Dr Joe McGirr talks to Vanessa Ientile about what motivates him to to support Jesuit Social Services as a Community Partner.

Joe McGirr, Community Partner

I live and work in Wagga Wagga where I have been a medical practitioner and health manager for 25 years. I am married with four grown children and am currently the Associate Dean Rural for The University of Notre Dame Australia.

My views on social justice were formed by the Jesuits during my education, with the Jesuit approach linking justice to action and love. I have seen through my work, many areas of rural disadvantage that create problems for the whole of society as well as those directly affected. Social justice is an important part of our medical program and should be a part of every doctors calling.

I think Jesuit Social Services tackles really difficult areas of social disadvantage – areas that are not ‘attractive’ to the wider community and in fact, in many cases, draw the anger of some sections of the community – working with refugees and prisoners for example.

Through my work I am aware of the great need to support those whose mental health creates real barriers to their participation in the community. Also, the work with refugees is very important and the work with justice and crime is a real calling to a difficult area. This is what attracted me to becoming a Community Partner.

My strong support for the Jesuit ideals of finding God in all things and combining action with spirituality are made real in the work of Jesuit Social Services. There is a strong sense of caring and tackling tough issues with love.

I believe we have a responsibility for social justice. Supporting Jesuit Social Services as a Community Partner has given me a connection to the work that is being done and those who are being helped. The work is challenging – it is just the sort of work that really needs to be done.

To join Joe McGirr as a Community Partner, please call us on 03 9421 7600.