2014 Margaret Balint Awards

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015

The Margaret Balint Award for Service to the University is presented annually to one or more staff members in New South Wales in recognition of their personal contributions to the University. These contributions are considered to be beyond the normal contract of engagement and have been recognised by their peers as significantly enhancing the life of the University community.

Margaret Balint joined the Catholic College of Education at Castle Hill in 1976 after many years of teaching at Sydney Teachers College. The current strength of the University’s undergraduate and post graduate primary education owes a great deal to Margaret’s work and vision.

In 2014 the Margaret Balint Award Committee received some outstanding nominations. The decision was made to recognise a staff member on each of the Sydney Campuses for this award. Senior lecturer of Visual Arts, Lachlan Warner, at Strathfield Campus and Senior lecturer of Nursing, Dr Cindy Leigh, at North Sydney Campus were both honoured with the award for 2014.

Lachlan Warner has been working at the Strathfield campus for nearly 10 years and was recognised for his outstanding work with the McGlade Gallery, his ongoing relationship with the Sisters of St Joseph and his consistency in extending the arm of ACU not only in the local area but on the international stage. His work with the Thai-Burma project, the Venice Study Program and his work in the local Strathfield area was particularly noted.

Lachlan's work with the Sisters of St Joseph includes working to catalogue their collection of indigenous art and curating two exhibitions involving their collection. The recent Art from the Kimberleys exhibition and the highly successful Gifts of the Artists exhibition have helped strengthen the University's relationship with the Sisters of St Joseph and the indigenous communities of the Kimberley region.

His initiation and thoughtful organisation of the Venice Study program in 2013 whereby 20 students travelled to Italy for the Venice Biennale to study Art history and Theory (ARTS 331) was highly successful. Students returning from this study were empowered by the visit, highly motivated about their study at ACU and confident about their future prospects.

Lachlan's commitment to students' studies and personal concerns has been exemplary, his generosity of time, his insights and care helps to strengthen students' experience towards their successful outcomes at ACU.

Dr Cindy Leigh started as a lecturer in the School of Nursing in 1990 and served on several academic and administrative positions before she was appointed Head of Nursing (NSW) in 1999. Her extraordinary vision guided the School of Nursing (NSW) through their early stages as an independent educational unit to a nationally highly acclaimed School.

Cindy inspired and supported staff to be involved in the initial Virtual Health Environment program and was also involved in the establishment of state-of-the-art simulation wards. What has been initiated in MacKillop Campus has been carried on and further expanded in other campuses.

In the last six years Cindy has been Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing (NSW) and has recently volunteered to be involved as Campus Leader and tutor in the Core Curriculum program, as well as being engaged in community engagement activities through the ACU-IACE program in Timor Leste.

Her tireless effort to reach out and her interpersonal abilities as a figurehead and liaison person opened many doors for professional exchanges and international nursing student training for ACU.

Cindy's outstanding vision and inspiration for nursing contributed to ACU and the School of Nursing (NSW) to become a model for progressive and responsible nursing education in national and international arenas.

I would like to congratulate both Lachlan and Cindy on this well-deserved honour.


Professor Marea Nicholson

Associate Vice-Chancellor (Sydney)