Hall of Fame

Sir Ronald Sydney Nyholm

Sir Ronald Sydney Nyholm (1917-1971), professor of chemistry, was born on 29 January 1917 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, fourth of six children of Adelaide-born parents Eric Edward Nyholm (d.1932), railway shunter, and his wife Gertrude Mary, née Woods. His paternal grandfather Erik Nyholm, a coppersmith, had emigrated from Finland in 1873. Ron attended Broken Hill High School on a bursary. Dux in 1933, he won a Teachers’ College scholarship to the University of Sydney (B.Sc., 1938; M.Sc., 1942). In his third year he was influenced by the lectures on coordination (metal complex) chemistry given by George Burrows, who was to supervise his fourth year. Nyholm investigated iron complexes of arsines and graduated with first-class honours. Thus began his lifelong activity with arsines as ligands (compounds which bind chemically to metal ions).

Murray Frederick Newton Farquhar

Murray Frederick Newton Farquhar (1918–1993), chief magistrate, was born on 7 July 1918 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, son of South Australian-born Elsie Victoria Ethel Farquhar; his father is unknown. Elsie and her son lived with her mother and brothers in the Railway Town district of Broken Hill. They were a working-class family, but Broken Hill High School opened up new opportunities for Murray. After leaving school in 1935, he won a scholarship to Sydney Teachers’ College, where he was briefly enrolled before joining the State public service in 1936, and securing a coveted berth in the petty sessions branch of the Department of the Attorney-General and of Justice. Starting work as a junior clerk in the Broken Hill Court of Petty Sessions, he set out on a career path that would eventually lead to appointment as a magistrate.


Micah Kickett

Micah’s law of perseverance

Micah grew up in Broken Hill, NSW and relocated to Perth in order to pursue education at a tertiary level. Micah graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication Studies from the University of Western Australia. Micah is now a Law graduate with the Solicitor for the Northern Territory, Department of the Attorney-General and Justice. Micah currently works in the Civil Litigation Division, and has gained extensive experience rotating through the Commercial Law and the Aboriginal Land Division, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Legal Policy.

‘The support of my family, mentors, the School of Indigenous Studies and the Indigenous student body, along with many of my lecturers and peers, was fundamentally what kept me focused and motivated. I think there is a point where you realise you can do it. What stems from this is that you then see yourself in a position to contribute to Indigenous related issues within our communities. You also develop a desire to encourage and inspire others in the hope that they may consider taking a similar path,’ said Micah.

Claudia Paul

University of Adelaide medical graduate Dr Claudia Paul has recently become the third Australian Indigenous person to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, having been named the 2018 Rhodes Scholar for South Australia.

Dr Paul, 24, a Wiradjuri woman from Broken Hill, will use her scholarship to undertake a Masters of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford in 2018.

Raised and educated in Broken Hill, New South Wales, She pursued her dreams of working in health by applying for a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Adelaide. Because of her academic excellence, she was supported by a scholarship – and became the first member of her family to go to university.

But moving to Adelaide to study and getting used to uni life wasn’t easy; Dr Paul admits she suffered from a lot of self-doubt in her first year.

“It was a massive adjustment. I even had the wrong bus timetable for the first few weeks!” she says. “My mum gave me some advice and told me to stick it out for 12 months. I’m glad I did because by the end of the year, I was loving my studies.”

During her time at the University of Adelaide, Dr Paul was a student representative with the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association, was active in a mentoring group that fostered links between Indigenous medical students and medical practitioners, and presented her research into the impact of cancer on Indigenous youth at the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association Conference in 2016.

In 2015, she was also named Young Citizen of the Year for Broken Hill.


At the Country Universities Centre, we work with communities to bring higher education degrees closer.