Bachelor of Nursing graduate Christine Shanahan has been named the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) 2018 Alumni of the Year during an awards ceremony in Sydney on Thursday 29 November 2018.
Christine has worked in Sydney hospitals, but has also treated sexual violence victims in Sudan, diagnosed diseases from a tin shed in Timor Leste, opened a pharmacy in post-Soviet Turkmenistan and nursed her way around a series of Australian outback hospitals.
After settling back home in Sydney, she unexpectedly changed direction and began working in palliative care, where she says she has found her calling.
Christine was also named the winner of the ACU’s 2018 Community Engagement Award, which acknowledges a significant contribution to the wellbeing of others through community and humanitarian service.
In an ACU video, Christine details the most rewarding part of her work in Sudan. “After the initial crisis where two to three children were dying a day, was at the fifth month, coming into the camp we opened up and it was nearly deserted, because the kids has got into the feeding programs and the death rate had decreased so dramatically, they didn’t need all that space.”
“My advice to anyone taking on nursing is you can do it and you can succeed and go on to do great things,” Christine said.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said the awards were a celebration of the many ways in which ACU graduates have made a difference to their communities locally and globally.
“The awards recognise the contributions our alumni have made to the University’s Mission, through their professional, academic, community and research achievements.
“We are not just a bricks and mortar institution, we are a tightknit family with a shared vision for making positive change and creating opportunities in our communities.
“I congratulate them for making an impact and bringing about change in other people’s lives with passion, commitment and integrity.”
Ruby Warber, who holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical), was named the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award winner, which recognises an outstanding contribution to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and made a difference in strengthening cultural connections respecting traditional rights, values and cultural heritage.
Winner of the International Contribution Award was Peter Suka Ririma, who holds a Bachelor of Counselling. His award recognises and honours the outstanding achievements of an international member of the ACU alumni community who has realised distinction in their chosen professional field or within the International or Australian community.
The Young Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Caity Little, who holds a Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine. Caity left her job at Ambulance Victoria to pursue her dream of working with Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs. Caity believes that working for St John Ambulance NT in the outback is an experience like nowhere else.
With thanks to ACU