Don Page awarded honorary SCU doctorate
FORMER member for Ballina Don Page has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to state politics and his decades of commitment to Southern Cross University.
After a decorated 27-year political career, Mr Page said receiving the doctorate at last weekend's graduation was a huge honour.
"I feel very humbled, I really do," he said.
"In my speech I thanked the University Council for conferring an honorary university doctorate on me."
Mr Page said his involvement with the university began in the late 1980's when Southern Cross University was still associated with the University of New England.
"My involvement started when I was on the interim council before Southern Cross became a stand alone university in 1993," he said.
"Before that Southern Cross was the Lismore campus of the University of New England.
"Then I was on the university council in 1994 and 1995 after it became a stand alone university."
Following this, Mr Page said he continued his involvement with the universities faculty of applied science.
"I was the chairman of the advisory committee that set up the Bachelor of Tourism degree," he said.
"Professor John Gartside was very keen on having a tourism degree and he knew about my economic background and my interest in tourism.
"So he pulled together an advisory committee and we looked at different tourism degrees around the world and decided on what we felt was a good degree for our new university.
"A degree where the standard was very high and the students would be able to get jobs when they graduated."
Mr Page said he was proud to see Southern Cross University grow from one campus of 4000 students to more than 9000 students today across three campuses.
Mr Page said his grandfather, Dr Earle Page, Australia's 11th Prime Minister, would be proud to see how far regional Australian Universities had come.
"He became the first Chancellor of UNE, which at that time, was the only regional university in Australia," he said.
"He would be smiling today to see we now have eleven universities in regional Australia, including of course Southern Cross University."