Leading with heart: Uniting team member nominated for Australian of the Year

Leading with heart: Uniting team member nominated for Australian of the Year

Working in youth homelessness, Australian of the Year nominee and Uniting team member, Veronica Macdonald, has seen some pretty tough stuff, but she wouldn’t change her job for anything.

Veronica is the Regional Program Manager for our Uniting Youth and Homelessness Services in the South West Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW.

“I learn something new, every day,” says Veronica. “I often take the time to say ‘thank you’ to life for all I have received. I have been incredible lucky to have been offered many opportunities and to have encountered some wonderful people along the way.”

Veronica MacDonald looks sideways at the camera, she has light brown hair and has taken the photo on her phone.

Australian of the Year nominee and Uniting team member, Veronica Macdonald.

Veronica was made aware of her Australian of the Year nomination in an email signed by the Australian of the Year Award CEO, Karlie Brand.

Sadly, she missed out to Kurt Fearnley, who was named NSW Australian of the Year 2019. But Veronica says she is “incredibly proud and fortunate to receive such an honour”.

“Even though my nomination did not progress, I am so thankful of being nominated and recognised for my humble contribution to our country. I do work with an incredible team of people who are dedicated to support those young people and families that we served.”

Veronica continues to support others

In 2018 Veronica graduated with an MBA from Australia Business Institute in Adelaide, and says she is thankful of all the opportunities she has experienced at Uniting in her “professional journey”.

“My aim is to lead my team with care, dedication and passion to support those who experience hardship – especially those young people, children and families that we serve.”

For Veronica, receiving notification that she has been nominated for Australian of the Year was a wonderful acknowledgement of her contribution to the community she loves.

“I migrated to Australia in 1984 from Chile and received my Australian Citizenship in 1988,” she says. “It’s where I feel at home. I have a wonderful family and a circle of friends who are always there to support and encourage me.”

“Australia Day has always been a special day for me and my family. We get together and celebrate our heritage, learning more about Australian history and sharing our own backgrounds. For us, it’s about celebrating inclusion for all cultures among us and the different beliefs and principles that everyone brings.”

Since its inception in 1960, the Australian of the Year Awards celebrate outstanding Australians like Veronica who lead by example. From quiet achievers, community members, household names and unknown heroes, the awards recognise people from all walks of life making a difference to their community and those around them.

“I feel quite honoured and unbelievably proud of this nomination,” said Veronica. “It is such a special moment to be among those who are recognised in our country.”

Get in touch

For more information about the many ways Uniting team members like Veronica are working in local communities, get in touch on 1800 864 846 or email us.

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