Brisbane Sister of Mercy, Sr Angela Mary Doyle, honoured by Australia Catholic University

ACU honoured Sr Angela Mary Doyle AO through the conferment of the Award Honorary Doctorate at the ACU Brisbane Graduation Ceremony on Friday 5 May 2017. 

Associate Vice-Chancellor Queensland, Professor Jim Nyland in the ACU staff bulletin referred to her as “a truly remarkable woman who, for those who may be struggling with the term, is the embodiment of ‘impact through empathy.’”

He continued:

“Born in Ireland and relocating to Australia 70 years ago, Sister Angela Mary Doyle has made an impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Brisbane and well beyond.


In addition to her strong sense of justice, Sister Angela Mary is recognised for her unwavering passion, devotion and continued commitment, even in retirement, to the work of the Mater Hospital in Brisbane and health care as a whole.


Her professional journey is characterised by a question she frequently asked herself: “How can I help?” That compassionate question led her to pioneer the establishment of care for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Despite the fear and uncertainty that shrouded the virus in the 1980s, Sister Angela Mary took the initiative, stepping in to work with the Queensland AIDS Council to personally help individuals suffering from the disease. Looking back, she says: “As a Sister of Mercy, I can’t stay silent.” Her interactions with patients led to friendships and spoke volumes to her caring nature.


That characteristic determination to fight for others is an ongoing theme throughout Sister Angela’s distinguished career, which is highlighted by honours including Queenslander of the Year in 1989 and the Australian Achiever Award from the Prime Minister in 1990.


An administrator at the Mater Hospital for 22 years, Sister Angela Mary also served as the Senior Director of Health Services for the Mater Complex until 1993. She filled the role of Executive Director of the Mater Hospitals’ Trust until 1997 and was a Board Member until 2003. The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame inducted her as a member in 2009.


The list of accolades earned throughout her long-running career includes the awarding of an Order of Australia (AO) for service to the community in 1993, the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Charity/Welfare in 2000, and the Premier’s Queensland Greats Award in 2001. She is also the author of a memoir, Mercy, Mater and Me.


Beyond her significant contributions to the Mater Hospital, Sister Angela Mary has demonstrated her commitment to serving the common good for decades. In addition to fostering relationships with the Taiwanese community in Brisbane, she has contributed to the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation and taken an ongoing interest in advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and welfare.


A perpetual student, Sister Angela Mary says: “My life has been one of constant learning.” Reflecting the Catholic intellectual tradition, Sister Angela’s lifelong devotion to service and learning has made a tangible impact on countless lives near and far.”

In her address to the Graduands, Sr Angela Mary said:

“Graduands, today is your day.  Today, you graduate from ACU, your Alma Mater, a University whose Mission Statement has informed all your studies.  It states:

‘Within the Catholic intellect tradition and actin in Truth and Love, Australian Catholic University is committed to the pursuit of Knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.’


Each element of this strong Mission Statement, applies to you even more as you begin your professional lives.


Never stop studying whether it be in your own or another specialty.


Let it be known you are a person of integrity, to whom people can talk without feeling diminished in the process.  Recognise the privilege that is your when you are taken into other people’s trust.  Some situations will pose challenges for you, but you will find strength and power from respectful listening and from being non-judgmental.


It may be that just small acts of daily kindnesses are all that will be asked of most of us.


The Prophet Micah says:


‘And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?’ (Micah 6:8)


Offering us a way of life that will impact the cultural and spiritual lives of our own and future generations.”

Messages to Sr Angela Mary Doyle –



*Images and Message from Associate Vice-Chancellor Queensland

Professor Jim Nyland used with permission.

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