ACU welcome reception for Chancellor John Fahey and Archbishop Anthony Fisher

Published: Monday 11th May 2015

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven welcomed Mr Fahey, who has been a public figure for more than 30 years and “has shown exemplary leadership and integrity in vastly different fields”.

“He has had a stellar political career, contributed extensively to business and industry growth, and his impact on the sporting world is unquestionable,” Prof Craven said.

“I am extremely pleased that Mr Fahey will be with us not only to celebrate the achievements of the past, but to work with us as we transition from a university that has aimed for and reached ambitious targets, to one that is comprehensively embedding excellence.”

In welcoming Archbishop Fisher,  Mr Fahey said  ACU was excited by his vision for the Church in Sydney and his commitment to playing a part in helping to achieve it.

Australian Catholic University belongs to the Church and we hope you will think of us as one of the major resources at your disposal as you implement your vision,” Mr Fahey said.

“ACU's mission is a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good, within the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Among other things this means educating  our students to be skilled in their chosen fields, ethical in their behaviour, with a developed critical habit of mind, an appreciation of the sacred in life and a commitment to serving the common good.”

Archbishop Fisher said he started an academic career as a lecturer at ACU and knows first-hand how the university can make a real and meaningful impact on Australian life.

 “I remember one of my nursing students, whom I taught nursing ethics, making the national media,” he said.

“She went out well and truly on a limb to defend old people in the nursing home she was working in who were being mistreated.

“When pressed on why she was doing this at great risk to her career, she said: ‘I went to ACU and I just know it is not ethical’.  Nothing could make a teacher prouder ... when someone was willing to put their career on the line for what was true.”

Archbishop Fisher said he looked forward to a very close collaboration with the university, “recalling my earlier days a scholar priest and now returning to a new collaboration”.