30 November 2000

Susan O'Neill, Kieren Perkins and five other celebrated Australians will receive honorary degrees from the University of Queensland during a record round of 17 graduation ceremonies in December.

Those being honoured include the Honourable Paul de Jersey, AC, Chief Justice of Queensland; the Honourable Desmond Derrington QC, recently retired Queensland Supreme Court Judge; eminent economist Professor Warren Hogan; and sculptors Leonard and Kathleen Shillam, pioneers of art in Queensland.

Each recipient will be guest speaker at the ceremony designated for conferral of his or her honorary degree in Mayne Hall on the St Lucia campus.
Details are as follows.

- At the 5pm ceremony on Friday, December 1, Susan O'Neill, OAM, will receive a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa for her outstanding contribution to sport in Australia. A medallist at three consecutive Olympic Games and three consecutive Commonwealth Games, she holds the world record for the 200m butterfly event - a record which previously stood for 18 years.

Her Olympic achievements in butterfly, freestyle and relay events include a bronze medal in Barcelona (1992); Australia's best individual tally of a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in Atlanta (1996); and one gold and two silver medals in Sydney (2000).

She won 10 gold medals at three successive Commonwealth Games in 1990, 1994 and 1988, including an exceptional tally of six golds in 1998; and she has 35 Australian Open Championship gold medals to her credit - the most ever awarded to a swimmer. This surpasses Sir Frank Beaurepaire's record of 33, set in the 1920s.

She was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1997 and after the Olympic Games in Sydney was voted to an eight-year term on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after placing third among 10,000 Games competitors in a ballot for eight athlete positions on the Committee. Only two other Australians are currently among the 128 members of the IOC.

For more information, contact Kate Renshaw (telephone 02 9388 0188.

- At the 4pm ceremony on Friday, December 8, Professor Warren Hogan, an economist whose career in academe, government and business spans 50 years and several countries, will receive a Doctor of Economics honoris causa for his distinguished career and his outstanding contribution to Australian business and finance.

Educated at the University of Auckland and the Australian National University, he has an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Newcastle where he was inaugural Dean of Economics and Commerce before joining the University of Sydney as Professor of Economics.

He has been a Federal Government adviser and a member of various company boards. A director of Westpac Banking Corporation and subsidiaries since 1986, he currently chairs the Board's Credit and Market Risk Committee.

His work overseas includes posts in Pakistan for the Harvard University Development Advisory Service and for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., with missions mostly to the Philippines. He worked in Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Thailand on industrialisation and trade projects sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation; and he was involved in industrialisation and trade initiatives in Papua New Guinea for the National Investment and Development Authority.

For more information, contact Professor Hogan (telephone 02 9498 3200).

- At the 5pm ceremony on Friday, December 15, the Honourable Desmond Derrington QC will receive a Doctor of Laws honoris causa for his distinguished career and his outstanding service to the State of Queensland.

He began his career in 1945 as a 14-year-old clerk in the Public Curator's Office and retired earlier this year as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland. He is now an Adjunct Professor in the University of Queensland's T.C. Beirne School of Law.

A University of Queensland graduate, he was admitted to the Bar in 1954, took silk in 1974 and became a Queensland Supreme Court Judge in 1982. His service includes the Land Appeals Court (president 1985-87), the Medical Assessment Tribunal (1988-89), the Election Tribunal (1990) and the Mental Health Tribunal (president 1992-94).

He has served the community as foundation President of the Institute of Modern Art in 1974 and as a member of the Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts finance committee and the LaBoite Theatre Company committee.

His extensive publications in the area of insurance law earned him the highly-coveted awards of the Medal L'Association Internationale de Droits de Assurances in 1994 and the Australian Insurance Law Association Award in 1997.

For more information, contact Adjunct Professor the Honourable Desmond Derrington (telephone 3365 9785 or 3371 1195).

- At the 4pm ceremony on Monday, December 18, Leonard Shillam, AM and Kathleen Shillam, AM will each receive a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa for their significant contributions to the visual arts in Queensland. Pioneers in Australian art, they are considered the parents of sculpture in Queensland.

Past students of Brisbane Boys Grammar School and Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Leonard Shillam and Kathleen O'Neill met in the 1930s as students of the Art Branch of Central Technical College in Brisbane and married soon after.

They have worked in media as diverse as stone, wood, bronze, copper, aluminium, plastic, fibreglass, concrete and ceramic, and their art works appear in private and public collections throughout Australia. Well-known pieces include Enlightenment, a cast aluminium Centennial sculpture for the Queensland State Library and the bronze Pelicans in the Queensland Art Gallery precinct.

The couple founded the Society of Sculptors, Queensland and have encouraged and nurtured scores of nascent sculptors through their lectures and workshops plus informal teaching during their travels to country towns.

For more information, contact Leonard Shillam and Kathleen Shillam (telephone 3269 5373.

- At the 6.15pm ceremony on Monday, December 18, the Honourable Paul de Jersey, AC, Chief Justice of Queensland will receive a Doctor of Laws honoris causa for his distinguished career and his outstanding services to the Queensland community.

A University of Queensland graduate, he was called to the Queensland Bar in 1971, took silk in 1981, became a Queensland Supreme Court Judge in 1985 and was appointed Chief Justice of Queensland in 1998.

He has been Commercial Causes Judge (1986-1989); chair of the Supreme Court Library Committee (1988-1994); chair of the Attorney-General's Consultative Committee on Computerised Legal Information Retrieval (1990-1991); Judge constituting the Mental Health Tribunal (1994-1996); President of the Queensland Industrial Court (1996-1997); and chair of the Queensland Law Reform Commission (1996-1997).

He has also been Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane since 1991 and a member of the Chapter of St John's Cathedral since 1989.

A long-standing supporter of anti-cancer initiatives, the Chief Justice has been a member of the Queensland Anti-Cancer Council since 1989 and chair of the Queensland Cancer Fund since 1994. He is President (and a former Vice-President) of the Australian Cancer Society, and was a Trustee of the National Breast Cancer Foundation from 1994 to 1999.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Shepard, Executive Assistant to the Chief Justice (telephone 3269 5373).

- At the 4pm ceremony on Wednesday, December 20, Kieren Perkins, OAM will receive a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa for his outstanding contribution to sport in Australia.

Kieren Perkins' 11-year career included two gold and two silver Olympic medals and 11 world records - two of which, for the 1500m and 800m freestyle long course, still stand.

He is the first swimmer to hold simultaneous Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific titles; and he is the first Australian male since Jon Konrads in 1960 to hold three world records at once. He currently holds three World records, two Commonwealth records and five Australian records.

He is the first Australian (and only the second person) to have won gold for the men's 1500m freestyle event at two consecutive Olympic Games - Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. He also won silver for the 400m in Barcelona and for the 1500m in Sydney in 2000. He is the first swimmer in Commonwealth history to have won the men's 200m, 400m and 1500 freestyle treble at the Commonwealth Games.

For more information, contact Jo Miers, manager of Kieren Perkins Management (telephone 3211 1500).

Contact names and numbers are provided for each honorary degree recipient. For more information from UQ Communications, contact Moya Pennell (3365 2846).