Twenty10 patron Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon will step down from her position at tonight’s Claire’s Kitchen event.
McRae-McMahon was Twenty10’s first and only patron. She worked with the organisation for so long no one seems to recall the date she joined the family. What everyone is sure of, though, is that she is leaving some very big shoes to fill.
“Dorothy’s had such an amazing life and taken so many lessons. We’ve been fortunate enough to be one of the organisations who have been able to share that journey with her,” Twenty10 managing director Rebecca Reynolds told Sydney Star Observer.
“She’s got such passion and courage about what she’s done, and her resilience to what’s been thrown at her at different times, and the fact that she just keeps going, is testament to her faith and the type of person she is. As an example to young people, it’s amazing that they can see that.
“It also makes them aware they are part of a broader community at a time when they might be feeling isolated and alone. Dorothy very publicly adds voice to those issues, within religion and within organised society.”
Strangely though, McRae-McMahon, considers herself to have been a “poor patron” and wishes she could have done more for Twenty10. She has promised she will still attend events and promote their work wherever possible.
“I was attracted to Twenty10 when I visited the place and met some of the young people and staff, and heard stories and listened to the struggles of their life. I watched how their lives were transformed by Twenty10,” McRae-McMahon said.
“I particularly remember young people who came from rural areas, who had really suffered, often at the hands of family and communities that were religious, who were very punishing — sometimes even physically punishing. They’d often run away from home, sometimes at very young ages, and ended up on the streets of Sydney and were eventually picked up by Twenty10.
“I remember Twenty10 even trying to help them get back to their parents and talk to their parents, so the parents were changed too, which I found astonishing, that they could work that far into the lives of young people.”
McRae-McMahon has been proud to be linked to an organisation which really does cause change.
“As someone who has been involved with the international aid scheme, I’ve watched over the years aid agencies and agencies of care creating dependencies among needy people, and what I watched at Twenty10 was their refusal to do that,” she said. “There was a cut-off point for things and an invitation to be free, which meant the young people began to grow up and assume responsibility for their own lives in really good ways, and to support each other, but not hang around in a sort of dependent way.”
Reynolds said the Twenty10 board has developed a shortlist of new patron possibilities, which will be considered over the coming months.

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