Sister Stephanie had retired from a long teaching career with the Good Samaritan Sisters when she underwent training in 1988 as an in-home carer with the ACT Palliative Care Service.
She worked until 1997 as a live-in carer for over fifty families. Sometimes she was in the home for a day or so, sometimes for more than six months. She is remembered as having a boundless capacity for making and keeping friends, a great talker with a quirky sense of humour, consistently happy and cheerful.
Following a break in 1997, Sister Stephanie found that she also was suffering a terminal illness – motor neurone disease. Although it robbed her of speech she continued writing cards and letters, living each day to her fullest capacity and remaining cheerful.
Sister Mary Stephanie Hayes was named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 1995 for her her volunteer work caring for the terminally ill in their homes.
Further biographical detail about Stephanie Hayes is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.
The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.
Image Source: Sister Mary Stephanie Hayes, photograph from The Sisters of the Good Samaritan website, viewed 17 February 2016.