Tenison Woods College principal David Mezinec said the awards aim to recognise significant contributions made by former students, families or staff to the local and global community in order to inspire current and future students.
“Tenison Woods College and its predecessors, St Paul’s School, Tenison College, Marist Brothers Agricultural College, Mater Christi College, St Mary’s School and St Joseph’s College value the contributions of all community members, past and present and we think it’s important to recognise some of the stand-out achievements within the community,” Mr Mezinec said.
The five ‘Shining Light’ recipients for 2018 are Alan Balshaw, Anthony Casadio (deceased), Sr Sally Duigan, Jeanette Elliott and Jenna McCormick.
A keen sportsman while at school, Alan has been involved in many sporting clubs in the local Mt Gambier community. He was a St John volunteer for 15 years, then worked for the SA Ambulance Service until retirement. Since retiring, Alan has been involved with the St Vincent de Paul Society, serving as the South East Regional president for four years. One of his initiatives was arranging a bus service to transport aged parishioners to Mass at St Paul’s Catholic Church each month.
The late Anthony Casadio was educated at Marist Brothers Agricultural College from 1959 to 1963. He was also a member of 612 Squadron, the local Air Training Corps and in 1964 joined the Royal Australian Navy as a trainee pilot. In October 1967, Anthony was posted to South Vietnam as a member of the first contingent of RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam and flew Iroquois helicopters as part of an integrated US Army RAN squadron.
He served with great distinction and was decorated four times during his 10 months of active service. Sadly, shortly before he was due to return home, Anthony’s helicopter was shot down resulting in the death of all onboard. He is remembered at the college by a perpetual trophy.
Sr Sally Duigan attended Mater Christi College from 1955 to 1966 and just before her 18th birthday entered the missionary congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH). In 1989 she embarked on the greatest adventure of her life, moving to South Africa where she ministered for 11 years at St Brendan’s co-educational secondary school in Limpopo.
In 2000 Sr Sally was asked to head up the HIV/AIDS response in the Diocese of Tzaneen, Limpopo and she played an integral role in establishing the Holy Family Care Centre, a residential care facility for orphans in Ofcolaco, Limpopo. Since 2013, she has resided at the centre, caring for more than 70 children who are vulnerable, have been abandoned, abused and are suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Jeanette Elliott is being recognised for her long involvement with the college and her contribution to local sport, particularly softball.
In recent years, her focus has turned to charitable work. She has been with St Vincent de Paul for nine years, delivers Meals on Wheels every week and volunteers for the Red Cross, making weekly wellbeing phone calls to the elderly. She is a member of the anti-cancer fundraising committee and in 2000 received the Volunteer Award from the Federal Government.
Jenna McCormick grew up in Mount Gambier, attending St Paul’s Primary School in 2000 before moving to the newly formed Tenison Woods College in 2001. With a strong interest in sport, Jenna spent her younger years travelling to Adelaide for State cricket and soccer commitments. In 2010, Jenna and her family moved to Adelaide, where she could focus on her sporting goals.
Her soccer career has included playing in the W-League for both Adelaide United (2013 Player of the Year) and Canberra United, and also playing overseas. She successfully switched codes to be a member of the inaugural Adelaide Crows women’s football team which won the 2017 premiership.
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