“Her work was very much centered around giving educational opportunities to the very poor, and also she suffered a lot in her journey,” Porro said.
“And she really represents the spirit of Australia: perseverance, welcoming, open, you know? Looking after those who most need it.”
A career diplomat, Porro has previously served in diplomatic posts in India, West Africa, and on the Pacific island of New Caledonia.
She said that she was keen to collaborate with the Holy See in advocating for the reform of multilateral institutions.
“There is a real need and a realization that our global institutions are not functioning effectively ... It was set up so many years ago. It needs change. The Holy See is very active multilaterally at the UN and other organizations, and I think that we can work together to get some of the reforms to improve effectiveness, improve representation,” she said.
Porro has also been collaborating with the bishops in the Pacific islands, where she says the Church plays an important and often unrecognized role in education, healthcare, and disaster response.
In many ways, this diplomatic post has been a homecoming for Porro, who was born in Milan, but left with her family when she was three. She said that she recently had the chance to visit Assisi -- the home of her namesake St. Clare -- with her husband and two sons.