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Inspired by unsung heroes


After more than 11 years as manager of Catholic Charities, Annie O’Neill has resigned and will move to Launceston, Tasmania, to pursue new opportunities.

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Since Annie began working for the Archdiocese, Catholic Charities has raised just under $5 million for agencies supporting some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.

She steered the charity through challenging times, including the COVID pandemic, and found new ways of collaborating with schools through the me4u campaign while maintaining a close connection with loyal donors.

Before her departure on September 29, Annie said it has been a “privilege and honour” to have worked for Catholic Charities.

She said it was particularly pleasing to see students get more involved in fundraising for Catholic Charities through me4u.

“Our schools have embraced this campaign and supported our work in an incredible way,” Annie said.

“It is inspiring to see the support we get from students and how they want to be involved.”

A recent highlight for Annie was meeting a student from Our Lady of La Vang Special School, whose image appeared in the September appeal promotional material, when he attended the annual Catholic Charities Thanksgiving Mass. In a touching moment, he and other students gave Annie a beautiful handmade card and poster as well as a bunch of flowers.

“These are the children we are raising money for, so to be able to meet them and interact with them, thanks to the school’s generosity, was very humbling for me,” Annie said.

Her motivation for “turning up each day” for work over the past decade was twofold: “My inspiration was always the unsung heroes working behind the scenes; the people who do not draw attention to themselves but continue to do the work that needs to be done. That includes the case workers, managers, special teachers, and those who are under the radar.”

The other “unsung heroes” were the many loyal and generous donors.

“Their continued support, especially when they themselves may be suffering from cost-of-living pressures, inspired me every day,” she said.

“In a world filled with grim news, rising costs of living and so much negativity, it can be hard to see meaning or find hope. This is where donors make a difference by being advocates for hope.”

Chair of Catholic Charities, Jenny Brinkworth, said Annie’s contribution to the organisation had left an indelible mark and her dedication to making a difference in the lives of others was “testament to the power of compassionate individuals”.

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