Robyn Archer and Phillip Adams honoured

4 May 2005

Two of Australia's 'National Treasures', Robyn Archer and Phillip Adams will be awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Sydney this Friday 6 May 2005.

Robyn Archer and Phillip Adams will receive their honorary degrees at separate graduation ceremonies for Arts students on Friday afternoon in the Great Hall. Both will also deliver the occasional address to graduates.

Robyn Archer, AO - singer, writer, performer, theatre and festival director - will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at 2pm.

Phillip Adams, AO - writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and arguably one of Australia's most prominent public intellectuals - will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at 4pm.

Over the last 30 years, Robyn Archer has made an outstanding contribution to the artistic and cultural life of Australia. After gaining a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in English from the University of Adelaide, Robyn Archer began her career as an English teacher before her 'other career' as a performer took over. She gained international recognition for her work as an interpreter of the music of Brecht/Weill/Eisler and Weimar Germany after performing in The Seven Deadly Sins and The Threepenny Opera in 1974/75. Working in London and Australia, she wrote, directed and performed in many cabaret shows including Kold Komfort Kaffee (1978), A Star is Torn (1979), The Pack of Women (1981) and Scandals (1985). Several of these played to packed houses in the Seymour Centre.

In the 1990s, Robyn Archer took on further challenges as Artistic Director of arts and cultural festivals including the Adelaide Festival of the Arts and Melbourne International Festival. In 2001 she took over a whole state as director of the biennial Ten Days on the Island, a celebration of the arts in Tasmania. She is about to expand her repertoire again as Artistic Director of the Liverpool European Capital of Culture year of celebrations in 2008 and Liverpool's 200th birthday in 2007.

As a public commentator, broadcaster and columnist, Phillip Adams is one of the major facilitators of debate in Australia. He has made pivotal contributions to Australia's identity across film, broadcasting and print media. Helping to create the Australia Council, Phillip established Australia's National Film School as well as the South Australian Film Corporation. As Chair of the Australian Film Commission, he signed Australia's first co-production agreements with France and the UK.

Phillip Adams was appointed Foundation Chair for the Commission of the Future; served as Chairman of the National Australia Day Council and recently co-founded the human rights organisation A Just Australia. Phillip has also chaired the Australian Film Institute and Film Australia and was declared Humanist of the Year in 1987.

Enquiries: Andrew Potter 02 9351 4514 / 0414 998 521; Virginia Gawler: 9351 2261 / 0423 782 603