Only days after Mary MacKillop was declared a saint, Professor Faith Trent AM, FACE from Flinders University has been awarded the prestigious Mary MacKillop Medal by the Australian College of Educators (ACE) SA Branch in recognition of her valuable contribution to education.
As a champion of social justice, Mary MacKillop was one of Australia’s greatest educational innovators. In her honour, in 2004, the South Australian Chapter of ACE established the Mary MacKillop Medal that is awarded to an exceptional educator every 2 years.
“The SA Branch of the College is delighted to present the Mary MacKillop Medal to Professor Trent who has demonstrated many of the same qualities and the same commitment and passion to education as Mary MacKillop,” President of the SA Chapter of ACE, Ms Mary Asikas, said.
“This award is all the more significant being made in the same year that Mary MacKillop was declared a saint. On behalf of the College and its members, I congratulate Professor Trent and extend my thanks to her for the significant contribution she has made to education, ” Ms Asikas said.
The Australian College of Educators is the only national professional association that represents educators across all sectors and systems. Since its establishment over 50 years ago, the College has championed good education and outstanding educators. Mary MacKillop has always been recognised by the College as a dominant figure in the early history of South Australian education for her work in providing education to underprivileged children.
Professor Trent is the fourth recipient of the Mary MacKillop Medal and has had a major influence on South Australian education in her various roles at Flinders University. She is currently Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities, Law and Theology. She holds a Chair in Education in the field of Curriculum. Professor Trent is immediate past President of the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH), a position she held from 2006 to 2009 and is currently an executive member of the Council of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS).
She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for service to education as an academic, as a contributor in the area of educational reform, and to the community, particularly in the areas of Indigenous and Multicultural Affairs. In 2007, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Australian College of Educations for distinctive contributions to educational leadership at a national, state and institutional level.
Professor Trent said she was, “Greatly honoured to be selected as a recipient of this prestigious award.”
“Education is one of the ways in which the circumstances of people’s lives can be bettered. It opens new worlds and opportunities for all- regardless of age, sex, ethnic origin and circumstances of birth,” Professor Trent said.
“It is essential for communities, particularly Indigenous and refugee communities to have an education which enables them and the individuals within them to have access to improved living standards. I have been fortunate to have been able to play a small role in shaping directions in education,” she said.