Issue 6 - 2 July 2012 enews home

Friends, former colleagues celebrate Nan Giese's life


Adam Bourke

A time for reflection at the public celebration for a former Chancellor of the Northern Territory University, Dr Nan Giese

Friends and former colleagues of Nancy (Nan) Giese AO OBE Doctor of Education, honoris causa attended a celebration of the education pioneer's life last week on Casuarina campus.

The former Chancellor of the Northern Territory University passed away in May, aged 90.

Dr Giese's contributions over 60 years to the development of education, the arts and culture in the Northern Territory were reflected in the tributes at the public celebration held in the Mal Nairn Auditorium.

CDU Chancellor Her Honour The Honourable Sally Thomas AM, former NTU Chancellor The Hon Austin Asche AC QC, former NT Administrator The Hon Tom Pauling AO QC KStJ, and CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover were among those who gave tributes.

Members of the Darwin Chorale and the Darwin Symphony Orchestra performed before a large crowd that included Dr Giese's daughter Diana, grandchildren Bryn, Stephen and Dominique, and daughter-in-law Rhonda.

Dr Giese was a member of the founding committee and later President of the Arts Council of the NT, a founding committee member of the Museums and Art Galleries Board NT, a member of the Darwin Hospital Advisory Board, President of the National Council of Women NT, committee member and later Director of the Darwin Performing Arts Centre Board, and Federal Vice-President of the Australia Council for the Arts.

She was also deeply committed to developing the education sector in the Territory.

Dr Giese was a committee member of the Darwin Community College and a member of its Interim Council, Chair of the Darwin Community College Council, and Commissioner of the NT Vocational Training Commission.

Following a period as Chair of the Council of the Darwin Institute of Technology in the 1980s, Dr Giese was appointed the inaugural Deputy Chancellor of the Northern Territory University. In 1993 she succeeded The Hon Austin Asche AO to become the second Chancellor of the Northern Territory University (which became Charles Darwin University in 2003). She served as Chancellor for 10 years. During this period of development of the Territory's new university she was instrumental in guiding the establishment of the university's extensive art collection and fostering its musical life, among many other achievements.

In 2009 the University Council bestowed upon her the title Emeritus Chancellor in recognition of her long service in university governance.