The women of Carinity to shine on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day on March 8, we will celebrate the incredible achievements and relentless dedication of women around the world.

We shine a spotlight on some of the extraordinary females within our Carinity community.



Helen, who lives in the Carinity Brownesholme retirement village in Highfields, is a dedicated community volunteer and an advocate for people living with disability.

In 2011, she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors list, in recognition of her service to the Oakey community.

“I think it is so important to support others in the community,” Helen said.

Helen is a fulltime carer for her husband Barry, who acquired a brain injury 35 years ago. Caring for Barry inspired her to strive to empower and improve the lives of those with a disability.

“There are so many with disabilities who need support and who are too proud to own up to it. I like to think that by being involved I can help others who need help or don’t know how to get help,” Helen said.

As a member of Toowoomba Regional Council’s Regional Access and Disability Advisory Committee, Helen brings awareness to disability issues.

“As a committee member I advise Council of areas that need to be addressed to help the disabled in our community,” Helen said.

“Physically I need help myself now; but mentally I am able to be of an asset to committees in the community and offer help.”

Last year the disability advocate was presented the Judy Antonio Memorial Award at the Toowoomba and Darling Downs Disability Awards.



The Principal of Carinity Education Rockhampton, Lyn exemplifies strength, resilience, and leadership. She is a force to be reckoned with, fearlessly pursuing her goals and inspiring those around her to do the same.

Leading a school that’s transforming the lives of over 100 students, Lyn is not just an educator but a driving force for change within her local community.

“I feel very honoured to be able to set an example just by living my daily life, with my Christian values. Being able to show people how to overcome challenges, being humble and consistent, always putting kindness first, and always thinking of others and the impact on them,” Lyn said.

“The kindness you share to another is paid forward and shared to another. In my position as Principal  … the kids often look to us as a mother figure. It’s an honour.

“As a woman in a leadership role, I always make sure I am putting my family first, 100% of the time, and I have that expectation with my staff.

“By providing the flexibility and freedom to my staff for these special moments, I know they are going to come back and give more effort. We can’t expect our students to do the same unless we lead by example.”

Lyn says she helps students at the school, particularly young women, to feel valued and included by “providing them access to anything” and “never separating gender”.

“You can achieve anything you want to; it depends on your willingness, not your gender.”

Lyn’s impact doesn’t stop within the school walls. As a member of Rockhampton Community Based Crime Action Committee she actively engages with local facilities, community sporting groups, and culture-based rehabilitation programs.



“International Women’s Day is a day of celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality, recognising their value in God’s sight, and who care about human rights.”

So says Lyn, who has been a volunteer prison chaplain with Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy for almost 10 years.

“There are many women who have only known a hard life, and as a result of their circumstances, some are now in prison. I wanted to share with them that there is hope and despite what they might have done, God loves them and will forgive them,” she said.

Lyn “takes a genuine interest in the women’s sorrows and joys”, showing empathy and “sharing positive thoughts and conversations”.

“I also share with them that they are not alone in their struggles, and that together we can try to shift our focus from what is wrong to what is right in all our lives,” she said.

“I feel that maybe one inmate’s positivity will help to create a spirit of inclusion among the other women.

“A woman in prison begins to feel empowered when she realises she is special … that there is no-one else in the world exactly like her and that no-one else has exactly the same abilities, ideas and feelings.”

“In all of creation she is unique and when she understands that God made her special for a very special purpose, that He must have a job for her that on-one else can do as well as she can, that is real empowerment.”



Adrienne had numerous careers, from being a nanny in Russia to caring for orphans in England.

After returning home to Australia she worked as a bailiff around central Queensland, including court work as far west as Longreach.

“I would either be taking someone to court or a solicitor or I would do property settlements,” Adrienne said.

“It was interesting work. I met a lot of interesting people – one person threatened to shoot me – and did a lot of travelling.”

Later in life, Adrienne was dedicated to supporting and empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged people in regional communities, including through her volunteer roles with the Central Queensland Community Legal Centre.

With services based in Rockhampton, Mount Isa, Yeppoon, Gladstone and Biloela, as well telephone and video conference and pop-up clinics, the centre helps financially disadvantaged people – and those from culturally diverse backgrounds – to access legal support.

Adrienne’s involvement with the Central Queensland Community Legal Centre began in the 1990s and she held various committee positions, such as secretary and treasurer, between 2005 and 2018.

Her commitment to the Centre was at the personal level as a volunteer donating her time, as well as providing assistance to our clients through her former legal services business.

Now a resident of the Carinity Shalom aged care community in Rockhampton, Adrienne was awarded Life Membership of Central Queensland Community Legal Centre.

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