Notre Dame honours scholarship donors

05 November 2019

The University of Notre Dame Australia recently brought scholarship donors and recipients together for the first time at special event on the Sydney campus, highlighting the positive impact philanthropic initiatives have on the lives and academic pursuits of students.

In an opening address, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Margot Kearns, quoted Nelson Mandela’s words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Access to education through scholarship funding has certainly changed the lives of students at Notre Dame, who might have otherwise struggled to cover the costs of their studies and who have gone on to do great things in their careers. Professor Kearns described scholarships as “gifts that keep giving”, in that they empower students to educate themselves in ways that allow them to then go out and serve the community. One example she shared was the story of a nursing student named Ruth, who was awarded a scholarship in 2006. Ruth was returning to Sydney having spent seven years in Nigeria, where her family did missionary work. Ruth graduated three years later with the University Medal and went on to do Honours. “She then did midwifery and worked for 10 years in south-western Sydney,” said Professor Kearns. “And that gift of the scholarship she received keeps on giving because we have recently recruited her and she’s now back at Notre Dame teaching the next generation of students.”

There are many stories like Ruth’s and the support that our industry partners and donors make to the University is invaluable. In 2019, the University established four new scholarships, including the DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club Scholarship, In Sport Scholarship, Trophy Land Scholarship and Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT Scholarship.

Chairman of DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club, John Munce, was delighted to meet law student David Daniel, one of the recipients of a DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club Scholarship. “We are very excited and proud to be part of the University through these new scholarships,” he said. Part of the organisation’s commitment to serve the community lies in supporting projects that promote educational opportunities or address barriers in education, training and employment. “At DOOLEYS we believe in supporting people through their educational journeys and that’s why we are honoured to be able to provide scholarship funding for students at this university,” said Mr Munce. “Sometimes a little lift in life goes a long way and students certainly benefit from that with their studies… To all the scholarship recipients here today, I applaud your academic endeavours and encourage you to keep moving forward and learning.”

David Daniel, who is currently in his first year of a Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) and a carer for his mother, said the impact of the scholarship he received has been great. “As a full-time law student, study is always demanding and it’s very difficult to work at the same time. The expense of text books and travelling to and from university add up, and this scholarship has assisted me to meet my academic needs,” he said, adding that he felt privileged to represent the scholarship recipients at the event. “We are striving to be the best students we can be so that one day we may reflect the goodness we have been shown here back to the community.”

The University’s Director of Advancement and Alumni, Byron Barnes, concluded the morning tea by thanking supporters and students alike. “You’ve reminded me why I do this work and why I enjoy being part of the University. What we’ve seen today is a powerful example of the positive impact of philanthropy. Part of the reason why I serve at Notre Dame is because we make such a transformative difference to the lives of the students on campus. There’s an authenticity between the staff, the students, and today, the supporters, which is unique to Notre Dame Australia.”

For more information about our scholarships or how to become a donor, contact Joshua Kim on (02) 8204 4652 or email

Caption: Scholarship recipient, David Daniel, and Chairman of DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club, John Munce.

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