Germaine Greer speaks to University of Sydney graduates
4 November 2005
The internationally acclaimed writer, broadcaster and academic Professor Germaine Greer addressed University of Sydney Arts graduates today after being awarded an honorary doctorate at their graduation ceremony.
As a post-graduate student and tutor at the University of Sydney in the 1960s, Professor Greer was passionately involved in campus life, particularly in student theatre and journalism, and she urged today’s graduates to continue to exercise their minds and maintain a critical perspective in their post-university lives.
“Your horizon has enlarged; you are in a bigger world now,” she said.
“The media assumes you are stupid, the government relies on your being stupid but you are not stupid.
“Intellectual ability is like sexual ability: use it or lose it,” she said.
Professor Greer described the Arts graduates’ ability to think critically about material presented to them as a treasure noone could take away from them.
“When things get bad, when you’re bored shifting around enormous hedge funds or when you’re pole dancing, you’ve still got this ability,” she said. “You have this option and every time you use your critical ability you achieve a little more freedom.”
Professor Greer also urged the graduates to stay a part of the academic fellowship and maintain their ties to their student cohort.