Sydney Campus welcomes its 'Friends' at a Notre Dame Community Breakfast

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 18-4-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia has welcomed individuals and businesses who have offered the University their continued support with a ‘Friends of the University’ breakfast held on the Sydney Campus.

Associate Professor Sonja Holm, Executive Director, Admissions and Student Services, said the event provided Notre Dame the opportunity to thank the friends of the University for their continued support.

“The Sydney Campus is now in its seventh year of operation. We’ve come a long way since 2006, with our student body growing 942 per cent since the Campus first opened its doors,” Associate Professor Holm said.

“I am so proud to walk onto this Campus in the morning before I start my work. It is an incredibly beautiful Campus and the buzz the students bring to this space is exciting. But it’s not just the students and staff that make this place special; it’s also the trustees, governors, directors and friends of the university who make up the fabric of our community.”

Two guest speakers addressed the attendees. Notre Dame Governor, CEO, Point Capital Pty Ltd. and previous Chairman of Macquarie Capital Advisors, John Prendiville provided the audience with an entertaining and informative snapshot of trends playing out in the Australian and global economy.

A range of global insights were shared by Mr Prendiville, with guests being treated to a round-table discussion to conclude the presentation.

John McCaughan, a second-year Bachelor of Arts student then shared his journey to tertiary education. Mr McCaughan was recently presented with the 2011 Cardinal Pell Prize, which is awarded to the Notre Dame student who, in the previous year, achieved the best performance in a Core Curriculum Unit.

Mr McCaughan said enrolling at Notre Dame after four years away from academia changed his life.

“On my birthday, March 13 2010, I injured my back so severely that it rendered me incapable of walking. For one month I lay in bed, bereft of the ability to work, to play sport and to live my life,” Mr McCaughan said.

“Medical advice at the time was that the damage was permanent. However, there was one more move I could make; enrol at Notre Dame and study. I still remember quite vividly my interview with Dr John Rees. My marks from my previous studies were not flattering, however, he ignored that and said something I will never forget. ‘It takes great courage, John, to come back from where you have been. On the basis of this I am recommending that this University accept you.’ It was there that my hope for success in academia began.”

“I love this University for what it stands for. I love this University for looking at the heart of a man and not just seeing a student as a number. I love this University because it gives people like me a second chance; a chance to endeavour,” Mr McCaughan said.

To enquire about becoming a ‘Friend of the University’ please contact Associate Professor Sonja Holm on sonja.holm@nd.edu.au

For further information please contact: Communications Officer, Elizabeth Fenech

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

T: 02 8204 4407

E: elizabeth.fenech@nd.edu.au

W: www.nd.edu.au/