The Honourable Thomas Barry QC

Award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa
The Honourable Thomas Barry QC

Mr Chancellor,

Tom Barry was born at Mount Albion in North Queensland and began his education at a small one-teacher school. He went on from there to graduate from The University of Queensland, and then to embrace and practice two professions.

He began his professional life as a teacher, serving at Mount Morgan State High School, the commercial state high school in Brisbane, and at Dalby. After five years at full-time teaching he turned his attention to the study of law. However, in his subsequent legal career he continued to carry the torch of learning, and remained deeply interested in the study of literature and the promotion of Australian writing. He was a prominent member of the fellowship of Australian writers, he acted as judge in literary competitions, and for a time he conducted University of Queensland tutorial classes in Townsville.

In 1928, Tom Barry was admitted as a barrister-at-law. He served, During World War II, as a legal officer in the AMF and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1952, In the same year, his breadth of ability was recognised when he was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, President of the Queensland State Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, and Chairman of the Queensland Central Sugarcane Prices Board. He later returned to private practice, and has since carried on his profession of teaching.

In 1951, he renewed his relationship with The University of Queensland when he became a member of the Senate of the University. He then began a period of service to the University which has been of very great value. His expert legal knowledge, and his eloquence and skill in the business meetings of the many committees of the University to which he willingly accepted appointment, have made his work very significant in the period of development and change of the last few years. He has earned the respect of all for his insistence that the University take care in all its actions to protect as far as possible the interests of the individual.

The University is grateful for the work of Tom Barry, and it is very pleased to admit one who has served so well to the distinguished ranks of its highest honorary graduates.

Mr Chancellor, I present to you Thomas Maurice Barry, Queen's Counsel, Bachelor of Arts, Senator of The University of Queensland, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Honorary award citation


Doctor of Laws honoris causa