ACU Chancellor receives PNG university honour

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

8 May 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) Chancellor Brother Julian McDonald cfc AO has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Divine Word University (DWU) in Papua New Guinea.

The honour, conferred at DWU’s Open Day in Madang on Sunday 6 May, was in recognition of Br McDonald’s long years of advocacy for the rights of children in Australia and his contribution to higher education.

DWU President Father Jan Czuba said Br McDonald had also been instrumental in forming strong links between ACU and DWU, helping the latter to develop its academic credentials, infrastructure and information services in its early years.

“DWU was fortunate to have prospered over the past 10 years and credit should go to those such as Julian McDonald who were instrumental in its development” Fr Czuba said. “The conferring of the Honorary Doctorate is awarded for Br Julian’s great contribution towards the people of Australia and PNG in advocating children’s rights and for his commitment to higher education in both countries.”

Br McDonald is only the second person to receive an Honorary Doctorate from DWU. The first was former head of the European Union Mission in Papua New Guinea, Anthony Craesner, in 2005 for his contribution to the educational development of disadvantaged people in remote and rural areas of the country.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO said Br McDonald’s award was richly deserved. “I congratulate Br Julian most warmly on this award which so fittingly recognises the Chancellor’s deep commitment to the Church, education and community engagement,” Professor Sheehan said.

Br McDonald was appointed Chancellor of ACU in November 2000. He has been a member of the University Senate since 1992, and was previously Pro-Chancellor from 1995-2000. He also spent 12 years as Province Leader of the Christian Brothers in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Papua New Guinea and is currently Executive Officer of the National Committee for Professional Standards – a committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops and the Australian Leaders of Religious Institutes.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.