A farewell to Notre Dame's founding Chancellor

01 May 2020

Founding Chancellor of The University of Notre Dame Australia, eminent member of the Western Australian legal profession and prominent figure in the AFL world Terry O'Connor passed away on Saturday 25 April at the age of 82.

Mr O'Connor dedicated over three decades of his life to build up Notre Dame and played an essential part in the University's development, serving as Chancellor from 1990 to 2004. During this time, the University grew to boast a cohort of over 5,000 students.

In December 2017, in recognition of his service to Notre Dame and the wider community, the University bestowed on him its highest honour, an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Mr O'Connor was an eminent member of the Western Australian legal profession. He was made QC in 1987 and was also Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission from 1987 to 2003.

His contribution to the community also extended to football as Chairman of the West Coast Eagles Club from 1988 to 1993 and AFL Commissioner from 1993 to 2001. Other areas of service included St John of God Healthcare, Chairman of John XXIII College from 1978 to 1992 and other areas of business including finance and mining sectors. In 2006 he received an Order of Australia for his service to the community in these various roles.

A funeral mass was held on Friday 1 May in the Holy Spirit Chapel on Notre Dame's Fremantle Campus, followed by a guard of honour along Croake Street.

Vice Chancellor Professor Francis Campbell said Mr O'Connor was a man of strong faith and values who was dedicated to his family.

"The University extends its prayers and condolences to the O’Connor family, particularly his wife Annabel and children Dimity and Simon. As a University community, we mourn Terry’s passing and will be forever grateful for his service, kindness and commitment as one of our founders. May he rest in peace," Professor Campbell said.


Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 | breyon.gibbs@nd.edu.au