Flinders pays homage to Faith Trent

Faith pic 2 2008
Emeritus Professor Faith Trent

That’s an important part of being successful, to actually grab stuff with both hands and take the risk.”  – Faith Trent

Flinders University will host a commemorative service to pay tribute to former Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities, Law and Theology, Emeritus Professor Faith Trent.

It will be held at 2pm at the Matthew Flinders Theatre at Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus on Friday 19 February.

Please register your interest at the link here.

As an academic and educational leader, Professor Trent is remembered for the energy, candour, and can-do approach she brought to her long and distinguished career.

Born to educated refugee parents, attending university was always her expectation despite it being unusual for women of the era in Australia.

Although she failed her first year “quite stunningly”, the determination she described as “bloody mindedness” saw her complete a Science degree with majors in English and geography, while working as a teacher.

Faith went on to forge a notable career as a secondary and tertiary educator in Australia and abroad, and drove influential research in areas such as the education of boys, the impact of technology on learning, and problem-based learning.

Her many awards include the Order of Australia (2003) and Australian College of Education MacKillop Medal (2010). She was also awarded an Honorary degree (D. Litt) by Flinders in 2011.

After retiring from Flinders, Faith worked as an education consultant and was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England from April 2014 until July 2015.

Executive Dean of Education, Humanities and Law, Professor Richard Maltby, says Faith Trent was recognised for her outstanding service to the peak body DASSH (Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities).

Acknowledged for her boundless energy, sense of fun and fondness for robust discussion, Professor Trent was generous with her time and interest in the lives of her colleagues, having a special interest in supporting women and younger staff into leadership roles.

She was a force to be reckoned with among our sector and will be much missed, Professor Maltby says.

“Faith was an indomitable champion of education, of the Faculty, and of Flinders,” he says.

“She was also a friend, a mentor and an inspiration to many people at Flinders and far beyond, and everyone who knew her will miss her warmth, her vitality, her forthright clarity and her unquenchable generosity of spirit.”

Faith is survived by her two sons, Morgan and Farron, who cordially invite family, friends and colleagues to the memorial gathering.

Selfless to the last, Professor Trent requested that her body be donated to science.

For more on the rich life of Emeritus Professor Faith Trent, please see the website here.



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8 thoughts on “Flinders pays homage to Faith Trent

  1. An educator and leaders who always questioned and pushed the boundaries of whatever policy and practice environment she was working in; also a tireless advocate for a fair go for all. She will be greatly missed.

  2. My deepest condolences to those who are most affected by Faith’s passing both within the Flinders community and her family and friends.

    Working with Faith on occasion was both a privilege and an experience I will always remember fondly.

    Professor Maltby’s words are so beautiful and capture the essence of my experiences with Faith, especially his reference to her humour and her generosity of spirit. Faith had a giant spirit and was generous to a fault in all of my dealings with her.

    Sending kind thoughts and strength to those struggling with this news.

  3. Very sad. My condolences to family and close friends. Faith was a very supportive colleague and always treated others with great respect. Vale Faith!

  4. I have only just heard of Faith’s death. A woman of great vigour, spirit, warmth, and tenacity, who questioned everything that was put before her through a filter of social justice and equity. She gave so generously of her time to mentor many – women and men – and was always available to give support, advice, and active help to her huge circle of friends and colleagues. Faith seemed to squeeze more hours out of a day than anyone I’ve ever known. I am sad for her sons, and for the people who were very close to her, and with whom she may have shared the recent developments with her health. Flinders needs to find a way to honour the memory of this most energetic and significant member of its community.

  5. I am truly saddened to hear of Faith Trent’s death. She was one of the very first people to greet me with open arms and very real sincerity when I joined Flinders Uni as the Executive Dean of Health Sciences in April, 2004. We remained great friends during my tenure and for many years after, even though we also had many a fierce tussle over matters involving inter-faculty politics. I had great respect for her intellectual strength and ferocious integrity, but my lasting feeling is that she was a great mentor to me and to so very many others inside and outside the University.

    I, with a legion of others, will sorely miss her vitality, generosity and strength of character.

  6. This unexpected news has saddened me greatly. Faith and I crossed paths many times over the years and I was fond of her as well as respecting greatly all of the attributes recognised by others. I feel her loss both personally and to the community of higher education.

  7. Deeply saddened to hear of Faith’s death. She was a great friend and supporter of the Women’s Studies program at Flindefs and a wonderful mentor to me. She encouraged me to look beyond the horizon and to plan research projects that would make a difference rather than repeat what was already there. Her great humour and boundless confidence were a signal part of her character. My condolences to her family. She will be greatly missed and always warmly remembered. Lyndall Ryan

  8. Faith was an amazingly strong, feisty and committed woman. She believed completely in the importance of equity in education opportunity and in the centrality of social justice to University life. She was a very strong supporter of other women in the University. I benefited from her encouragement and support as a younger member of the academic staff. I also enjoyed spending time with Faith and discussing contemporary issues. She had a wonderful sense of humour and a very sharp and quick wit. May she rest in peace.

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