A resolution for the next 40 New Years: Never forget the value of young lives...

Towards the end of 2013 CatholicCare said farewell to Jean Murray, Senior Manager Out of Home Care. An outstanding advocate and champion for vulnerable children for over forty years, Jean will be very much missed.

Jean-DeirdreA true pioneer in the field, Jean began work in protecting vulnerable children unable to live with their own families in 1970, initially in her native Canada. In Broken Bay diocese she was initially employed by the Sisters of Mercy at the Mercy Family Life Centre Waitara, then by Centacare prior to the agency name change to CatholicCare.

A strong innovator, Jean was responsible for developing and introducing CatholicCare’s first therapeutic residential group care program for children and young people with high needs – the very troubled, very vulnerable children so often failed by care and protection systems and who all too often find their way into the juvenile justice system or worse. More recently she had overseen the successful transition of many NSW FaCS foster care placements to CatholicCare within the current NSW child protection policy reform environment. Jean said at her farewell

“It is with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment that I look back on a work life of collaboration with faithful and compassionate colleagues dedicated to assisting young people move beyond their present pain, to work towards achieving their potential; to revealing or finding their best selves.

“I leave CatholicCare with memories of many hundreds of kids who have shared parts of their lives with me. I have been places with kids many will never go – I have attended leaving care and graduation ceremonies, weddings, and sadly some funerals.

“What I would like to leave behind with all those continuing in this work is what I know to be true: there is only ever one of each of us. We are unique; neither better nor less than anybody else, but rather the best or least of ourselves. I am still working on finding the best of me. It is an exciting, on-going journey. May we never lose sight of finding the very best in those we seek to serve.”