Christine Jensen’s compassionate life
CAPTION: Huntley’s Point’s Christine Jensen is a strong advocate for families and is pictured holding a beloved family photo. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.
A Huntley’s Point grandmother has been awarded an Australia Day OAM for a life of devotion to women and families – at home and abroad – through one of the Anglican Church’s oldest surviving charities.
Huntley’s Point’s Christine Jensen was the President of the Mothers’ Union of Australia (Anglican Diocese of Sydney) from 2008 until 2013 and Patron from 2001 until 2013.
The Mothers Union was founded in by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Anglican parish of Old Alresford , near Winchester in England to bring mothers of all social classes together, to provide support for them and to train them in motherhood
Mrs Jensen’s Australia Day Award citation further notes she has served as a Council Member of Mothers’ Union Australia as well as a Lay Member, Women’s Ministry Team, Anglican Diocese of Sydney from 2002 until 2007.
She has worked to support the wives of students attending Moore College, Moore Theological College from 1985 until 2001 and the Sydney Diocese Ministry Wives from 2001 until 2013.
Some Anglicans may recognise her as the wife of Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen (2001-2013) or know her as a powerful public speaker with a strong belief in strengthening families.
“The Mothers Union members are Christian women who serve and support families, we have four million members in 83 countries,” Christine Jensen said.
“We were founded in the 19th Century to serve God in a vibrant way and to show God’s love and care for people.”
This vocation has taken Christine around the world to work with families, visit the sick, support women in Family Courts and provide counselling and care for the wives of Anglican ministers.
The Mothers Union now has a new shop at Town Hall and our challenge remains to keep focused on serving God and to support marriage and family life.
“It has been a wonderful, wonderful honour to work in the Mothers Union and a real privilege to meet many wonderful mothers.”
One of these women is a missionary in her eighties.
“Norma is a dear friend, a remarkable women, a missionary in Myanmar, her dedication is wonderful and inspiring.”
Christine especially draws faith, hope and commitment from the New Testament and has a favourite quote.
“It is from Romans 8:28 and says all things work together for God and those who love God, who are called towards His purpose.”
“I encourage families to read the Bible to their children.”
The Weekly Times found that prayer is also an important part of her life and she revealed her hope for the future.
“To reach into the future we (Christians) need to connect with families because at present marriage and family life is facing huge challenges.”
Christine stressed that although she no longer serves in her (previously paid) role her work continues.
“It is my faith in Christ that drives me and God has given me opportunities to serve alongside Him.”
Great grandmother Pat brings theatre to the people
A great grandmother from Cabarita has been awarded an Australia Day OAM that honours her passion to make theatre accessible to people of all ages and social backgrounds.
Eighty nine year old Patricia ‘Pat’ Boggs has managed ticket offices and theatre operations for half a century and her Australia Day Award citation praises her contribution to establishing independent Box Office operations, and developing business relationships with the travel industry, resulting in ticket, flight and hotel packages.
The citation cites Pat’s service with theatres which include Theatre Manager for Cameron Mackintosh Theatres from 1989 to 2012, Theatre Manager and Box Office Manager for the MLC Theatre Royal Company from 1975-1989 and as Manager for Greater Union from 1974 to 1975.
It also notes her management career included spells at the Capitol Theatre, the Playbox Theatre and Metro Theatre as well as her trusteeship of the Sydney Opera House from 1996 until 2002.
Impressive as this citation is, it hides her passion to bring theatre to the people that took off in the late 1960′s and grew in the 1970′s with the accessible Arts policies of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and South Australian Premier Don Dunstan.
Pat recalls the Whitlam era with special fondness but admits her practical ideas for ‘concession rate’ and ‘discount rate’ theatre tickets had to overcome conservative opposition at the time.
“It is not in my nature to be afraid to fight for what I believe in and although I used to get into all sorts of trouble with my ideas I was always able to convince theatres to back my judgement because they knew, that I knew, how to sell tickets and get full houses,” she said.
“I have always believed that the theatre experience should be affordable and a part of everyone’s life, especially children, just like sport is, so today it is wonderful to see the opportunity to go to the theatre is available to everyone.
