The former ALP member for Page, has been made an honorary fellow of Southern Cross University after some 16 years as a member of the university council.
Ms Saffin received the honour at the university’s September graduation ceremony.
She told the audience she would miss her involvement in the university, particularly helping to make a difference in the lives of the students.
‘I hope that you also seize opportunities to involve yourselves for the first time or continue to seize opportunities to be involved to do good locally and to maintain a global outlook and outreach, doing good there as well,’ Ms Saffin said in her acceptance speech.
‘SCU is Australia’s only university that has regional in its enabling State legislation; and we are regional in both our genesis, and our responsiveness to local community; but importantly for a university global in outlook and outreach. We are products of SCU and shaped by our SCU experience. That is a nice bond and and it does not matter where we go or where we are, we never lose that,’ she added.
Ms Saffin also had some kind words for vice chancellor Peter Lee, who has come under fire from staff and students in recent weeks for overseeing the redundancy of more than 50 staff following federal government cutbacks.
‘Vice chancellor, Professor Peter Lee has been great for our community. I know the Union may not say that when bogged down in staff wages and conditions negotiations, and I would always support them for the staff, noting it was running on the local ABC radio this morning, but my comments stand.’
She also had a word of her advice for the students in the audience.
‘One can never be too busy to do good. It is accumulative and eventually cuts through. I have lived a life that is very local, but also very global and I have done good. It has been some forty years in Lismore and I am fortunate in that I can see the result of my good work across the northern rivers.’