Ms McKew, a former Mercy student from All Hallows School, Brisbane, launched the book shortly after returning from a factory visit with Mr Rudd on Tuesday.
The book by former school principal Sr Maureen McGuirk, titled Elizabeth McQuoin: Singing to the end of the Service, outlines the story of London-born Sr McQuoin who joined the Sisters of Mercy in Liverpool, England, before leading a small group of women to make a foundation in Sydney in 1865.
According to a Mercy Sisters statement, Sr McQuoin dedicated herself to serve in the spirit of foundress Catherine McAuley.
The statement says that in doing so, Sr McQuoin "joined the ranks of pioneer women of Australia whose contribution to the history of this country is inestimable and whose ability to help make the difference required to turn Australia from a dumping ground to a country with a remarkable future cannot be measured.
"She bequeathed a rich legacy in the name of a compassionate God to future generations of Australians."
"Elizabeth McQuoin should be celebrated as one of the more significant 19th century pioneers," says Ms McKew, who is contesting Prime Minister John Howard's seat of Bennelong at the next Federal election.
"To those of us who feel as I do that too often the story of feisty female achievers is neglected in our national story-telling, then Maureen's history gives us a long overdue correction."
North Sydney Mercy publishes biography of congregation’s foundress (Mercy Sisters, April 2007)
Nice figures for PM will chill Rudd (Sydney Morning Herald, 25/4/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia
Vic Mercies take over Albury hospital (CathNews, 13/4/07)
26 Apr 2007