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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools


Emily O'Sullivan

Emily O’Sullivan has been announced as the 2019 Spirit of Catholic Education Award recipient for the Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools.

The Spirit of Catholic Education Awards acknowledge those individuals or teams who are making an outstanding contribution to the life of the school community.

Emily has been instrumental in developing the Healing Hands program, designed to help members of Mary MacKillop Catholic College community in times of need. Emily had firsthand experience of the importance of such support after her son Patrick was involved in an accident in 2013 and spent months in hospital and convalescing.

Soon after this Emily decided she wanted to contribute by way of a College Pastoral Care program that would ensure families received consistent, reliable support when it was most needed, and the Healing Hands program began.

In the years that have followed, Emily and other parent volunteers have delivered countless care packages to families who have been challenged due to ill health or bereavement. Teachers returning from school camps also receive a care package as a special thank you for their time and commitment. The program is now assisted by the Year 9 Youth Ministry students.

Emily is passionate in her service to the College community, selfless with her time and skills, and has shown great strength in her leadership. The entire College community appreciates the service that Emily and Healing Hands contributes, and the program’s success has seen the model adopted by other schools in the area.

“The commitment of people such as Emily is important in our school communities as we work together to nurture and inspire the unlimited potential of all our students and help them to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus in their life,” said Dr Patrick Coughlan, Executive Director: Catholic Schools.