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University mourns passing of Hon Andrew Rogers AO KC


7 February 2024

Southern Cross University staff and students have paid tribute to the University’s first Chancellor, the Hon Andrew Rogers AO KC, who passed away on 4 February 2024, aged 92.

Mr Rogers was appointed as the first Chancellor of Southern Cross University during its foundation in 1994 and served in this role until 1997.

Under his leadership, the University saw the establishment of the Coffs Harbour campus at Hogbin Drive, the opening of the Lismore Law School building, the establishment of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics and a global exchange program.

Man smiling in academic dress
Hon. Andrew Rogers AO KC

Before joining Southern Cross, Mr Rogers led an accomplished legal career, serving on the New South Wales Supreme Court between 1979 and 1993.

He is regarded as having revolutionised commercial dispute resolution in the Supreme Court after being appointed the first chief judge of the commercial division in 1987.

Mr Rogers also served as Commissioner on the NSW Law Reform Commission, as a member of the Australian Delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and was involved in the establishment of the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre.

In 2015, Mr Rogers was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law.

Mr Rogers moved to Australia from Hungary in 1947, graduating from University of Sydney Law School. He was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1956 and took silk in 1973.

Southern Cross University Chancellor, Sandra McPhee AM, said Mr Rogers left an enduring legacy at the University.

“Andrew was very generous in his advice to me when I took up my role as Chancellor. I have been most grateful for the historic perspective he provided as well as his enthusiasm to see our students and the University prosper,” Ms McPhee said.

“His passion and continued commitment to Southern Cross University after 30 years has been extraordinary.”

Dean of Law, Associate Professor David Heilpern, said Mr Rogers was kind, patient and resourceful.

“Andrew was a great supporter of Southern Cross Law and was a regular attendee at our functions and meetings,” Associate Professor Heilpern said.

“He often commented on his pride at helping in the creation and continuation of the first non-metropolitan law course in Australia.”

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