15 December 1997

One of Australia's leading fiction writers, Elizabeth Jolley, and Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush will address graduates at University of Queensland graduation ceremonies on Friday, December 19.

Ms Jolley will speak at the 4pm ceremony while Mr Rush will speak at a 6.15pm ceremony.

Around three hundred graduates will receive their bachelor of arts degrees at the 4pm ceremony with Arts Faculty postgraduates and graduates from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law and Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences receiving their degrees at 6.15pm.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay will deliver the address of welcome at both ceremonies.

- Ms Jolley will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters at the 4pm ceremony.

Ms Jolley's stories began appearing in Australian journals and anthologies in the mid-1960s. She has had stories, plays and poems published in Australian literary journals and anthologies and eight plays performed on British and Australian radio, and her work has been translated into many languages including Spanish, German, Dutch, French and Greek.

She wrote for 20 years before her first novel, Five Acre Virgin and other stories, was published in 1976. A trained nurse, she moved to Western Australia from England in 1959 with her husband Leonard - a university librarian - and their three children. She worked in a variety of jobs and in 1982 was appointed writer-in-residence at the Western Australia Institute of Technology (now Curtin University). With the assistance of a major grant from the Literature Board of the Australian Council, she was able to write full-time.

She won The Age Book of the Year Award in 1989 for My Father's Moon and in 1993 for The Georges' Wife, and the Miles Franklin Award in 1987 for The Well. In 1988, she was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. She was awarded the France-Australia Award for French Translation of The Sugar Mother in 1993.

- Winner of the 1996 Golden Globe Award, 1997 Academy Award and 1997 British Association of Film and Television Award for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in Shine, Geoffrey Rush will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters at the 6.15pm ceremony.

Born in Toowoomba in 1951, Mr Rush moved to Brisbane in 1968 and performed with the College Players, a theatrical group formed by Bryan Nason at the University of Queensland. While studying at the University between 1969 and 1971, Mr Rush was also active in the drama society he and Bille Brown, later also an internationally renowned actor, renamed 'Unique'. Mr Rush graduated bachelor of arts from the University in 1972.

During his undergraduate stage career, Mr Rush was invited to join the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) by its director Alan Edwards. He accepted the offer at the end of 1971 and became one of the Company's most talented, dedicated and imaginative performers.

His career has included leading roles in works by Chekhov to Oscar Wilde, directing the Magpie youth theatre company in Adelaide in 1984 and 1985 and an association with the production of classic plays performed at Sydney's Belvoir Theatre.

- Seven women will receive their PhDs from the Anthropology and Sociology Department at the 6.15pm ceremony. They are: Dr Mary Shaw (thesis entitled Teenage tucker), Dr Maree Boyle (Love the work, hate the system: A qualitative study of the emotionality, organisational culture and masculinity within an interactive service workplace), Dr Lesley Jolly (Hearth and country: The bases of women's power in an Aboriginal community on Cape York Peninsula), Dr Chris Kynaston (Patriarchy, capitalism and women's subordination in Britain and Australia: A comparative macrosociology with particular reference to the period 1850-1939), Dr Julianne Stewart ('I don't touch it without the cook here': A case study of gender and technology and family cotton farms), Dr Heather Eastwood (General medical practice, alternative medicine and the globalisation of health), and Dr Barbara Adkins (Cultural inclusion and exclusion in youth performing arts).

Dr Stewart's PhD examined age and gender factors in relation to new technology on Queensland cotton farms. She can be contacted on telephone 07 4631 1790.

- Dr Eastwood's thesis examined the medical profession's increased use of alternative medicine including acupuncture, musculoskeletal therapy (chiropractic), and phytotherapy (herbal and nutritional medicines). Dr Eastwood, an associate lecturer with the Department, interviewed and observed 60 Brisbane health care professionals at work, including 30 doctors. She found one in six doctors used such therapies on their patients. For more information, contact Dr Eastwood (telephone 07 3365 3150 or email: h.eastwood@mailbox.uq.edu.au).

- For her thesis, Dr Boyle examined emotionality, masculinity and culture within the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS). She said as a part of their duties as caring ambulance officers, QAS on-road staff were expected to perform as emotionally complex individuals while simultaneously adhering to a rigid masculinist code of conduct. 'On the one hand, officers are expected to display the softer emotions of compassion, empathy and cheerfulness in public while on the other hand refraining from expression of grief, remorse and sadness in the company of other officers,' Dr Boyle said. The thesis found the QAS was unable to formally provide officers with sufficient emotional support needed to carry out their jobs and did not recognise that men need both public and private forms of emotional support. For more information, contact Dr Boyle (telephone 02 42 213 564).

- Dr Poppy Liossis will receive her PhD from the Psychology Department at the 6.15pm ceremony. Her thesis found working parents who were strongly committed to their jobs were perceived positively by their children. Dr Liossis surveyed 108 Brisbane working couples and their young children to determine how dual working households functioned as families.
She looked at working hours, time spent with children, factors influencing commitment to work and parenting, and children's perceptions of their parents - and found some surprising results. 'Generally children perceived mothers more positively than fathers, and yet again mothers who were highly committed to their work. These results may be because mothers are around more or maybe working mothers who are committed to their work are happier and that contentment with their working life spills over into family life,' Dr Liossis said. For more information, contact Dr Liossis (telephone 07 3864 1567).

For more information, contact Protocol Officer Karen Welsh (telephone 07 3365 2737).