Saint Mary's Receives Spirit of Australia Award

Saint Mary's College of California has been honored by the Australian American Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Consulate with the 2013 Ambassador Bill Lane "Spirit of Australia" Award.

For more than 30 years, the honor, which is named after former U.S. Ambassador to Australia and magazine publisher Laurence William "Bill" Lane, has been presented to individuals, companies or institutions that have assisted in the promotion and advancement of Australia, its culture and its citizens. The award will be presented to Saint Mary's at the Chevron Australia Day Gala Ball at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at 6 p.m.

Saint Mary's was chosen to receive the honor for its support of Australian student athletes, cultural ties and academic outreach through ongoing study abroad programs to Australia. The College is the first institution of higher education ever to receive the prestigious award. Provost Beth Dobkin will accept the award for Saint Mary's.

"Saint Mary's is proud of its many connections to the great nation of Australia," said Dobkin. "For over a century, the De LaSalle Christian Brothers have operated schools and social outreach services in a district that encompasses Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea." She added that the College has built on that historical presence.

"In the past decade, more than 100 of our students have taken advantage of study abroad opportunities in Australia, there are research partnerships between our School of Economics and Business Administration professors and faculty at universities in Perth and, of course, we have seen almost two dozen talented student athletes take advantage of a Saint Mary's education, including men's basketball guard and academic all-American Matthew Dellavedova," said Dobkin.  

For more information about the 2013 Ambassador Bill Lane "Spirit of Australia" Award, contact the Australian American Chamber of Commerce at or 415 485 6718.  Established in 1981, the chamber of commerce exists to embody, promote and advance the uniquely Australian ways of work and recreation.


Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222 office
(925) 878-9535 cell

About SMC
The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary’s College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.