History Made as Two Ex-Students Awarded 2017 OLMC Alumnae Award

Annual Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award.

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L-r: Jenny Da Rin, Jacquie Scott

For the first time in the history of Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta, two women have been awarded the Annual Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award.

Jenny Da Rin and Jacquie Scott accepted their awards at a special College assembly on Tuesday February 20 in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre. They delivered speeches to the students and staff present and participated in a short Q&A session, before being presented with their awards.

Jenny Da Rin (Class of 1981) is currently the Australian High Commissioner to the Republic of Vanuatu. She commenced her three-year term in January 2017 and manages Australia’s diplomatic, trade and development cooperation activities. Jenny has recently been leading Australia’s response to the volcanic eruption on Ambae Island, which has necessitated a full evacuation of the island and displacement of over 11,000 people.

Jacquie Scott (Class of 1975) is a registered nurse whose career in England led her to eventually become Chair of the RCN London Society of Orthopaedics. She has worked with the British Council and supported Palestinian nurses with orthopaedic developments in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. She was responsible for establishing the first Dip HE in Ortho and Trauma at Oxford University and also for setting up the first Bone Infection Unit in the UK. Jacquie has worked in a number of management roles in the NHS such as Director of Nursing, Director of Strategy and Planning and Chief Executive.

Principal Stephen Walsh said the winners were a testament to the quality of a Mercy Education at OLMC Parramatta: “Both women have pursued excellence in their own ways and are brilliant examples of living a life inspired by the Mercy Values and Sisters of Mercy Founder, Catherine McAuley!”

Jenny Da Rin said that she feels there were no glass ceilings at OLMC: “Women of vision like Catherine McAuley, and those who have come after her, are wonderful examples to us all of what one woman with guts and determination can do to change the lives of others. Their stories inspire us to contribute in our own way to make the world a better place. As OLMC prepares to celebrate its 130th anniversary, I am confident that it will continue to strive for excellence and to promote the values that have served us so well. These values have also shaped us and the way we see the world: they have guided me in my work as a diplomat and humanitarian. I am very proud to be an alumnus of OLMC – a Mercy Girl - and to walk in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley.”

Jacquie Scott recalled a strong culture of encouragement at OLMC: “I remember always being encouraged, despite your ability. We were all treated as equals. The school taught me to be kind, thoughtful and to respect everyone.” Jacquie shared some of her life lessons: “Aim to achieve your dreams. Live well – the things we don’t do are what we often regret. Success does not come to you; you have to go and get it. If I am told that I cannot do something it makes me more determined to ensure I can: it’s about building resilience.”

OLMC Parramatta Alumnae President Christine Robertson said the 2017 Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award celebrates two women who have lived the Mercy tradition through service, stewardship, compassion and excellence: “Both women have utilised their fields of employment to develop new programs to empower others.”

Introduced in 2009, the Catherine McAuley OLMC Parramatta Alumnae Award celebrates and acknowledges the great achievements of the OLMC Alumnae community. Nominees are chosen based on a number of criteria such as commitment to social justice activities, personal, academic and professional achievement, leadership, innovation and creativity, community involvement and contribution to Mercy/Christian based activities. Catherine McAuley was the Irish founder of the Sisters of Mercy.

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