A Dominican Sister for more than 40 years, Karen Fitzgerald OP OAM was a deeply spiritual person who dedicated her life to helping others. With a keen sense of humour and a love for laughter and family, particularly children, she was able to balance her life with a commitment to helping families and children who were hurt, lost and unable to find positive life influences to sustain them.
A champion for children’s safety and rights, Karen was the inaugural director of the Child Protection Service at Flinders Medical Centre, a position she held from 1989 until her retirement in November 2011. She was considered a pioneer in the protection of children who had been abused and neglected and was internationally recognised, receiving an OAM for her services to children and families. She influenced the practice of staff in many agencies and had a passion for continuous learning and development
In her private life Karen supported a number of humanitarian and social justice causes and was particularly involved in the support of Refugee families and children.