Valyrian steely blue gaze

Photo of ACU Vice Chancellor Queensland Professor Jim Nyland.

Those of us enjoying Game of Thrones this week may have found ourselves ever so slightly transfixed by the sky-blue glare of white walkers, giant bears and resurrected dragons. Sky-blue has always been my colour. Ask any strayed Brighton fan.

Those of us enjoying Game of Thrones this week may have found ourselves ever so slightly transfixed by the sky-blue glare of white walkers, giant bears and resurrected dragons. Sky-blue has always been my colour. Ask any strayed Brighton fan.

Yet even the Night King’s sorcerous sea-stained stare pales into insignificance when compared with the valyrian steely blue gaze of this year’s special guest speaker, Sister Angela Mary Doyle RSM AO, who eyeballed her audience at ACU’s Executive Leadership Retreat in Canberra, leaving them spellbound with one of the most remarkable speeches many of us have ever heard – and we have heard a lot of speeches!  There wasn’t a dry eye - blue, green, brown (and in one or two cases, red) - in the house.  Find out why by reading her speech.

Earlier this year ACU had conferred its highest honour, Doctor of the University, on the diminutive 92 year old at our Graduation Ceremony in Brisbane in recognition of her pioneering work establishing care for people suffering from HIV/AIDS and for her unwavering commitment, even in retirement, to the work of the Mater Hospital in Brisbane. A ‘Queensland Great’ Sister Angela received plaudits from one Australian ex-Prime Minister and two ex-Premiers at this, her third Honorary Doctoral Degree Ceremony - such is her standing in Australia. Not bad for a County Clare girl who left school at 14.  And her advice to us about how we might create impact through empathy?

‘Just go for it.  Decide what it is that you want to do, and just go for it!’

The Vice Chancellor’s outstanding article on the Catholic Church published in The Australian this week concluded with reference to an astute comment made by an Australian politician, ‘if [His Holiness Pope] Francis were eligible to stand for election as President of Australia, he would sweep the field.’

I am equally convinced that if Sister Angela was minded to take on the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and just go for it, she would ascend to the Iron Throne.


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