Last week we celebrated the 90th birthday of our CatholicCare Victoria Spiritual Director, Fr Gerard Dowling.
Fr Dowling joined CatholicCare as a Counsellor in 1963, and has continued to provide support to our CatholicCare Victoria and broader community ever since – including hosting a weekly radio program, “The Family Counsellor” since 1973, making it the longest running program of its type in Australian radio!
His compassion and commitment to helping others is an inspiration to us at CatholicCare Victoria, so much so that many years ago, we created a Fr Dowling Award whereby our staff were acknowledged for their modelling of our mission and values.
This year, in acknowledgement and appreciation of Fr Dowling’s dedication to supporting our community, we have awarded Fr Dowling with an honorary Norma Parker Award.
Photo: Agnes Sheehan (CEO of CatholicCare Victoria) handing Fr Dowling an honorary Norma Parker Award.
Norma Parker was a co-founder of CatholicCare Melbourne (originally known as The Catholic Social Services Bureau) and was one of Australia’s first professionally qualified social workers.
Norma is commended for her innovation and her commitment to supporting families in need, and so the Norma Parker Award is befitting for this special occasion as we recognise and celebrate Fr Dowling in all his achievements.
Photos from left to right:
Top row: Fr Dowling at his Ordination in 1958; Fr Dowling's 90th birthday celebration.
Middle row: Mass of Appreciation in Archdiocese of Melbourne in 2019 with Fr Dowling as a celebrant; Fr Dowling Award nominees and recipient in 2017; Mass of Appreciation in Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1995 with Fr Dowling as a celebrant.
Bottom row: Fr Dowling hosting his radio program "The Family Counsellor"; Fr Dowling making a toast at the 2017 CatholicCare Christmas party; Fr Dowling with Tony Newton at the 2018 CatholicCare Christmas party.
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