Australia’s oldest PhD graduate has become a doctor at 94 years old.

Dr David Bottomley has graduated from Curtin University with a Doctor of Philosophy after completing his thesis, which examined the teaching methods of five progressive English educators who introduced an understanding of science into the curriculum from 1816 to 1885.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Dr Bottomley on completing his PhD and recording his place in the history books as Australia’s oldest recorded PhD graduate.

“Dr Bottomley’s incredible achievement shows age is definitely no barrier to furthering your education and his graduation will be an inspiration to many,” Professor Terry said.

Dr Bottomley, a Melbourne-based father-of-four, grandfather to 13 and great-grandfather to one, completed his PhD part-time, remotely, in seven years – a year ahead of schedule.

“The first feeling I had was one of relief and utter numbness – I think that’s a feeling shared by most postgraduate students after any big exam or assignment,” Dr Bottomley said.

“I had been working on it for so many years and I suddenly had permission to come out of my academic cave and wasn’t quite sure what to do with all my free time.”

Dr Bottomley already has plans to continue his education.

“I’m already looking at more ways to apply and improve my basic skills, and hopefully help stir the creative pot,” Dr Bottomley said.

“I believe the ideas of the headmasters I studied are worth repeating today in order to instil that creativity and sense of learning in the next generation.

“I hope to extend my Doctorate finding on the impact of creativity in school curricula and I am already thinking of ways the lessons learnt through my PhD can be applied to today’s school students as well as among Australia’s ageing population.”