This is a listing of notifications the Parramatta Marist Old Boys Union has received of the passing of Old Boys. “Vale” is latin for farewell and “Fortior Ito” means go forward with strength.

Click on the Old Boy’s Name for further details and a brief biography.

If we do not have the date of passing then the last day of the known month or year is used.

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Professor Michael Gracey, 1955

Graduate High School: 16 November 1955 Deceased: 22 April 2021
Photo of Professor Michael Gracey 1955

Biographical Info

VALE Professor Michael Gracey
The Old Boys Union would like to extend its condolences to the family, friends and classmates of Professor Michael Gracey AO MD PhD, FRACP, FAAP. Michael recently passed away after a long illness.
Michael Gracey completed his Leaving Certificate (the equivalent of Year 12) at Parramatta Marist Brothers in 1955 and graduated in Medicine from Sydney University in 1961. Michael went on to become a pediatrician by training in hospitals and clinics in Sydney, Melbourne and Papua New Guinea before doing child health research in London and Birmingham. His fields of expertise were in child nutrition and growth and infectious diseases. Returning to Australia in 1970, Michael worked extensively with Aboriginal children and their families, particularly in remote and very remote areas in the far north of Western Australia; later becoming the Principal Medical Adviser on Aboriginal Health to the WA Government. In 1997, Michael was made Australia’s first Professor of Aboriginal Health.
Michael became interested in the health of infants and children in developing countries and in poorer sections of otherwise wealthy countries, like Australia. This led him to work for many years with the International Paediatric Association (IPA) which has 600,000 members in more than 100 countries. Subsequently, Michael became the first Australian to be made the President of the IPA; his responsibilities took him to dozens of countries on all of the world’s inhabited continents and involved him with work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.
Until his health began to fail him, he continued to be involved in international health by teaching young doctors and nurses in Vietnam and through a maternal and child health project in Myanmar (previously Burma).
He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001 and is an Honoured Professor in the Kazakh National Medical University in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In 2014, Professor Gracey took the time to speak with students at Parramatta Marist about his many years working in the field of Aboriginal and child health. Professor Michael Gracey was a great son of Parramatta Marist who made a significant difference in the lives of the poor and underprivileged (particularly children) here and across the world.
Go forth with strength into the next life Mick – you’ve more than earnt a spot in heaven!
Fortior Ito
Categories: Vale

3 thoughts on “Professor Michael Gracey 1955 » Vale Old Boys – Fortior Ito”

  1. Chris was a good friend when I attended parramatta Marist. I used to run into him around the courts, he never seemed to change always a gentleman.

  2. Frank O'Sullivan

    Vale John Cassidy LC 1962 Died 28th August 2019

    John Cassidy and I worked on a religious organisation in our days at Marist Brothers Parramatta. It was to spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima that is, world peace through prayer, the Blue Army. It was a very strange coincidence that it was one of Cardinal Gilroy’s pet projects, but we didn’t know that at the time. The cardinal had set the organisation up in Sydney under Professor F G Coleman Sydney University and Father Cameron head of the Augustinian order in Sydney.

    From 1959 – 1962 I did latin classes at St Mary’s Cathedral, late on Friday afternoon in preparation to enter, my studies for the priesthood. I ran into Cardinal Gilroy on many occasions as he did confessions 5pm to 6pm and I trapped him either going/coming in the presbytery grounds. So the long and short of it all is, that I dragged our John C along with me to say Hi and explain the difficulties we were having with Monsignor McGovern in conducting our Blue Army prayer meetings in St Pats at Parramatta. He smiled at us both & said would we from time to time give him a progress report on our work with the Blue Army. John and I had a few brief encounters with the cardinal & strangely we never had any further problems with the cranky old monsignor.

    John Cassidy was a very humble man and would never have repeated this story but having been befriended by a cardinal, lived in a village named after the cardinal and being buried from the chapel on Friday 6th September 2019 that bears the cardinal’s name, I felt it appropriate to tell the story.

    Frank O’Sullivan

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