Dr Davies has qualifications in health, education and the arts and recently completed a doctorate in history at La Trobe, focusing on higher education in Bendigo.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the award was well deserved.
'For more than four decades, Dr Penny Davies has tirelessly contributed to higher education and the Bendigo community broadly,' Professor Dewar said.
'As one of the founding members of the Bendigo Tertiary Education Anniversary Foundation, she has helped provide scholarships and awards for students on the Bendigo University campus.
'Her work with new and established donors has been instrumental in helping to raise more than one million dollars for local students.'
La Trobe Bendigo Head of Campus Rob Stephenson acknowledged Dr Davies' generous contribution of her time, talent and energy in giving back to the people of the city.
'Penny's impressive academic record is matched with her tireless commitment to health advocacy and supporting Bendigo's university students,' Mr Stephenson said.
'She was a founding member of Cystic Fibrosis Victoria, served on its board and founded a local support group. She has also consulted with state and federal governments on the challenges faced by people in rural and regional Victoria in accessing medical services in Melbourne.'
In 2007, Dr Davies received the La Trobe Medal and Distinguished Alumni Award for her contribution to the University.
She is an active member of the Bendigo Historical Society, Bendigo Art Gallery and Bendigo Trust, as well as a number of writers groups.
Tom O'Callaghan, Media Assistant
T 03 5444 7415 M 0408 900 469
Image: Rob Stephenson with Penny Davies, her friend Lyn Davies and husband Cled.