Sophie Murphy wins St Michael's Medallion

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Sophie Murphy who has been awarded the St Michael's Medallion for her act of kindness and compassion when she used her teaching expertise to help land a plane earlier this year.

Responding to the pilot’s call out for a special needs teacher, Sophie demonstrated her expert skills and sensitivity to help a teenage boy with Down Syndrome who was feeling unwell and lying in the aisle. The plane was unable to land as the boy was not seated, and was at risk of running out of fuel while circling Melbourne.  

Sophie’s willingness to respond to a difficult, and potentially life-threatening situation and her ability to help put the boy at ease and back into his seat, highlights the power of teachers, and the important skills of trust, problem-solving and quick action. 

For the last 20 years the St Michael’s Medallion has been awarded annually to two people whose distinguished work reflects the causes of St Michael’s – practicing compassion through education and educating the importance of compassion.