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Lumen Winter 2015 Issue
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International lawyer and music icon receive honorary degrees

Robyn Archer O'Week 1974

Robyn Archer O'Week 1974
International lawyer and jurist James Crawford and renowned singer and director Robyn Archer were among the nine distinguished leaders awarded honorary doctorates (honoris causa) recognising their significant contributions, achievements and service to the community.

They joined over 3,400 new graduates from the University in ceremonies held over April and May.

"These nine individuals are exceptional members of our community and we are particularly proud that six of them were educated at the University of Adelaide," said Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice-Chancellor and President.

Robyn Archer AO

Robyn Archer AO (BA 1970 Dip Ed 1973) received a Doctor of Music to acknowledge her contributions as a singer, writer, composer, stage and artistic director, and public advocate for the arts in Australia and internationally.

"I’m genuinely honoured that my decades of work in music, including the enabling of many other musicians and arts workers, is recognised with this doctorate, and it’s especially gratifying that it comes from my alma mater," said Robyn.

Robyn grew up in Adelaide and started her singing career at the age of four at her grandparent’s pub in North Adelaide. While studying at university she continued to sing jazz, folk and rock and roll and performed in revue, music hall and children’s theatre. Robyn’s singing career was interrupted by a motorbike accident, at which time she took a break to teach high school for two years before resuming singing.

Robyn won the Helpmann Award for best cabaret performer of 2013. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Light of Winter, Strategic Advisor of Arts and Culture for the Gold Coast and Deputy Chair of the Australian Council.

Professor James Crawford AC SC

Professor James Crawford AC SC is one of Adelaide Law School’s most distinguished graduates and a former Professor at the University. He was elected as Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in 2014 and commenced his nine-year term this year.

James received a Doctor of Laws at the ceremony where he paid tribute to former classmates and honours students he had taught, and passed on advice to new graduates at the ceremony.

"My message is seize the day. Grasp opportunities that come to you in your legal and leadership careers. There is nothing you cannot do if you don’t try. Others may seem to limit you, don’t limit yourselves," he said.

James has previously held appointments as Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, Dean of Law at the University of Sydney and Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge.

His reputation as an international lawyer and jurist has continued to grow over the years, with over 100 cases in international litigation. He has appeared in key cases before international tribunals and bodies including the ICJ itself, as a lawyer, rapporteur and expert witness.

He received the University of Adelaide’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012 and in 2013 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.

To read more about the honorary doctorates awarded visit

Story by Renée Capps


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