Message from the Vice-Chancellor
Many of the graduates profiled in Lumen leave an enduring legacy to the University of Adelaide, through the impact of their education and their ongoing generosity to the University, both in spirit and in financial bequests. One of our most distinguished graduates and a long-time benefactor of the University is the Chief Minister of Sarawak, the Right Honourable Pehin Sri Dr Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud AO. It is with deep regret that I report the recent passing of his wife, Datuk Amar Puan Sri Dr Hajjah Laila Taib. The couple met while both studying at the University of Adelaide in the late 1950s. Our sincere condolences to Chief Minister Taib and his family.
As you read this column, up to 30 alumni each day are signing on as new members of our online community, helping us inch closer to our goal of 10,000 members by 1 July.
The past 12 months have seen a major change in the way the University communicates with its alumni. Thanks to the launch last July of our exclusive networking facility, Adelaide onLION, we have reconnected with more than 9000 graduates, many of whom are renewing their association with the University after a long hiatus.
The benefits to both the University and our alumni are far reaching. Alumni can now take advantage of a range of discounts, specials and exclusive offers courtesy of their online community membership. The opportunities to re-establish contacts with former classmates, to create invaluable career networks and help mentor existing students and new graduates are just some of the attractions. From the University's perspective, it is gratifying to strengthen our alumni links and build long-term relationships with people who have helped shape the University's 135-year history.
One of our most prominent legal graduates, Catherine Branson QC, graces the cover of our Winter edition. Ms Branson, a former Federal Court Judge, looks back over her first year as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. It's a role that has been shaped by several of our high-profile alumni, including the University's Chancellor, the Honourable John von Doussa QC, who was Ms Branson's predecessor. Dame Roma Mitchell, another alumnus, was the founding chairperson of the Commission in 1981.
Alumni from Malaysia and Singapore, who studied at the University of Adelaide under the Colombo Plan, reunited near Kuala Lumpur in April at a function hosted by world-class architect and alumnus Hijjas Kasturi.
This edition also celebrates the 120th birthday of the Adelaide Medical Students' Society - the oldest and most active student society on campus.
I hope you enjoy your Winter edition.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President