Mary MacKillop has been described in the following way:
“Mary MacKillop's life story resonates with the lives of many people today. Australians, in particular, see in her something of the Aussie battler – someone who has endured hardships and sustained hope. For many she is a hero who shows them that they too can make a difference in the world through small everyday acts of kindness and concern as well as through major decisions that shape a nation. Like many others who claim they are not heroes, but just ordinary citizens responding to the events of life, Mary MacKillop would believe she was doing no more than what the gospel required of her."
That description reflects Sr Monica Cavanagh. Sr Monica is an Australian Josephite religious sister. She is the congregational leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and president of Catholic Religious Australia, the peak body for Catholic religious orders in Australia.
Monica is a very highly regarded contemporary Australian woman. She was named in the 2020 Australia Day honours list as a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia. And Sr Monica is a past student of Mary MacKillop College.
After finishing her schooling at Nundah, Sr Monica went on to become a primary school teacher and has always maintained a natural passion for education.
On receiving her Order of Australia medal, Sr Monica, said
“I have always wanted to be of service to the wider community and draw inspiration from my mother, who had a deep sense of leadership and community-mindedness, and my father, who always encouraged us to think about the missions. I was also inspired by Mary MacKillop and her contribution to Australia – I admire her courage, her tenacity, her resilience and her deep respect for the dignity of each person."