THE BOARD OF THE JOHN WALLIS FOUNDATION
The John Wallis Foundation is governed by a dynamic team of women and men, committed to the vision and mission of the Foundation and of the Missionary Sisters of Service. We introduce each of them on here.
Joan Donoghue Chair Joan is a former CEO of Catholic Homes and has extensive administrative, governance and management expertise in the Not-for-Profit sector. What drew her to the John Wallis Foundation? “A connection with the Missionary Sisters of Service in a previous role and my admiration for the initiatives of the Sisters that benefit the disadvantaged in our society has opened up the opportunity to contribute to furthering this mission as a Member of the JWF Board.”
Martin Allen Director Martin has a wealth of business experience, implementing solutions for national and global clients. His experience includes senior client relationships, contract negotiation, business development and technology. He says: “The John Wallis Foundation offers me an opening to contribute my time and energy to support and develop the ongoing mission of the Missionary Sisters of Service.”
Jeff Byrne Director Jeff is a qualified Company Director with extensive experience in government board roles He has a background in public sector leadership, organisation governance, risk management as well as financial and economic management.
Amanda Freeman Amanda has worked across community engagement initiatives for a number of years and is highly experienced in community liaison and community building. She coordinates youth programmes in her local community and the Healing with Haircuts for homeless people. The reason Amanda accepted a role on the JWF Board? “As the result of World Youth Day in Sydney in 2009, I was encouraged to help young people hold an important place in our society with their faith and help lead them onto their faith journey. Now with my connection with the John Wallis Foundation I hope I can inspire them with the charism of the Missionary Sisters of Service.”
David Hickey, Director David is currently a professional fundraiser and has extensive experience as a marketing manager in the health sector. He also has expertise in communications and promotions. A Rotary scholarship to India some years ago awakened my passion for meeting the needs of people on the fringes of society. The John Wallis Foundation gives me an opportunity for this to continue.
Brian Lennon, Director and Board Treasurer
Brian has more than 40 years operational and executive experience covering human resources management, organisation development, and superannuation administration in the mining and finance industries. His qualifications and interests also extend to investment, climate change, hydrology and ecosystems. Brian says: “I find it very satisfying working through the John Wallis Foundation to build on the long tradition of innovative and compassionate initiatives taken by the Sisters in a variety of fields to assist those lacking support in regional and other areas. Inspiring people to be associated with!”
Bernadette Wallis MSS, Director Bernadette is currently on the MSS Governing Body. She has extensive experience in community engagement initiatives, leadership development, advocacy, pastoral care and counselling, as well as project management. Bernadette describes her enthusiasm for the Foundation and its mission: “When the idea of the Foundation first bubbled to the surface, I remember the creative juices flowing with energy and hope for the future. While the Foundation is now established, I still feel that same energy and that same hope as we work together as a Board to fulfil its mission. One of the satisfying aspects for me is working with Board members and people associated with the Foundation, who hold strong social values and bring an interest and joy from different walks of life. The work we do is not a chore; it is a choice.
Bernadette Madden MSS, Director and Deputy Chair Bernadette has worked as a social worker and teacher across Australia. She has many years experience in indigenous communities and currently works in family services, assisting vulnerable communities. For Bernadette: “The John Wallis Foundation is an opportunity to continue the vision of John Wallis to reach out to those beyond. It was this vision that inspired me some 30+ years ago to join the Missionary Sisters of Service. Today I see the Foundation Board as an on-going expression of the mission.”
Corrie van den Bosch MSS, Director Corrie has extensive experience in faith and leadership development in five Australian States, in outback and rural areas in her earlier years, and in urban areas in recent decades. She has wide experience in counselling and counselling training and designing programmes for adult education and community leadership development. She is passionate about the urgency to develop a spirituality which brings people to recognise their profound connection to all life and the cosmos itself, participants in the one great interdependent web of existence enlivened by the love and compassion of God. “I am excited by the new life the John Wallis Foundation opens up for the mission of God entrusted to us, Missionary Sisters of Service. Membership of the Board gives me the opportunity to participate and contribute my gifts and energy to furthering this mission, reaching out to people on the margins, offering meaning, hope, friendship and support.”
Cath Garner is an experienced not-for-profit executive and qualified company director. Her current role in a large Catholic healthcare organisation encompasses mission integration, leadership formation, ethics, advocacy, spiritual care and social services. As well as her John Wallis Foundation appointment, she has been an elected member of the Catholic Social Services Victoria Council since March 2017. She loves the Sisters’ missionary dynamism and believes in the potential of the Foundation to inspire people to keep reaching out to one another.
