Associate Degree of Law graduate Simon van Kempen with his wife Alex McCord, and their children Francois and Johan.
Associate Degree of Law graduate Simon van Kempen with his wife Alex McCord, and their children Francois and Johan. Southern Cross University

Real Housewives husband gets law degree at SCU

AROUND 260 graduands received awards at the Southern Cross University graduation ceremonies last week.

Amongst them was law student Simon van Kempen returned to Northern Rivers three years ago with his family after a 33-year international business career spanning Australia, the UK and the USA.

The husband of original Real Housewives of New York City cast member Alex McCord, received an Associate Degree of Law award.

"Never say it's too late in life to start a new chapter and while I wouldn't go so far as to say that the rough and tumble of reality TV prepares one well for the legal profession, the verbal sparring required for Housewives certainly is a complementary skill,” Mr Kempen said.

Simon is a director of legal firm van Kempen & Associates at Tweed Heads and will continue his studies in a Bachelor of Laws at Southern Cross University next year.

PhD student Jackie Webb was awarded a prestigious Chancellor's Medal for her works around the interactions of floods and groundwater.

She received the Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding PhD Thesis in recognition of her thesis, 'Terrestrial versus aquatic carbon fluxes in an agricultural coastal floodplain' which focussed on the cane fields of the Tweed Valley.

The Chancellor's Medal is only awarded in cases of clear and outstanding scholarship to students who have completed a Doctor of Philosophy in which they have demonstrated academic excellence, and have achieved an outstanding and significant contribution to their field of knowledge.

Dr Webb said she was honoured and humbled to be receiving the Chancellor's Medal.

"I give 100 per cent to all projects and goals I adopt, and working towards my PhD was no exception,” she said.

"Every day I turned up to do research I found it hard and challenging, and I still do, but that is not a bad thing as I believe that is how you grow. If you have trust in yourself then you can rise to any occasion.”

Dr Webb praised her supervisors including Professor Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher.

Dr Webb has relocated to Canada where she is doing post-doctoral research at the University of Regina on greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon fluxes from agricultural reservoirs to assess their potential to act as GHG and carbon offsets.

Also receiving the Chancellor's Medal was Dr Niloofar Karimian for her thesis 'Iron, Sulfur and Trace Metals Geochemistry During Redox Oscillations in Freshwater Reflooded Acid Sulfate Soil Wetlands'.



Lismore CBD rescue plan a 'long time coming'

premium_icon Lismore CBD rescue plan a 'long time coming'

Bold initiative passes 6 votes to 5

'Living hell': Airbnb style holiday letting a 'cancer'

premium_icon 'Living hell': Airbnb style holiday letting a 'cancer'

"We don't have neighbours... we have strangers, coming and going”

How an 'enormous' pothole ruined tourist's Lismore holiday

premium_icon How an 'enormous' pothole ruined tourist's Lismore holiday

It's official: Lismore roads are worse than those in Queensland

Local Partners