St Vincent de Paul Society WA welcomed its latest State President at a Commissioning Mass on Sunday 7 October.
Gladys Demissie was proudly installed in the presence of Vinnies National President Graham West, Vinnies Regional Presidents, Vincentians, family and friends.
The Commissioning Mass was held at Our Lady of Help of Christians Church, East Victoria Park Parish.
Vinnies Spiritual Advisor Fr Nino Vinciguerra was the principal celebrant of the Mass; assisted by East Victoria Park Parish Priest Fr Anibal Leite da Cunha.
Fr Vinciguerra spoke in his homily of the importance of relationships, how the St Vincent de Paul Society community is a family, and the sheer hard work it takes to work at those relationships in the work its members do.
Mrs Demissie replaced outgoing State President Robert Burns of the Morley/Dianella conference, a man who worked tirelessly in the role over the past four years.
In her speech, she remarked on the honour leading St Vincent de Paul Society in Western Australia with humility, courage, and respect.
Hailing from Singapore, Mrs Demissie was introduced to Vinnies at a young age with her mother being a Vincentian – she was encouraged to become a member of the Parish Youth Conference.
She has been an active member of her parish since 2009; her extensive work has included being a member of the charity’s Finance and Audit Committee since 2012, and most recently the State Treasurer, along with the role of Chair of the Finance Committee.
As Vinnies WA’s new State President, Mrs Demissie hopes to build on the good work that has already been achieved by supporting all Vinnies people and the valuable role they play in the Society.
“I am a firm believer in the Vinnies mission, vision and values as they provide us with a solid foundation and set the ground rules for what Vinnies is about and its efforts in creating a more just and compassionate society,” she said.