ACU awards three outstanding citizens with honorary doctorates

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University is paying tribute to the work of three outstanding people with an honorary doctorate presented at graduation ceremonies in Sydney and Melbourne. 
 Bishop Anbar Suriel PhD, and Mr Julian McMahon receiving his honorary doctorate.

The University’s highest honour is bestowed on these three people to acknowledge their enormous service to the community.
 Sister Anne Gardiner fdnsc AM
Mr Julian McMahon AC, Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)
Awarded at ACU’s spring graduation ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday 10 October 2017

Throughout his career as a barrister and, even more importantly, as a human rights advocate, Julian has defended the right to life with unfailing courage and enormous selflessness. A fierce and formidable opponent of the death penalty, he has drawn on more than 19 years’ experience at the Victorian Bar to represent Australians who have been convicted of crimes overseas and sentenced to death.

Julian is a passionate proponent of ongoing education, and he continues to play a positive role in the lives of Australians, whether at home or abroad, while valiantly defending the universal human right to life.
L-R: Pro Chancellor Julien O’Connell, Julian McMahon AC, and the Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven. 

Bishop Anbar Suriel PhD, Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa)
Awarded at ACU spring graduation ceremony in Melbourne on Tuesday 10 October 2017

From Port Said, Egypt, to Sydney, Australia, to Honolulu, Hawaii, and many locations in between, Bishop Anba Suriel has led a life devoted to Christian values. A strong and influential leader, Bishop Suriel’s involvement in the education of Christian Orthodox communities reflects his deep and heartfelt commitment to the Church and to the importance of theological education.

Bishop Suriel is a leader in growing the Coptic Orthodox Church in Australia. He was the visionary behind the ambition to have St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College in Melbourne accredited as the first Coptic Orthodox Theological College in the modern world.

Sister Anne Gardiner fdnsc AM, Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa)
Awarded at ACU’s spring graduation ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday 5 October 2017

Sister Anne has wholeheartedly devoted her life to teaching at the Tiwi Catholic mission on Bathurst Island for more than five decades. Now 86 years old, Sister Anne continues to live on Bathurst Island, where she has supported Tiwi culture and heritage, enriched the community and contributed to the education of multiple generations.

Sister Anne has maintained the importance of education as a right. She ran the island school for more than four decades, teaching multiple generations of Tiwi children.

Though English only was originally taught in the school, it eventually became bilingual with the help of Sister Tess Ward, who contributed to learning the Tiwi language and translating it into English. Since then, Sister Anne has continued that mission of linguistic and cultural preservation by establishing the Tiwi Heritage Museum, known as Patakijiyali, on the island.
 Sister Anne Gardiner fdnsc AM, middle.
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