22 May 2003
More than 2200 graduates will be rewarded for their hard
work tonight and tomorrow when they receive formal recognition
of successfully finishing their tertiary studies at the
The Northern Territory University’s outdoor graduation
ceremonies will begin on both nights, Thursday and Friday,
22 – 23 May, at 6.30 pm, at the Casuarina Campus.
This year’s ceremonies hold special significance
for many as the NTU moves into a new chapter of Territory
history as the Charles Darwin University later this year.
Thursday night’s event will feature Australian National
University Vice-Chancellor Ian Chubb, who will present the
Occasional Address to graduands.
Friday night will see the degree of Doctor of the University,
Honoris Causa, awarded to Paul Everingham, Officer of the
Order of Australia and the Territory’s first Chief
The award recognises Mr Everingham’s outstanding
contribution to the creation of the NTU as well as his notable
service to the Northern Territory community as a whole.
Mr Everingham was one of the founders of the Country Liberal
Party in 1974 and in October that year was elected Member
for Jingili in the first fully elected Legislative Assembly
of the Northern Territory.
He was returned by election in August 1977 and was selected
by his colleagues to become parliamentary leader of the
CLP and in turn the Majority Leader in the Legislative Assembly.
In that capacity he took charge of the Northern Territory’s
transition to self-government becoming the Territory’s
first Chief Minister in 1978.
Mr Everingham’s vision was for a Northern Territory
that would be equivalent to other Australian States. He
argued that such equivalence should include an equality
of educational opportunities for Territorians.
In August 1979 he announced a commitment to the establishment
of a University in the Northern Territory. In 1980 he set
up a committee to advise his government on the best pathway
to the establishment of a university.
Following a number of setbacks, the Everingham government
established a university-planning unit and in November 1982
the University of the Northern Territory Planning Authority
was given a statutory basis by the passage of the University
(Interim Arrangements) Act.
By the end of 1984 a working party had concluded an arrangement
to establish within the Territory a College of the University
of Queensland. The arrangement was the genesis of the Northern
Territory University, as we know it today.
This University is enduring proof of the strength and effectiveness
of his commitment to the Northern Territory.