Issue 7
Monday, 07 September 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Professor Rolf Gerritsen (right) presents Faye Strachan with advice of CDU’s intention to award Strachy with an honorary degree
Professor Rolf Gerritsen (right) presents Faye Strachan with advice of CDU’s intention to award Strachy with an honorary degree

Centralian to be awarded honorary degree

By Patrick Nelson

Charles Darwin University will honour former long-term central Australian staffer Peter Strachan with a posthumous honorary Master of Arts degree.

“Strachy” as he was known by friends and colleagues, was the Alice Springs campus based Remote Engagement Liaison Officer who in his own time had almost completed a research project into Indigenous employment in central Australia, when he died in 2019.

Supervisor, Northern Institute Professor Rolf Gerritsen said that Indigenous employment had been an issue close to Strachy’s heart for 40 years.

“It bothered Strachy that non-government organisations would frequently recruit non-Aboriginal people with high-level formal qualifications in preference to quality local Aboriginal people with good knowledge, skills and networks but fewer formal qualifications,” Professor Gerritsen said.

“Having identified factors that influence labour market change, Strachy had developed some ideas that potentially would have improved the Aboriginal employment rate and boosted economic development.”

Strachy’s widow Faye Strachan said she had been touched by the University Council’s gesture.

“It’s a wonderful honour. Strachy had a passion for Indigenous issues; particularly education and employment. He worked on it right until the end.”

Professor Gerritsen said the University planned to formally present the testamur to Faye at the graduation ceremony in Alice Springs next year.