By Josh Low
The KORA Centre run by the Servants of Mary (Servite Sisters) has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
The Centre was established in 1977 by the late Sister Carmelin of the Servite Sisters who, in accordance with the Servite charism of compassion towards women and children, saw a need to reach out to and support Indigenous families.
The KORA Centre then developed over time to also provide support to migrants and refugees, with an aim to uplift the quality of the life of many disadvantaged families through the provision of meaningful activities and programs, so they can reach their full potential.
Superior General of the Servite Sisters, Sr Josephine Prema Mary OSM unveiled a plaque on 11 October to commemorate the 40 years that the KORA Centre has served the community, with Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey also present for the special occasion.
In his address for the occasion, Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey reflected on the work that the Sisters had accomplished over the years.
“As I think about KORA, and about the humble beginnings it had, my admiration for Sr Carmelin and the Servite Sisters has grown enormously,” Emeritus Archbishop Hickey said.
“The motivation for running the centre goes beyond just goodwill, as far as the Sisters are concerned.
“It goes back to their own vocation; hearing the call from Jesus to follow Him and to model themselves on His life,” he said.
“Jesus’ words come to mind on an occasion like this; when He said, ‘let the little children come to me for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ He also said, ‘whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me.’
“I admire their faith, perseverance, constancy and their outreach to people and I’m very pleased to see that their constant efforts throughout the years have now borne fruit,” Emeritus Archbishop Hickey said.
KORA Centre Administrator Sr Chitra Justin OSM explained that the best interests of the children it serves are the focus of the work the centre does.
“Our aim is to develop spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth of the children in a caring environment where healthy habits can be formed, while also allowing for young children to enjoy their childhood and prepare for entry to school.
“We also want to nurture and maintain the diverse and individual culture and tradition of children through appropriate programs and activities, bringing forth a people proud of their culture and heritage,” she said.
Sr Chitra added that the future will bring on more challenges, but is hopeful that the Sisters may continue to be of service to the community.
“With the current social problems facing our society today, it is anticipated that there will be an increasing demand on our services in the years to come.
“Hopefully the Australian Government’s introduction of new childcare system in 2018 will assist us to run the service for the disadvantaged families in a much fairer and better way.
“We will need to keep assessing the needs of the community as time goes by as they fluctuate from time to time, but at the heart of what we do is our charism of living in service for others.
“We ask for your prayers and help in continuing our work here for the sake of so many disadvantaged families,” she concluded.