Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sister Ann Halpin

From the Star News Group:
CITIZEN of the Year for 2009 and a ‘Living Treasure of Greater Dandenong’ Sister Ann Halpin died on Thursday at the age of 60.

Sister Halpin was born on 15 May 1939 in St Kilda and was the eldest and only girl of six children.

In 1974, she became the principal of St Mary’s Primary School in Dandenong. After finishing more study, Sister Halpin started helping in parish pastoral work in the Dandenong area.

She worked closely with refugees and migrants and found that many women felt isolated and lonely due to language and cultural barriers.

She approached her colleagues about her findings and the Presentation Sisters vacated their house in Langbourne St to develop it into a drop-in centre for isolated women and named the home Wellsprings.

In 1995, Wellsprings opened on Friday mornings for two hours, with 10 women attending. In 2000, Wellsprings opened 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with more than 90 women attending. Currently, more than 200 people attend.

Her ongoing commitment to the community led to her involvement in International Women’s Day, World Refugee Day, Seniors Week and Poverty Week.

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