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Championing the cause of San Miguel Family Centre

By Virginia Knight, Catholic Outlook, April 2010

Bishop Kevin Manning with fellow patron of the San Miguel Family Centre, actor and director Rachel Ward.
What would a journalist, a lawyer, an athlete and an author have in common? All were honoured at the annual Celebrate the West luncheon on 5 March, which is held to raise funds for the San Miguel Family Centre at North Richmond.

Hosted by Bryan Brown, the awards recognise the significant contribution made to the culture of Western Sydney in the areas of public life, the arts, sport and business.

“Thank God I was born a Westie,” Bryan said. “It is a much bigger western suburbs now, but I know the same values exist there as when I grew up. We care about each other. San Miguel lies at the heart of the western suburbs and I care about San Miguel.”   

Past Champion and patron of Celebrate the West, Bishop Kevin Manning, presented awards to this year’s Champions: Thomas Keneally, Chris Bath, Barbara Holbrow OAM, Br Brian Berg and Dani Samuels.

John Slattery was recognised posthumously as the recipient of the Jack Gibson award for his outstanding contribution to the work of the San Miguel Family Centre. The award was accepted by his widow, Pam.

Held at the Waterview Convention Centre in Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay, the afternoon was enlivened with entertainment by Diesel. A Live Auction run by Vince Sorrenti attracted competitive bidding and students from Oakhill College, Castle Hill assisted with raffle ticket sales.    

San Miguel Family Centre offers short-term accommodation for families who are homeless. It is one of the only places which provides for the family unit to stay together and help them through difficult times.

In addition to Government funding, it relies heavily on community support and fundraising to continue. And in these difficult economic times, the need is even greater.

Celebrate the West is one of these fundraising events, and it attracts the sponsorship of a number of high-profile patrons who generously support the Centre’s programs and really believe in the vital importance of the services San Miguel provides.

« Return to Catholic Outlook April 2010