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Honorary Doctorates Conferred at JCU

On April 19, 2021, JCU conferred honorary degrees on several very worthy people - many of whom have had close relationships with the Library over the years, so we are incredibly happy to see them get this nod. Four in particular are very closely associated with our library, and we'd like to give them a shout out with their new titles:

Part of the Shaw Collection. Photograph by JCU Library.

Dr Edna Shaw. The Shaw Collection of Australian Art and Culture is something of a love story. Over the course of more than a decade, until her death in 2019, Edna Shaw donated more than 5,500 works to our Library in honour of her late father. It's an amazing collection and we are incredibly proud to be the custodians of this treasure trove. Edna Shaw is dear to our hearts and we are so happy to see her acknowledged with an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Dr Laurie Bragge. One of our newest collections, being donated to the library in 2019, is the Bragge Collection, which features works collected by Laurie Bragge concerning Papua New Guinea and the Sepik people in particular. It's tied in with a collection of artefacts held by JCU's Material Culture Collection. Laurie Bragge has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Figure collected by Laurie Bragge. Photograph by Daniela Vavrova 


Photograph from the Birrell Archive

Dr James Birrell. Award winning architect James Birrell designed the original library building on the Bebegu Yumba (Townsville) campus. The library has gone on to be acknowledged as one of Australia's top concrete buildings. The library building is a fine example of the Brutalist Architectural style, which can be polarising - some people love it, while others hate it. We think it grows on you; if you don't immediately love it, you'll probably fall in love with it soon enough. James Birrell has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Dr Eddie Koiki Mabo. That Library building we mentioned above – the one designed by James Birrell? We named it in honour of Eddie Koiki Mabo in 2008, to honour the great contribution Mabo has made to the Australian legal system and the significant role he has played in recent history. He worked for the University at the time when he was making his first steps towards the Mabo Case, and used our Library to conduct some of his research. Eddie Koiki Mabo has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of the University.

Photograph by Through the Looking Glass Photography

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