Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
March 2007 Issue
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Honorary doctorates go to university greats



Of the thousands of students who graduated at the University of Adelaide late last year, three people received the University's highest honour.

They were all awarded an honorary doctorate - the degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa - in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

The former Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Hon. Elliott Johnston AO QC, received his honorary degree for his "pursuit of justice and equality" for indigenous Australians.

A law graduate of the University of Adelaide, champion of the underdog and former Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, Mr Johnston is credited with bringing to the nation's attention the overt discrimination of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia.

In May 1988 he was appointed Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and his subsequent findings challenged Australia's treatment of its indigenous people and paved the way for reconciliation.

Ed McAlister was Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia for 15 years until his retirement last year. He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his "contribution to animal conservation, the environment and the community and his distinguished scholarly achievement".

He oversaw the opening of Monarto Zoological Park in 1993 and its subsequent transformation into a significant conservation body and renowned zoological park. He was responsible for improving zoo education and strong growth in the Society's membership and involvement of volunteers.

NASA astronaut Dr Andrew Thomas was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his distinguished contribution as a research scientist in fluid mechanics.

An engineering graduate of the University of Adelaide, Dr Thomas said receiving the doctorate from his alma mater was a "great honour".

"When I left the University of Adelaide from a very similar graduation ceremony, over 30 years ago, I carried a dream, which by all the standards of the day was quite unrealisable. That I was able to turn that dream into a realistic ambition and which ultimately took me to space, I owe largely to the education that I received at this institution," Dr Thomas said.


Ryan Thomas and Andy Thomas

NASA astronaut Andy Thomas (right) with engineering graduate Ryan Arbon. Ryan was one of the students who received the Andy Thomas Scholarship to study at the University of Adelaide. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Mechatronic Engineering at the same ceremony in which Dr Thomas received his honorary degree.
Photo by David Ellis


Ezhil Mathi Lourdaraj   The Hon. Greg Crafter

Ezhil Mathi Lourdaraj (Christy) from Chennai, India was one of the first graduates in the new Master of Engineering (Advanced) (Telecommunications)
Photo by David Ellis


The Hon. Greg Crafter (centre) was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award. He is pictured with his family: (from left) daughter-in-law Olivia Brown, son Sam Crafter, grandson Ignatius, wife Rae and daughter Lauren.
Photo by Candy Gibson


Ed McAlister and Professor James McWha   Hon. John von Doussa QC and the Hon. Elliott Frank Johnston AO QC

Honorary degree recipient and former Adelaide Zoo chief Ed McAlister (left) with Vice-Chancellor and University President Professor James McWha
Photo by Candy Gibson


University Chancellor the Hon. John von Doussa QC (left) with honorary degree recipient, the former Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Hon. Elliott Frank Johnston AO QC.
Photo by David Ellis


Dr Mark McDonnell   Professor John Kaldi with daughter Anastasia Kaldi

Electrical & Electronic Engineering PhD graduate and Research Fellow Dr Mark McDonnell was awarded the prestigious Postgraduate Alumni University Medal
Photo by David Ellis


Proud dad Professor John Kaldi from the Australian School of Petroleum with daughter Anastasia Kaldi, who graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies degree
Photo by Paula Featon

Anouska Kranz Dr Kate Cadman with her son Paul

University of Adelaide Marketing Project Manager Anouska Kranz graduated with a Master of Commerce (Marketing) degree and received a prize from the School of Commerce for her outstanding results
Photo by Adam Thomson


Senior lecturer in the Adelaide Graduate Centre Dr Kate Cadman graduated with her PhD in the same ceremony as her son, Paul, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree
Photo by Candy Gibson

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For more news on the research and educational achievements of the University & our alumni read the University's bi-annual magazine, Lumen.