Professor Celia Hammond has been inaugurated as the third vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia.
The inauguration toook place at a special Mass concelebrated by Perth’s Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey and His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell, a university statement says.
The historical event was witnessed by over 400 guests including members of the Church, Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of the other WA universities and friends of the University.
Professor Hammond is a legal practitioner with experience in private practice in Western Australia. She has held senior leadership, management and teaching positions at Notre Dame for many years.
Cardinal Pell gave the Homily at the Mass. He said the inauguration was a time to celebrate a "changing of the guard" with the new chief executive officer, Celia Hammond.
"We thank God for what has been achieved under the retiring Vice Chancellor, Dr Peter Tannock. God has blessed this university and we pray that it may continue."
In her speech, Professor Hammond spoke of not only the importance of education but also the importance of humanity in the context of knowledge and learning.
"I believe that education is one of the most valuable enabling and empowering opportunities that can be offered to people. However, knowledge and leaning without a context or framework of humanity is hollow. Knowledge without love and respect is not wisdom," Professor Hammond said.
"At Notre Dame we are not simply transmitters of information, creators of knowledge. Our mission will always be to teach and to educate in an environment that encourages people to seek understanding, to seek wisdom, to seek to serve, to seek to live in a way that fulfils everyone's higher purpose."
Professor Hammond succeeded Dr Peter Tannock who retired on July 31 after serving as Vice Chancellor of the University for 16 years.
Archbishop Hickey said, "The handing over of the baton from Dr Tannock to Celia Hammond is a reassurance of continuity of the purpose and goals of our University.
"I have no doubt that the new vice-chancellor will further the work of the university in forming leaders in our community who will offer their skills for the benefit of society within the context of a thoroughly Christian and ethical perspective."
Cardinal George Pell and Archbishop Barry Hickey inaugurate Notre Dame’s new Vice Chancellor (Notre Dame University, Media Release, 6/8/08)