Mother Mary Temby

Mother Mary's contribution played a huge role in training a dedicated, efficient group of teachers to assume leadership positions in Catholic Schools.

Honour Roll

Mother Mary Eymard Temby trained as a primary teacher with the Victorian Education Department, before joining the Presentation Sisters in 1929. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Education (Hons) at the University of Melbourne, gaining first place in her Diploma of Education year and topping the Honours course in Bachelor of Education in 1950.

She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian College of Education and became a member of the Education Faculty of the University of Melbourne. Sister Mary spent most of her teaching years at Star of the Sea College, Gardenvale, holding the position of College Principal for eighteen years. In 1967, a Catholic Teachers' Training College, Christ College, opened in temporary premises in the grounds of Kildara College, Malvern.

Sister Mary was appointed first Principal of Christ College and was largely instrumental in drawing up a course of training for the students and in planning the layout and equipping of the new College at Chadstone. Her tenure as Principal of Christ College was brief as she was elected at the end of 1967 as Superior General of the Congregation of Presentation Sisters, Victoria. However, in her year at Malvern, Sister Mary had done much to create a vibrant community of competent staff and well-prepared students and to ensure that the new premises at Chadstone were ready for occupation in 1968.

In 1971, Mother Mary was elected President of the Victorian Conference of Major Superiors of Religious Orders, being re-elected for a second term in 1974 and was representative of the Major Superiors on the Melbourne Board of Catholic Education. In 1976, Mother Mary was chosen as one of two Australian delegates to attend the International Triennial Assembly of Superiors General of Religious Congregations in Rome.

Mother Mary was an outstanding educationalist, being awarded the Dwight Prize in Education in 1950. She was an inspiring teacher who believed in encouraging and training her students to think deeply, to have an informed opinion on matters of concern and interest and to defend their opinions intelligently and fluently.

As leader of over three hundred members of the Victorian Presentation Sisters' Congregation, during the critical period following the second Vatican Council. Mother Mary courageously faced the challenge of these difficult times, as she worked with the members of her congregation to discern and adopt a course of action aimed at making religious life relevant to the present-day world and at directing the services of the sisters to the areas of greatest need.