Sister Anne Derwin RSJ, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart was elected president of the peak body for Religious Institutes and Societies in Australia at the group’s national assembly in Hobart last week.
Sister Anne takes over from Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon SGS, who held the position for the past two years.
At the assembly Sister Anne paid tribute to Sister Clare thanking her for her outstanding leadership of Catholic religious throughout Australia.
Sister Clare said it was very appropriate that in the year of Australia’s first canonisation that the new president of CRA was a Sister of St Joseph.
Sister Anne said she was honoured to take on the role of president as a service to the Religious of Australia.
“I believe in us as Religious together in this country, and it is a privilege to be involved in our combined efforts to enhance God’s mission, particularly here in Australia.”
From March 2008 Sister Anne has been Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, making her the 14th Leader since Mary MacKillop, the order’s founding Leader. The Congregation currently has 850 Sisters in five Australian Provinces, a New Zealand Province, regions in Peru and Ireland and ministry in Brazil, East Timor and Scotland.
Sister Anne is Sydney born and bred, and educated by the Sisters of St Joseph. She has worked in secondary education, been NSW Provincial of the Sisters of St Joseph, managed retreat and conference centres and had the privilege of serving on the governing board of St John of God Health Care.
At the national assembly the 120 delegates also elected a new council for the next two years. The council includes a representative from each state, three members elected from the floor of the assembly, three co-opted members and an Anglican representative.
The 2010-2012 council is:
Br Alfred BongKong Leong ssf (Anglican representative), Br Vince Duggan cfc, Fr Nestor Candado ssp, Sr Anne Cunliffe rsc, Fr Steve Curtin sj, Sr Jill Dance ssj (TAS), Sr Anne Derwin rsj (president), Sr Marie Duffy rsm (NSW), Fr Graeme Duro sss, Sr Bernadette Edgecombe ssps (Qld), Sr Marie Fitzgerald rsm (WA), Sr Marion Gambin rsj (SA), Fr Tim Norton svd and Sr Bernadette Wallis mss (VIC)