Geoff Morrell

Honorary Doctor of Letters

Citation delivered by Senior Professor Sue Bennett, interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Geoffrey James Morrell as a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) on 17 April 2024.

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Geoff Morrell. Born and raised in Wollongong, Geoff graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. He made his stage debut as Algernon in the University of Wollongong Drama Society’s production of The Importance of Being Ernest and later became a founding member of Theatre South, performing as part of the acting ensemble and supporting arts education for children and developing actors in the Illawarra. This was the start of a remarkable career spanning over 40 years that saw Geoff become a mainstay on the Sydney stages and later cross over to film and television performances. Geoff’s versatility and ability to capture the essence of his characters have made him one of Australia’s most prolific actors. He has appeared in over 80 screen productions, including iconic series such as Grass Roots, Blue Heelers, Rake, and the internationally acclaimed The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. His performances have earned him numerous accolades, including an AFI Best Actor Award and multiple AACTA and Logie nominations. Beyond acting, Geoff developed into a passionate artist working across painting, sculpture, and collage. His talent has been recognised through numerous exhibitions and solo shows, alongside appearances in private collections across Australia, England, and the USA. Geoff’s talents also extend to music; he is a self-taught multiinstrumentalist and composer, scoring the feature film The Combination: Redemption. Throughout his career, Geoff has demonstrated a commitment to supporting the Australian arts industry and remaining connected with the Illawarra community. He was the Acting Equity President of Actors Equity Australia in 2015, where he campaigned to retain Australian actors and crew in tax-payer funded productions. He has also returned to the University on multiple occasions, teaching classes on acting for screen, and sharing his expertise with developing actors. Geoff’s passion, creativity, and dedication to his craft serve as an inspiration to aspiring artists and the wider community. Chancellor, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the Australian arts landscape as an accomplished stage and screen actor, artist, and musician it is with great privilege that I present Geoffrey James Morrell to be admitted to the Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)