“Another wonderful thing it is that these days so many Australians from so many multicultural backgrounds are going to the theatre, where their problems vanish in the magic of the theatre experience.”
Thanks to Pat and people who share her vision, today”s ‘theatre experience’ is rarely elitist and she has never supported ‘snobbish’ foyer area dress codes or restricting all but private school students.
“I remember when Wednesday’s matinee performances were always empty and that’s when I proposed giving discounted Wednesday tickets to public school children from the poorest areas, although this idea caused an uproar because some people thought these public school children would behave like monsters,’ she recalled.
“As it turned out, nothing could have been further from the truth because these children were seeing something they had never seen before and were mesmerised by it, Wednesday became the best day for ticket sales after Saturday night and everyone was thrilled with the outcome.”
Today most schools regularly host visits to theatres and many make discount tickets available to people in need.
“One thing I’ll always remember is making tickets to ‘Phantom of the Opera’ available to eight women from an Aboriginal women’s shelter,” she said
“They were crying afterwards and told me that had never seen anything as beautiful as this.”
Pat Boggs has won a Sir Robert Helpmann Award and is a lifelong colleague and friend of renowned English producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh.
“Cameron brought the magic of theatre to Australia but I’ve worked with many amazing and inspiring people,” she said.
“I remember when entrepreneur Harry M Miller had decided to give the controversial musical ‘Hair’ a go after Williamsons rejected it as too vulgar,” she said.
“It was a great gamble at the time and Harry turned to me and asked me if I had any ideas how to make this thing make money.
“I advised him, quite frankly, to agree to sell any remaining unsold A Reserve tickets at a stall price .. he backed my judgement and it turned out to be a huge commercial success.”
Her scheme for free cinema package parking is another successful money making initiative that has opened the magic of theatre to more Sydneysiders.
Pat’s commercial success of attracting the masses to the theatre is reflected in her commendations for multi-million ticket sales but does not reflect her deep and genuine love of Australian theatre productions.
“My signed poster here is from the musical ‘Cats’, it is all black with two striking cats eyes which I think was one of the cleverest advertisements of all time,” she said, pointing to a poster at her home.
“But my favourite musical has to be Les Miserables, it is breathtaking and I think every Australian should see it once in their lifetime because it is all about justice and things that are important in life.”
Pat is a strong believer in workplace justice and teamwork and once successfully argued that her usherettes got a free ticket to a new show; a tradition that continues in theatres worldwide today.
On Australia Day Pat will pause and reflect on her life of achievement that began with humble roots in working class Newcastle during the Great Depression and World War Two as a fifth generation Australian.
“I will wonder what my father would make of my Australia Day Award although I think it would make that grand old gentleman very proud.”
CAPTION: Cabarita’s Pat Boggs holds a photo of her friend and world renowned English producer Sir Cameron Macintosh in his starring role as ‘Pat Boggs’ at her ticket office. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO
MEDAL OAM OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION
CHANTAL DENIS of Epping for service to the community through the Wayside Chapel.
Service includes: The Wayside Chapel: Cafe Coordinator, current; Coordinator, The Wayside Choir; Part-time employee, since 2004.
Volunteer since February 1983.
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GREGORY HAMMOND of Epping for service to the community through a range of volunteer roles.
Service includes: Arden Anglican School:
Chairman, 2000-2011 and Past Councillor, approx 20 years.
Robert Menzies College: Board Member, 2000-2009 and Company Secretary, 2000-2009; Member, Master Appointment Sub-Committee, 2004 and Member, Relocation Steering
Sub-Committee, 2007-2008; Arrow Leadership Australia:
Past Deputy Chair and Board Member, 2002-2014 and Past Member, Finance Committee; Life Member; Anglican Parish of Macquarie: Rector’s Warden, current; Parish Councillor, more than 25 years; Chair of Trustees, Camperdown Cemetery Trust, 1999-2006; Synod Representative, ‘more than 25 years’ and Diocesan/Parish Reader, since 1982; Advisor on Independent Schools, working with the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, 2010-2014.
Board Member, Olive Tree Media, current.
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KEITH HENNING of Telopea for service to the community of Parramatta, and through charitable contributions.
