Maggie Sister OAM – RIP 2019 Maggie McMullen/Nolan, OAM.
Patron, Founder Member of the New Hope India Relief Australia Inc.
She was an inspirational woman who has devoted much of her life to helping the sick and poor in India. Maggie Sister OAM is a founder Trustee and Patron of “Friends of Australia and a Trustee of New Hope Trust India”. She lived and worked from the idyllic Broome Western Australia, but her life’s work takes her far from that setting. The grandmother of three was known as Maggie Sister, a name given to her by the people with whom she works in the Indian regions of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Maggie Sister’s involvement with the New Hope Rural Leprosy Trust began when she answered a lifelong call to travel to the country that had held so much mystery for her since childhood. Maggie Sister OAM was awed by the commitment and the work being done in isolated tribal areas by the New Hope Trust and their determination to train local Tribal people for fieldwork.
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Maggie Sister OAM was the first white person seen by many remote villages. Since then, overcoming many personal obstacles including an operation to remove a cancerous lung in 1995, she returned to the New Hope community at her own cost every year, to carry out valuable work in the field and tutoring. When in Australia her commitment continued and she works hard at raising funds. Maggie’s courage, determination, faultless work ethic and sense of humor made her a popular guest speaker. Maggie Sister had been invited as a guest speaker to various service organizations and National and International Conferences. Maggie Sister equally enjoyed speaking to small groups and schools who want to know more about her life and the New Hope Trust.
In recognition of the tireless work with the New Hope Rural Leprosy Trust she was awarded the Order of Australia in 2000, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship in 1996, and Citizen of the Year award in 1999. Whenever she was asked Maggie Sister was very quick to tell you that she is just a volunteer and accepts the awards on behalf of the staff of New Hope. Maggie Sister was fond of saying “I am but the hinge on the door between the East and the West”.
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