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Abbott to give public lecture for scholarship commemorating former headmaster

Memorial lecture

Student admiration: Former PM Tony Abbott will speak at a memorial lecture launching a scholarship in memory of his former headmaster, Jesuit Fr Gregory Jordan. Photo: Twitter and Jean Seah.

FORMER prime minister Tony Abbott will help launch a memorial scholarship that pays tribute to his Sydney school headmaster, the late Jesuit Father Gregory Jordan.

Mr Abbott will address the inaugural Fr Gregory Jordan SJ Memorial Scholarship at a public lecture on April 29 in Brisbane.

A spokesperson for Mr Abbott said the former prime minister looked forward to delivering the inaugural Father Jordan Memorial Lecture.

Proceeds from the lecture will fund the academic scholarship commissioned to support active Catholic students attending Catholic or secular universities.

The scholarship is expected to continue annually through public funds, including donations on an online site.

A group of Catholics from Brisbane and Lismore priest Fr Nicolas Maurice founded the scholarship initiative to honour the late Jesuit’s memory and continue his work with tertiary students. 

“(When I was) a university student, Fr Jordan was always there,” Fr Maurice said.

“I used to attend his Mass at St Leo’s College and then Duchesne College and I gained so much from him. “He was really a spiritual father in my university years and afterwards.”

Fr Jordan (pictured) inspired numerous Australian academics and religious figures, including Professor Tracey Rowland and Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

His dedication to tertiary students endorsed him as honorary chaplain for life of the Australian Catholic Students Association, a national university organisation, one year before his death on July 19, 2015.

Former ACSA vice-president and scholarship committee member Catherine Lanzon said Fr Jordan was a “phenomenal mentor”.

“Generations of students thrived with Fr Jordan as a mentor,” she said.

Ms Lanzon said the scholarship would continue Fr Jordan’s work with young adults “beyond his time on earth”.

She said eligible scholarship candidates must be Catholic students “pursuing faithfully and actively the Catholic lifestyle”. 

Mr Abbott will present a lecture on Free Speech: The Right and Responsibility on April 29 at Tattersall’s Grand Ballroom from 6.30pm. Tickets cost $50.

To purchase tickets to the public lecture or to apply for the scholarship, visit www.frjordanscholarship.com.au.

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