Adelaide icon among honorary degrees

University of Adelaide graduations are on 27-29 September

University of Adelaide graduations are on 27-29 September
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Monday, 27 September 2010

Adelaide's arts, music and speedway entrepreneur Kym Bonython AC and two distinguished scientists, Professors Peter Colman and Brian Matthews, will be awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Adelaide this week.

They will be admitted to the degree of Doctor of the University (honoris causa) in recognition of their outstanding contributions during the University's September graduation ceremonies in Bonython Hall.

Mr Bonython was a schoolboy when he presented his first radio jazz program in 1937 and went on to become a long-time broadcaster and major promoter of jazz music in Australia over many years. He was a competitor and promoter at Rowley Park Speedway from 1954 to 1973 and also a champion speedboat racer. He also contributed significantly to the Australian arts community as a serious collector, gallery owner, writer and member of many arts boards and committees.

Mr Bonython was made both an Officer (1981) and Companion (1987) of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the arts and the community. He will be presented with the University of Adelaide's highest honour during the ceremony for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at 10am on Tuesday 28 September.

Professors Peter Colman and Brian Matthews are both Science and PhD graduates of the University of Adelaide and have gone on to make outstanding contributions in the field of structural biology.

Professor Colman determined the structure of a protein on the influenza virus using x-ray crystallography and led the development of the world's first anti-influenza drug Relenza. Relenza and the related drug Tamiflu are used around the world to combat influenza pandemics.

Professor Colman is Head of the Structural Biology Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Victoria and has won many awards including the Australia Prize in 1996.

Professor Brian Matthews, Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon and one-time postdoctoral supervisor of Peter Colman's, is an international leader in structural biology with the use of x-ray and other imaging techniques at the heart of his work. His work in determining the structures of proteins has been immensely important in human health and drug development. He was awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Adelaide in 1986 in recognition of his research and publications in this field.

Professor Colman and Professor Matthews will be awarded their honorary doctorates during the Faculty of Sciences ceremony at 10am on Wednesday 29 September.

There will be five graduation ceremonies from Monday 27 September to Wednesday 29 September, presided over by the University's new Chancellor the Hon. Robert Hill. Among the graduation speakers will be Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Reverend Jeffrey Driver.

For the first time, family and friends who can't make it to the ceremonies can watch them live via the internet. Visit


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