An insight into our Ministries - Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project

This year we are asking our ministries to nominate a staff member or student who represents and embodies the values and vision of Kildare Ministries. Two ministries will feature in each newsletter. The managers of BASP chose Noelle Mawdsley.

Noelle, a long term BASP volunteer, has tirelessly coordinated the food bank at Albert Park for years and years.  Every week she packs goods going out to asylum seekers and puts donated food into carefully organised boxes and on shelves. Noelle is the most organised person you could ever meet.  The BASP pantry is something to behold.

In November when the Christmas hampers arrive, with Libby’s assistance, she systematically arranges distribution to the many families BASP supports.

Noelle is also totally unflappable.  She handles all requests, deliveries and the unexpected people coming in with good humour and graciousness.  And most importantly of all, Noelle is so welcoming to our asylum seeker friends. 

Noelle is supported regularly by Sister Gwen Tamlyn who is really amazing at sorting the linen donated to BASP!

 

Libby Saunders

Manager

 

We also asked Libby's colleagues and regular BASP volunteers to answer a few questions about Libby. Here is what they had to say:

 

What words would you use to describe Libby?

Libby's colleagues struggled to keep within the word count when asked for words to describe Libby. Many adjectives were used including the following: committed, efficient, innovative, resourceful, cheerful, compassionate, genuine and inspiring.

 

Why is Libby so inspiring?

Libby's commitment and resourcefulness helps the people seeking asylum with the myriad of problems they present with and she is innovative in her approach to problem solving. She thinks outside the box.

 

What is a funny thing that Libby has done?  

Libby has a great sense of humour. Libby has the ability to evoke positivism despite the incongruity of the situations and realities faced by asylum seekers.

 

What does Libby do that demonstrates to the community that she is a ‘Brigidine’?

Libby gives meaning to the BASP imperative 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me'. Libby acts with strength and kindness. Seeing Libby in action is a personification of everything BASP stands for. 

 

How does Libby give expression to this year’s KM value of Hospitality?

All Libby's ‘work’ life is about hospitality; she is a welcoming voice & smile to asylum seekers that come to our doors.

 

What does Libby do to relax?

Libby relaxes by walking with a friend at some ungodly hour every morning, and has been doing so for 30 years. She finds joy spending time with her children and grandchildren. Libby has two beautiful grandsons (she is 'Bibby" to them) and they, with her daughter Molly and her son Nick, are her anchor.