Quiet achiever leaves a noble legacy

William ‘Bill’ Hughes was a country boy, raised in Quorn in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. Born into a big family, he was very thankful to be one of the youngest, as it meant he could quietly be in the background where he could spend time reading and fostering his love of learning. 

Barbara and Bill Hughes

Barbara and Thomas William 'Bill' Hughes

Becoming dux of his school, it was clear Bill would undertake further education. Commencing as a draftsman at the Lands Department in 1946 at 16 years old, he progressed towards registration as a surveyor, becoming the youngest licenced surveyor in the state at age 23. He worked there until his retirement in 1990. Bill and Barbara met through a mutual love of sport, notably hockey. After a long courtship, they tied the knot the year decimal currency replaced pounds, shillings and pence – 1966, settling down in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. Two years later their daughter Donna was born.

Always active through a variety of sports and other life-long learning activities, Bill took on a new lease of life following retirement. In 1994 he completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at the University of Adelaide, majoring in Anthropology. Sadly Bill died of cancer 10 years later in 2004.

Barbara Hughes and Donna Hughes-Barton

Barbara Hughes and Dr Donna Hughes-Barton, pictured at Donna's PhD graduation

Barbara and Donna wish to commemorate Bill’s life by endowing a postgraduate top-up scholarship supporting PhD candidates undertaking cancer research. This is especially pertinent because of the nature of his illness. It was also a guiding force in Donna’s choice of PhD thesis completed in 2020 - Addressing cancer disparities in immigrants to Australia by integrating cancer literacy education into English as a Second Language program.

The University of Adelaide is grateful to Barbara and Donna for their generosity in supporting this scholarship in Bill’s memory. He was, as Donna said in her eulogy, “one of nature’s true gentlemen, eternally loved and will be eternally missed.” Through their gift, Bill's memory will live on in perpetuity, with the scholarship a wonderful legacy. The University is very thankful to both Barbara and Donna for their incredibly generosity, and their philanthropic vision

Source: Donna Hughes-Barton B Sc (Hons) 1990, M Psych (Clin) 1999 (Flinders), M TESOL 2011 (Deakin), PhD (Flinders) 2020

Tagged in legacy giving