18 December 2001

A Brisbane artist who has sculpted more than 300 works into the sandstone cloisters of The University of Queensland’s Great Court will tomorrow receive an honorary degree from the University.

Rhyl Hinwood (telephone 07 3378 3808) will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy for her outstanding contribution to the University and to the visual arts in Queensland.

Ms Hinwood, the University’s sculptor, will receive her Honorary Doctorate at a graduation ceremony tomorrow (Wednesday, December 19) at 6.15pm in Mayne Hall, St Lucia, the first of three Faculty of Arts ceremonies this week.

Besides her works at St Lucia, Ms Hinwood has carved many stone sculptures inspired by University of Queensland Press publications, as well as a 60 square metre frieze at the UQ Gatton campus depicting the Evolution of Agriculture.

Ms Hinwood won a national competition in 1976 in which the prize was a commission to complete the carvings on the Great Court, following the death of the first University sculptor, John Theodore Muller.

Her works also include a life-sized bronze figure in the Kitakyushu Municipal Art Museum in Japan; the ceramic Australian Coat of Arms in the House of Representatives in Parliament House, Canberra and the George Street Fountain in Brisbane.

Valedictorian at the ceremony will be Alison Clifton (telephone 07 3397 2529), a Bachelor of Arts graduand with a double major in English.

Her high Grade Point Average (GPA), which she prefers not to disclose, was recognised earlier this year when she was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement.

The 20-year-old plans to continue studying at UQ and will begin her year-long honours program early next year. Following this she plans to teach English in Japan.

Ms Hinwood will give the guest address at the ceremony, while The Brisbane Institute’s Professor Peter Spearritt and Dr Helen Nugent will be the guest speakers at the Mayne Hall ceremonies on Friday, December 21 at 4pm and 6.15pm respectively.

Appointed as Executive Director of the Institute in July this year, Professor Spearritt was Head of the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University and Foundation Director at the National Key Centre for Australian Studies.

Elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 1996, he was also a founding Co-Director of The Australia Centre at the University of Potsdam and was Deputy Chair of the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities.

Valedictorian at the 4pm ceremony will be Jodi Simpson (telephone 3843 0110), a Bachelor of Arts graduate who has just completed a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Writing, Editing and Publishing).

Ms Simpson, 24, who has received straight sevens (the highest grade possible) throughout her postgraduate studies, was also awarded the Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement three times during her undergraduate studies.

“I decided to extend my Bachelor of Arts to increase my professional qualifications,” she said.

Ms Simpson is founding Co-Editor of a Faculty of Arts e-newsletter, Arts News, and is editorial assistant for the Australian Journal of Communication.

Also graduating at the 4pm ceremony will be Finland-born Paivi Malo, who will receive her third UQ arts degree after 15 years of continual part-time or external study.

The 43-year-old was awarded her first arts degree in 1991 with majors in Russian, German, French and Japanese. In 1998 she completed her second degree with majors in Spanish and Ancient Greek.

This time, she will graduate with majors in Indonesian and Korean. Throughout her entire studies Ms Malo’s GPA has remained above a six.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from understanding other languages and people’s cultures, but even I’m amazed that I have been able to complete this amount of study!”

The third ceremony’s guest speaker, Dr Nugent, is The Brisbane Institute’s Director and Non-Executive Director of Macquarie Bank, United Energy and TAB Queensland. She is also Deputy Chair of The Australia Council (now an independent Australian company in Berlin) and Chair of the its Major Organisation Fund.

Valedictorian at the 6.15pm ceremony will be Bachelor of Music (honours) graduand Veronica Zahra (telephone 07 3876 0365).

Ms Zahra, 21, who will graduate with a concentration in vocal performance and a 2001 GPA of 6.75, was awarded the 2000 Margaret Nickson Prize in Voice and Accompaniment, the Ethel Osborn Scholarship and the 2001 Dante Alighieri Scholarship to study Italian for a year.

Next year, Ms Zahra plans to continue teaching and after completing postgraduate studies wants to pursue a career in opera singing.

Media: For further information, contact Joanne van Zeeland at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2619 or email: communications@uq.edu.au).