Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2014 Issue
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1970s Alumni Voice: Dr Tim Cooper AM

Medical studies inspire a future brewer


Dr Tim Cooper AM

Dr Tim Cooper AM

Dr Tim Cooper, AM, is the Managing Director and Chief Brewer of Coopers Brewery. Before entering the family business he practised hospital medicine in cardiology in the UK. Dr Cooper graduated from Adelaide with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 1980 and a Master of Business Administration in 1998.

"I undertook medical studies (MBBS) from 1974 to 1979. In those days we studied science in our first year, including chemistry, biology, physics and psychology, and traversed all over the main campus. In second and third year our focus turned to medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology, and increasingly we were located across Frome Road. From fourth year we started pathology, medicine and surgery, and began to spend time in the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals.

Most students at Adelaide were studying for the professions, either medicine, law, engineering, dentistry or architecture. The other courses were arts, science and economics. The courses offered seemed straightforward and logical, and the campus was an intriguing place for a young student.

New construction was occurring, with the addition of the Hughes Building and Plaza. Furthermore, the Union House was completed in 1975, with modern facilities for student and staff refectories, club rooms and the 'Uni' bar. I spent many happy hours in the Uni bar, particularly on quieter days, and it was a meeting place to communicate with students from the other faculties. In later years, the Barr Smith became a more familiar haunt, but the Uni bar was always popular on a Friday night.

I was indifferent at sports at university, dabbling in golf and rifle-shooting, but I became interested in student politics. My introduction was in 1975 when a group of us became curious as to why some of our Union dues were going (via the Student Association) to the Labor Party. We requisitioned a referendum to challenge this, but we lost by a small margin of 48% to 52%. I subsequently became Secretary of the Student Association before being encouraged to focus on my studies in my latter clinical years.

I enjoyed my time at the University immensely, as it was a time of personal freedom and intellectual stimulus. Through the relatively small campus and the union facilities, I felt a sense of closeness with the other faculties, making friendships which have lasted. I returned to the University in the 1990s, graduating with an MBA in 1998.

I am pleased that nine current and former directors of Coopers have studied at the University, although my father Bill describes himself as the original 'Uni dropout'! On my mother's side, four generations studied medicine at Adelaide, including my grandfather and his father, my uncle and my sister. My wife Barbara (arts), and daughters Louise (law and psychology) and Sarah (design studies) are more recent graduates."

story by Dr Tim Cooper AM



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