Archived News Item

Jocelyn Bignold Honoured in Australia Day Honours

Jocelyn Bignold with her letter from the Governor of Victoria


Jocelyn Bignold, Chief Executive Officer of McAuley Community Services for Women (MCSW), has received well deserved recognition in this year’s Australia Day Honours.


The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) has been awarded to Jocelyn for service to the community through social welfare organisations, for her leadership and commitment to making better lives for women and children who’ve faced family violence and homelessness.


Jocelyn said that while she initially had mixed feelings about the Award, over the past few days she has come to realise its importance for MCSW and the community sector more broadly.


“This should be seen as recognition not of just one individual but the team at MCSW.


“I am so proud of the way our team continues to work and think. We are always seeking to come up with new and better ways of improving our services to women and children who seek our support.


“When I look back on what we have achieved, including being the first 24 hour family violence crisis accommodation in Victoria, building on the Sisters dream, which has been so successful there are now six centres. This, and most other innovative aspects of our service, came about through being conscious of the needs of our clients and open to new ways of doing things.


“All of what we have achieved has been through the dedication and initiative of our staff and board members, who are following in the footsteps of the Sisters of Mercy who had the original courage and vision,” Jocelyn said.


Jocelyn said that when we received the original email about her nomination for the Australia Day honour, she initially thought it was spam.


“I received notification of the award via email a few weeks ago and thought it must be a mistake!


“While I am very grateful to receive the Award, I did have some initial misgivings about the fact I was receiving this on Australia Day.


“We have not negotiated with the first people’s of this land and I know of so many other people in the community who are deserving of this award.


“All of these people, along with our staff and clients, will be front and centre in my mind when I receive the Award from the Victorian Governor on 24 March”.


MCSW provides accommodation, support and advocacy for women and their children who are homeless, primarily as a result of family violence or mental illness. MCSW was formed in 2008 by the Sisters of Mercy to expand its commitment to women and children and to incorporate its two existing long-term services – Mercy Care and Regina Coeli. For more information about MCSW watch the video below or visit –


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