The Reverend Thomas Rees-Thomas AM MBE



Mr Chancellor,

The Reverend Thomas Rees-Thomas was born in Pontardulais, Wales but, showing his good sense at the tender age of three, moved to Queensland, where he spent his school years in Ipswich. After working for a time in Brisbane, he entered the Adelaide Congregational Theological College and graduated in 1934 with the Licentiate of Theology. He later gained the Degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia.

In 1948, Thomas Rees-Thomas accepted an appointment to the Brisbane City Congregational Church (now the Ann Street City Uniting Church) where he has served for thirty-seven years. During this time he has reached a wider audience through his public speaking and through the press, radio and television. He has con­sistently presented his views on many issues of the day, fearlessly and without compromise. 

During his ministry in Brisbane, Thomas Rees-Thomas gained the Degree of Master of Arts from the University of Queensland and the Degree of Bachelor of Divinity from the Melbourne College of Divinity. 

Thomas Rees-Thomas has held the position of President of the Queensland Congregational Union on four occasions; he has been President of the Queensland Council of Churches for three terms and has twice been President of the Queensland Division of the Australian Council of Churches. He is a former President of the Congregational Church of Australia and is a Past Moderator of the Uniting Church of Australia (Queensland). He has represented the Church at a number of world conferences overseas. 

He is a Registered Psychologist and a Foundation Member of the Australian Psychological Society. He is a Member of the British Psychological Society and of the Australian College of Education. He .was also a co-founder of the Marriage Guidance Movement in Queensland serving as a Counsellor and as President for a number of years. 

He is well known for his work with Alcoholics Anonymous, Aged Peoples' Homes and lndustrial Evangelism. He is also a part-time industrial chaplain. 

For his services to the nation he was awarded the M.B.E. in 1965 and Membership of the Order of Australia in 1982. 

Having been a Governor of Cromwell College within the University of Queensland since its inception, he was honoured in 1980 by appointment as a Life Governor. He was the first Queensland Council of Churches Chaplain on campus and for some years he was Occasional Lecturer on Marriage Guidance to fourth year students. A member of the Senate of the University of Queensland, having served for seventeen years and currently representing the Queensland Council of Churches, he has served on a number of Chair Selection Committees, on the Board of the Faculty of Arts and on the Music and Library Committees. In all of these activities he has displayed qualities of open-mindedness and tolerance and a warm humanity towards the problems of students in troubled times. 

Mr. Chancellor, for his services to this University and to the community, I present to you Thomas Rees-Thomas, Member of the Order of Australia, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity, Licentiate in Theology, Member of the Australian and British Psychological Societies, Member of the Australian College of Education, for admission to the degree of Docto.r of Laws, honoris causa, to which he has been admitted by the Senate of this University. 



Doctor of Laws honoris causa