Else Shepherd is a pioneer and role model in breaking through the barriers to women's professional acceptance particularly in “non-traditional” fields such as engineering.
Else Shepherd is a pioneer and role model in breaking through the barriers to women's professional acceptance particularly in “non-traditional” fields such as engineering.
13 July 2011

Visionary philanthropist Graeme Wood and a role model for women in non-traditional fields such as engineering, Else Shepherd AM, will each receive honorary doctorates during UQ's graduation this week.

The honorary doctorates will be officially presented at tomorrow's 11am Faculty of Business, Economics and Law graduation ceremony (Graeme Wood) and at the 6pm ceremony on Friday, July 22, for the faculties of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology; and Health Sciences (Else Shepherd AM). Both ceremonies will be held in the UQ Centre on the St Lucia campus.

Mr Wood, who will receive a Doctor of Economics honoris causa, is one of Queensland’s most successful entrepreneurs and a national leader in philanthropy for education, arts, the environment and youth.

His visionary philanthropy is having a major impact in higher education through his strategic resourcing of cutting-edge research into global-scale changes and his support for talented students.

He is co-founder and chair of The University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef), Director of The Graeme Wood Foundation and Founder and Chief Executive of WildMob.

Mr Wood, a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Information Systems graduate from UQ, also gifted $15 million towards a sustainable building to house a new University of Queensland institute in March 2010 that is targeting solutions for problems linked to global-scale change.

Click here to read the full citation.

Ms Shepherd AM, who will receive a Doctor of Engineering honoris causa, was one of the first two women to graduate from electrical engineering at UQ in 1965, and at one time she was one of only two female engineers working in Queensland.

After graduating, Ms Shepherd worked as an operation research engineer at the Sugar Research Institute in Mackay. She had recently married, and during this period it was unusual for married women to work in factories with men.

The Institution of Engineers, Australia, named Ms Shepherd the 2000 Queensland Professional Engineer of the Year, yet when she joined in the 1960s she could not attend their meetings, which were held at the local Men's Club.

The Institution moved venues and Ms Shepherd went on to become an influential member, paving the way for other women engineers in Australia.

In 1994, she was appointed to her current position as Chair of Powerlink, which maintains Queensland’s electricity transmission.

Ms Shepherd is a trained musician (piano) with vast experience as a choral conductor and director of arts organisations. She received a Graduate Diploma in Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1984.

Click here to read full citation.

Also receiving awards during the July graduation period will be:

• Dr Keith Greenland, MBBS, PhD Qld, FANZCA, FHKAM (Anaesthesiology), who will receive a Doctor of Medicine in recognition of his contributions to the study of difficult airway management in Australia and internationally, and
• Professor Ross Thomas Barnard, who will receive a Doctor of Science in recognition of his impressive record of achievement in developing diagnostic tools and assays for applications in both pure research and clinical settings, continued research his field and key role in passing on his knowledge to students through his strong involvement in the very successful UQ biotechnology program.

Media: Shirley Glaister (07 3365 2802) at UQ Communications.