Our Lady's alumnus Clare Collins named Laureate Professor

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Our Lady's College community warmly congratulates former student, Clare Collins, who has been awarded the title of Laureate Professor at The University of Newcastle. 

Clare is only the second woman at the university, and the first for the Faculty of Health and Medicine, to receive this honour.

The professor of nutrition and dietetics has been breaking the mould since graduating from OLC in 1977. 

She was the first in her family to attend university where she earned her Bachelor of Science and later her PhD. 

“I didn't come from a family where people had been to university before - and there were five girls before there were any boys," she told the Newcastle Herald. 

"At that time, it was unusual for women to be allowed to go to university or finish school. To be a first-in-family and female, I really do hope it lights the way for others.

"Hopefully, they'll tread that path, and people behind them will tread that path, and after that it will be a smooth highway in years to come."

Clare said her time at Our Lady's – particularly her Biology teacher Mr Cook – sparked her interest in nutrition science. 

“Mr Cook was so passionate about Biology that you were drawn into the subject by his enthusiasm," she said. 

“He showed me how much you can influence those around you when you share your passion for your area of expertise.   

“My love of science and particularly helping people understand nutrition science has continued to grow since then."

Even today, more than 40 years since graduating, Clare can still recall the way in which Our Lady's helped inspire her later achievements. 

“I am grateful for the extra freedom and support Our Lady's allowed me to develop both personally and academically," she said. 

“I oved the range of opportunities the College provided, allowing me to transition into a more independent learner."