centre for the next sixteen years, was another work. I became a regular columnist for Catholic publications, including a Jesuit spirituality magazine for fifteen years. I threw myself into triathlon, ice figure skating, and rock ‘n roll dancing, and wrote four more books.
In the 2000s
. . . I sold The Story Source's flagship publication and, pursuing a vocational instinct, moved into a five-year stint in parish ministry. This involved working with a highly effective parish priest, nine assistant priests (not all at once) and an amazing team of lay women in a relatively large, complex, multicultural parish. During this time my respect for the work of parish priests sky-rocketed! Towards the end of this decade, having completed a Masters Honours in Theology, I undertook lifechanging studies in Jerusalem, exploring Torah under the guidance of Jewish teachers. As a result, I founded Light of Torah, a ministry that introduces grassroots Christian audiences to the joys of reading the Old Testament with the aid of Jewish interpretative insights. Other efforts of this decade included running two marathons and writing another book.
Having completed five years in Parish ministry, a five-year grant allowed for the continuing development Light of Torah. This resulted in 200 Torah articles, conducting workshops, networking small Torah-study groups, and initiating five Holy Land tours for Australian parishioners and educators. I visited Jerusalem eight times and had the privilege of collaborating on interfaith projects with some highly talented individuals, in Australia and overseas. During this decade I moved into ecumenical and interfaith work as an employee of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, then into teacher and parent formation work with the diocesan Catholic Schools Office, Broken Bay Diocese. I walked, swam and read. I pondered the changing dynamics of Church and society and completed a Doctorate in Theology. A trilogy of pastoral booklets was also part of this decade's work.
After seven wonderful years with the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, I am now employed part-time for Catholic Religious Australia, as well as returning to part-time work as a Freelance Educator in which I continue my Light of Torah ministry as well as assisting other church projects. I love engaging in meaningful work that draws on a lifetime of accomplishments and creative energies. These are different times, with fresh challenges. Together with God’s grace, we can do new and exciting things for the renewal of the Church.