VC's Update - December 2017 graduations

15 December 2017

Hi everyone,

It has been another fantastic week of graduations at ANU and I would like to congratulate all of our students who received their degrees this week. I've enjoyed applauding loudly as each of you walked across the stage to receive your testamur. You've put in the hard work and deserve to take all of the plaudits and accolades coming your way. The whole ANU community congratulates you on your achievement.

Congratulations also to our University medallists. One of the medallists, Dean Cross, was picked this year to attend the Venice Biennale and has broadened his experience from the performing arts to become a visual artist. Two graduands received Tillyard Prizes - congratulations to Yash Vyas and Odette Shenfield for receiving this honour.

On a side note it was great to mingle with all of you after the ceremonies, to meet your families and friends and to wish you well in your future endeavours. For many of us, graduations is easily the highlight of the University year. It gives us a chance to take time out of our busy schedules and remember why we are here. So well done to each of you.

During the ceremonies, seven distinguished leaders were given honorary doctorates, including our alumna The Honourable Susan Ryan AO. Susan has arguably been one of Australia's greatest champions for women and equal opportunity. Through her many distinguished roles she has helped break down barriers for women in the workforce and deliver the social reforms necessary to help women realise their potential. The fact that so many of our graduates these days are women has much to do with her trailblazing work. The world is changing because of a lot of the work she has done.  

We were also pleased to honour Professor Matthias Hentze MD for his contribution to science, The Hon Kate Lundy for her contribution to advocacy and policy for information, communications and technology, Professor John Shine AC for his contribution to biological science, Professor Bertil Andersson for his exceptional contributions to science, The Hon Fred Chaney AO for his contribution to public service and his lifelong commitment to Indigenous issues, and Mr John Mitchell for his contribution to the standing and reputation of the University.

And lastly, congratulations to Professor Tom Griffiths, who recently won the ACT Book of the Year Award for his book The Art of Time Travel.

Tom Griffiths is a great and engaging writer. This award is another well-deserved honour to add to his long list of honours, including the Prime Minister's Prize for History. I've got this book on my summer reading list and if you're looking for a last minute Christmas present for curious family and friends, add this to your list.