Bishops recognise Australian Church's Timor heroes
President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Francis P. Carroll, yesterday presented the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (HOSM) to 14 Caritas Australia volunteers and one staff member for their assistance to the people of East Timor last year.
The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (HOSM), which has been approved by Governor General Sir William Deane, is a service award to recognise members of specific Australian groups who have been exposed to risk or danger when providing significant humanitarian aid to civilians overseas.
Commenting on the award announcement, Archbishop Francis Carroll said, "We thank and congratulate all recipients for the important role they played in standing alongside the people of East Timor prior to the vote for independence, and for the witness they gave to the struggle of the people."
The recipients - listed below - went to East Timor between May and July 1999 to participate in Caritas Australia's East Timor Solidarity Program. Some were in the thick of militia attacks and helped prevent violence simply by their presence; others helped in the areas of health, counselling and administrative assistance. All were highly regarded and welcomed by the Timorese people.
Pictured: Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM receiving the award from Archbishop Carroll during yesterday's ceremony
|Sr Marlene Hixon FMM ||Sydney|
|Sr Elizabeth Landon OP ||Sydney|
|Sr Joan Westblade LCM ||Sydney|
|Ms Cathy Georgeson ||Sydney, currently in East Timor|
|Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM ||Parramatta, NSW|
|Sr Merrilyn Lee OLSH ||Bowral, NSW|
|Ms Patricia Allport ||Bullaburra, NSW|
|Sr Carmel Hanson RSJ ||Newcastle, NSW|
|Sr Chris Jorgensen RSC ||Melbourne, currently in East Timor|
|Ms Deolinda Da Cunha ||Melbourne, currently in East Timor|
|Sr Anne Forbes RSM ||Ballarat, VIC|
|Fr Leo Weardon MSC ||Bathurst Island|
|Fr John Herd ||Mount Gambier, SA|
|Fr Gerard Burns ||New Zealand|