Fellows of Senate

Air Marshal Sir James Anthony Rowland AC KBE DFC AFC KStJ

Air Marshal Sir James Anthony Rowland AC KBE DFC AFC KStJ was Fellow of Senate and Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 1990 to 1991.


Profile

(1922 – 1999)
AC KBE DFC AFC KStJ, BE(Aero) HonDEng Sydney, FRAeS CEng FIEAust
Fellow of Senate and Chancellor 1990 - 1991

His career

Sir James Rowland was educated at Cranbrook School and the University of Sydney. His university studies in Aeronautical Engineering were interrupted in 1942 by his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force. Sir James gave distinguished service as a master bomber and pilot in Europe, being taken prisoner in 1945 by the Germans near Frankfurt.

Following the war, Rowland completed his Aeronautical Engineering Degree at the University of Sydney and went on to have a long and distinguished career in the military. He became a chief test pilot in 1950 serving at many air bases both in Australia and abroad. Sir James rose to the rank of Air Marshal as Chief of Air Staff in 1975, a position he held for four years until his retirement from the service.

Rowland was appointed the 33rd Governor of New South Wales in 1981 replacing Sir Roden Cutler, serving as Governor until 1989. Sir James was the President of the Royal Humane Society and a member of the Police Board from 1989-92. He was Chancellor of the University from 1990-91.

The biographical notes on the Chancellors contain information derived from a variety of sources including: Australia’s First: A History of the University of Sydney; University News; University of Sydney Archives; and Lawlink NSW: Law and History.

Sir James Rowland as Visitor of the University

As Governor of NSW, Sir James Rowland was Visitor of the University from 1981 to 1989, photo, University Archives.

Chancellor of the University of Sydney

Air Marshal Sir James Anthony Rowland AC KBE DFC AFC KStJ was Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 1990 to 1991.

Sir James Rowland

Chancellor Sir James Rowland (centre front) in March 1990 with the first holders of the Diploma in Aboriginal Assistants Education pictured after their graduation with Lady Black (centre back), and Professor John Cleverley (back right), Pro Dean of the (then) Faculty of Education, photo, University Archives.

1991

The Chancellor Sir James Rowland and Esquire Bedell, Neville Webb, 1991, photo, University Archives.

1991

Portrait of Air Marshal Sir James Anthony Rowland AC KBE DFC AFC KStJ, 1992, by Sir William Dargie (1912-2003), oil on canvas , commissioned by the Registrar of the University of Sydney, University Art Collection, reproduced with the kind permission of Roger Dargie and the University of Sydney.

1992

Sir James, Chancellor Emeritus Professor Dame Leonie Kramer and Vice- Chancellor Professor Don McNicol at the unveiling of Sir James' portrait in the Great Hall on 2 March 1992. Professor McNicol praised Sir James for his role in helping to pull the University back together again after 'a turbulenr period', during which the Chancellor and former Vice-Chancellor had died and amalgamations had imposed heavy work burdens, photo, 'The University of Sydney News' 10 March 1992.

Senate's tribute

The Chancellor Emeritus Professor Dame Leonie Kramer read the following tribute to Sir James Rowland, former Chancellor of the University, who died on 27 May 1999:

Sir James Rowland was elected Chancellor in 1990 after the death of Sir Hermann Black. At the time, though retired as Governor of New South Wales, he was still very active in a number of organisations, including the arduous responsibility as Chairman of the Police Board.

All his activities were inspired by his desire to serve the community, and the University was to him not just the custodian of knowledge and enquiry, but the institution which enabled young people to find their way to a satisfying career through which they, too, could serve others.

He was a genial and sociable man, who entered into university life with enthusiasm. It was not easy to follow Hermann Black’s twenty year Chancellorship, and to come to terms with the changes which followed the appointment of Professor McNicol as Vice-Chancellor. He completed the balance of Sir Hermann’s term with grace and goodwill, and we are very grateful for the time he gave to the University.