Bishop James Grant, AM, and Professor John Poynter, AO, OBE, were tonight elected by the College Council as the first Senior Fellows of Trinity College.
Constitutional amendments passed by the College Council in October 2009 allow the Council to elect ‘a person who has been an honorary Fellow for not less than 10 years and has played a distinguished part in the life of the College’ to the new category of Senior Fellow of Trinity College.
The first such Senior Fellows were elected at this evening's Council meeting. Appropriately, they are two of the College’s only three Fellows appointed prior to the College’s incorporation in 1979 – Bishop James Grant, AM, and Professor John Poynter, AO, OBE. (The third was the late Sir Joseph Burke, KBE, CBE, OBE.)
Bishop James Grant holds a BA(Hons) from the University of Melbourne, and in 1957–58 studied at Trinity College Theological School, where he was awarded the Hey Sharp Prize in the Licentiate of Theology examination. He obtained a Bachelor of Divinity from the Melbourne College of Divinity in 1968.
Ordained in 1959, he served as Archbishop’s Chaplain 1966–70, Trinity College Chaplain 1970–75, was consecrated Bishop in 1970, and was Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, 1985–99. He has been Chairman of Lowther Hall CEGGS, Tintern CEGGS, Melbourne CEGGS, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the Mission to Streets and Lanes.
Bishop Grant collaborated with Geoffrey Serle in the publication of The Melbourne Scene (1957), is the author of the College history, Perspective of a Century (1972) and this year published a history of Anglicans in Victoria, Episcopally Led and Synodically Governed: Anglicans in Victoria 1803–1997. He received a Jubilee Medal in 1977 and a Centenary Medal in 2001 and continues to serve Trinity College as its Bequest Officer.
Professor John Poynter entered Trinity College in 1948, graduating in 1950 with an Honours degree in History from the University of Melbourne. As 1951 Rhodes Scholar for Victoria, he completed a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalene College, Oxford, before returning to Trinity in 1953 as Dean and teaching concurrently in the University’s Social Studies and History departments. He gained his PhD in 1962 and, following the death of Warden Cowan, was Joint Acting Warden in 1964–65.
Appointed Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne in 1966, he went out of residence but continued his association with Trinity as a member of Council. At the University he was successively Dean of Arts, Chairman of the Professorial Board, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (1975–91), Dean of the Faculty of Music, Visual and Performing Arts, and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Cultural Affairs). Since retiring at the end of 1994, he has been a Professorial Fellow in the Australian Centre.
He was Australian Secretary of the Rhodes Trust 1974–97, has been honoured by the British, French and Australian governments, and in recognition of his long involvement and diverse contributions, received the Australian Dictionary of Biography Medal in 2004. A former Chairman (1976–87) of Melbourne University Press he has authored a number of books, including Doubts and Certainties: A Life of Alexander Leeper (1997), and jointly with Carolyn Rasmussen A Place Apart (1996), a history of the University of Melbourne.
New Honorary Fellows
The appointment of these Senior Fellows created two vacancies for Honorary Fellows, a category limited in number to 30. The two new Fellows so elected are:
The Honorable (Keith John) Austin Asche, AC, KStJ, QC, grew up in Darwin, boarded at Melbourne Grammar School and entered Trinity College as an ex-serviceman in 1946. He graduated BA, LLM, from the University of Melbourne and practised as a barrister from 1954, specialising in Family Law. Appointed the first Judge of the Family Court, Victoria, in 1976, he moved to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1986. From 1987–93 he was its Chief Justice and from 1993–97 was Administrator of the Northern Territory. He served as Chancellor of the University of the Northern Territory, 1989–93, and over the years has been associated in various capacities with almost every community association in Darwin. He continues as Chairman of the Northern Territory Law Reform Committee.
Robert James Champion de Crespigny, AC, entered Trinity in 1969 and graduated BCom in 1972. Among his many business interests, he is best known as the Chairman/CEO/ Founder of Normanby Mining Ltd, 1985–2002. In South Australia, he was Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, 2000-04, and Chairman of the Economic Development Board of South Australia, 2002-06. He was a founding member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and has been a generous supporter of Trinity’s Indigenous programs.