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Comedian, shipbuilder, author and dancer set for honorary awards

Friday, 02 February 2018


Comedian, author and self-confessed maths geek Adam Spencer (Triple J, Good News Week) will join six other honorary degree recipients and nearly 2500 ECU graduates in crossing the stage at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre this weekend.

Dr Spencer will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa, recognising how his passionate promotion of mathematics and science has raised the profile and popularity of these disciplines for Australians of all ages.

Other prominent Australians will receive honorary doctorates recognising their contributions in diverse fields including disability advocacy, media, arts, engineering and nursing.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman CBE congratulated Dr Spencer on his award.

“Mr Spencer’s energy and passion for science, mathematics and knowledge is irrepressible and infectious. He combines his extraordinary knowledge with his compassion for people to promote the importance of helping each other and educating each other, lighting the way for new generations to follow his inspiring example,” Professor Chapman said.

“I congratulate all of our graduates and honorary award recipients and welcome them into ECU’s 100,000-strong alumni community.”

Honorary award recipients include:

Graeme Innes AM (Doctor of the University)

Blind since birth, Dr Innes is a former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights Commissioner Race and Discrimination Commissioner. He is the current chair of the Attitude Foundation, which advocates for more realistic portrayals in the media of people with a disability.

Adam Spencer (Doctor of Science)

Dr Adam Spencer is an Australian comedian and media personality whose passionate promotion of mathematics and science has raised the profile and popularity of these disciplines for Australians of all ages.

Graeme Charles Simsion (Doctor of Arts)

Dr Graeme Simsion is a New-Zealand-born Australian writer of short stories, novels, screenplays and non-fiction who has reinvented himself multiple times in the course of his unique and diverse career. He obtained his PhD in data modelling before becoming an award winning novelist, publishing the The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect and The Best of Adam Sharp.

Rosemary Bryant AO (Doctor of Nursing)

Dr Bryant was Executive Director of the Royal College of Nursing and was appointed Australia’s first Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer. ECU is delighted to recognise her outstanding career achievements as well as her extraordinary contributions to patients, their families, nurses, midwives and Australia’s health care system.

David Singleton (Doctor of Engineering)

With over 20 years of international business experience in senior executive roles, Dr Singleton is highly respected within industry and government for his exemplary record as an industry leader. He is a former CEO of Clough Ltd, Poseidon Nickel Ltd and the current CEO of Austal Ltd. He has contributed significantly to the growth of the engineering industry in Western Australia, and has brought remarkable growth to the shipbuilding industry in Western Australia at Austal.

Jill Perryman AM MBE (Doctor of Performing Arts)

Dr Perryman has had an extraordinary performing arts career in musical theatre, starring in Hello Dolly! and The Boy from Oz. She is also a highly accomplished dramatic actress. Her credits include ‘night Mother, Brighton Beach Memoirs, GULLS and Noises Off. For her extraordinary career as an Australian stage performer and for the care, wisdom and grace with which she has inspired and mentored countless new performers in the entertainment community, Ms Perryman is a worthy recipient of an ECU honorary degree.

Kevan Johnston OAM (Doctor of Performing Arts)

Dr Johnston is a highly accomplished dancer, actor and choreographer who has tirelessly encouraged and supported the growth of young talent in the performing arts. Beyond his stage work, Mr Johnston took enormous pride in his teaching and choreographic roles at ECU’s Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he tutored for many years


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