Candidates named for popular women’s interfaith fellowship

Recipients of the inaugural fellowship, 2006

Media Release,

11 December, 2012

The names of the seventeen participants of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship 2013-2014 have been confirmed.

The successful candidates come from twelve dioceses from across Australia, and will undertake a formation program which includes theological studies, interfaith relations and Catholic leadership.

Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishops’ delegate for the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) expressed his delight at the quality of the applications and the giftedness of the candidates.

“Having seventeen representatives from Townsville to Melbourne, Perth to Lismore, enrolled in the Fellowship bodes well for the renewal of the Australian church and for the further education and development of these young women,” said Bishop Ingham.

Over two years, the young women will study a Graduate Certificate in Theology in a format which will allow them to live their day-to-day lives, continue in their careers while receiving rich academic and spiritual formation in interfaith relations, Catholic leadership and theology.

The academic program will be enriched by a residential component which will provide time for prayer, meditation, reflection, personal growth and fellowship as a group at the Mount St Benedict Centre in Pennant Hills, New South Wales.

Director of the Office for the Participation of Women (OPW) Donella Johnston, said the quality of the applications was so outstanding that the original plan for ten participants was hastily and happily altered to cater for larger numbers.

“This has been the most delightful surprise of my time at the OPW”, she said.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know these women and to be nurtured by the Fellowship experience myself,” Ms. Johnston said.

The candidates selected come from different walks of life. They are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate an interest in interfaith engagement to participate in the program.

This is the fourth time the Fellowship has been conducted and is a product of the generous sponsorship of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and a number of religious congregations, institutions and Church agencies.

The candidates will gather for the first session of the program in Sydney in February, 2013.

The candidates’ academic program will be completed through the Broken Bay Institute, part of the University of Newcastle.

See list of recipients below with their diocese named.

For further information contact Andrea Dean, Fellowship Coordinator, 0487 388 873 or

Participant’s Name            Arch/diocese

Anna Humphries                     Lismore

Bedelia Melville                      Sydney

Carmel Thompson                  Townsville

Elizabeth Lillis Roberts            Sale

Gemma Perkins                      Ballarat

Joanna Sadowski                     Perth

Kathryn Lambkin                     Brisbane

Kathryn Moore                        Townsville

Katy Gilles                               Sydney

Kelly Humphrey                      Wagga

Lisa Wolfe                               Perth

Maria Vieira                           Canberra

Natasha Free                           Port Pirie

Nicole Rangiira                       Toowoomba

Philippa McIlroy                      Melbourne

Rebecca Beisler                      Sydney

Snezana Tanevska                   Sydney