Featured News Robed and ready: 221 new Cairns graduates

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Mon, 27 Mar 2023

Robed and ready: 221 new Cairns graduates

Dr Alice Herbert explored the ways Far North Queensland’s regional, rural and remote secondary schools adapt education policies to suit their unique situations.

From improving policy development for northern Australia, to helping banana farms recover from disease, and investigating what lives in ant plants (it’s not just ants): the 17 James Cook University researchers who received their doctorates at graduation in Cairns on Friday have added to our knowledge of the world around us.

The PhD recipients were among 221 graduands who celebrated with family and friends at at the Cairns Convention Centre in JCU’s first graduation ceremony of the year.

A further 92 degrees were conferred in the lead-up to the ceremony, bringing the total number of Cairns graduates to 313.

Ecologist and conservation planner Peter Stanton was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science honoris causa, in recognition of his more than 60 years of exceptional service to his field.

“Dr Stantonwas largely responsible for the nomination of many if not most of the national parks in north-eastern Australia, including parks that form the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area,” Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs said at Friday’s ceremony.

In a study of the forests of the Wet Tropics, Dr Stanton identified and described 250 distinct tropical forest ecosystems, making it the most detailed such study in the world.

This was the last Cairns graduation ceremony at which Chancellor Bill Tweddell will preside.

Since he first took up his duties as Chancellor in 2016, Mr Tweddell has personally conferred degrees on more than 3,100 Cairns graduates.

“Meeting our graduates and their families is a highlight of the year for me, and these are memories I will treasure as I take my leave from the role of Chancellor,” Mr Tweddell said.