National Team

Patricia Gemmell (NSW)

Wife and mother of four in everyday life, and very occasionally a teacher of French and Latin, I have also been in the National Leadership Team for the last four years. I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team, particularly our National Retreat in 2015, our ongoing Strategic Plan, our very successful Asia Pacific Formation meeting in Townsville in 2017, and our Nation General Assembly (NGA) in 2018. I am also proud of our ongoing spiritual and ecological priorities.

As a team, we set a focus on growth for the Australian Grail into the future, particularly with younger generations of women. As a member of that team and now of the next National Team, I hope to strengthen that focus as we consolidate all the work we have done to build a cohesive and supportive community. I am also about to celebrate three years as the Coordinator of the International Spirituality Network.

Helen Jeffcoat (Qld)

In 1974 I moved to Townsville to begin a Social Work degree at James Cook University. I met there many of the Grail friends I have today! I grew to appreciate the way the Grail interwove the seasons of the Gospel into the life of the College. I later completed a Graduate Diploma in Library Science at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and took up a job as Deputy Librarian at the Supreme Court of Queensland Library. Over the next few years I completed a Bachelor of Law at QUT part time and was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in Queensland.

I am now a Senior Study Program Supervisor at Brigidine College, a catholic girls school. The school was established by the Irish order of Brigidine nuns and is now run by Kildare Ministries. I love this job and opportunities it has given me to be involved in the Mission work at the school. I am part of the Justice and Democracy, St Vincent de Paul and Refugee Outreach groups. It is inspiring to work with young women every day and see the potential that is there for the future of our earth. On the home front my husband Brian and I live in Indooroopilly Brisbane with three of our four children. It is an honour to be elected and I welcome the opportunity to work with Tricia and Carol.

Carol Farmer (Vic)

I am the mother of two adult children, who has been engaged in the education field over many years in primary, secondary and adult spheres of learning. I am currently a Learning Support Teacher at a Steiner school in Emerald , Victoria where my role includes leadership, student and staff wellbeing and aspects of administration as well as working directly with children in the areas of Numeracy and Literacy.

I first met the Grail during my university days and was fortunate to participate in a Pacific Summer School in Tonga and a Grail Formation Programme in Holland, both of which cemented my deep connection with
our Grail vision. I was part of a collective energy that saw the Yarraville Neighbourhood House come to birth, witnessing firsthand how team initiative can transform ideas into flourishing reality. Along the way I have been nurtured by the spiritual searching, friendship and inspiration of my Grail sisters. I feel very privileged to now be part of the National Team and I look forward to pursuing the goals of our Strategic Plan and helping to shape our future direction as we look forward together with courage and commitment.