Citation for the Award of the Degree
Doctor of Letters ( honoris causa )
17 May 2018
Dr Patricia Edgar AM has been at the forefront of the development of children's media in Australia and internationally for more than three decades.
Dr Edgar received a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Arts from Stanford University. In 1974, she attained her PhD from La Trobe University, where she pioneered research on children's perception of film and television violence.? She was the first Chairperson of La Trobe University's Centre for the Study of Educational Media and Communication, where she established and taught the first courses on film and television in an Australian university.
In 1982, Dr Edgar founded and became the inaugural head of the Australian Children's Television Foundation. In this role, over twenty years she produced ?television dramas for children of all ages, including programs such as Round the Twist, Lift Off, The Genie From Down Under, Sky Trackers, Crash Zone and Kahootz . Programs produced by Dr Edgar have won more than 100 national and international awards including four AFI Awards, two Logies, an International Emmy Award, the Prix Jeunesse, a Japan Prize, a Banff Rockie Award, and a Grand Jury Prize at the New York Festival.
Dr Edgar was the first woman appointed to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board and chaired the Board's review of Television Program Standards. She was appointed Chair of the Children's Program Committee of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal for five years, during which time the children's television production and advertising standards were developed and legislated.
In 1995 Dr Edgar conceived and hosted the first World Summit on Television and Children, held in Melbourne and attended by more than 600 delegates from over 70 countries. She has been Chair of the World Summit on Media for Children Foundation for 17 years overseeing eight Global Summits.
She has served on the Boards of Film Victoria, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, the Australian Film and Television School, the Australian Film Finance Corporation, and chaired the Australian Centre for the Moving Image Foundation from 2004 to 2006. She is also the author of twelve books including Bloodbath: A Memoir of Australian Television. Dr Edgar has also served on the Boards of a diverse range of organisations, including UNICEF and UNESCO, and is Founding Chair of the Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards including a Centenary Medal, Australian College of Education Medal, the Dromkeen Medal, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Film Institute, and a Melbourne Achiever Award from the Committee of Melbourne. In 1986 she was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to children's television and the media. She was awarded a Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia in 1994. In 2001 she was named on the Centenary of Federation Women's Honour Roll.
The awarding of an Honorary Degree to Dr Edgar is a fitting tribute to the life and work of a woman who is a pioneer of media studies in the Australian university sector and a leading international expert on children's television and media policy.
Deputy-Chancellor, in recognition of her significant achievements throughout her career in media and her lasting contributions to Australian culture and education, I present to you for the award of the degree Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), Patricia Edgar.