The Hon Tim Fischer was Australia’s deputy Prime Minister in the Howard Government from 1996-99. He retired from politics in 2001 and is currently Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See. In Rome, Tim Fischer has been closely associated with the final stages of the canonisation of Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop. On the 2 September 2010, the Ambassador addressed The Sydney Institute, relaunching Anne Henderson’s book MacKillop’s Sisters – A Life Unveiled and outlining the significance of Mother Mary MacKillop and her upcoming canonisation. This paper is an edited transcript of Tim Fischer’s address.

Anne Henderson is Deputy Director of The Sydney Institute and an author. Anne Henderson’s book Mary MacKillop’s Sisters – A Life Unveiled (HarperCollins) was reissued in 2010, and relaunched by The Hon Tim Fischer AC on Tuesday 2 September 2010, in advance of the canonisation of Mother Mary MacKillop of the Cross. Anne Henderson responded to Tim Fischer in the address which follows.

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