26 March 2012

Laureate Professor John Ralston AOThe University of South Australia’s graduation ceremonies this week will honour former South Australian of the Year, Laureate Professor John Ralston AO, who has recently retired after a distinguished career as one of Australia’s most prominent physical chemists.
Prof Ralston, who was UniSA’s Director of the Ian Wark Research Institute, is a former South Australian Scientist of the Year who made a distinguished contribution to the world’s scientific community.
His Honorary Award is one of four being presented at the graduation ceremonies, which run from Monday March 26 until Friday March 30 at Adelaide Festival Theatre. More than 3000 students are set to down their gowns and mortar boards as they graduate during the week.
Honorary awards will be presented to Prof Ralston, who will be conferred the award of Emeritus Laureate Professor; Professor Roger Smart, who will be conferred the award of Emeritus Professor; Professor Andrew Gilbert, who will be conferred the award of Emeritus Professor; and Ms Fiona Hall; who will receive an Honorary Doctorate Award.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj says Prof Ralston has made a significant impact on both the research community and in supporting vast improvements and cost benefits across an industry sector.
“His contribution as both a leader and researcher has been significant and the impact of his work has been felt nationally and internationally by industry,” Prof Høj says.
“The breakthroughs that have emanated from his research have led to significant, tangible improvements in the practice of minerals processing and particle and surface technology, delivering benefits for industry worldwide.”
Prof Høj also noted the achievements of Professors Smart and Gilbert, and Ms Hall.
“Prof Smart helped Prof Ralston set up the Ian Wark Research Institute, and continues to be involved in three important projects through the Minerals and Materials Science and Technology group at UniSA’sMawson Institute,” he says.
“Prof Gilbert has motivated thousands of pharmacy graduates to strive for excellence in their professional roles and ensured that UniSA’s pharmacy program is considered among the best in Australia. His eminence as a pharmacy researcher has been recognised nationally and internationally.
“Ms Hall is recognised as one of Australia’s most celebrated and successful visual artists. Her uniquely original work expresses complex ideas, often relating to the environmental challenges the planet faces, through mediums including photography, sculpture, public art, installation and garden design.”
Prof Høj says UniSA is proud to have high profile guest speakers at each day of the graduation ceremonies. 
Occasional address speakers are BankSA Managing Director Jane Kittel, SA Water Chairman Lew Owens, Anglicare CEO Dr Lynn Arnold, Australian Centre for Child Protection Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott, Adelaide Festival Theatre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier, ASIC Regional Commissioner (SA) Mark Bielecki, RFDS Queensland Primary Health Care Manager Christopher Cliffe, Monash University School of Indigenous Health’s Professor Kerry Arabena, and NSW Chief Scientist Professor Mary O’Kane.
The Whyalla Campus graduation ceremony will be held at Middleback Theatre, Whyalla, on Friday 13 April.

Media contact

  • Kelly Stone office (08) 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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