Former Mayor Jenny Dowell shares Lismore's 70th birthday cake with the public in 2016.
Former Mayor Jenny Dowell shares Lismore's 70th birthday cake with the public in 2016. Cathy Adams

Jenny Dowell's Doctor appointment

FORMER Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell will receive an honorary doctorate from Southern Cross University tomorrow, a honour she claims to not feel worthy of.  

"I got a phone call from the (SCU) Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor√ to say that I have been recommended by the Council, and would I accept it.

I was floored," she said."  

"I honestly don't feel worthy of it. I know how prestigious this honour is, and on the other hand I am greatly honoured and quite overwhelmed.  

Chancellor Taylor offered the award to Mrs Dowell a few months ago, at the end of last year.  

In addition to receiving the Honorary Award, Mrs Dowell will also be the Occasional Speaker at the ceremony.   It will be an extra-special occasion for Mrs Dowell, as her mother, aged 91, will travel from Hervey Bay to Lismore to attend the ceremony.  

Both Mrs Dowell's children's will be present too, as well as her husband Ron.  

Soon-to-be Dr Dowell was a Lismore councillor for 12 years and was Mayor of Lismore between 2008 and 2016.  

SCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, will read the citation while the Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM will bestow the award during one of this weekend's graduation ceremonies.  

Mrs Dowell said she was surprised to know her work against the CSG mining industry in the Northern Rivers was named as a one of the reasons for the honour.  

"I was interested that the University included that part in the citation because I certainly had lots of criticism for my support to the Anti-CSG movement, and some of that criticism came from some parts of the University, so I am very pleased that that has been mentioned, but I always saw this as part of my role as Mayor," she said.  

Jenny Dowell said there is no way she will be persuaded to go back to politics.  

"Absolutely not. I will continue to have community roles but I will not enter politics again. I think need to know when to go, and I am strong believer in generational change."  

Mrs Dowell's next public engagement will be as an actress for Lismore Theatre Company's upcoming production of Hedda Gabler, which opens at Rochdale Theatre in Goonellabah on Friday, March 31.  

Among previous recipients of SCU Doctor of the University awards are former East Timorese president and current currently the United Nations' special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau, Dr José Ramos-Horta (2010), artist Margaret Olley (2007) and The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby (2007).