Honorary awards

Dr Peter Chippendale

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Dr Peter Chippendale at the Education and Social Work graduation ceremony held at 2.00pm on 20 April 2007.

Dr Peter Chippendale

The Chancellor the Hon Justice Kim Santow conferring the title upon Dr Chippendale, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Chancellor, I present to you, Peter Chippendale, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Education, of this University, and Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Lancaster, for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Dr Chippendale’s research interest has been largely in the history of the higher learning, especially in the English and Irish traditions, and in Nineteenth Century New South Wales.

Thus his MA Thesis was titled ‘The Changing Idea of the University in Colonial New South Wales 1860-1890’, while his PhD bore the title, ‘The Debate on the Idea of the University in England and Ireland, 1825-c.1850, and Its Implications for the Early Development of the Idea of the University in New South Wales, 1845-c.1860’.

At the same time, he maintained an interest in the philosophy of education, in which field he presented ‘The Contribution of Rational Humanist Thinkers to the Educational Thought of the Twentieth Century’, as a dissertation for the degree of Master of Education. He was one of the earliest MEd graduates here, in 1962.

His research brought him into touch with some of the University’s most distinguished scholars - including Geoff Sherington and the late Bill Connell, Ken Cable, and Cliff Turney.

The high point in his research came with the publication of Volume I, of ‘Australia’s First: A History of the University of Sydney 1850-1939’, commissioned by the Senate as the official history of the University, and published by Hale & Iremonger in 1991.

Early in 1988 Dr Chippendale retired from the position of Head of the Higher Education Research Unit, in the University of Southern Queensland. The so-called ‘HEU’, he says, ‘in fact consisted of my secretary, Joan Wilberforce, and me. Nevertheless, we formed one of the most powerful influences in Australian higher education in the late Twentieth Century - conducting a series of annual conferences on current issues of fundamental importance in Australian Higher Education, and we regularly attracted speakers and delegates of the calibre of Peter Karmel, Senator John Button, Sir Bruce Williams, Sir John Carrick, and many others. Participants, moreover, normally included academics and academic administrators from all states and territories. I remain deeply indebted to Joan’.

After retiring Dr Chippendale continued what had become almost another, or parallel, career during his working life. He had spent many years as an elected staff member of the Council of the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, the predecessor of University of Southern Queensland, and was appointed by the Education Minister, Paul Braddy, in the then recently elected Goss Government, to the Governing Council of USQ.

During the 1980s Dr Chippendale helped to establish the University of Sydney Alumni Association, Darling Downs, which embraced Sydney graduates, not only across the Downs, but also included members from Western Queensland and Greater Brisbane. Dr Chippendale invited Sir Bruce Williams to become Patron of the organisation, which he readily accepted. Sir Bruce addressed the inaugural dinner of the Association and throughout the 80s and 90s functions conducted by the Association became a kind of focal point for intellectual nourishment among Sydney graduates.

Dr Chippendale was elected Deputy Chancellor of USQ. In the 1990s, and while the incumbent of this senior office, he attempted to inculcate many of the values of the University of Sydney into the operation of the regional institution.

Finally, it should be noted that Dr Chippendale had a significant influence on higher education policy, not only in his choice of conference topics and papers, but also in his research and publications; for example, Changing Patterns of Teaching and Learning: the Use and Potential of Distance Education Materials in Australian Higher Education, researched and written together with Professor Dick Johnson, for the National Board of Education and Training in 1992.

Chancellor, I present to you Peter Richard Chippendale and invite you to confer upon him the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.