Tribute to Tim Fischer AC

Australian Catholic University (ACU) staff, students and community acknowledge the passing of former Deputy Prime Minister and first residential Australian ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer AC.

Mr Fischer devoted his life to public service as a soldier, politician, ambassador and patron, and established an equally distinguished life as a farmer, author, broadcaster and consultant. 

He served for 30 years in politics, including as leader of the National Party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade in the coalition from 1996. He then represented Australia as its ambassador to the Vatican, where he was closely involved in the canonisation of Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop.

After this he went on to become advisor, a consultant and a member of boards that reflect his diverse interests, including “the three Ts: transport, tourism and trade”.

ACU honoured Mr Fischer with an honorary doctorate in 2013 in recognition of his distinguished career in Australian State and Federal Parliaments and a lifetime of outstanding public service in the interests of the common good.

Two years later he delivered the inaugural Mary Glowrey Lecture at our Melbourne Campus in a speech that commemorated the life and work of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ, the first nun-doctor and the second Australian on the official path to canonisation.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said Mr Fischer was a great leader and mentor for his peers, constituents and the nation.

“Tim led by example through his considerable contributions to public life, commercial associations and in the private sphere. The nation owes him a great debt for his sound judgement and guidance. On behalf of ACU, I would like to extend condolences to his family.”

Memorial Masses are being held on all ACU campuses this week, as follows:

Ballarat: Wednesday at 12pm

Brisbane: Wednesday at 12pm

Canberra: Thursday at 12. 30pm

Melbourne: Wednesday 12pm

North Sydney: Wednesday 12pm

Strathfield: Wednesday 12pm

Chancellor The Hon John Fahey AC, who served alongside Mr Fischer in government will be attending the state funeral on Thursday in Albury.

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