Stancea Vichie MSS Stancea is a member of the MSS Governing Body and is currently the Congregational Leader of the Missionary Sisters of Service. She has worked amongst people of many different cultures and backgrounds in urban, rural and outback regions of Australia, as well as periods in some overseas countries. Her work has included pastoral work, leadership formation, human rights advocacy, asylum seeker communities, and working towards the elimination of human trafficking. Stancea has been working enthusiastically in the growth of the John Wallis Foundation since it was launched, recognising that “The John Wallis Foundation continues on the spirit of going out to be with people who can be forgotten on the margins of society, a spirit which began to develop from the 1930s as John Wallis and then the women of the Missionary Sisters of Service continued to follow this journey since 1944“.
The effectiveness of the John Wallis Foundation depends in large measure on how it translates its vision and mission into action. Our staff does much of the practical work, attending to the thousand-and-one tasks involved, from running the Small Grants programme, building relationships with donors and potential partners for the work, to the practicalities of communications and keeping up with the financial administration. The key person in all this is the Executive Officer:
Liz McAloon, JWF Executive Officer
Liz began the role as Executive Officer of JWF in October 2013 and has worked as an educator, project manager and community facilitator across a diverse range of organisations. Prior to this position Liz worked at the Victorian Women’s Trust for 14 years. During this time Liz undertook a range of initiatives and projects, including state-wide community engagement and education projects, involving educational resources for schools, universities and communities. Liz has undertaken training and evaluation consultancies in both Australia and the UK, and worked directly with people with disabilities and indigenous communities.
“It’s great to be part of the team at the John Wallis Foundation. I enjoy building on the considerable work already undertaken within the Foundation. I’ve always gravitated towards work with a real focus on people and empowerment, and I particularly enjoy working with communities in rural and regional areas. It’s challenging and exciting working towards creating a sustainable foundation into the future.”
The MSS part-time staff (L – R) Jill Elliot Finance Officer, John Greaves Business Manager and Andrea Butler Administration officer, assist the John Wallis Foundation in many of it’s daily operations and business.
The John Wallis Foundation is honoured to have as patrons people who share the vision and spirit of the Foundation and have expressed this in very varied ways to build their local communities.
Clare McShane, Patron
Clare is a woman of vision and energy, who conceived and developed a successful business creating wool products from the family’s fine merino wool property. She is recognised widely for her business and community contributions. Clare was born in Sydney and moved to Tasmania with her family when she was 17 years old. She attended Conservatory of Music High School in Sydney then St Michael’s Collegiate school in Hobart before obtaining her Diploma of Teaching and Tasmanian Teachers Certificate. Clare was posted to Oatlands as a young teacher, where she met and married local grazier Allan McShane. They settled at Casaveen, a property grazing 11,000 sheep at Lemont. They had five sons. When wool prices were down, Clare founded the Casaveen spinning and knitting factory in Oatlands, where the superfine wool from their property was made into beautiful garments. Clare and Allan have recently retired and now live in Hobart.
Bishop Pat Power
People, especially those on the margins, have always been at the heart of Pat’s life as priest and auxiliary bishop of Canberra-Goulburn. In 2012 Pat “retired” from his work as bishop in order to be more available to people who are struggling in one way or another. He is a strong spokesperson about concerns that are also close to the heart of the Foundation: social justice, the environment, ecumenism, inter-faith and inter-cultural relations, and the way these impact on people’s lives.
When asked to express why he accepted the invitation to become a patron of the Foundation, Pat wrote:
“I share the same great love for the priesthood as Fr John Wallis whom I was privileged to know. Even though I have not had a lot of first-hand experience of the Missionary Sisters of Service, I have greatly admired the way they are so much part of the lives, the faith, and the joys, hopes and struggles of the people they so generously serve.”
Mary Wagner is well known in the Toowoomba community and far beyond as a woman of compassion and integrity, who has influenced and led many initiatives across the business and community sectors of Toowoomba. Mary has received numerous accolades for her contributions in this regard. For Mary, family is the number one priority in her life and she credits many of her life achievements to her commitment to family.
Mary grew up on a dairy farm where her parents sacrificed much to send her to school in Warwick and then to boarding school in Brisbane. This commitment to education saw Mary undertake the same sacrifices when she and her husband raised their eight children. Mary returned to nursing when her youngest child was four years old and worked night duty for thirteen years.
In 1986 Mary and her husband Henry set up the Wagner Company. It has grown from a company of six employees to over 900 staff in Queensland and globally.
Mary continues to give much to the Toowoomba community and always encourages others to fulfill their potential. “Never take for granted the importance of your role in making the world a better place. Never stop asking how you can contribute meaningfully, to achieve a higher standard of excellence”.