The first Australian Ambassador to the Holy See and his wife have been named Family of the Year by the Australian Family Association.
Sir Peter and Lady Mary Lawler have been living in Kiama since their Duffy home was lost in the 2003 bush fires, but they will soon be back in Canberra living at Holder. Their absence has been punctuated by many visits and ongoing activity.
Association ACT president Mr. Paul Monagle said Sir Peter and Lady Mary were an inspiration and worthy winners of the award.
They had made a significant contribution to their family, the community, the Church and the nation. With seven children, 24 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren the Lawlers still found time for many activities including support for Aid to the Church in Need and the campaign to maintain Calvary Hospital in the terms agreed by the Archdiocese and then Prime Minister Mr Harold Holt in 1966.
Sir Peter was appointed Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services and Ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See. He was the first Australian Ambassador to the Holy See and worked to ensure the position was located in Rome. This was achieved with the appointment of Mr. Tim Fischer.
The Australian Family Association makes its award each year to a family which demonstrates good family modeling but also contributes to the community. Members of the association nominate the family of the year.