UNDA Education graduate receives scholarship in honour of Priest's life long passion

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 31-12-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



Involvement in community life, excellent academic results and commitment to the ideals of Catholic Education were just some of the outstanding attributes Education graduate and mother of three, Rita Piras, demonstrated to receive the Catholic Education Office’s (CEO) Father John Therry Scholarship.

Rita, 2009 Valedictorian and Education graduate from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus was awarded the need based scholarship which was created in honour of the lifelong work and passion of Fr John Therry (1790- 1864).

Arriving in Australia May 1820, Fr Therry worked enthusiastically and tirelessly over 40 years with settlers and convicts, laying the foundations of the Catholic Church in Sydney.

This scholarship is designed to help students who are dedicated to the future of Catholic education, offering financial support for two years of their training and helping them with employment after graduation in schools within the Catholic Education system.

Rita said it was after being actively involved as a Catechist, whilst her children were at school, that it became clear her path lay in educating young students in their faith and education.

“My passion and commitment for teaching religion has led me on this current course and I am pleased with my results. It is a lifelong commitment that I share with many graduating teachers.

“Receiving the Fr John Therry Scholarship has meant a great deal to me as it has acknowledged the hard work and dedication I have put into my studies. I am honoured to have been chosen as a recipient for this particular scholarship as it focuses on religious commitment and identity within the community,” said Rita.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Hayden Ramsay said, “At Notre Dame we strive to provide a tertiary education within the context of Catholic faith and values. I am very pleased Rita will continue this work through her commitment to educating young people in their faith with the CEO.”

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407