Mr Mike Iverson, 55 years of Servant Leadership at Vinnies

 By Barb Anglin, President of St Vncent de Paul Society North Eastern Central Council 

We often hear the phrase “Servant Leadership” spoken in so many forums of our Society. Mike Iverson is the embodiment of this principle.

It is appropriate that we recognise Mike’s 55 years of servant leadership at this combined Festival.

Mike began his Vincentian journey in the Wangaratta Region before moving to Wodonga and the Upper Murray Region.Mike Iverson is what could be considered a generational Vincentian. His journey with the St Vincent de Paul Society began in his early years, his father and Godparents Jack and Mary, members of the Society, were his early inspiration. While a student at Christian Brothers College in Albury, Mike was a Junior Vincentian.

Mike’s employment took him, and his young wife, Barbara, to Wangaratta. So, it was natural that he would join Our Lady’s Conference in South Wangaratta. True to the pattern of this man’s life, Mike was soon accepting the position of President. When the Wangaratta Regional Council decided to open a store in Ryley Street, Mike was asked to be President of the Store Committee. With Secretary Bill Conolly and Manager Kath Gibb, the store was blessed and opened by Mons. John Hussey in November 1970.

In1994, Mike changed his employment and became the A/V Technician at Wangaratta High School and shifted house, moving to St Patrick’s Parish. A new job, new house, new Parish and new Conference. Again, Mike put his technological skills to work establishing a data base for the Conference and the Regional Store.

In 2004, Mike and Barbara set off to Mirralinki, a Spiritual Centre run by the Sisters of St Joseph in Warnum, approximately halfway between Halls Creek and Kununurra in the East Kimberley region. Again, this was service; cooking, cleaning and looking after people who came to the centre for Spiritual Revitalisation.

On Mike and Barbara’s return to Victoria, it was the turn of the Upper Murray Region Conference (UMRC) to become the beneficiaries of Mike’s talents as a member of Vinnies St Leo’s Conference. He set up the Conference data base, took up the position of Secretary, and in no time became the NECC Secretary. In parallel with his executive position, Mike participated in the daily work of the Conference, including visitations to homes and hospitals.

In 2010, Mike became the UMRC President and that’s when I first encountered Mike, who offered me so much encouragement and guidance as a raw recruit. His respect for his colleagues, and people who need assistance, and his willingness to share his knowledge and talents for the betterment of his Conference and the Regions have inspired many.
Today Mike is still serving the Upper Murray Region as the secretary and is a valued member of St Leo’s Conference.

Personally, Mike has been a friend, an inspiration and mentor, like he has been for so many Vincentians in his 55 years of remarkable service.

I will finish this with Mike’s own words. Quotes that sum up his life:

“I have one life and one chance …”

“ … to make it count for something …”

“My faith demands that …”

“I do whatever I can with …”

“Whatever I have, to … “

“Try to make a difference.”

Congratulations Mike! And Thank you. You are truly a Servant Leader.

MikeIversion Family











Above: Mike Iversion (Centre) with wife Barbara, to his left and Rachel and John Iverson.