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Ordinary Aussies the face of Federation

Canberra parish priest Fr Bill Kennedy, long-time educator and Missionary of the Sacred Heart Fr Harold Baker and Rosary School principal Mrs Moira Sutch were among the 4000 Australians honoured on the slopes of Parliament House last month.

The Catholic Voice newspaper of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese reports that they were joined by Mary MacKillop, pioneer priest Fr John Therry, St Vincent de Paul Society co-founder Charles Gordon O'Neill, early 20th century Melbourne Archbishop Daniel Mannix, and Ned Kelly.

Individuals and groups across Australia were invited in the centenary year to nominate their personal heroes, people they believed had significantly affected their lives, their communities or their nation.

Successful nominees were then sent a life-sized, person-shaped template to decorate to create a representation of their chosen personality.

Peoplescape was put together to celebrate the diversity and the contribution of ordinary Australians, in particular.

Fr Kennedy, whose grandfather William received an invitation to the inaugural celebration of the Commonwealth a century ago in Centennial Park, Sydney, was nominated by a parishioner of St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah, Mr Stewart Homan.

As parish priest of Kambah from its beginning in 1975 until 1994, he "empowered so many to work harmoniously together to contribute in their unique ways to help each other.

"Testimony to his success is a full 19 years leading the one community and the fond memories with which he is still held. The figure should be cast in gold."

Catholic Voice