The Vice-Chancellor and President has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contributions to education, the Church and the law.
Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Greg Craven, has been named in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List, which was announced on Thursday 26 January.
Professor Craven was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the General Division within the Australian honours system, in recognition of his “distinguished service to tertiary education through leadership and representational roles with a range of institutions, to the Catholic Church in Australia, and to constitutional law”.
Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens through The Order of Australia Awards. Officers in the General Division are awarded for “distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or humanity at large”.
Professor Craven said he was “very humbled and honoured” to receive an Order of Australia Award, and said it was a credit to the work and enterprise of all the staff at ACU.
“I don’t see this as a personal award but as one really recognising what all my colleagues at ACU have achieved over the last decade,” Professor Craven said.
He noted that the award highlighted two of his great passions; the law and education and that “It’s very nice that the citation mentions constitutional law. It reminds me of when I used to have academic credibility”.
Chancellor of ACU, The Hon. John Fahey AC, said the award provided important recognition of the significant contribution Professor Craven has made to Australian life.
“This is a great honour that reflects Greg Craven’s commitment to public service and his embodiment of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Throughout his career he has consistently provided expertise in legal, political and academic fields; and demonstrated educational leadership in Australia and internationally,” Mr Fahey said.
Professor Craven has overseen; the expansion of the University to more than 30,000 students and more than 2,000 staff; a comprehensive restructure, including the creation of seven new research institutes; the creation of two new campuses in Adelaide and Rome; and the growth of existing campuses. ACU’s research results have flourished and in 2015, according to the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) results, ACU was recognised as the most improved institution in the country.
Before his appointment to ACU, Professor Craven served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Strategy and Planning, at Curtin University in Western Australia, where he also held the position of Professor of Government and Constitutional Law, having previously served as Executive Director of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy.
Professor Craven was Foundation Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and Reader in Law at the University of Melbourne. He served as Crown Counsel to the Victorian Government from 1992-95.
Professor Craven has written several books and journal articles about Australian government and Federalism; and is a regular commentator on public life through a column he writes for The Australian newspaper and through contributions to Catholic publications.
In 2016, His Holiness, Pope Francis appointed Professor Craven as a Consultor to the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education making him a member of the Vatican dicastery – in one of the nine major departments in the Roman Curia, which oversees more than 1,000 Catholic universities and institutes of higher education in the world. The previous year The Pope appointed him to the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great for services to the Catholic Church in Australia.
ACU is Australia’s only true national university, with campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Ballarat, Adelaide and Rome.