Mary MacKillop's special significance for ACU

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 on the North Sydney Campus (MacKillop) and 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 canonised, making her Australia's first saint.

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 instil in its staff, students and graduates.

Honouring the patronage of Blessed Mary MacKillop

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven commissioned a bronze sculpture by artist Linda Klarfeld to celebrate the University's history and ongoing affiliation with St Mary MacKillop.

The sculpture, which took nine months to complete, was unveiled in November 2009 by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, in the gardens of the University's North Sydney Campus.

“I particularly asked that she be depicted in her later years,” Professor Craven said. “She knew this house, knew this garden. We see this as Blessed Mary MacKillop coming home to MacKillop Campus,” he added.

ACU welcomes visitors to come and see this beautiful depiction of St Mary MacKillop at 40 Edward St, located close to the Mary MacKillop Chapel in Mount Street.