Sr Helga Neidhart: An on-going ministry in TasmaniaPrint
In honour of the 170th anniversary of the Sisters of Charity in Tasmania, four of our Sisters remembered their time ministering in the Apple Isle.
Sr Helga Neidhart writes about her on going ministry in Tasmania.
Having just returned from our celebration of 170 years of RSC ministry in Tasmania, I ‘ve been invited to reflect on my contribution to this ministry.
While never resident in Tasmania, I’ve ministered there for around 20 years.
As a staff member at Australian Catholic University (ACU), I was invited by a former Tasmanian Director of Catholic Education to investigate the possibility of introducing the ACU Masters of Educational Leadership to Hobart and Launceston.
Tasmania, of course, has its own university with campuses in both the south and the north. ACU, however, was considered better able to offer an appropriate leadership program for Catholic schools.
Our Masters students were primary and secondary teachers with an interest in leadership studies. As these students were in full-time employment, we worked at weekends and in holiday times and lecturers travelled from the mainland.
Over the years, many cohorts graduated, and this helped create a strong base of leadership personnel for Catholic schools. Several students also proceeded to doctoral studies.
From this beginning came other invitations such as to participate on interview panels and do school and other performance reviews. I was also asked to mentor a director of Catholic education and several secondary principals.
Today, as I am no longer at ACU, my main involvement is in governance, which provides an ongoing opportunity to minister in Tasmania, where our contribution as Sisters of Charity has been both long and rich.