On 3 February 2021, with a lovely morning tea, Karinya House issued an award to former Senior Health Professional, Anne Brown, for services to women through Karinya House, over the past 18 years and particularly during 2020.  Images here and below are of Anne with the Award and with Executive Director Marie-Louise Corkhill, with the Karinya House Staff Team and Founder – Margaret O’Donovan and also pictured with her husband, Bob Brown, who has been a support to both Anne and Karinya House.

The award was issued by His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley toward  the end of 2020.  Mrs Linda Hurley is Patron for Karinya House.

An email received from the Office of the Governor General  highlighted that, not withstanding the inability to hold the usual Thank You gathering at Government House, their Excellencies still wished to acknowledge and thank Karinya House for services during 2020.  To do this a medallion would be provided for presentation to a member of the Karinya Team, who has contributed in some significant way to the services of Karinya in 2020.

The Karinya House Executive Team chose to award the Governor General medallion to Mrs Anne Brown. Anne has been the Karinya House midwife for over 18 years and retired at the end of 2020.

In presenting the medallion to Anne, we were provided with another opportunity to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary care, compassion and service Anne has shown towards literally thousands of new mums, along with the contribution Anne has made to the Karinya House Executive Team, especially across the COVID period in 2020.

The morning tea was also an opportunity for the team to reflect on the recent busy Christmas period. A period which saw Karinya House continue being home to a diverse group of pregnant women and women with babies and children. Across this time (including public holidays), Karinya House has remained fully operational and available, providing consistent care and support. This has included supporting one young woman who came to Canberra escaping domestic violence, was homeless and who was unable to access any other service due to services reducing their capacity or closing over the festive season. While the Karinya House residential service was full, we were able to provide this young woman with safe hotel accommodation, while casework staff advocated for and with this woman.

The letter accompanying the medallion reads:

Linda and I, on behalf of all Australians, would like to thank you for your contribution to Karinya House over the course of 2020.

This year has brought many challenges. The way we live, work and stay connected has changed.

More positively, it has also highlighted the contributions that so many Australians make to their community. Linda and I have encountered this goodness in countless conversations, visits and, in a sign of the peculiarities of 2020, video conferences over the course of the year. Time and time again we have been struck by the selflessness and generosity of Australians.

This is not, of course, to understate the scale of the challenge or, indeed, the pain being felt in parts of our community. It does, though, make us both enormously proud to be Australian and hopeful for our future.

Linda and I are proud to be associated with organisations like Karinya House. The contribution that Karinya House and you make in our community is considerable.

We would like to thank you for your work, passion and commitment.

All of the Karinya Community than His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda for this acknowledgement and gift.  We also particularly thank Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley for her ongoing support and patronage of Karinya House.