ACU graduation to honour Jimmy Little

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Brisbane, 10 April, 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) will award acclaimed Indigenous performer Jimmy Little with its highest honour, Doctor of the University (Honoris Causa), at the first of its 2007 Brisbane graduation ceremonies tomorrow.

More than 600 students from ACU’s Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) will graduate in two ceremonies at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with Mr Little performing two songs as part of his occasional address to graduates at the morning ceremony.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO said Mr Little had achieved “legendary status” within the Australian community for his work on and off the stage.

“James Oswald Little’s musical career spans more than 50 years and has seen him inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame, achieve Gold record sales, headline at the Sydney Opera House and perform at the invitation of the late Pope John Paul II and Queen Mother, among numerous other achievements,” Professor Sheehan said.

“Importantly, Jimmy has used his fame as a platform to selflessly champion improved health and education outcomes for Indigenous people. His teaching and mentoring work at the Eora Aboriginal Education Centre at Redfern, his ambassadorial roles with the Fred Hollows Foundation and Kidney Health Australia, and his stewardship of the Jimmy Little Foundation – which promotes better health in remote Indigenous communities – have earned him many accolades, including an Order of Australia Medal in 2003.

“In recognition of Jimmy Little’s outstanding community work and his significant contribution to Australian culture, ACU is delighted to bestow its highest honour upon him.”

Also receiving an Honorary Doctorate tomorrow is former Queensland Parliamentarian Terry Sullivan, who will be honoured for his service to the people of Queensland and his commitment to social justice causes. Mr Sullivan will receive his award and give the occasional address at the evening graduation ceremony.

ACU’s Brisbane Campus has more than 2,500 students enrolled in academic programs in arts, business, education, information systems, nursing, and other health sciences, psychology, social science and theology.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.