5 December 1997

Winner of the 1997 New South Wales Premier's Book of the Year award Robert Drewe will address graduates at a University of Queensland ceremony on Monday, December 8.

Graduates from the School of Land and Food Systems, the School of Dentistry and the School of Veterinary Science will receive their degrees at a ceremony at 4pm while students from the School of Education and the School of Music will graduate at a 6.15pm ceremony in Mayne Hall.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay will welcome graduands at both ceremonies. Executive Dean, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Professor Alan Pettigrew, will address graduates at the 4pm ceremony. Professor Pettigrew takes up his new position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) at the University of New South Wales from January 1998.

- Maree Bowen will deliver the valedictorian address at the 4pm ceremony. Graduating with a bachelor of agricultural science, Ms Bowen will begin a job as a nutritional consultant with Victorian-based company BEST-fed Nutrition in early January. Ms Bowen was active in the Queensland University Agricultural and Forestry Students' Society while in her final year at University.

Her society duties included organising the October 1997 dinner for students and lecturers at City Hall. She was also social convenor for the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology in 1997. Hailing from a cattle property near Mitchell in western Queensland, Ms Bowen said coming to Brisbane to study had been a real culture shock, lessened by the friends she made while staying at Union College for three years. In her last year at the college, she became a Resident Assistant, acting as mentor for first year students.

As a student who achieved consistently high academic results, Ms Bowen was invited to join the Golden Key National Honours Society in her first year. She said her grandmother Margaret Thomas, parents Heather and Bob and younger brothers Tony and Tim would attend the graduation ceremony. Both brothers were also studying in the field of agriculture - Tim is completing a second level certificate course at Emerald Agricultural College while Tony is completing a degree in rural management at the University's Gatton College. Ms Bowen can be contacted on telephone 07 3871 1374.

- Farm Animal Medicine Department graduate John Lapworth will be awarded his master of agricultural science at the 4pm ceremony. His masters thesis, dealing with humane road transportation of horses, has since led to both a State and National Code of Practice for the Road Transport of Horses. For his thesis, Mr Lapworth covered thousands of kilometres along some of the country's harshest and most isolated roads observing the carriage of horses in double-deck crates. The crates carry around 25 horses on each deck and are hauled by a prime movers of more than 500 horsepower.

Mr Lapworth, senior livestock adviser (transport-handling-welfare) with Queensland's Department of Primary Industries, said he had been previously unconvinced of the feasibility of transporting horses in double-deck cattle stockcrates.
However, with appropriate procedures both before and during transportation, Mr Lapworth said the double-deck mode was a safe and humane method. The procedures outlined in his masters thesis have since been incorporated into both the Queensland Draft Code of Practice for Road Transport of Horses and the National Code of Practice for Road Transport of Horses.

Some steps recommended in the thesis and since adopted by the guidelines include adequate rest (between 12 and 24 hours in a yard), water and feed for horses before long road journeys - tired, thirsty and hungry horses are more likely to go down. 'Sick or injured horses or those in late pregnancy should not be carried. Any horse taller than 15 hands should be carried on a single deck and horses should have enough room in the crates, at least 1.2 metres square each,' Mr Lapworth said. He said his thesis also found that all horses should have a clearance of 150mm between their wither (shoulder) and the deck above. For more information, contact Mr Lapworth (telephone 07 3362 9560 or 0412 185 686).

- Kristy Swift will deliver the valedictorian address at the 6.15pm ceremony. Ms Swift has just completed a four-year bachelor of music (honours) degree majoring in voice. She is a soprano who favours the operas of Handel and Mozart. Ms Swift also sees a strong link between opera and theatre and is currently appearing on stage in Charley's Aunt. She plays Ela in the Victorian drawing room farce which runs at the Arts Theatre, Petrie Terrace, until December 20. Ms Swift is hoping to forge a career in the world of entertainment, either through music or the theatre. She can be contacted on telephone 07 3868 2861.

- Robert Drewe will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters at the 6.15pm ceremony. Mr Drewe's novel The Drowners also won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction at the NSW Premier's Literary Award dinner in October. Born in Melbourne, Mr Drewe was educated in Western Australia and became a journalist on The West Australian and later with The Age. From 1971 until 1974, he was literary editor of The Australian. He won Walkley Awards for Journalism in 1976 and 1981, the NBC Banjo Award in 1987 and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for South East Asia and the Pacific in 1990.

An acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, television, radio and film scriptwriter, his short story The Bodysurfers was filmed and adapted for radio, stage and television.

The 1983 collection The Bodysurfers is credited with attracting a new mainstream audience to Australian writing.

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