Renowned public figures mentor UNDA students

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 4-12-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



The School of Arts and Sciences at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus brought together distinguished guests and graduates from the Arts and Social Sciences at their recent workshop, “What do you do with an Arts Degree?”

Qualifications in the humanities give graduates the knowledge and skills for participating in public and professional life. At the workshop renowned public figures (also members of the School’s Advisory Board) emphasised how Arts students can contribute to society both socially and professionally.

The talks focused on how Notre Dame gives students a strong grounding in the liberal arts and Catholic social values and how this contributes to their degree and future employment.

Speakers included The Hon Greg Donnelly, MLC, State Parliament; Katrina Lee, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Sydney and former Channel Ten News reader and Jack de Groot, Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Australia.

Reflecting on her own experience reporting in Somalia and Rwanda, Katrina Lee talked about the profound social need for journalists who can come to grips with difficult ethical dilemmas. She said Notre Dame, through its liberal arts tradition and core curriculum, provides students with the perfect grounding for this and students should be optimistic about their employment opportunities.

Jack de Groot and Greg Donnelly discussed the pathways that voluntary, community service and advocacy work can open up and urged them to be confident about the contribution they can make to public debate and social change.

2008 Alumni Bec Curry and James Griffin also spoke at the seminar about the success and experience they’ve had since finishing their Arts degree at Notre Dame. Bec focused on her work in immigration and foreign affairs, while James explained how he has come to set up his own online media business.

Executive Dean of Arts and Science, Professor Gerry Turcotte commented on the evening, “This was an important evening for the students. We wanted to let them know that an Arts degree is a premium degree, preparing graduates for major roles in society across a wide range of portfolios, with a real opportunity to contribute to the common good. Having people such as Katrina Lee, Greg Donnelly and Jack de Groot share their experience was inspirational to all of us.”

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407