Service includes: Past President, Rotary Club of Parramatta City, and President, 2013-2014 and 2000-2001; Treasurer, 2012-2013 and Secretary, 2009-2011 and past Youth Director; Host, Rotary Youth Exchange Student Program, five times; Charter Member, since 1972.
Paul Harris Fellow.
Coordinator, L.E.A.R.N.S. Project, Mindoro Province, Philippines, Rotary Australia World Community Service, 2005-2015.
Established a ‘sister club’ in the Philippines and provided housing in conjunction with the David Henning Memorial Foundation.
Founder and Trustee, David Henning Memorial Foundation, since 2007; Beneficiaries of the Foundation include:
Fred Hollows Foundation; Operation Cleft; Parramatta Mission Uniting Church in Australia; Doctors without Borders; Wesley Mission Lifeforce; St Peters Junior School, Gulu, Northern Uganda; and 4 scholarships for PhD students undertaking medical research.
Diamond Companion, Australia Rotary Health; Supporter and benefactor, Northcott Disability Services.
Director, Co-Operative Housing Societies Association of NSW, late 1990s-2014.
Director, Parramatta District Association of Co-Operative Housing Societies, since 1991; Parramatta Zone Coordinator, collector and/or donor, Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, since 1981.
Treasurer, Centenary Uniting Church Parramatta, 2002-2012.
Treasurer and Elder, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1980s.
Accountant and Secretary, Burnside Homes for Children, 1966-1987 and Joint Director, 1982-1987.
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BARRY WILDE of Beecroft for service to the Parliament of NSW and to the community of Parramatta.
Service includes: Member for Parramatta, Parliament of NSW, 1976-1988; Chairman of Committees, 1983-1984; Mayor, Parramatta City Council, 1967-1974; Deputy Mayor, 1966-1967; Alderman, 1959.
Convenor and foundation President, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, 1973.
Member of a range of committees including: Chairman, Parramatta Stadium Committee; Western Sydney Planning and Development Committee; Parramatta Community Services Centre; and Parramatta Information Bureau.
Assisted the integration of Christian Lebanese into the Parramatta community by the facilitation of Our Lady of Lebanon Church and School at Harris Park.
It all comes down to kindness says Moya
CAPTION: Epping’s Moya Potts AM says kindness to others is at the heart of her work for the Catholic Womens League.
Epping Australia Day Award winner Moya Potts AM said she is surprised by her award for significant service to women and the Catholic Faith and insists it all comes down to being kind to others and treating them with respect.
Moya’s Australia Day citation notes she served as the President of the Catholic Women’s League in NSW, since 2014 and as President of the Catholic Women’s League in the Sydney Archdiocese from 2011 until 2013.
The citation goes on to note this Epping grand mother’s ‘significant service’ to the Catholic Church as an advocate for women since she joined the ChurchÕs Marion Group in 1979.
“I joined the Marion Group as a young mother to help other young mothers to be more aware of social justice issues,” she said.
My day to day role in the Catholic Women’s League is getting information out to our members, making submissions to government and fundraising.
Our organisation does outstanding work, we support a little girl called Gemma in Tanzania, a pre-school in Sri Lanka and we help provide affordable housing in Vietnam but we also support women locally and at the moment we’re raising money for children in the Wilcannia-Forbes district.
We’re very much aware of the struggles faced by rural women, who suffer from isolation and a lack of local medical services, so we’re closely involved in transporting people to hospitals.
“We’re not just the little old ladies who make scones for morning tea.”
The Catholic WomenÕs League even has a national bio-ethics officer and makes representations to governments and to the United Nations.
On a grassroots level, Catholic Women’s League members assist in the running of local Catholic parishes in roles that range from Eucharistic ministries to day to day tasks that include doing laundry and arranging flowers.
“We were founded during World War One and our first role was assisting Belgian refugees and in World War Two we ran canteens,” Moya said.
But everything we do really comes down to being kind to others and treating others with respect and that’s why we work closely with the St Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Care.
There is even a role for kind hearted women in the local area.
We recently found a woman, a refugee lady who was burning coal inside her room for heat because she couldn’t afford to pay her power bill and we put her touch with Catholic Care which was able to help.
