26 January 2015

Decades spent improving education in Western Australia and across the country has been recognised with former National Catholic Education Commission chair Therese Temby today being named an officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO).

Mrs Temby had a long and distinguished career in education – as a teacher, a librarian, a finance officer, a state Catholic education director, a National Catholic Education Commissioner and as chair of the NCEC for five years, from 2008 to 2013. While her work covered both government and Catholic education, Mrs Temby was involved with the Catholic school system for almost 40 years.

“Looking through its history in Australia, few lay people have had an impact on Catholic education as profound as Therese has had,” said current NCEC chair, the Hon. Greg Crafter AO.

“Therese represents that changing face of Catholic education, with lay people carrying on a proud tradition that was established by religious sisters and brothers in the first half of the 19th century. Catholic schools are now as strong as they have ever been, thanks in no small part to Therese’s work and that of her colleagues around the country.”

Mr Crafter said Mrs Temby’s ability to form strong relationships and her detailed and comprehensive knowledge of funding and education policy set her apart as an education leader.

Mrs Temby continues to serve the Church in Australia as a trustee of St John of God Health Care, Inc. She has also served as a governor of the University of Notre Dame and as chair of the Curriculum Council in Western Australia.

“While we in Catholic education are proud of what she was able to achieve, her expertise has been rightly recognised by people in other parts of the education system and in other spheres,” said Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, chairman of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education. “Today, it’s been recognised with a fitting Australia Day honour.”

Bishop O’Kelly said Mrs Temby’s appointment as an officer of the Order of Australia follows her recognition in 2013 with the papal honour of Dame Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great, one of the highest honours in the Catholic Church.

Mrs Temby’s recognition is prominent among a list of Australia Day honours bestowed on people involved in Catholic education.

“The Catholic school system can only achieve excellence and equity in education because of the commitment and dedication of people like Therese,” Bishop O’Kelly said.

“I salute those recognised today, and all those who make Catholic education great.”