PERSONAL DETAILS

SisterVal

SISTER VALERIE BURNS

To study theological, psychological and historical perspectives of contemporary teaching of religion - USA

Sister Valerie was born at Zeehan, educated at St Thomas Moore’s Launceston, a Presentation convent in Melbourne and Sacred Heart College New Town. She graduated in Arts at the University of Tasmania.

FELLOWSHIP DETAILS

1970

The 12mth fellowship enabled Sister Valerie to study in New York at Fordham University plus several short courses at other centres including the Interdenominational Union Theological Seminary also in New York and to travel to Canada and great Britain. Later she studied in Berkeley, the famous Roman Catholic Centre at Maynooth, Ireland, Holland and visited Laize in France.

Sister Valerie said her fellowship would mean the updating of religious education making every part of it relevant to people of today.

FELLOWSHIP CONCLUSIONS & OUTCOMES

Sister Valerie was publicly involved for over 25 years in promoting better understanding of human relations through work with teachers both in the state and private systems as well as in other institutions. Once when feeling that colleagues’ perceptions of her as a nun were preventing them hearing her message, she whipped off the short veil she then wore and said ‘now, let’s talk’!

She has worked locally with men, professional women and mothers of young children. She was actively involved with young unemployed (18-21 years) in developing a community and spiritual centre in Forth, on Tasmania’s North-west coast.

In recent years she was hoping to spend time writing reflective material in the general area of religious psychology – a subject which initially promoted her to apply for a fellowship but although supposed to be retired she acted as a sort of chaplain to those in the community in Launceston where she lived, always on the go, time to write would have been hard to fit in! Wherever she lived, Val was immersed in her community, she was a true leader, and she gathered people around her and listened respectfully to them, their hopes & needs. Her zest for life did not diminish with the years!