Prestigious Honorary Doctorates awarded

A pioneering scientist and former La Trobe University Chancellor and seven La Trobe alumni who have gone on to influential careers spanning global business and finance, social justice, public policy and the trade union movement will be awarded prestigious Honorary Doctorates this month.

The Honorary Doctorates will be awarded during La Trobe’s December graduation ceremonies, and each recipient will also be the guest speaker and address the graduating class.

More than 3,000 La Trobe students will graduate in December across twelve ceremonies, joined by around 5,000 friends and families.

Several of those receiving honorary degrees are members of La Trobe’s 1967 foundation year.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar commended the recipients on their outstanding contribution to society and welcomed them back to the University.

“An honorary degree is only conferred upon a very small number of exceptionally distinguished individuals who are leaders in their fields,” Professor Dewar said.

“It is fitting that as our fiftieth year draws to close, we welcome back some of the University’s most successful founding graduates who have made a real difference to society and who are role models for our current graduating students as they step into their careers.”

Bill Kelty AC and Professor Adrienne E Clarke AC will be awarded the highest accolade, Doctor of the University (honoris causa).

Bill Kelty AC is a well-known trade unionist and a leading figure of the Australian labor movement for almost half a century. He has provided ongoing service to the community through his involvement in various organisations and industries as well as voluntary and community positions. A former member of La Trobe’s University Council, Mr Kelty has been a passionate advocate of the University’s social inclusion ethos, and a strong supporter of its programs to increase access to higher education for people from rural and regional areas. (Bachelor of Economics, 1969, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 15/12/17 3.00pm.

Video profile of Bill Kelty

Professor Adrienne E. Clarke AC (La Trobe Chancellor, 2011-2017) has devoted her career to scientific research, significantly advancing humanity’s understanding of plant genetics, in addition to her service to government and community. She and her team are best known for their pioneering work on sexual reproduction in plants and were the first to clone the gene which regulates self-compatibility in plants. Some spin offs of this work include discovery of novel methods for controlling insect attack and fungal disease of plants. In her time as Chancellor at La Trobe, Professor Clarke has also made a significant contribution to the University governance.

Ceremony: 18/12/17 10.00am

Six recipients of Doctors of Letters (honoris causa) are:

Cornelia (Conny) Lenneberg has devoted her working life to social justice initiatives in the community and non-profit sectors. Throughout her work, Ms Lenneberg has confronted some of the most devastating global humanitarian crises including responding to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Ms Lenneberg currently works as interim CEO of World Vision New Zealand, a role she took on after being the Regional Leader, Middle East and Eastern Europe for World Vision International. (Bachelor of Arts, Hons. 1978 and Master of Arts 1989, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 14/12/17 3.00pm

Video profile of Conny Lenneberg

Elizabeth Proust AO has led major companies, government and community organisations. As Secretary of State of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1995 to 1997, as Deputy Director-General of the Victorian Department of Industry, Technology and Resources, and as CEO of the City of Melbourne, she had a profound influence on the governance and economic and cultural development of Melbourne and the State of Victoria. She has held executive positions at wide-ranging companies including Esanda, ANZ, BP Australia and BP International. Ms Proust has served on numerous boards and committees, particularly in the arts. (Bachelor of Arts, Hons. 1975, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 15/12/17 10.00am

Video profile of Elizabeth Proust

Dr David Morgan AO is a renowned businessman with significant leadership experience in business finance, having led Westpac Banking Group and BHP Billiton. He is known for campaigning for rigorous regulatory reform in the Australian banking sector. A member of La Trobe’s first student cohort, Dr Morgan was active in student life at La Trobe, including serving on the Student Representative Council, president of the La Trobe Sports Union and involvement in acting. (Bachelor of Economics, Hons. 1970, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 19/12/17 3.00pm

Video profile of Dr David Morgan

Bronwyn Curtis OBE has had a highly successful career as an applied economist, working across global financial markets, and has become one of the most prominent figures in British banking. She is also a widely published author and columnist, and was Managing Editor and Head of European Broadcast at Bloomberg LP media group. She has risen to the top of her field in one of the most competitive financial environments in the world. (Bachelor of Economics, Hons. 1970, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 20/12/17 3.00pm

Video profile of Bronwyn Curtis

Ahmed Fahour AO is a renowned business leader and is currently Executive Chairman of Pro-Pac Packaging and non-executive Chairman of BCG Digital Ventures. Mr Fahour was previously Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Australia Post. In addition to his many leadership roles spanning several industries and sectors, Mr Fahour was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the La University Business School in 2014. Mr Fahour is also an active member of Australia’s Muslim community and he has contributed to promoting ways to counter Islamic terrorism. (Bachelor of Economics, Hons. 1987, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 20/12/17 10.00am

Video profile of Ahmed Fahour

Terry Moran AC has made a significant contribution to shaping Australia’s public policy landscape. Throughout his career, he has worked with several Federal and State governments and held senior roles in public policy development and implementation and public sector management. As Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008-2011, Mr Moran was responsible for overseeing work on a wide range of policy reforms, from national security to economic policy. During the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, Mr Moran helped lead the development of Australia’s highly successful policy responses.  In 2012 he was presented with a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Award. (Bachelor of Arts, Hons. 1972, La Trobe)

Ceremony: 19/12/17 10.00am

Video profile of Terry Moran

Read full citations on each recipient.

For media interviews and filming/photos, please contact: Claire Bowers, Media Manager, La Trobe University | c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au or 0437 279 903

Find an expert

Search our experts database.