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About Us

Who we are and what we do.

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Donella Johnston


Donella Johnston

Donella was born in Young and grew up in the small town of Quandialla in south west New South Wales.

She moved to Canberra when she was 19 to study a degree in Asian Studies at Australian National University, following a gap year in Japan. She also spent a second year in Japan in the last year of her under-graduate degree studying Japanese linguistics and literature at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.

After completing a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education through University of Canberra, Donella taught Japanese and English at Merici College, Braddon. She completed a Masters in Religious Education through Australian Catholic University and later taught Religious Education, Japanese and Humanities at St Francis Xavier College, Florey. She also worked at the Catholic Education Office in the areas of Catholic Spirituality, Environmental Education and World Youth Day 2008. Donella also served on the Women’s Commission for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and has been involved in a variety of parish-based ministries.

Donella decompresses with Christian meditation, yoga, bush-walking, travel, gardening and spending time with her family and friends. She is a voracious reader and enjoys art, music, theatre and cinema.

“Jesus’ simple Gospel message of unconditional love underlies my whole work ethos and philosophy for life.”

Andrea Dean


Andrea Dean
Fellowship Coordinator

Andrea Dean grew up in the small township of Adelong on the south western slopes of New South Wales. After training as teacher she worked in various fields of education for more than 30 years.

Initially she taught in rural New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. A highlight was the time she spent living in Papua New Guinea where she worked in the Vanimo district from 1993 to 1996.

Eventually settling in Canberra, Andrea has been involved in leadership, facilitation and teaching through the Catholic Education Office and the Australian Catholic University. Her favourite areas of work have been centred on facilitating spiritual growth programs and coaching.

Andrea is the recipient of the Churchill Fellow (2004) and the Australian Council of Educational Leadership Award (2009).  Her qualifications include a B.Ed, Grad. Dip. R.E., Grad. Dip. Min., M.A. (Theological Studies) and Coach U Graduate.

Andrea had treatment for breast cancer in 2003 and 2004; "As a result of enduring the ups and downs of surgery, treatment and recovery, I can stand with others in times of pain, struggle and healing." She was a Sister of St Joseph for more than 25 years; "My quest to live a life of service, grounded in a vision of the sacredness of life, continues to influence all that I do." Andrea has a special place in her heart for her nieces; "I love children, especially how they live and learn. Being 'Aunty Andrea' brings great delight to my life."