Honorary Degree

AFTRS 2015 Honorary Degree Phillip Adams receives his 2015 AFTRS Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts).

Dec 7 2015

The Australian Film Television and Radio School concluded the year with its annual graduation ceremony on December 4 marking a year of highlights and accomplishments by graduates and students.

As is tradition an AFTRS’ Honorary Degree was awarded at the ceremony and this year the honour went to broadcaster, commentator and filmmaker Phillip Adams, AO who received a Doctor of Arts in recognition of his substantial contribution to the industry.
Phillip Adams played a key role in the revival of the Australian film industry in the 1970s. He was the author of a 1969 report that led to legislation by Prime Minister Gorton in 1970 for an Australian Film and Television Development Corporation (later the Australian Film Commission) and the Experimental Film Fund as well as the eventual creation of an Australian national film School (now AFTRS). Phillip was also one of the original members of council for the interim School.
As the Honorary Degree recipient, Phillip Adams joins a select group of significant Australian film and television industry practitioners including Dr George Miller, Baz Luhrmann, John Edwards, Jan Chapman, Phillip Noyce and Darren Dale.
Mr Adams was presented with his Honorary Degree by producer Sue Maslin. Sue, a graduate of the AFTRS Masters of Screen Arts & Business degree, produced this year’s box office hit The Dressmaker, which has taken more than $15m to date at the Australian box office. 

Producer Imogen Banks, also a graduate on the day from the Master of Screen Arts & Business, delivered a motivating keynote address.  
The Hon Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts, sent a letter of congratulations and encouragement to the graduates saying: “You will become our storytellers, as you discover, curate, direct, produce and share your experiences and our stories.”
Awards for academic merit were presented during the ceremony to the following Advanced Diploma graduates: James Yan (Music Scoring for the Screen), Madeleine Levins (Producing: Story, Audience, Finance) Hannah Fitzpatrick (Screenwriting: feature Film) Angela McDonald (screenwriting: Series TV) and Ruby Teys (Radio).

The Selwyn Speight awards for Radio Journalism were awarded to Kate Drinkwater and Eliot Barham

The 2015 AV Myer Indigenous awards for Exceptional Talent were awarded to Kodie Bedford and Bernard Namok and a new initiative, The Foxtel New Media Award, comprising seed funding and facilities for a new business venture for an AFTRS MSAB graduate team was awarded to Bridget Callow-Wright, Chloe Rickard and Peter Drinkwater who collectively received a grant of $20,000 and mentorship from Foxtel executives & AFTRS lecturers as well as a workspace at the School.

AFTRS CEO Neil Peplow noted, “This year’s graduation shows that our students are already active in and linked to the industry we were set up to serve when Phillip Adams and his colleagues helped establish the School in 1973. The Foxtel New Media Award is another fantastic opportunity for our students to help shape the future of that industry through the establishment of a new company.”

Congratulations all.



Image Attribution: Phillip Adams at 2015 AFTRS Graduation Ceremony. Photo by Lauren Gray (DL Photography) for AFTRS.

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The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.