Chief Justice to receive honorary doctorate

Monday, 30 April 2018

The Chief Justice of Australia and two other eminent Australians will be awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Adelaide as part of the University’s latest graduation ceremonies, starting today.

The Honourable Chief Justice Susan Kiefel, intellectual property law pioneer Emeritus Professor Bill Cornish, and founder of the Joanna Briggs Institute, Emeritus Professor Alan Pearson, will join about 4000 graduates being awarded their degrees in Bonython Hall in 15 ceremonies from Monday 30 April to Thursday 10 May.

“Universities do a lot of things, but our greatest accomplishment is enabling young people to realise their potential, and to express their creativity, and to go out into the world and contribute to society,” says University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Rathjen.

“Graduations give us an opportunity to celebrate their success to date, and the contribution they will make to our future. Graduations also allow us to formally recognise exceptional members of the community and the contributions they have already made to society.”

Chief Justice Kiefel, AC, is being awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in acknowledgement of her exceptional and distinguished service to Australian society through the law.

Chief Justice Kiefel left school before her 15th birthday to commence secretarial training but was determined to become a barrister, so she completed her secondary schooling at night.

Her distinguished career has seen her serve on the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Supreme Court of Queensland, Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island, and as Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission. She became Australia’s first female Chief Justice of Australia in January 2017.

Professor Bill Cornish, CMG, QC, FBA, an alumnus of University of Adelaide, is being awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to society and the law, particularly through his leadership in the development of intellectual property law.

Professor Cornish, who is now Emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Magdalene College, Cambridge, has had a distinguished academic law career, making a major contribution to the regulation of research and commercialisation of its results.

Emeritus Professor Alan Pearson, AM, is being awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Nursing in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to the nursing profession, in particular through the work of the Joanna Briggs Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Emeritus Professor Pearson established the Joanna Briggs Institute in 2006. Under his leadership, it has grown from a small start-up epidemiology unit to become a globally significant collaborative organisation, recognised as a world leader in evidence-based healthcare.

Ceremonies with honorary degree awards:
11 am, Monday 30 April: Professor Bill Cornish, CMG, QC, FBA
11 am, Thursday 3 May: The Hon. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel, AC
11 am, Tuesday 8 May: Emeritus Professor Alan Pearson, AM


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