Aunty Joan Hendriks is a Ngugi woman of one of the three clan groups of the Quandamooka People of Moreton Bay. She is an internationally respected Aboriginal Elder and one of Lourdes Hill College’s most treasured alumnae.

Aunty Joan was born in 1936 and raised in Bulimba as the eldest of four children. She attended Sts Peter and Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Bulimba before commencing at Lourdes Hill College in 1947. As both a student, and as a parent to three daughters who attended Lourdes Hill, Aunty Joan has always valued the Good Samaritan ethos that is central to the College culture.

In her adult years, as an Indigenous Elder and educator, Aunty Joan has worked in the field of Aboriginal education, reconciliation and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She has a passionate concern to deepen Indigenous people’s knowledge and pride of their own cultural traditions as well as to educate non-Indigenous Australians on reconciliation and Indigenous cultures.

Aunty Joan has brought Indigenous Australian issues to the world-stage at the United Nations and at International Interfaith Forums. She holds a deep commitment to the dialogue between Aboriginal Creation Spirituality and Christian faith.
Since the 1990s, Aunty Joan has worked with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to deliver lectures in Indigenous Spirituality and Culture Studies for the Diploma in Indigenous Education, Bachelor of Education Primary (Indigenous Studies) and Associate Degree in Business (Indigenous Studies). She has also taught the compulsory subject on Indigenous cultures for mainstream students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education – Primary. Over more recent times Aunty Joan continues to participate as an occasional sessional lecturer. 

In May 2012, Aunty Joan was awarded ACU’s highest honour, Doctor of the University, for her contribution in the field of Aboriginal education, reconciliation and justice for Indigenous Australian peoples.In 2013, she was named a State Finalist in Senior Australian of the Year Awards for her extensive work in promoting the importance of reconciliation for all Australians. That same year, she was the inaugural recipient of the Lourdes Hill College International Women’s Day Woman of the Year Award.

Aunty Joan continues her positive influence on the Lourdes Hill community, as the College’s Elder in Residence and Patron of Hendriks House.
Snapshot of LHC: 1946-1955

A new House system was introduced in 1947, dedicated to Our Lady: Stella Maris, Mater Admirabilis and Mater Dei. Each House had a Captain and Prefects. Sr Winefride arrived in the late 1940s, enhancing our reputation as a school of singing excellence. In 1948 girls sang the College Hymn on the wharf as six Good Samaritan Sisters sailed to Nagasaki in Japan to commence their mission there. 
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