Eva Skira attains significant Order of Australia award
St John of God Health Care Chair of Trustees Eva Skira has been announced as recipient for the Member of the Order of Australia award for her significant service to business in WA through a range of industry and advisory roles. Photo: St John of God Health Care.
By Amanda Murthy
It is not hard to believe that St John of God Health Care Chair of Trustees Eva Skira AO is now a recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia award – the third highest honour in the country.
For the past 20 years, she has contributed to a range of industries in health, education, water and wastewater infrastructure, public transport, engineering, mining services, insurance, and superannuation.
Today, the mother of three shows no signs of slowing down, holding Chair and Honorary positions across five companies.
The official award ceremony is scheduled for early April, to be held at Perth Government House.
Ms Skira spoke with The Record about her past and present endeavours and her aspirations for the future.
“I am deeply humbled and honoured by this award and have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I have received since the announcement,” she said.
“My first instinct is to recall all the fantastic, gifted people with whom I have worked over the years.”
New member of the Order of Australia award recipient Eva Skira has 20 years of experience in health, education, water and wastewater infrastructure, public transport, engineering, mining services, insurance, and superannuation. Photo: St John of God Health Care.
Ms Skira credits her parent’s sacrifices and Catholic background for giving her a solid foundation.
“It is a great honour to receive this particular recognition and I feel this acutely as my parents had arrived in Australia from Ukraine after the Second World War as refugees with nothing, having to learn a new language, customs and a culture, and with no recognised skills to build a new life,” Mrs Skira cited.
“My parents started life in Tasmania where I was born, with two small cardboard suitcases, a few clothes, some papers, and some precious photos of their families they had left behind.
“With no money or assets, my crib was a blanket in one of those suitcases with the lid removed.
“I feel fortunate to have been born into spiritual and cultural wealth, and into an optimism founded on freedom in a democratic country,” she added.
Ms Skira received her formal Catholic Education in Tasmania.
First at the Larmenier Convent School in St Leonards run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, then at Launceston’s Sacred Heart College run by the Presentation Sisters.
After completing her university studies, Ms Skira worked in Sydney for a number of years, before moving to Perth with her family.
She was invited to join the Board of St John of God Health Care in 1999 and later became Deputy Chair.
The Members of St John of God Australia Limited appointed Ms Skira a Trustee in 2012, and she has been Chair of Trustees for the past five years.
“My service to this ministry has been personally, professionally, and spiritually very fulfilling,” Ms Skira said.
“I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to contribute to the governance of such a wonderful Catholic organisation during a period which saw strong growth of the Ministry and thus an extension of the reach of the Church.
“I am privileged to work with a group of visionary trustees dedicated to reading the signs of the times, as the Sisters did, and ensuring our mission, to continue the healing mission of Jesus, is brought to life,” she added.
Ms Skira passionately encourages young professionals to say “yes” to every opportunity presented to them, no matter how big or small.
“You never know how one opportunity will lead to another – the more doors you knock on, the more doors that will open to you,” she said.
“I would also like to encourage young people to continue learning and to nurture their professional development.
“That is, to go beyond their immediate surroundings to think about and observe what is happening globally and, if presented, take the opportunity to either work or study overseas,” she added.
Ms Skira’s final advice urged the young people to continue to discern and practice their faith.
“Everyone's faith journey is different, a journey that only you can take.”