Jenna Bradwell

Grad exhibition provides glimpse into past

What better time than during the December graduations to visit the UOW Library’s latest exhbition, a celebration of the University’s rich ceremonial history.

The Ceremonial Gown Exhibition, housed in the Library’s Panizzi Room (ground floor), features gowns worn over the years by the University’s two former Chancellors (Justice Robert Hope and Michael Codd) and three former Vice-Chancellors (Emeritus Professor Michael Birt, Emeritus Professor Ken McKinnon and Emeritus Professor Gerard Sutton).

The gowns are complemented by historical photographs and newly digitalised archival film footage showing excerpts from the 1976 and 1979 graduation ceremonies.

UOW’s current Chancellor Jillian Broadbent and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings enjoyed viewing the displays at the exhibition’s opening last week. Former Chancellor Justice Robert Hope’s daughter Elizabeth said seeing her father’s ceremonial gown on display was ‘nostalgic’ and brought back memories of the many graduation ceremonies he attended.

UOW Librarian Margie Jantti said the exhibition’s content was gathered from the University Archives collections and various other sources. She said that the physical exhibition currently on display would also form the basis of a permanent online historical exhibition that will be developed by the library next year.

“The online exhibition will allow a much greater audience the opportunity, anytime and anywhere, to discover this major part of the University’s ceremonial history,” Ms Jantti said.

The graduation exhibition is located in the Panizzi Room (ground floor), UOW Library and will run until Tuesday December 18.


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  • Elizabeth Hope admires her father, former UOW Chancellor Justice Robert Hope’s ceremonial gown.

  • Chancellor Jillian Broadbent, Elizabeth Hope and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings at the exhibition.

  • The exhibition will run in the library until Tuesday December 18.