ACU to honour tireless aged care advocate

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Sydney, 7 May 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) will award respected aged care advocate Susanne Macri AM with its highest honour, Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa), at its Sydney ceremony for graduating Health Sciences students tomorrow.

More than 500 students from ACU’s North Sydney (MacKillop) and Strathfield (Mount Saint Mary) Campuses will graduate at the Sydney Town Hall ceremony, with Ms Macri providing the occasional address to graduates.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO said that the increased public awareness of the needs of ageing Australians could be attributed in large part to Ms Macri.

“It is because of tireless campaigners like Sue Macri that our society is beginning to heed the call to provide more suitable living conditions for its growing aged population and affirm the dignity of our community’s elderly,” Professor Sheehan said.

“Starting out as a hospital-trained nurse and midwife, Sue moved into a number of senior roles including Executive Director of the Australian Nursing Homes and Extended Care Association, a position she held for 13 years. These were years of tireless lobbying to both politicians and the general public, but Sue’s quest to have a genuine societal need acknowledged has resulted in real changes to aged care standards and accreditation in this country.

“Sue is also a passionate advocate for quality nursing education and this has seen her appointed to the joint ministerial National Review of Nursing Education, and subsequently to the National Nursing and Education Taskforce. As further testament to her standing in the community, Sue will receive official recognition as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia the day after she receives her Honorary Doctorate from ACU.”

Also receiving Honorary Doctorates tomorrow are former New South Wales Premier’s Department head Gerald Gleeson AC KCSG and theologian Reverend Dr John Thornhill SM. Mr Gleeson and Dr Thornhill will receive their awards at the Arts & Sciences and Education graduation ceremonies respectively.

ACU’s North Sydney and Strathfield Campuses have a combined enrolment of more than 3,700 students. The North Sydney Campus offers academic programs in nursing, business, information systems and environmental science, while the Strathfield Campus offers academic programs in arts, education, exercise science, social work and theology.

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.