Honorary awards

Sister Margaret Mary McGovern RSM AO

At a conferring of degrees ceremony held in the Great Hall on 5 June 1996, the honorary degree of Doctor of Social Work was conferred upon Sister Margaret Mary McGovern RSM AO.

Sister McGovern, MS Columbia DipPrimaryHealthAdmin McGilll GradDipTheol Sydney Theological Union BA DipSW Sydney was retired Executive Director of the Mercy Family Centre.

Margaret Mary McGovern RSM AO

Margaret Mary McGovern RSM AO, photo, 'The University of Sydney News', 18 July 1996.


A lifelong commitment to the disadvantaged has earned social worker Margaret McGovern an honorary doctorate from Sydney University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Derek Anderson said Sister McGovern, a Mercy nun, had shown how creative social work contributed to social justice and change.

''As a graduate of this University, she has made an outstanding contribution to the well-being of Australian society," he said, "exemplifying the view of social work espoused by the University: the application of relevant theory to practice,
and an ability to relate the practice ... to [a] policy framework."

Margaret McGovern entered the Religious Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in 1955, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Social Work in 1962, and in 1970 obtaining a Master of Science from Columbia University.

Sister McGovern has held senior positions at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, and was Executive Director of the Mercy Family Centre. She transformed the Order's foundling home at
Waitara into a modern community-oriented welfare service.

She has also worked with the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Commonwealth Industrial Commission and the Australian National Council on AIDS and is a member of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She was appointed recently to the NSW Government committee investigating the death of young children from abuse and neglect.

From 'The University of Sydney News', 18 July 1996)