Rodney Tubbs was awarded the fellowship in a ceremony presided over by University of Sydney Presiding Pro-Chancellor, David Mortimer.
An avid footballer, Mr Tubbs – affectionately known as ‘Tubbsy’ to his university peers – first became involved in the University’s sports and fitness community in 1965 as a player in the Aussie Rules Football Club.
Mr Tubbs’ time in the Club left an indelible mark on the wider University sporting community. Not only was he named the Club’s ‘best & fairest’ winner, but he also captained and coached their senior side to an inaugural premiership victory. In 1967, his excellent sportsmanship in Australian Football was acknowledged with a University Blue – one of the highest honours a sportsperson can receive at the University of Sydney.
Since 1996, Mr Tubbs has been instrumental in advocating for and supporting University athletes. Initially reconnecting with the University’s Sports Union, he has run more than 100 fundraising functions for the ‘Blue & Gold’ Club, which he established to celebrate the University’s sporting alumni.
In later years, he worked with the Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness (SUSF) Executive Director to start the University of Sydney Sport Foundation. From 2005 until last year, Mr Tubbs was the Chair of the Foundation – managing corporate and alumni relations, fundraising for sporting clubs, and, most importantly, facilitating a strong a sense of belonging and community.
“Over the last 20 or so years, Rodney has made an unparalleled contribution to Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness,” Presiding Pro-Chancellor David Mortimer said.
“His extraordinary dedication has helped shape the community and has ensured student athletes are afforded the opportunities they need to thrive. Not only did he establish the ‘Rodney Tubbs Scholarship’ for Australian Rules Football, but he played an instrumental role in establishing the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Indigenous Scholarship, which is awarded to young Indigenous athletes.
“I am honoured to confer him as an Honorary Fellow of the University.”
Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community or who have achieved exceptional academic or creative excellence. Mr Rodney Tubbs has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship.