A lawyer with experience across the corporate sector, Catherine said she became a committed Christian in early adulthood when she realised the importance of reading from the Bible daily.
“It equips me for my private life and working life, but also transforms and renews me,” she said. “Mission Australia’s vision to meet human need and spread the love of God inspires me every day.”
Dire family circumstances also have provided a personal insight into hardship.
“My father recalled daily struggles following the death of his father during the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Without the support of his father’s wage, the family relied on charity support and family help to cope.”
Misfortune struck again when Catherine’s husband, the family’s sole earner, lost his job in the recession Australia ‘had to have’ in 1991. With two young children, the family relied on charity aid and relatives to navigate a difficult period.
“It was humbling and embarrassing to realise we didn’t have the financial means to live as we had hoped,” Catherine recalled. “The harsh reality is many people are living on a financial knife-edge where small changes can have big consequences.”
“There are around two-and-a-half million people in Australia below the poverty line and 600,000 children live in families that are struggling to feed and house them.”
“Figures show there are around 20,000 people who are homeless in Queensland with almost a quarter under 24. Demand for social and affordable housing continues to rise with thousands of people on waiting lists.”
“Mission Australia is working to create a fairer Australia by supporting people to turn their lives around. Our best work happens when we put faith into action. This serves to strengthen communities and help people live better lives.”
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio thanked the public for their attendance and acknowledged all business supporters for their ongoing generosity.
Mayor Antonio said once funds were tallied, the proceeds would be presented to Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support and Mental Illness Fellowship Qld - Toowoomba.
“The spirit of generosity in this community can not be undervalued,” said Mayor Antonio. “More than 30 businesses were involved, along with TAFE Qld South West hospitality students and helpers from St Saviour’s, St Joseph’s and Rumours.”
The Christian Leaders’ Network quartet opened the morning in rousing style with Great Getting Up Morning followed by the national anthem.
Mayoral Prayer Breakfast organising committee chairman Pastor Andrew Hoey, Senior Minister at Rangeville Community Church, expressed his thanks to all the performers and supporters.