Fellow of the University of Wollongong
Citation orated by Professor Alex Frino
Chancellor, I present Kerrie Eyding.
The title “benefactor” rightly applies to Dr Kerrie Eyding. Not in its modern, narrow meaning of someone who gives money but in its original Latin form: “someone who does good”. In her roles as teacher, mentor, volunteer and community advocate, Kerrie has sought to improve the quality of individual lives and the natural environment.
Kerrie Eyding was born just after World War II. Her generation would awaken and witness an extraordinary cultural and technological revolution. Kerrie grasped the critical role of education in understanding and managing that “brave new world”. Her own schooling was rich and varied, stretching from Hurstville Primary to the United States and to programs at Trinity College London. As she proudly says, however, she enrolled at only one University. Kerrie graduated from the University of Wollongong with qualifications in Education, culminating with a Doctorate in 2001. UOW and its students have benefited immensely from her presence, ingenuity and loyalty.
A distinguished teaching career in primary schools from Figtree to Germany earned Dr Eyding promotion to Assistant Principal and an Outstanding Professional Service Award. She also has a rich and diverse record of community service in the Illawarra and the Southern Highlands. Among other roles, Kerrie was a member of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group in Wollongong and a foundation member of the Mt Kembla Field Studies Centre. Most delightfully, she was also a member of the Dairy Goat Society of NSW for twenty years.
Her relationship with this University has been an enduring motif in Kerrie Eyding’s life of service. She worked as the Alumni Liaison Officer for the Faculty of Education and as Administrative Officer to the Student Welfare and Personal Development Association. Her role with the Education Alumni Chapter is, however, the most far-reaching. An active member and volunteer for over 15 years, Kerrie was instrumental in the introduction of a Mock Accreditation Interview Program for final year Education students. Unique to UOW, the mock interviews have given students the experience and skills to face the daunting Department of Education interviews which can determine their eligibility for appointment as teachers in NSW schools. As Kerrie has remarked, “It helps them understand the types of questions that will be asked and to also develop a mental scaffolding to answer them. Importantly, it assists students build up their confidence.”
Chancellor, Kerrie Eyding has tirelessly given to her community as a teacher and as a volunteer across so many fields. Happily for our students and staff, she whole-heartedly meets a particular criterion of a UOW graduate: “our graduates are proud of their University and value a lifelong connection”. The spirit of Kerrie’s achievement and commitment recall the words of the American author, Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote: “the man or woman who feels strongly, healthily and justly, on the great interests of humanity, is a constant benefactor to the human race.”
It is a pleasure and a privilege to present Kerrie Eyding for admission as a Fellow of the University of Wollongong.