I watched yesterday as the new sign was lifted and hung outside our office in Dili, Timor-Leste.
It was a hot and humid day here and to the two young men who did it, the act had little meaning. Understandably so, they were in a hurry to complete the job and get out of the sun. And yet to me and the other staff here in Dili and across Australia the new signs, the new logo, the name herald a new era.
There is a tinge of sadness in the letting go of the old but such a great deal of optimism for the future under our new name and our new combined organisation, Mary MacKillop Today.
The merger of the Mary MacKillop Foundation, the Josephite Foundation and Mary MacKillop International was about greater efficiency, better operational standards and lower administration costs. But really at the heart of the decision was the children, women and men we serve, through our Indigenous Tertiary Scholarships, financial inclusion programs and our education work across the world. It was about helping more children to read in Timor-Leste, providing the best possible delivery of micro finance to people who really need it in rural Australia and responding to the emerging needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders as they pursue their education. At the heart of the decision was the spirit of Mary MacKillop, and her commitment, alongside Fr Julian Tennison Woods to ensuring the dignity of the poor is realised.
To our generous donors, our board, our staff, to the Sisters of Saint Joseph and to all who support our work – I look forward to serving you as the CEO of Mary MacKillop Today. I hope together we can, as Mary MacKillop once said, “Find happiness in making others happy”.
With warm regards