A life of learning

Introducing our inspiring graduate Lorna Prendergast

On the 27thof July this year, Lorna Prendergast along with a number of others, graduated with a Master of Ageing. What is remarkable about Lorna is that she was on the verge of celebrating her 91st birthday. And, she continues to have an entirely remarkable life. While studying to become a librarian, Lorna was the local ABC news correspondent and freelance journalist. She was also one of the early students at Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education where she was awarded her Bachelor of Arts. Subsequently, she completed a Bachelor of Education majoring in Psychology and Sociology, a Graduate Certificate in Staff Development and a Graduate Diploma of Educational Administration. She has travelled widely in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand and most western European countries and was an early adopter of the internet in terms of library services.

Lorna has always been deeply involved in her community. She was a foundation member of the Red Cross Service Company, has a First Aid Bronze Medallion and taught First Aid at St Mary’s and Nagle College in Bairnsdale. She has also been a member and/or volunteer for the Anti-Cancer Council, Alzheimer’s Australia, Parkinson’s Victoria, Victorian Association of TAFE College Librarians and a ‘Lion’s Lady’ amongst others and been involved in a vast and diverse array of community projects over the years. However, and I quote here from her biographical notes “while all her achievements in the academic field are impressive, perhaps Lorna’s greatest achievement was not allowing her studies to interfere with mothering five children. She is now taking a great interest in her nine grandchildren.”

What Lorna has contributed in terms of knowledge and insights to the online discussion boards in each of the subjects she has undertaken for her Master of Ageing has been invaluable both to her student cohort and to staff teaching those subjects. As one staff member pointed out “Academic papers are wonderful for ‘knowledge’ as such, but they don’t really incorporate the insiders lived experience of ageing that Lorna has brought to the discussion boards.”

If you’d like to read more about Lorna, please refer to the article ‘Ageism at Large’ in this issue and the selected links below:







[Source: Lena Gan, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne]