Lifetime commitment to shaping Catholic education in Australia rewarded

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 20-2-2013

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia's Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Dr Peter Tannock AM, has been awarded the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Award at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities' (ACCU ) annual meeting held in Washington DC in February 2013.

The prestigious international award is named after Father Hesburgh, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and a legendary figure in Catholic higher education.

Dr Tannock was described as one of the chief architects of the modern Catholic education system in Australia that was established in the 1970s and 1980s. He was cited for his influence in framing Australian education policy.

UNDA's Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, also attended the international gathering. She said she was delighted that Dr Tannock had been recognised as a distinguished leader and visionary in Catholic higher education.

"This is a wonderful and well-deserved acknowledgement of Peter's experience in education, both in Australia and globally," said Professor Hammond.

Dr Peter Tannock's profile Dr Tannock received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Education from the University of Western Australia. He was a teacher and Senior Master in government senior high schools in Western Australia before going to the United States for postgraduate study. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., he returned to the University of Western Australia, where he worked for 10 years as professor, Head of the Department of Education, and Dean of the Faculty. In 1980, he was appointed Chairman of the Australian Schools Commission and in 1985 returned to Perth and became Director of the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia, and Chairman of its Catholic Education Commission. Dr Tannock was one of the founders of The University of Notre Dame Australia. He served on the original Planning Board from 1987 to 1990 and was appointed Vice Chancellor in 1992, a position in which he served for 16 years. Dr Tannock has held fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University, Australian National University, and University of London. He has also been a consultant to the Ford Foundation in New York and a member of the OECD in Paris. He has had many senior roles advising Federal and State governments on major education policy issues, and has had a wide ranging involvement in advising and leading the Church on the structure and direction of its primary, secondary and tertiary education systems. He has four honorary doctorate degrees from United States and Australian universities, and was made a Papal Knight by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

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