In Touch: Newsletter for the Murdoch University Alumni, vol. 4, no. 2, Winter 1995

First graduate does it again

WHEN Garry Gillard began studying at Murdoch in 1974 the university campus was in its embryonic stages.

The office of his supervisor, Foundation Professor John Frodsham, was situated in the living room of what is now the Noalimba Accommodation and Conference Centre in Bateman, and the Murdoch campus itself could only be accessed by a series of dirt tracks.

When Dr Gillard, now a lecturer in Communication Studies, crossed the stage to receive his Master of Philosophy degree in 1977 he made University history as its first graduate—the graduate with the lowest assigned student number—749003.

"There was a wonderful atmosphere at that first graduation ceremony," he said. "I considered studying at Murdoch to be a great opportunity. It was exciting to be a part of a new university."

[caption] Dr Garry Gillard celebrates getting his PhD. >

After a number of years interstate and overseas—as a Senior Tutor at Deakin University and as Co-ordinator of Course Development at the University of the South Pacific—Dr Gillard returned to Murdoch in 1985 to work in the now-dispersed External Studies Section.

It was at this time he decided to undertake doctoral studies, focusing on 'the homologous qualities of the theories of Freud, Levi-Strauss and Bateson as a basic methodology for the investigation of the collective unconscious'.

Those studies came to fruition at one of this year's Degree Ceremonies when Dr Gillard was awarded his PhD, watched by members of his family and by colleagues from the School of Humanities.

"I was particularly pleased to receive my doctorate on the same night that Murdoch's former Chancellor, Sir Ronald Wilson, was awarded his honorary doctorate," he said. "Sir Ronald delivered an absolutely fantastic speech, and I consider it a great honour to have sat on the same stage that evening.

"It was also a pleasure to receive my doctorate on the same night as my colleagues Dr John Richardson and Dr Jon Watts.

"Murdoch has played a major role in my life and, like my family, is one of the most significant factors in it."


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