Degrees and honours at today’s graduation

GradsNearly 650 graduating students will receive their degrees at Flinders University’s December ceremonies today (December 17), which will also see two long-time supporters of the University honoured.

The ceremonies will be held at Adelaide Convention Centre, where 219 students will receive their awards from Chancellor Stephen Gerlach at the morning ceremony, followed by 428 this afternoon.

Prominent Adelaide business figure Mr Allen Bolaffi, who died in June, will be posthumously honoured with a Companion of the University and Mr Ian Yates, Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing (COTA), will receive an honorary Doctorate of the University, and will also be made Emeritus Deputy Chancellor.

Mr Bolaffi’s honour recognises his enthusiasm and commitment to the University, to business and to the community of South Australia, particularly southern Adelaide.

An experienced chartered accountant, business adviser and company director, Mr Bolaffi’s extensive governance experience covered public and private sectors. He was a director of several public and large private companies, a Justice of the Peace and, for 20 years, Chair of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in South Australia. He was heavily involved in local government.

A managing partner of UHY Haines Norton Chartered Accountants, his most recent directorships included Drake Supermarkets and John Shearer Holdings. He chaired the South Australian Innovation Investment Fund Advisory Committee and was a director of the Southern Adelaide Economic Development Board.

At Flinders he was a member of the Audit Committee over 10 years, and more recently a member of the New Venture Institute Advisory Committee.

A dedicated promoter of Jewish community life in Adelaide, he established the Adelaide Jewish Museum. He was known for his passion for South Australia.

Mr Ian Yates has served Flinders in a variety of roles over many years, contributing his knowledge, skills and experience to work for and achieve outcomes in the best interests of the University, its students, staff and alumni.

He has been as a member of University Council since December 1994, and Deputy Chancellor from January 2007. He served extensively as both member and Chair on the University’s Resources and Audit committees. He is currently Chair of the Strategic Resources Committee and a member of the Governance Committee, the Executive Committee of Council and the Awards Committee.

His long involvement with Flinders began in 1968 when he enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, graduating in 1972. During those years, he was active as President of the Student Representative Council and ex officio member of the University Council. He was a member, then Chair, of the Union Board.

Mr Yates later took a leading role in the University’s statutory graduate body, the Convocation, eventually leading the merger of the often competing Alumni and Convocation and becoming President of the Alumni Association until late 2002.

Beyond Flinders, Mr Yates is Chief Executive of COTA Australia, the national peak body for Councils on the Ageing across Australia, a role he has held since June 2009. He leads COTA in identifying issues of concern to the welfare of older Australians, developing policy responses and in representation and advocacy of the needs of older people to government, media, business and the community.

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