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Susan Pascoe accepts her honorary doctorate from ACU Chancellor Martin Daubney (ACU)

Susan Pascoe has accepted an Honorary Doctorate from Australian Catholic University, conferred in recognition of her years of service in Australia and overseas in the fields of education, public administration, charity, religion, and community.

The distinguished educator and former commissioner received a Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa) before 207 ACU graduates at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday.

Ms Pascoe had an unconventional evolution from teacher to award-winning commissioner. Her career has seen her take on varied roles, including becoming the first lay woman director of Catholic Education in the Melbourne Archdiocese, and the only female commissioner on the royal commission investigating the devastating Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

She was also inaugural commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission between 2012 and 2017, and commissioner for the State Services Authority from 2006 to 2008.

Her most recent appointment was to the Vatican, as a member of two groups supporting the planning and preparation of the global Synod on Synodality.

In congratulating Ms Pascoe, ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Zlatko Skrbis said her service to Australia and the Church was admirable, rare, and deserved to be honoured.

“Susan has devoted much of her life to the pursuit of knowledge and the common good, and we applaud the commitment, passion and integrity that she continues to display,” Professor Skrbis said.

“Among her many contributions over the years, Susan has also served as a director on a number of boards, including on the Senate of Australian Catholic University from 2001 until 2009, serving our university with the same spirit and energy with which she has undertaken all of her endeavours.”


Susan Pascoe AM accepts Honorary Doctorate from ACU