Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray has received the Doctor of the University (Honouris Causa) from the Australian Catholic University (ACU) on Friday for embracing the values and principals of education in the Catholic tradition and for significant contributions to education and educational administration in Australia and overseas.
Brother Peter said that “the award was in recognition of Bethlehem University persevering with its mission in Palestine. It is a way of ACU acknowledging what has been achieved by Bethlehem University in serving the Palestinian people.”
“By ACU recognizing Bethlehem University through me is showing the young people of Bethlehem University that they are not forgotten. I’m deeply grateful to ACU for enabling us to keep hope alive among our students,” Brother Peter added.
ACU Vice Chancellor and President Zlatko Skrbis said Brother Peter’s approach to leadership was inspirational.
“Despite the challenges he faces at Bethlehem University each day, Brother Bray is always mindful of putting the present and future needs of his students first,” Professor Skrbis said.
“His commitment to education in the Catholic tradition is bound by the duty he feels to help people to realize their full potential. His ultimate vision to instill hope in his students is inspiring and should be at the heart of the mission of all educational institutions.
“ACU is proud to bestow the Doctor of the University on such a humble leader,” Professor Skrbis added.
Brother Peter’s honorary doctorate also recognizes his instrumental role in leading the creation of ACU’s Master of Education Leadership, which was established while he was Director and CEO of the Wellington Catholic Education Centre in New Zealand.
Brother Peter’s honorary doctorate conferral coincides with the Golden Jubilee of Bethlehem University in October 2023. The honor also followed a speaking tour in his home country of New Zealand at the invitation of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference to elaborate on their statement on Palestine issued in July 2022. He was also invited to give talks in Sydney and Melbourne.