A mercy sister, a school girl and Kevin Rudd – our three faces to fight poverty


AN AUSTRALIAN Sister of Mercy based in Peru, a Brisbane schoolgirl hit by floods and Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd make up the three faces of Australia’s fight against poverty at this morning’s launch of Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion one of Australia’s largest humanitarian fundraisers.

Tess David, the fundraiser, Sister Joan Doyle RSM, the in-country development expert and Mr Rudd will make for a perfect representation of foreign aid and development delivery which educates, supports and empowers real people to move out of poverty.

They will each tell their stories at the Project Compassion launch at Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall stage from 11am today.

Schoolgirl Tess David, 16, and her fellow students at Brigidine College, are the face of Australia’s generosity. Tess and the Brigidine girls defied the shocking floods in Brisbane last year to raise funds for Project Compassion.

Tess: “Poverty is not right. People should never have to go without food, clean water and basic necessities. So we put the floods aside and we got all 30 home classes together to do their own fundraiser.

Sister Joan Doyle is the face of on-the-ground aid and development delivery in her role as the Director of Mercy Family Health Service in Lima, Peru and a beneficiary of Australia’s generosity.”

Sister Joan: “The only way we can approach poverty and achieve real outcomes is to have the generous support of Australians. You must know that this generosity allows us to do what we do.”

Minister Rudd is the champion and architect of Australia’s big picture battle to reduce global poverty. He has overseen a progressive and innovative drive to improve delivery of in-country programs and built a much stronger relationship between the Government and aid and development agencies.

Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion is now in its 47th year. Its success supports critical long-term development programs and emergency responses in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Despite the floods, Cyclone Yasi and a string of international disasters in 2011, 153 Brisbane schools, 100 parishes, many individuals and community groups, put their own problems aside and raised more than $1 million in funds for Project Compassion. Across Queensland Project Compassion raised a record $1.534 million. Nationwide, we raised a record $9.7 million. This year we’re aiming for $10 million.

Interviews: Tess David, Sr Joan and Jack de Groot will be available for on-site interviews.
Media contact: Ryan Heffernan – 0408 869 833 or ryanh@caritas.org.au