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Posts Tagged ‘University of Tasmania’

CRM D LittThank you, Chancellor and Council, for this great honour which the University has conferred upon me.  I am deeply grateful to the University for what it has brought to my life.

I also wish to acknowledge that we are meeting on the lands of  the Moo-he-ne-nah  (Mouheneenner) People and pay my respects.

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UTas Distinguished Alumni Award

UTas Distinguished Alumni Award

I entered the university in March 1948 aged 16 years and 4 months on the Sir Richard Dry Exhibition and within a week the University had set me on one of my main courses for life.  On the Ides of March at the Glebe Theatre Players I met the student who was to become my husband, ex-serviceman David Mattingley.  We have now received our letter from the Queen and between us our association with UTAS spans 135 years!  We know that at least one of you here tonight has an equally long association.  Peter Saunders danced at our wedding!

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CRM D LittMy website was neglected in 2015 as my husband was ill but  I had to continue working on three major books: Forward March; Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story; and Our Mob – God’s Story,  the Aboriginal Christian art book for the Bible Society’s bicentenary in 2017.  I also gave the keynote address at the Australian and New Zealand Public Librarians Conference in Adelaide; hosted and addressed the University of Tasmania Alumni Reunion in Adelaide; spoke at the SAETA (South Australian English Teachers’ Association) Meet the Writers Festival; and flew to Hobart to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from my alma mater, the University of Tasmania, in the Federation Concert Hall.

The University of Tasmania, the fourth oldest in Australia, was celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015, and I was invited to contribute an essay to its ebook of 125 essays.  So I wrote Merci, Monsieur Maurois, acknowledging the influence of French writer André Maurois on me when I was a student at the University from 1948 to 1950.  It was Maurois’ work as a biographer that initially inspired me to want to write biography.

By coincidence I was also invited to update my own biography in the Gale Research Something about the Author Series –  a 5000 word essay covering the 25 years since I had written the original essay, during which period I had written 19 books.  So it was quite a task.

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