Murdoch University awarded Alan Dodge AM, Chairman of the University’s Art Board, an honorary doctorate at a graduation ceremony last night.
Mr Dodge was presented with the Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his significant contribution to culture and the arts in Australia and internationally.
Murdoch Senate Member and Art Board member, Maxine Murray, said the honorary degree recognises Mr Dodge’s distinguished career and the leadership and passion he brought to the field, in particular his focus on education where he has sought to make the arts accessible and understandable.
“Alan is passionate about increasing accessibility to the arts,” Ms Murray said.
“Throughout his career he has sought to advocate for an improved understanding of the role of arts and arts institutions within the greater goals of society.
“He was drawn to the Murdoch role precisely because the art collection is not housed in a gallery, rather it is displayed in venues across the campuses.
“He promotes the focus on spaces to display art that’s going to have the biggest communication between students, faculty and visitors.”
Mr Dodge said receiving an honorary degree was recognition of over 40 years of experience in the art museum world.
“By conferring an honorary degree, Murdoch University is helping to give greater visibility to the role I have played and hope to continue to play in opening doors to influence political and community leaders to incorporate the arts within a larger vision for society, not only in Perth and WA, but nationally and internationally,” Mr Dodge said.
Well-known for his time as Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Mr Dodge has served on the Murdoch Art Board since 2008 and commenced as the Chair of the Board in 2009.
Before moving to Perth, Mr Dodge held a senior position at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra for 18 years. In his 11 years as Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia he raised the profile of the WA’s leading arts institution within government and with the local community.
Mr Dodge continues to promote collaboration and entrepreneurship in the arts and through numerous projects has boosted tourism, culture, community development and the revitalisation of Perth city.
As well as maintaining national involvement on a number of boards and committees, his ongoing service to the local arts community continues through the positions he holds on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery, the John Curtin Art Gallery, the Cultural Collections Board at the University of Western Australia and the Perth International Arts Festival.
Mr Dodge has been recognised a number of times for his contribution to the arts in Australia. In 2004 he was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France and in 2009 a member of the Order of Australia. In 2011 he received the 2011 Western Australian Citizen of the Year Arts, Culture and Entertainment Award.