Opera boss recognised during winter graduations

25/07/2023 | 2 mins

The Executive Director of West Australian Opera will be awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music during a winter graduation ceremony at The University of Western Australia this week.

Ms Carolyn Chard AM, will be presented with the doctorate on the final day of a three-day winter graduation series which will see 1,500 students receive their degrees across seven ceremonies from Wednesday to Friday.

Ms Chard has steered the West Australian Opera for more than two decades following arts management positions around the country, including roles at Opera Australia, Deckchair Theatre and Barking Gecko in WA.

She said that the arts “nurture the soul and our communities” and touch all of us every day and her role as an arts leader was to enable others to come together to create.

Carolyn Chard

Image: Ms Carolyn Chard, Executive Director of the West Australian Opera.

“Music is a pure act of collaboration and cooperation. We trade in human emotion. It’s ephemeral and it’s fleeting,” Ms Chard said.

“Everyone is an arts maker or arts consumer or both.  Everyone can recognise the power of music to nurture the soul. Extraordinary people work in the arts and support the arts.

“We need the creators and the artists. The donors and the patrons. The audiences and the funders. The collaborators and champions of others; the helpers and the givers; the appreciators and the enablers.”

More than 4,500 people are expected to converge on UWA’s Crawley campus for the festivities, with the first graduation starting at 2pm on Wednesday.

The University invites inspiring people, who have excelled in their fields, to address graduates at each ceremony.

This year’s speakers include Executive Director of IPS Management Consultants Katina Law, Managing Director of Revo Fitness Andrew Holder and Shalini Saldanha, Rio Tinto Information Systems and Technology Studies Lead and Engineers Australia WA President 2023.

Other speakers included CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia Robyn Sermon, Director of the WA Cyber Security Innovation Hub Cecily Rawlinson, CEO of Fremantle Press Alex Allan and Dr Debbie Turner, CEO of the Western Australian Health Translation Network.

Media references

Liz McGrath, UWA Media Advisor, 08 6488 7975

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