American Ambassador visits Notre Dame

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 10-4-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



American study abroad (SA) students at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle met United States (US) ambassador, Mr Robert McCallum recently to discuss the experience of living and studying in Western Australia.

Mr McCallum came to Notre Dame while visiting Perth to meet with representatives of the five Western Australian Universities. He also took the opportunity to greet the SA students and spend some time discussing what it means for them to be studying in Australia and representing their country.

He exhorted them to make the most of the time they had in Australia. He spoke of the great diversity in the make-up of people in the US – the person from Rhode Island being different from the one from New York and different again to someone from Oregon – and that this diversity meant they could make a great contribution to life on campus.

“You are all ambassadors for America. Be confident to be yourself, study hard, play hard and enjoy the experience – and make sure you take an active interest in as much of the culture as you can – even the ‘organised mayhem’ of Australian Rules,” said Mr McCallum.

He also noted there were many similarities with speaking the same language. He was impressed the students took aboriginal studies as a class at Notre Dame and said it would help them to recognise issues their own indigenous people faced back home.

A political science SA student thanked the ambassador and commented on how valuable he was finding his experience in Australia, particularly in the sense of gaining a different perspective on world politics from a non-superpower. The Ambassador added that Australia was of a country which had great influence for good in the world to a degree that was astonishing given the size of its population.

Students from different Catholic Universities in the United States come to Notre Dame every semester to study and experience Australian life and culture. While here they take classes in Aboriginal studies and Australian history, and spend time on the Broome campus and visiting Aboriginal communities.