UniSA honours arts icon Robyn Archer and innovative leader Paul Flynn

Renowned singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts, Robyn Archer AO will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia this week while Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group, Paul Flynn will become a University Fellow.

Archer will be honoured at ceremony on Tuesday for her distinguished service to the community, acknowledging her extensive contribution to the arts as both a creative and a mentor, dedicated to developing the next generation of arts and cultural leaders.

In awarding the Honorary Doctorate, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says Archer’s creativity has touched audiences around the world while her passion and drive have had a significant influence on the arts and culture scene in Australia.

“On behalf of the University, I would like to acknowledge Robyn’s role in shaping the contemporary arts sector in Australia,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Considered by many as a national treasure, we are honoured to have Robyn join the UniSA community.”

In addition to a successful music and stage career – 2019/20 marked the 40th anniversary of her hit one-woman show A Star is Torn which ran for a year in London’s West End – Archer has been at the helm of a number of festivals, including the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, Centenary of Canberra, and Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island.

Author of several books, still performing regularly, and with her back catalogue of recordings being digitally re-released throughout 2021, under the Rouseabout Records label, Archer continues to be a global mentor for the European Festivals’ Association Festival Academy and is a proud Ambassador for the Adelaide Crows.

Flynn will be named a University Fellow during a ceremony today in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the growth and the development of UniSA.

An accomplished board director and executive in both the finance and not-for-profit sectors, Flynn has been the CEO of THRF Group since 2009. During this period, he has regularly collaborated with UniSA to drive research projects that benefit the wider community.

Prof Lloyd says that under Flynn’s leadership, THRF Group has helped the University expand its research reach and impact.

“Paul has an impressive track-record of leadership in the non-for-profit sector, delivering real outcomes for the community,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We have benefited immensely from his expertise and innovative thinking and we look forward to continuing to work with him on research projects that make a difference.”

Flynn was instrumental in the development of the Invictus Pathways program, a collaboration between the University and THRF Group’s Military and Emergency Services Health Australia (formerly The Road Home) which offers tailored training and fitness support for veterans and first responders.

After a successful two-year partnership, Military and Emergency Services Health Australia transferred the program activities to UniSA but remains an important supporter of the initiative, funding several related research projects.

The accolades will be presented during UniSA’s April and May graduations, when more than 3200 students will graduate across 31 ceremonies. Paul Flynn will be made a University Fellow on Monday, 12 April at 9:00am while Robyn Archer AO will receive an Honorary Doctorate on Tuesday, 13 April at 3:30pm.

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