2021 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards
Mater Dei Primary School, TOOWOOMBA
(Diocese of Toowoomba)
As a school founded by the Good Samaritan sisters, Mater Dei has a strong Benedictine tradition, committed to community life, justice, hospitality, and compassionate service. Katie Mills is one of the school’s parents and through her long-standing voluntary commitment to The Samaritan’s Table, lives this philosophy.
The Samaritan’s Table provides home cooked meals to members of our community who are experiencing times of sadness, grief, hardship, or difficulty.
Katie has looked for and implemented innovative and new solutions to support the school to achieve its goals of connecting both students and the school community to the Good Samaritan charism by encouraging a culture of looking out for others. Katie has developed a sensitive, discreet and empathetic radar to somehow learn of hardship in our community. She also links the generosity and service of volunteers, as well as the humble gratitude of recipients, to the story of the Good Samaritan.
Katie’s gentle manner when working with others has fostered relationships that inspire action and growth.
This has been demonstrated for over six years through her management of more than 50 volunteers providing over 100 meals each year. The Samaritan’s Table has become an integral part of the culture of Mater Dei and many meal recipients have expressed their sincere and heartfelt gratitude.
Katie’s dedication to listening with the ear of the heart and ensuring a compassionate response has built a sense of community that epitomises the story of the Good Samaritan.