Ann was born on 15 May 1939 in St. Kilda, the eldest and only girl of six children born to William and Nance Halpin. Ann established her teaching skills and passion for the St. Kilda Football Club early in life, when she helped to bring up her young brothers.
Primary schooling took place at St. Colman’s in Balaclava; part of her secondary education was completed at Presentation College in Windsor.
At the age of twenty, Ann was working in a bank; at twenty-one, her strong need to help others through teaching drew her to join the Presentation sisters. Her training as a teacher took her to Our Lady of Lourdes, Armadale and her first position as Principal was at
St. Joseph’s, Boronia.
In 1974, Ann came to St. Mary’s, Dandenong, as Principal and became part of the strong commitment the Presentation Sisters have to Dandenong since the first Sisters arrived here to teach in 1912.
After more study, Ann returned to the Dandenong area to help in parish pastoral work. She was thrilled to be once again part of this vibrant, multicultural community.
Working with refugees and migrants, Ann found that the isolation and loneliness caused through language and cultural barriers particularly affected women.
She approached her colleagues and the Presentation Sisters vacated their home, a house in Langhorne Street, which then became a gathering place for women and named “Wellsprings”.
In 1995, Wellsprings opened on a Friday morning for two hours with ten women attending. Today Wellsprings continues to provide welcoming places caring for and empowering women.
Ann’s greatest wish was to provide practical and compassionate support to these women, to empower these women to live fulfilling lives with their families and their community.