20 July 2004

Australian media entrepreneur Reg Grundy will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy at a University of Queensland Faculty of Arts graduation ceremony today (Tuesday, July 20, at 4pm).

Mr Grundy, who will also address arts graduands at today's ceremony, is one of an interesting line-up of guest speakers for this year’s July graduation ceremonies to be held in the UQ Centre on July 20, 21 and 23.

Widely regarded as the “father of the Australian television production industry”, Mr Grundy is included in the all-time 100 most influential Australians (Sydney Morning Herald).

After developing a radio game show, Wheel of Fortune, later transferred to television (1959), Mr Grundy began to adapt American programs such as Concentration and Say When for the Australian television market.

By the late 1970s, Mr Grundy’s company, now known as the Grundy Organisation, had purchased game show formats including the enduring Sale of the Century and had developed dramas including Prisoner, The Young Doctors, The Restless Years, Sons and Daughters and Neighbours.

At one stage, he had production houses and offices in France, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, Belgium, Greece, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Italy, Israel, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong and Holland.

Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at UQ, Professor Kevin Clements, will be guest speaker at the 6pm ceremony today (Tuesday, July 20) for graduates from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Professor Clements was formerly Secretary-General of International Alert — one of the world’s largest Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) working on conflict transformation.

Former Queensland Governor (1997–2003), Major-General Peter Arnison AC, CVO, KstJ, will address commerce and economics graduands at the 3pm Business, Economics and Law (BEL) Faculty graduation ceremony on Wednesday, July 21.

His military career includes serving as Commander of the 3rd Brigade in Townsville (1987-88); Director-General Joint Operations and Plans, Headquarters Australian Defence Force in Canberra (1990); Commander of 1st Division (1991-94); and Land Commander of the Australian Army (1994-96).

At the later (6pm), BEL Faculty ceremony, Professor James (Jim) O’Donovan will receive his Doctor of Laws and be guest speaker.

A former teacher with UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law, he is now Dean of Law at the University of Western Australia and a consultant to top-tier Australian law firm, Clayton Utz.

At the 3pm ceremony on Friday, July 23, for the Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture (EPSA) Faculty, Dr Tony Keller will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science and address graduands.

As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bruker Biospin in Germany, he has collaborated with the University’s Centre for Magnetic Resonance (CMR) on many productive research projects.

In 1967, his first NMR patent — stabilisation of a magnetic field allowing for the first time very slow sweeps for ultra-high resolution — helped the company achieve its first European and American (to Yale University) sales.

Since first meeting the CMR’s Professor David Doddrell in the early 1980s, the Centre and Bruker have embarked on a highly productive research collaboration with UQ producing sophisticated equipment to complement the spectrometers while Bruker distributes new equipment created worldwide through its established sales network.

Now Bruker CEO, Dr Keller presides over a multinational company producing equipment with fields of up to 900 MHz and entirely digitised.

At the 5pm (Friday, July 23) ceremony for the Biological and Chemical Sciences; Health; and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences faculties, Dr Jim Peacock, AC, President of the Australian Academy of Science will address graduands.

A recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2000, Dr Peacock is also a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

As a former head of the CSIRO’s plant unit, Dr Peacock and his research partner Dr Liz Dennis isolated the flowering master gene, essentially a minute unit of DNA.

Drs Peacock and Dennis discovered that the gene, automatically switched "on", can be overriden when a plant’s seed was exposed to extreme cold. Tweaking the gene can improve outcomes in everything from farm forestry to the cut-flower market.

Media contact: Shirley Glaister (telephone: 07 3365 3374, email: s.glaister@uq.edu.au) or Jan King (telephone: 07 3365 1120, email: j.king@uq.edu.au) at UQ Communications.