15 December 2000

The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland, will receive an honorary doctorate at a University of Queensland graduation ceremony on Monday, December 18.

Justice de Jersey will receive his Doctor of Laws at the 6.15pm ceremony in Mayne Hall while pioneers in Australian art Leonard Shillam AM and Kathleen Shillam AM will receive honorary Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the earlier, 4pm ceremony.

Mr Shillam will also be guest speaker at this ceremony while Justice de Jersey speaks at the later ceremony.

o Mr and Mrs Shillam (telephone 07 3269 5373) 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.

o Justice de Jersey (telephone 07 3269 5373) will receive his honorary doctorate 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.

Student valedictorians at the ceremonies will be Aislinn Batstone (4pm) and Jennie Louise (6.15pm).

o Ms Batstone (telephone 07 3700 9675 or 07 3378 8498), who will also receive her Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours in philosophy at the ceremony, has been an outstanding student, winning the Dean's Commendation for High Achievement in three, consecutive years from 1998 to 2000. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from UQ last year. While at UQ, she also won the William Marquis Kyle Philosophy Prize in 1999 and the Paul McLean Prize in Logic in 2000.

She said she hoped to complete her PhD in philosophy in Victoria next year. "Philosophy is beneficial to anyone in any career as it develops critical thinking, research and analysis skills," she said.

Ms Batstone comes from a family of UQ graduates including her mother Bronwyn (Bachelor of Arts 1987 and Master of Arts in Linguistics 1994) and brothers Dr Damien (Bachelor of Engineering 1994 and PhD 2000), Seamus (Associate Diploma in Applied Science in the field of Forestry from UQ Gatton 1996) and Dr Martin (MBBS 1996). Her father Dr Druce Batstone worked for the CSIRO but was based at UQ for many years while Dr Damien Batstone works at UQ's Advanced Wastewater Management Centre.

Drs Damien and Martin as well Bronwyn Batstone all received the Alfred and Olivea Wynne Memorial Scholarship while at UQ. The scholarship is awarded to UQ students hailing from the Maryborough area.

o Ms Louise (telephone 07 3876 0163, 02 6622 6505, mobile 0418 759 217 or email jlouise@ozemail.com.au) will receive her Bachelor of Arts majoring in philosophy with first-class honours at the 6.15pm ceremony. She also won the Dean's Commendation for High Achievement for three, consecutive years from 1998 to 2000 as well as the Paul McLean Prize in Ethics in 1999, the Douglas Price Memorial Prize 1999 in 2000 and the Kate McNaughton of Roma Scholarship 2000. She said she now plans to study towards a PhD in philosophy at UQ with a view to a future career in university teaching and research. "Philosophy is important because it teaches you reasoning skills and critical thinking. Some people don't realise that it can be applied to a broad range of areas such as examining the foundations of economics and science; this is especially true of ethics," she said. An accomplished pianist, Ms Louise is the rehearsal pianist for the Queensland University Musical Society. She holds a Bachelor of Music with honours (1995) and a Master of Music (1997) from UQ but said she found philosophy
more rewarding.

Other graduates at the two ceremonies include:

o Kim Wilkins (telephone 3365 2923), who will receive her Master of Arts (Creative Writing) at the 4pm ceremony. Her first Gothic thriller The Infernal (Random House), has an initial print-run of 16,000. Ms Wilkins said her inspiration for The Infernal came from occult philosophy, Renaissance literature, mythology and underground music. The Infernal spans four centuries and deals with sorcery, murder and erotic obsession. Ms Wilkins wrote the novel outside her coursework and had the book accepted for publication before she finished it late last year.

o English Department tutorial assistant Bronwyn Lea Gasking (telephone 07 3315 2335), who will also receive her Master of Arts in creative writing. Ms Gasking recently won a $3000 Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry. She is a full-time PhD student in the Department.

o UQ staff member Glenda Cooper and her daughter Emily (telephone 07 3221 7895 at work or 07 3878 1097 at home), who will both graduate at the 4pm ceremony-Mrs Cooper with a Master of Professional Economics and Emily with a Bachelor of Arts. Mrs Cooper, who is president of UQ Secretaries and Office Professionals, already has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in economics and industrial relations (1997) while Emily also graduated with a Bachelor of Education on December 13 this year. She will begin work as a teacher for St Peter's Lutheran College in January 2001. Mrs Cooper's son Richard has a Bachelor of Economics from UQ (1995) and now works for HTM Wilson as a stockbroker. Mrs Cooper has been working at the University for the past 15 years and studying part-time for the past eight. Her two brothers, Peter and John Roles, also graduated from UQ in mechanical engineering in 1974 and 1980 respectively and her sister Marion graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in December, 1999. She also works for the University in the Faculty of Natural Resources, Architecture and Veterinary Science at UQ Gatton. Mrs Cooper said she and her daughter had been sources of great support for each other throughout their study and examination times.

"I proof-read her assignments and cooked for her when she was studying for exams and she did the shopping and made cups of tea for me when I was in exam mode. We both liked chocolate during "swat vac"," Mrs Cooper said.

"When we were both doing assignments at the same time, we rostered time on the home computer. Our dog Fritz always kept us company by sitting underneath the computer while we typed our assignments.

"My husband Richard has always been very supportive of our study and we bounced ideas off him when we had a knotty problem. When we were both studying at the same time, my husband obliged by going out for the day, doing the shopping, hanging out the washing or taking books back to the library.

"Because we have all been coming to UQ for so many years, we joked that our cars knew their own way there-we just set them on automatic pilot and they headed straight for UQ St Lucia. Whenever we'd go out during weekends, our study books always accompanied us."

Mr Cooper and Mrs Cooper's father Harold Roles as well as some friends will be on hand to see Glenda and Emily Cooper receive their degrees.

For more information, contact Shirley Glaister at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2339).