Distinguished UNE alumni to speak at Graduation

Published 02 April 2008


Dr Kerry Schott, the Managing Director of Sydney Water, will return to the University of New England this week to give the Occasional Address at the first of the University’s four Autumn Graduation ceremonies.

Dr Schott holds an Arts degree with First Class Honours from UNE, and was a member of the UNE Council – and Chair of its Finance Committee – in the late 1990s.

She is one of four distinguished speakers who will – through personal reminiscences and visions for the future – inspire graduands to build on their educational success for the benefit of the whole community.

Dr Schott, who was the recipient of UNE’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001, will be speaking at the ceremony for people graduating in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on Friday 4 April. The other Occasional Address speakers will be Professor Ron McCallum from Sydney University’s Faculty of Law on Saturday 5 April (Economics, Business and Law), the Victorian Senator Kay Patterson on Friday 11 April (Education and Professional Studies), and another UNE Honours graduate – John Ellice-Flint – on Saturday 12 April (the Sciences and Health). All four ceremonies will be held on the southern lawns of “Booloominbah”, beginning at 10.30 am.

Professor Ron McCallum AO, the Foundation Professor in Industrial Law at the University of Sydney, was the first totally blind professor in any field – and the first totally blind dean of a law school – at any university in Australia or New Zealand. He will be speaking at a ceremony during which the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, will present a UNE Young Distinguished Alumni Award to an outstanding graduate who is also visually impaired – Dr Theresa Smith-Ruig.

Professor Pettigrew will present a UNE Distinguished Alumni Award to Mr Ellice-Flint during the ceremony (on Saturday 12 April) at which he is guest speaker. Mr Ellice-Flint is an international leader in the oil and gas industry.

More than 2,300 people are graduating from UNE this autumn, and many of them will be attending the ceremonies at which UNE’s Deputy Chancellor, Dr James Harris, will present them with their testamurs.

During the ceremony on Saturday 12 April Dr Harris will present UNE’s Emeritus Professor Stuart Barker with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his leading role – through a long and distinguished career – in fundamental genetic research and its application to animal breeding and the conservation of animal genetic resources. And, over the four days, Professor Pettigrew will present Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence to five outstanding UNE academics. (More information will be posted at a later date.)