• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Saturday, 10 March 2018 13:08

Passion for learning feeds Sr Elizabeth's ministry

Rate this item
(0 votes)

0318SrElizabethDodds 150Sr Elizabeth Dodds’ passion for learning feeds her ministries as a Sister of Charity which centre around leadership, formation of leaders and formation in charism and governance.

“I love governance,” she said. “I really do.”

Just as well. Sr Elizabeth was Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity from 2002-2008 and a founding Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries (2009-2011).

She is now the Australian representing the Sisters of Charity of Australia in the group selected to Promote the Cause of the Ven. Mary Aikenhead.

Last year, Australian Catholic University made Sr Elizabeth a Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa) in recognition of her positive impact on countless lives through education and healthcare.

The citation, which was read on the occasion of the conferral of the highest degree the University offers, runs to four pages, and acknowledges two very evident facts about Sr Liz.

The first is that her family valued and encouraged learning and set her feet on a path to academia; she has various undergraduate degrees, and also has a Master of Education from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Arts in Leadership from ACU.

The second is that she is a perpetual student, with a passion for learning not only in theory but in her very sinew and bone. The Congregation gives her every opportunity to study.

The results of these two factors have flourished in service to others – principally in education and for some years in health as either Congregational Leader or a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, as well as for the greater good.

Her focus these days is mainly in education. Formerly a teacher and principal in secondary Catholic schools in New South Wales and Victoria, and the director of the Edmund Rice Education Directorate in Queensland and the Northern Territory, Sr Liz is also the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s nominee as Commissioner of the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC), where she also serves as chair of the Commission’s Faith Formation and Religious Education Standing Committee.

She maintains her strong connection to ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), and also works on the Ecological Conversion steering committee for the Sisters of Charity Gathering in 2018.

Accepting the ACU degree last year, Sr Liz gave the occasional address to graduands, quoting Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai: Many are “starving for education. It’s like a precious gift. It’s a diamond.”

“This precious gift we celebrate together today is, I believe, a journey of lifelong learning,” she said. “I have a plaque on a bookshelf within my home. On it are words attributed to the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. The words are: ‘I am still learning.’ “His humility led him to state ‘I am still learning’ just a year or two before his death…

“This is something I try to live by, and in fact, live within.”

She concluded her address with some sage advice: “Continue learning, remembering your profession is not solely about doing: It is a way of being. And always ‘sniff the breeze’.”

 

The full version of this article was published on the Sisters of Charity website.