Carolyn Rickett

Communicating an ethic of care

Friday, August 23, 2019

Academic’s citation for sharing authentic Christianity centred on “engaged compassion”

A renewal of gratitude is one of Dr Carolyn Rickett’s daily goals. She returns to a reflection from poet Marg Piercy: “Bless whatever you can/ with eyes and hands and tongue. If you/ can’t bless it, get ready to make it new” (“The Art of Blessing the Day”).

Now Associate Dean (Research) at Avondale, Rickett is a recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for empowering students to create and make new. Her part in what is a celebratory process sees students begin with blank pages and become published writers—a series of anthologies co-edited by Rickett feature the students’ poems alongside those by leading Australian poets. “To open thinking to transformational possibilities provides one of the great joys for an educator.”

Coordinating the New Leaves writing project where people experiencing life-threatening illnesses find expression and connection through writing poetry led to a volunteer healthcare chaplaincy role for Rickett at Sydney Adventist Hospital. Her doctoral work with The University of Sydney found writing autobiographically about illness challenges culturally reductive readings of the sick as medicalised, marginalised or stigmatised. “Stories provide refuge and strength and affirm our lives are ‘innately meaningful.’”

Rickett names her parents—the “cheer squad” who would play hours of tennis with their daughter—as representing “the best of humanity to me, what it means to live and love from an ethic of care for each other.”

The class of 1989 honours Dr Carolyn Rickett for sharing an authentic Christianity centred on “engaged compassion.”

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Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University College’s Public Relations Officer. He brings to the role a decade’s experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities. He is also co-convenor of Manifest, a movement exploring, encouraging and celebrating #faithfulcreativity in the Adventist Church.

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