The Queensland Premier, Dr Anna Bligh, speaking at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday night
The Queensland Premier, Dr Anna Bligh, speaking at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday night
22 July 2010

GRADUATION ceremonies this week have brought classic scholarly scenes to The University of Queensland, with academic gowns and mortarboards aplenty being worn with pride around the Great Court and various hallowed halls.

Almost 3300 degrees are being awarded this week, in seven ceremonies.

Three ceremonies were held at UQ St Lucia on Wednesday, and another three will be held at St Lucia today. The first ceremony was at Ipswich on Monday.

The University on Wednesday night awarded a Doctor of Laws honoris causa to Premier Anna Bligh in recognition of her distinguished career and service to the state.

Dr Bligh said she was particularly honoured and proud to receive the award in the University's Centenary year.

Today, Justice Ian Callinan, a former High Court of Australia judge, will receive a Doctor of Laws honoris causa for his significant contributions in the fields of law and the arts.

A total of 251 Doctors of Philosophy will receive their awards this week, after candidates completed theses on topics as diverse as Buddhism, forestry, Parkinson's Disease, wine antioxidants, child development, 19th century German history, salmonella, rice cropping in Asia and Brisbane's homeless population.

Other topics UQ's latest PhDs investigated included newspaper cartoons, Chinese art, mangroves, immunity in rock oysters, Tasmanian devils, whalesong, linear optical quantum computing, parliamentary privilege, electricity price forecasting, sleep apnoea, basketball coaching and the migration of UK midwives to Queensland.

A total of 1167 Masters degrees will be awarded, in disciplines including engineering, information technology, water management, design, mineral resources, arts, agricultural studies, environmental management, food studies, psychology, governance and public policy, international studies, social science, music, linguistics, communication, education, journalism, biotechnology, entomology, law, commerce and Chinese language.

Chancellor John Story will preside at five ceremonies; deputy chancellor Mary Mahoney will oversee two.

One of the most esteemed graduates this week is Emeritus Professor Ross Humphreys, 82, who yesterday received his second PhD - 44 years after his first.

Professor Humphreys is a former pro vice-chancellor of Biological Sciences at UQ and a prolific science biographer.

His first PhD, received in 1966, was in Agricultural Science, and for the latest, he moved into the Arts faculty to gain a doctorate in literature.

Bachelor of Arts Josh Keyes-Liley, 20, built on a long family tradition when he graduated yesterday. He became the fourth generation of his family to gain a UQ degree, following in the footsteps of his parents, grandmothers, and one set of great grandparents.

At the Ipswich ceremony on Monday, awards were conferred in all the programs offered at UQ Ipswich, in the faculties of Arts; Business Economics and Law; Health Sciences; and Social and Behavioural Sciences.

UQ Chancellor John Story and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Alan Rix presided at the ceremony, in the Ipswich Civic Hall.

Speaker Professor Robert Bush, the director of the Healthy Communities Research Centre in UQ's Faculty of Health Sciences, encouraged the graduands to use the skills they gained at university not only in their working lives, but also for community benefit.

"Over the years, research on the health of communities has consistently found that those who are involved in their communities have better personal health and wellbeing," he said.

Media: Fiona Cameron, UQ Communications ph 07 3346 7086