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Beverley Kerr and the late Fr Bob McGuire (The Catholic Weekly/Twitter, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli)

Many Catholics were recognised for their outstanding service to the community in the annual Australia Day Honours List announced on Friday. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

St Vincent de Paul Society’s NSW Vice President for Special Works, Beverley Kerr, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to the community, but said the reward was in the work itself.

“I simply do it because that’s where my heart lies,” she said.

For more than 20 years, Ms Kerr has served those suffering from homelessness, family and domestic violence, disabilities, drug and alcohol abuse, and has accompanied Australians in aged care and rehabilitation.

She was one of many Catholics named in the Australia Day Honours List for 2024.

These included the late Fr Bob Maguire, who was laid to rest on May 5, 2023, in a state funeral at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Fr Maguire was posthumously made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Gregory O’Mullane, former director of Catholic Education Northern Territory, received an OAM for service to Catholic education and school rugby union. 

Dr Margaret O’Donnell also received an OAM for service to education and to the community, including as a board member of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools since 2021 and chair of the Education Strategy and Policy Committee.

Michael McMahon, a sailing manager at Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club and local parishioner at St Kieran’s in Manly Vale for over 50 years, received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Recognised for his service to sailing, he said his participation in both the sport and his faith had given him a sense of pleasure all his life.

“I’ve just enjoyed doing it, and sometimes I wonder why. But it simply is the satisfaction that being involved in both communities brings to me,” he said.

View the complete Australia Day Honours List on the Governor-General’s website.


‘Humbled and honoured’ Catholics recognised for community service in 2024 Australia Day awards (By George Al-Akiki, The Catholic Weekly)


Australia Day Honours for Catholic educators (National Catholic Education Commission)