News Release

Australian Educator Honoured by The Church

Mormon Area Seventy, Elder Jeffrey Cummings, recently hosted an award ceremony for Dr. Judith Kearny. Dr. Kearney was presented the ‘Standing for Something Award’ for her work in education in Queensland.

The event was held at the Karawatha Chapel before an audience of 750 young single adults, Church leaders and 50 invited VIP guests from backgrounds in academia, government and community organizations.

The ‘Standing for Something Award’ is given by the Church to individuals who give selfless humanitarian and social service. The award is representative of thousands of brave Australian Soldiers who gave their life at Gallipoli in World War I.

It is named for John Simpson, the Australian soldier who saved many Allied infantrymen struck by bullets in Shrapnel Valley.  

The statuette presented as part of the award features Simpson and the donkey he used to transport the wounded soldiers.

Dr. Kearney is the current Director of Community Partnerships and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. 

For the past 20 years, Dr Kearney has worked tirelessly within the local school, civic and religious communities to enhance educational opportunities for those with disadvantaged backgrounds.

She has a particularly strong commitment to improving the educational circumstances of Pacific Island families who have migrated to Queensland.

Elder Cummings noted that Dr. Kearney is a humble person, and her work 
has “. . . a far reaching and positive impact on a rising generation, who will be our future civic and community leaders.”

A major aspect of the evening was the viewing of a locally produced video in which 15 young adults (ages from 18 to 30) described their educational pathways in personal vignettes.

The video provided insight into the Church’s powerful commitment to both secular and spiritual education amongst our youth and young adults. View the video here.

Professor Lesley Chenoweth, a senior academic guest from Griffith University commented after the presentation, “I am so impressed with the creative energy of these young people from your Church.  This evening’s award for Judith, while not a member of your Church, demonstrates how working together we can grow productive partnerships that build successful careers and a love of lifelong learning.” 

Watch a video about how the Church values education. 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.