Article from the Sydney University Gazette by Vice Chancellor Gavin Brown Feb 2004


It is fashionable these days to declare a conflict of interest, even if there is less surefootedness about the next step. In any event, I fess up. After a recent birthday, I am impelled for who knows what reasons to celebrate the current achievements of two octogenarians.

With due deference to age, I speak first of Judy Cassab. Judy has been an artist for at least 70 years, for she learned at age 14 that others might influence her, but she knew her own power and talents.

From a sense of both her life and her work I found a wild ambition to be her subject. When I left the University of Adelaide, an opportunity presented and, mulishly, I persisted with my dream that the official portrait should be from Cassab.

This came to pass and now my delight is redoubled because Judy has just completed my portrait for this University. I believe she gets younger and good judges suggest she paints the same of me.

It gives me great pleasure that this week she has been honoured with the medal of the Painters and Sculptors Association of Australia. The remarkable success of her career is the greater because of her relentless creativity. Never content with any typifying genre, she has regularly experimented with new challenges and (thus has) defied categorisation.

The University will soon have the privelege of hosting an exhibition of water-colours painted in India, yet another dimension from an Australian icon.