“Of course we inspired by our Catholic Faith, but faith without good works is not the fullness of faith and I also believe faith is a journey and something that should be explored, especially so this year which Pope Francis has declared to be a Year of Mercy.”
Moya believes that faith and kindness often bring their own rewards.
“There’s always something new and different and IÕve walked in faith with some amazing women who are so kind and wonderful and so appreciative .. they are friends I’ll value for the rest of my life.”
Moya insists that while the Catholic Womens League is about women being kind to women, many men walk the journey with them and she has been inspired by many compassionate and deeply spiritual parish priests.
“My prayer for the future is for peace and love at all levels in all nations and my advice to the person who will fill my role one day is to be cheerful, kind hearted and true to yourself.”
“When you have this kind hearted approach your actions become easy.”
COMPANION (AC) IN GENERAL DIVISION OF ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Emeritus Professor MARY O’KANE of Birchgrove for eminent service to science and engineering, as a contributor to national policy development and governance, to the promotion of technology research and future energy supply, to higher education, and as a role model for young scientists. Service includes: NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, since 2008; Executive Chairman, Mary O’Kane and Associates Pty Ltd, since 2001; NSW, South Australian and Australian Capital Territory service includes: Chair, NSW Air Quality in Tunnels Committee, since 2014; Chair, NSW Medical Devices Fund, since 2012; Member, NSW Clean Coal Innovation Council, since 2009; Director, Business Events Sydney, since 2009; Chair, NSW Renewable Energy Taskforce, 2011-2013; Director, Frank Whiddon Masonic Homes for the Aged Board Ltd 2004-2008; Director, Multifunction Polis Development Corporation Board, 1995-2000; National service includes: Chair, Cooperative Research Centre for Space Environment Management Board, since 2014. Chair, Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information Board, since 2006; Director, Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre Board, since 2010. Director, National ICT Australia Board, 2012-2015.Member, Defence Science and Technology Advisory Board, 2011-2014; Chair, Advisory Board, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, since 2011; Chair, Australian Centre for Renewable Energy Board, 2010-2012. Vice-President, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 2011-2012; International service includes: Trustee, New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, since 2012. Chair, Development Gateway Foundation Board, Washington DC, USA, 2009-2015. Chair, Development Gateway International, Brussels, Belgium, 2009-2015.
MEMBER AM IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
JOHN CHALK of Russell Lea for significant service to rugby league as an administrator at State and national level, and to indigenous and non-indigenous youth.
Service includes: Chairman, Australian Rugby League (ARL), 2010-2012 and Director, 2001-2012; President, NSW Rugby League Limited (NSWRL), since 2013 and Chairman, 2011-2013 and Director, since 2000 and Life Member, 2015.
Inaugural Chairman, Wests Tigers Rugby League Football Club, 2000-2005.
Chairman, Balmain Tigers District Rugby League Football Club, 1997-2000 and Director, 1985-2000; Selector/Team Manager Balmain Jersey Flegg Team 1973-1980 and Life Member; Vice-President, Sydney Metro Committee, Men of League Foundation, current; Youth: Director, Guardian Youth Care Limited (GYC), current.
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MMICHAEL ROSE of Balmain for significant service to the indigenous community through advocacy roles, and to the law.
Service includes: Indigenous affairs: Chief Executive Partner, Allens Law Firm, since 2007, and involved in the establishment of the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan, and involved in creating partnerships and support services for numerous organisations within the Indigenous sector, including as:
Ambassador, Australian Indigenous Education Council, since 2011, and Supporter, since 2007.
Chair, Indigenous Engagement Task Force, Business Council of Australia, since 2012, and Member, since 2007.
Member, Empowered Communities Steering Committee, since 2013.
Supporter, Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships, current.
Member, Recognise Constitutional Recognition Reference Group, since 2012; Community: Chairman, ChildFund Alliance, since 2011.
Chairman, ChildFund Australia, 2007-2011, and Board Member, 2005-2007. Chairman, Sydney Living Museums, since 2010.
Ambassador, Menzies School of Health Research, since 2014.
Deputy Chairman, The Committee for Sydney, since 2014 and Board Member, since 2013.
Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors, since 2013.
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