In her golden anniversary year as a Sister of Mercy, Meredith Evans is showing no signs of slowing down as she continues the work that earned her the title of 2024 Senior South Australian of the Year. Source: The Southern Cross.
The term “senior” doesn’t sit well with the energetic sister who recently spent two weeks in Cambodia helping to build homes for land mine survivors.
But the 75-year-old confessed that these days, there’s not a lot of hands-on building work on her part; she leaves that to the “amazing” Young Mercy Links women who accompanied her to Siem Reap.
At home she is kept busy responding to a barrage of calls for assistance from refugees and asylum-seekers struggling to navigate the legal system and provide for themselves and their families. Delivering furniture and food parcels, driving people to appointments and accompanying them in court are all in a day’s work for Sr Meredith.
Blind-sided by her nomination for the state award, she said it was a tribute to everyone she worked with and hoped it would be a platform to promote the “very things that myself and other people are really passionate about – to create a more just and equitable Australian society”.
Her interest in social justice began when she was an idealistic young student at Marymount College in southwestern Adelaide.
She was heavily influenced by Sr Patricia Pak Poy RSM, who won a Nobel Prize for her involvement in the International Campaign against Land Mines.
“Sr Patricia came to talk about spirituality and theology, of how to be your best self … she spoke in a language that I understood as a 20-year-old,” Sr Meredith said.
“I was always thinking you only get one shot at this life and I wanted to give it my best to make a difference in the world we’re living in.”
Passion for social justice drives Mercy Sister (The Southern Cross)