Skip to content
Curtin University
John Curtin Day
John Curtin Medallists

Mary Roskams (2001)

Mary Roskams epitomises the term volunteer during this, the Year of the Volunteer. Her contribution to the wider community has been quiet, self-sacrificing and, in a formal sense, largely unrecognised. Her vision for assisting international students in need has had a lasting impact on Australia’s diplomatic, trade and cultural relationships with a range of developing countries throughout the world.

The leadership she has demonstrated in both her professional and volunteer capacities has served to reinforce the commitment she has for those in need. Mary has worked for almost 20 years with Australian aid organisation AusAID, as the Social Worker and Community Development Officer for Overseas Students in Western Australia. She has organised overseas welcome camps, social events, international women’s groups, trained student leaders from Australia and overseas, and provided a support network for anyone in need.

Recently retired, Mary continues to exhibit true leadership, taking on the role of Executive Officer of the voluntary organisation, the Council for International Students of Western Australia (CISWA). In this role, Mary contributes to the promotion of cultural understanding within WA, working with representatives from local universities, technical colleges, schools, private colleges, service clubs and cultural and ethnic associations.

Most of the work Mary has undertaken, whether as a volunteer or working professional, has affected the wider community. Community Service  has  been  central  to  everything   she  has   done.  In addition to her work with AusAID and CISWA, Mary has  also been  heavily  involved  as  a volunteer  with  Scripture Union,  a  worldwide organisation offering programs and camps for children and youth. The awarding of the John Curtin Medal acknowledges not only the impact Mary’s lifetime of work has had locally but the impact of her work globally, reaching international communities through her involvement with their youth.