St Mary of the Cross (MacKillop) believed that we should never see a need without doing something about it, so hopefully her enthusiastic love for life and all people may influence the lives of students and staff at Australian Catholic University (ACU).
St Mary MacKillop has special significance for staff and students at ACU. Born on 15 January 1842 in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, directly opposite the University's Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's), she dedicated her life to works and values which resonate deeply with the University's Mission. Co-founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, St Mary MacKillop is the only Australian to be canonized, making her Australia's first saint. She lived her later years on the site of the North Sydney (MacKillop) Campus. Her feast day is celebrated on the 8th of August.
Her order opened schools and orphanages around the country, along with facilities for the homeless and refuges for former prisoners and prostitutes looking to make a fresh start. Her respect for the dignity of all people, her service of the disadvantaged, and her efforts to build the capacity of those communities she served are qualities which ACU seeks to instill in its staff, students and graduates, making her a worthy patron of the University.