Meet Our Priests & Staff
Fr Andrew Doohan - Parish Priest
Fr Andrew originally hails from Northern NSW and was ordained for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 2007. He has served in the Parishes of Raymond Terrace and Singleton as an Assistant Priest, before being appointed Parish Priest of Forster Tuncurry in 2012. Fr Andrew was appointed Parish Priest of St Benedict’s, Inner Newcastle, and Dean of the Cathedral, in March 2015.
Fr Andrew also serves a number of Diocesan roles including Chair of the Diocesan Liturgy Council and Master of Ceremonies to the Bishop.
Fr John Kedari - Assistant Priest
Originally from India, Fr John celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination in 2015. Fr John has been serving in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since his arrival in Australia in 2009, having served in the twinned parishes of Taree & Wingham prior to his appointment to St Benedict’s Parish in 2014.
Fr Matthew Muller
Fr Matthew was appointed to the Parish in January 2017, after a short stint serving the Myall Coast Parish. Fr Matthew recently returned to the Diocese from Canada where he was studying canon law on behalf of the Diocese.
In addition to his parish duties, Fr Matthew is also Chancellor of the Diocese and Canonical Advisor.
Mr Chris Cootes - Business Manager
Chris joined the Parish staff in March 2014 as the then Regional Business Manager.
A happy and Catholic upbringing in Lake Macquarie culminated as School Captain at St Pius X College, Adamstown, and First Class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Newcastle.
Chris' diverse experience in TAB operations, academic teaching and research, business consulting, not-for-profit management, and Rotary International provide a depth of skills that have proved useful in the day to day operations of the Parish and in guiding the Parish through change and consolidation.
Mrs Margaret Cox - Reception & Administration
The longest serving member of the Parish staff, Margaret joined us in October 1994 and, while many changes have taken place during that time, Margaret remains the solid rock on which the Parish office stands. For Margaret, people always come first! It is a privileged position to be the voice and face of the Parish office and Margaret delights in assisting everyone with their enquiries, requests and arrangements.
Dr Anne Millard - Music & Liturgy
Born at the Mater Hospital; baptised at Holy Family, Merewether Beach; boarded at Lochinvar; Bachelor of Music from Newcastle Conservatorium, Anne Millard-Daugherty taught music in diocesan high schools until the early 90s when she moved to the United States to earn a Master's of Music in Choral Directing and a PhD in Humanities from Florida State University. Academic appointments at Virginia Tech, The University of Kansas, and Baker University followed. Family reasons necessitated a return home in 2012 and Anne is delighted to be back. Director of Music at Sacred Heart Cathedral and advisor for the Sacramental Program, this year Anne was appointed as Chaplain at the University of Newcastle. Anne has many, many interests, and wishes there were more hours in the day to enable her to fully explore them all. A couple of her initiatives are Bookclub and View, Chew, and Chat.
Ms Rebecca Millard - Sacraments & Administration
Rebecca is the newest addition to the Parish staff, coming to work for us in July 2015 and initially assisting with the sacramental process and then going on to assist with office administration. Rebecca is a Lake Macquarie Catholic girl who attending Catholic schools in Belmont, Gateshead, and Hamilton.
Prior to working for the Parish, Rebecca was the Head Rhythmic Gymnastics for twelve years, and currently also works with Cricket NSW in game development and with the University of Newcastle in physical activity research on days she is not at the Parish Office.
In 2016, Rebecca was appointed Sacramental Coordinator for St Benedict's, Inner Newcastle Parish, and took on other office duties such as the Parish Bulletin.