By Paul Gray
A Catholic lay woman who has undertaken environmental training with former US Vice-President Al Gore has been appointed as the new director of Catholic Earthcare Australia.
The Chairman of Catholic Earthcare, Bishop Christopher Toohey, announced the appointment of Mrs Jacqui Remond to the post last week.
Mrs Remond was formerly co-ordinator of the Northern Australia Environment Alliance in Broome. She has worked with environmental groups to advocate for the protection of northern Australia and promote stronger environmental management of Cape York Peninsula, the Gulf region, the Top End and the Kimberley.
Bishop Toohey praised Mrs Remond for her commitment to the environmental cause.
“As a mum of a young child, a committed woman of faith and with an impressive professional background, Jacqui will give a richness to the perspective of Catholic Earthcare, which is all about bringing integrity to our involvement with the natural world,” the bishop said.
Mrs Remond graduated from Melbourne University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Education in Science. She has lectured in environmental science at Notre Dame University’s Broome campus.
She has worked previously for Catholic Earthcare Australia in developing environmental education resources for distribution in Catholic schools.
She is one of 84 Australians who undertook training with Al Gore in 2006 to become “climate change leaders.”
Mrs Remond believes Catholics will become more environmentally active in coming years. “I am confident that Catholic Earthcare can play a critical role in empowering Catholics and others to connect fully with God’s creation, to honour and respect it and to consciously care for the gift of creation as active stewards,” she says.
She envisages Catholic parishes and schools around Australia responding energetically to the call for “ecological conversion” made by the late Pope John Paul II, through actions to create ecologically sustainable practices and to prepare their local environments for future generations.