The tireless work of Sister Mary Leahy has been recognised in the form of a Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News Award that was handed to her in mid-November.
Usually one to shy from the attention, Sister Mary, who has worked with visiting seafarers for more than 20 years at Port Botany, attended a ceremony at Doltone House, Sydney where she was bestowed with an accolade called the Seafarers’ Welfare Award.
Sydney Branch Deputy Secretary Paul Keating, who worked alongside Sister Mary at the terminals, said she was a saint and unsung hero.
"She'd probably be embarrassed by all of the attention but the work she does needs to be highlighted," Keating said.
"Without fanfare, Sister Mary looks after the welfare of some of the world's most exploited seafarers who visit the coast.
"Some of these seafarers are very young and find themselves separated from their families for months, sometimes years at a time for less than $2 an hour but while they're in Sydney Sister Mary ensures they are well supported and looked after.
"For this, she asks for nothing in return.”
The International Transport Workers’ Federation has also extended its congratulations to Sister Mary Leahy of the Sydney Seafarer’s Centre. “There is no one more deserving of such high recognition than Sister Mary who in known to everyone in the maritime community for her tenacious and passionate pursuit of welfare to visiting international Seafarers,” ITF Australia Coordinator Dean Summers said.
“Keep up the great work Comrade Sister.”