From Left: Professor John Wakerman, Dr Peter Toyne, Professor Paul Worley
University has awarded the degree of Doctor of the University to Dr Peter Toyne,
legislator, educator and a key figure in the Northern Territory’s development.
has been a strong supporter of the Centre for Remote Health, initially as NT
Health Minister and since 2006 as a member of the CRH Board of Management.
science and education degrees and experience in the Victorian education system,
Dr Toyne moved to the Northern Territory in 1981 to work as an adviser at
Utopia community. From 1983 to 1993 he returned to the education system at
Yuendumu in Central Australia, where his community development activities
played a critical role in establishing an early artists’ co-operative as well
as teacher education programs in association with Batchelor College. In 1987 Dr
Toyne assumed leadership of all education programs at Yuendumu, and his reforms
included a strong process of Aboriginalisation, resulting in five Aboriginal
teachers joining the staff, annual school camps in traditional country, and
bilingual teaching programs.
1990s, Dr Toyne established a video network linking seven centres in the
Northern Territory, including four remote Western Desert Aboriginal
communities, a landmark information communication technology initiative in
Australia and globally.
Toyne’s political career commenced as a Labor member of the Territory’s
Legislative Assembly in 1996. As Shadow Minister for Education and Training,
Aboriginal Affairs, Advanced Technology and Primary Industry he developed
policies on education, Aboriginal affairs, Telecommunications, crime
prevention, and youth affairs.
Toyne’s retirement from Parliament in 2006, he has resumed his art career as an
exhibited oil painter and is now a nationally recognised glass worker. He is
also currently leading advocacy for National Broadband Network resources for
accepting his honorary doctorate Dr Toyne said “I have often heard city based
Australians refer to remote areas as “the middle of nowhere”. After 40 years of
living and working remotely, I can assure you that it is nothing of the sort.
Remote locations usually imbue an intense sense of place, and belonging in
those that live there. With the passage of time this becomes one of the
mainstays of a robust identity. People contemplating involvement with remote
communities need to be aware that the discourse remote living provides can lead
to fundamental re-examination of values, it is up to each individual as to how
open they are to this”.
Centre for Remote Health congratulates Peter Toyne on his achievements.