LGBTI rights advocate Rodney Croome awarded honorary doctorate

Long-time LGBTIQ equality advocate, Rodney Croome, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Tasmania in recognition of his work.

The doctorate was conferred by the Chancellor of the University, Michael Field, at a ceremony in Hobart yesterday. Croome has spent his life advocating for LGBTI rights and is a founding member of just.equal, as well as being the President of Equality Tasmania.

Just.equal spokesperson, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said it was fitting that the university had chosen to recognise Croome’s work.

“Rodney has spent his entire adult life advocating for the dignity, equality and inclusion of LGBTIQ Australians. It is only fitting that his university has recognised his experience, knowledge and contribution in this way.”

“On behalf of the entire just.equal team, and countless Australians, I congratulate Rodney on an important acknowledgement for a remarkable Australian.”

Rodney Croome said he was humbled to receive the award.

“It’s very humbling to receive an honour like this and I thank for University of Tasmania for its recognition.”

“I also want to thank my partner Raf, my family and friends, and the many courageous and kind people I work with to advance equality, because without their support I could not do what I do.”


Presenting the honour Vice Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said Croome was being recognised because he had spent decades advancing human rights and creating a more inclusive and tolerant society, as well as his service to the Tasmanian community and the University.

“Thanks to the work of Rodney and many other Tasmanians, the island state has been transformed from having Australia’s worst laws and attitudes on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights to having the best.” Professor Black said of Croome’s campaigning for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Tasmania.

Professor Black noted that Croome’s work extended beyond issues directly relevant to the LGBTIQ+ communities and his advocacy had covered many other areas of human rights.

Accepting the honour, Croome said Tasmania had been transformed during his lifetime, but it had only changed because many people came together to advocate for change.

“It was only possible because many people worked together to pool their talents and encourage each other, people from across the political, religious and cultural spectrum who put fundamental values of equality and inclusion above their traditional differences.” Croome said.

Croome said changes to the a succession of laws had only occurred because people were willing to tell risks and share their personal stories.

OIP Staff, Top image Rodney Croome alongside his partner, Rafael Manzanilla and mother, Beverley Croome.

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