Academic and Reverend at St Paul’s Cathedral moved by award

Academic and Reverend at St Paul’s Cathedral moved by award
Brendan Rees

St Paul’s Cathedral’s Reverend Professor Dorothy Lee, who is tireless advocate for the inclusion of more women and girls in the church, has earned an Australia Day honour.

The theologian and esteemed academic was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia”.

The award recognises Australian citizens and other persons for outstanding achievement and service.

While humbled and honoured, Prof. Lee, said she had to read the award’s acceptance letter “three times” thinking “this can’t be right”.

“I was amazed and surprised, but it was delightful,” she said.

“It's lovely to feel that, because I'm 70 now, I feel that all those years of work have not gone unnoticed.”

In addition to her work as a New Testament scholar at Trinity College in Parkville, Prof. Lee is a canon emerita at St Paul’s Cathedral, where she currently serves as an assistant priest.

“I’ve loved working with a really committed and creative group of people,” she told CBD News.

“When I came to Melbourne in 1990 there was an all-male choir and now there's girls and women in the choir as well,” she said.

“And that's been a really big move because I'm really passionate about involvement of women and girls in the life of the church, as I am in seeing them in the wider society. So, to have young choristers coming in – girls and women as well, that's just been a great joy.”

As part of her voice to break down barriers for women being a part of the church, Prof. Lee has been commentator on radio, contributed articles for The Age, and had various work published on the New Testament.

Speaking of St Paul’s, which was built in 1880 and located adjacent to Flinders Street Station, she said it’s “just absolutely brilliant”.

“You do feel that you're at the centre of things, but I think there's also a sense of something sacred there.”

“It’s lovely to be there where there’s so much awareness of what's going on in the world around us and feeling that we do have something to contribute to that.”


Caption: Reverend Professor Dorothy Lee of St Paul’s Cathedral.

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