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News & Media > Alumnae Awards > 2024 Alumnae Award Recipients > Christine Bishop (Gailey, 1963)

Christine Bishop (Gailey, 1963)

2024 Alumnae Award for Philanthropic Endeavours

After completing the Leaving Certificate at MLC School where she was a Wearne Librarian, Excelsior Reporter, member of the Hockey team, and a keen participant in School Choirs and the Madrigal Group, Christine graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA and LLB and went on to spend 25 years in legal practice in a major Australian law firm.

She later switched careers, went back to university, and gained a BSc (Hons) and a Master of Forensic Mental Health (Hons). These qualifications led to her joining the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice as a forensic psychologist for eight years. She initially specialised in mental health before moving into a senior administrative role.

In 2002, Christine’s husband, His Honour Alan Bishop, a judge of the District Court of NSW, was diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour, a rare form of stomach cancer. After medical trials gave Alan a chance of an extended life, Christine and Alan became strong advocates for medical trials. Christine initially joined the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) Community Advisory Panel, and since 2021 has been a Director of the AGITG Board.

Currently, Christine sits on these AGITG Committees:

  • Chair, Corporate Governance Committee
  • Deputy Chair, Fundraising & Communications Committee
  • Member, John Zalcberg AO Award for Excellence in AGITG Panel
  • Member, SSGXXII Trial Management Committee.

In addition to supporting her late husband through his treatment for GI cancer, Christine has also supported several of close relatives and friends who have experienced GI cancer. Through this personal experience, Christine is keenly interested in improving treatment and survivorship pathways for GI cancer patients. Christine says, ‘the enjoyment of a reasonable quality of life, one that balances medical care, personal and psychological issues, should be the expectation during and post treatment’.

In an article describing her husband’s medical trial journey, Christine reflected that she remains ‘thankful for the extended time that we did enjoy together after his initial diagnosis, thanks to the benefits of the targeted therapies. I am committed supporter of medical trials and proud to play a part in those supported by the GI Cancer Institute’.

During her long, varied and illustrious career, Christine has also applied her formidable expertise in commercial law, knowledge of corporate governance and psychology, to assist a multitude of voluntary organisations. These include:

  • Part time member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal where she has served for 16 years. 
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member of the Sydney Symphony Council, having previously been a Director of the inaugural Sydney Symphony Board 
  • Member of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
  • Chair of the St James Foundation Limited
  • Member of The Zonta Club of Sydney (part of Zonta International, a leading global organisation of professionals who aim to ‘Build a Better World for Women and Girls’.)
  • On the Board of the then UnitingCare Burnside for nine years – four of them as Chair.

She has also served on several other not-for-profit Boards in the Health, Community and Arts Sectors. Her most recent past directorship was with Odyssey House, serving for ten years before retiring in December 2021.

As well as the generous donation of her time and expertise to a variety of voluntary organisations, Christine has also been a generous patron of the arts. She and her husband supported the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s education program by commissioning new works. Part of an oboe concerto commissioned by them and composed by Graeme Koehne was performed at her husband’s funeral at St James’s Church, where one of the church bells had been donated by Christine and her husband.

Christine’s generosity embodies the true spirit of compassion and altruism and makes a profound difference in the lives of countless individuals. Through her selfless contributions, she has touched hearts, inspired hope, and uplifted communities. Her dedication to giving back reflects a deep commitment to making the world a better place.

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