Distinguished service to health and education

Julien O’Connell AM has carried the titles of pro-chancellor, chair and CEO but he credits the strong teams of people around him with helping him to achieve.
The Gisborne man was made an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for distinguished service to community health in the aged care sector and to higher education.
“I consider it a great honour. I am very flattered and very privileged. It wouldn’t be achievable without a support team of people around me – and you are only as good as those around you,” he said.
Mr O’Connell has been Australian Catholic University pro-chancellor since 2016 and Mercy Health Foundation chair since 2018.
“My real passion for health and caring for people with a need for extra support began at Mercy Health,” he said.
His role with the foundation followed his 10-year tenure as Mercy Health Australia chair when he helped the organisation reach dramatic growth.
Mr O’Connell also held the positions of Mercy Health Australia director 2005-2018 and co-chair for an international fundraising campaign in 2016.
He has a diverse and varied background in accounting, insurance, risk management and marketing. He developed and expanded his own business into a highly diversified group, which is now part of an international group.
He moved to Gisborne with his wife Maryanne seven years ago for a tree-change. He says Maryanne and his family have given him wonderful support.
Mr O’Connell has also been Patrick McMahon Glynn Institute chair since 2016, The CEO Institute chair since 2011 and Villa Maria Catholic Homes chair since 2018.
He has various other roles including Fraynework Multimedia, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea chair (2011-2016), a Finance Council, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne member since 1997 and trade attache, Victoria, Enterprise Ireland.
He was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in 2013.

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