Cardinal Pell was a key figure of the Australian Catholic Church, the international Catholic Church and was fundamentally involved in the establishment of Australian Catholic University (ACU). Since the 1970s Cardinal Pell held more than 20 significant leadership positions in Catholic higher education in Australia.
Cardinal Pell was a member of the Amalgamation Implementation Committee which established ACU, was appointed as its Foundation Pro-Chancellor and served as President of the ACU Corporation. He also served as Rector of Aquinas College in Ballarat, President of the Institute of Catholic Education in Victoria, Rector of Corpus Christi College, Clayton, Founder of the Melbourne session of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Chancellor of the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and a Co-Founder of the Sydney campuses of the University of Notre Dame Australia.
In 2015, ACU conferred an honorary doctorate on Cardinal Pell for a lifetime of outstanding contribution to the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally, to ACU and the advancement of Catholic higher education in Australia, and to the Catholic intellectual tradition.
ACU Chancellor, the Honourable Martin Daubney AM KC, said that Cardinal Pell was a central figure in the formation and foundation of the university.
“From the time of its inception, Cardinal Pell maintained a deep and abiding interest in ACU. The Church and its institutions in Australia and abroad are indebted to Cardinal Pell for his leadership and contribution to our community. His death will be felt by many in the Australian church and the wider community. We join with all people of faith in praying for the repose of his soul.”
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis said that Cardinal Pell had played a significant role in bringing the founding colleges together to establish the university
“As Foundation Pro-Chancellor, Cardinal Pell was instrumental in ensuring that ACU was set up for success. He was extraordinarily generous in lending his expertise to ACU. I regularly had the benefit of his advice, which was always thoughtful and always greatly valued.”
With thanks to ACU.