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Sister Angela Mary Doyle’s inspirational speech themed Impact through empathy: a nun’s tale presented to a full crowd at TEDx Brisbane in December 2017, is now available for everyone to appreciate.
Sister Angela Mary took to the stage, recounting how she and her fellow Sisters of Mercy, defied the State Government of the time following an increase of HIV/AIDS cases in Australia in the 1980s.
Her talk was met with a standing ovation from the 700 people in the crowd who were moved by her story of empathy, determination and vision to advocate for social justice in our community.
At a time when fear surrounded the disease, the Queensland AIDS Council put a call out for help and Sister Angela Mary—the Administrator of Mater hospital at the time—listened by offering support and advocating for State Government assistance.
“In a public statement we announced; ‘the Sisters of Mercy wish to offer compassionate, non-judgemental support to those who need it.
“We will not impose services but we request that we would be allowed to walk alongside those who have HIV/AIDS and be available when needed.’”
Going against the State Government’s stance, Mater provided the Queensland AIDS Council with office space and three houses at South Brisbane for AIDS sufferers to live at no charge.
Sister Angela Mary often visited these men and offered comfort and a listening ear to them, as well as their loved ones.
“It seems to me, if we are going to stand up and be counted, we need a great deal of love in our hearts,” she told the audience.
Arriving in Brisbane from Ireland in 1947, Sister Angela Mary trained as a nurse and later became the Administrator of Mater hospitals—a position she held for over two decades.
In response to the continuing need to raise funds for research and new healthcare services, Sister Angela Mary became Executive Director of Mater Trust (currently Mater Foundation and she served on the Mater Foundation board until 2003.
TEDx is an international community devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks through the world’s most inspiring community leaders.
View the full video of Sister Angela Mary’s motivating TEDx talk below or by clicking here.