10 December 2008

He’s had students high five him, take pictures on stage and offer bear hugs, but UQ Chancellor Sir Llew Edwards, AC, was lost for words when one graduate took to the podium recently.

Sir Llew’s son David was a surprise addition to a Faculty of Arts and SBS ceremony on December 3, fulfilling a journey which had been 20 years in the making.

Now the Queensland Director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the nation’s oldest independent economic thinktank, Mr Edwards completed a dual Bachelor of Economics / Bachelor of Arts in 1989, but was more interested in seeing the world than donning a cap and gown.

“I always promised my parents that I would complete my university studies prior to travelling abroad so as soon as my final exams were over, I was off – attending a ceremony in 1989 was certainly not a high priority,” Mr Edwards said.

“However over the years, Dad subtly suggested I should attend a graduation ceremony.

“With Dad’s retirement as Chancellor, I thought it would be a nice surprise for him to present one of his children with their degree at one of his final graduation ceremonies.”

Mr Edwards thanked staff from the Vice-Chancellor’s office who made the surprise possible and ensured it went off without a hitch.

“We managed to keep it a secret and it was not until Professor Richard Fotheringham introduced me that Dad realised what was happening,” he said.

“Dad is known for making graduates feel special during the ceremonies – on this occasion I think he was lost for words.

“It was quite emotional really – my wife Sybil couldn’t attend but my two daughters were there and an aunt and uncle who I saw a lot of at my time at University.”

Mr Edwards said he had many fond memories of his time at UQ including cramming for exams, end-of-semester celebrations at the Regatta and occasionally skiving off for a surf before lectures.

Sir Llew will preside over his last graduation as Chancellor on December 15, with all remaining ceremonies streamed live over the internet.

Media: Cameron Pegg at UQ Communications (07 3365 2049, c.pegg@uq.edu.au)

UQ is making its graduation ceremonies available online with live streaming for the first time.

The service is being offered to allow friends and family of graduating students who cannot attend the ceremonies an opportunity to view the proceedings live from any internet connected computer around the world.

Go to the following link and when prompted type in the word guest in the user name field and click OK. There is no need to enter a password. Once you have entered the site, click on the eye icon in the top right-hand corner and you will be asked to select your streaming settings., following which the video stream will be played live.


For a full list of graduation ceremonies and times please visit http://www.uq.edu.au/graduations/