Cardinal encourages Education students to be 'the best they can be'

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 22-3-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



“You are the key bearers of tradition and knowledge. Your vocation, as future teachers, is to pass this knowledge on to the next generation.”

His Eminence, Cardinal George Pell recently spoke to first year Education students at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus.

During his second annual address the Cardinal reminded students of the task they will have in shaping the future. He encouraged them to be the best teachers they can be.

“Your main focus is to care for each child you are teaching and work towards their development. Content is important but you need to be intelligent, understanding and genuinely interested in your students. You need to be 100% committed to your role as a teacher.

“To earn students’ respect you do the right thing by them, even if it’s unpopular, and not act just to be liked.”

The Cardinal also highlighted the importance of teachers acting as role models to their students. He reflected on his own upbringing, referring to his parents and a particular teacher who was regarded as “tough but fair”.

After the address students were invited to post questions to the Cardinal about his views on education. The topics discussed ranged from mentoring and public school ethics classes to the Church’s impact on primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Acting Dean of Education, Gerald McRae, said Cardinal Pell’s address was important for the students’ understanding of what makes a great teacher.

“Beyond placing our School of Education and University in the context of the Catholic Church in Sydney and Australia, this was an opportunity for the students to hear from a leader with immense experience in teacher education.

“The talk was very relevant for the students as the Cardinal spoke about raising the standard of education in all schools and the need for good new teachers. He challenged them to fulfill this need.”

After his address, the Cardinal mingled with staff and students over morning tea.

Media Contact: Moira Saunders (+61) 2 8204 4407