Honorary Doctorates

Council confers the degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of distinction by the person in public service or service to the University, or in recognition of distinguished contribution by the person in a field of academic endeavour and in accordance with University policy Honorary Degrees.  

View past award recipients.

2016 award recipients

Mr Jack Manning Bancroft

Jack Manning Bancroft

Jack Manning Bancroft is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

As a 19 year-old university student with no funding, Manning Bancroft founded AIME with 25 Indigenous high school students and 25 university student mentors in Redfern in 2005. AIME incorporated in 2008 and Manning Bancroft became one of Australia’s youngest CEOs.

AIME is the biggest provider of intensive support to Indigenous high school students in Australia, and one of the most scalable, cost-effective and successful mentoring programs in the world. Today AIME is working with 6,000 mentees and 1,800 mentors across 37 locations and in partnership with?18 Australian universities.

Students completing the program are proven to transition through high school and into university, employment or further education at the same rate as all Australian students.

In 2014, 76 percent of AIME’s 365 Year 12 students transitioned to university, employment or further training. This exceeds the national non-Indigenous rate of 75 percent 18-25 year-olds who transitioned to employment and further training, and the national Indigenous rate of 40 percent.

AIME now has its sights set on working with 10,000 students a year by 2018, effectively closing the educational gap.

AIME has continued to innovate and lead the business community, having been voted 9th Best Place to Work in Australia, employing 100 staff nationally, winning awards from the likes of Google, and launching its own clothing brand last year.

Jack has been named 2010 NSW Young Australian of the Year, 2010 Young People's Australian Human Rights Medallist and is among Sydney's Top 100 most Influential People. He was inaugural winner of the 2013 Stanford Association Dyson Bequest Scholarship, which took him to California to attend the prestigious six-week Stanford Executive Program in the company of world-class leaders.

With Jack’s leadership and vision, AIME has gained recognition from established thinkers, including Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev who described the organisation as “arguably the greatest start up story in Australian history”, and veteran journalist Jeff McMullen who has seen the worst of the world but views AIME as “the one idea that has given him the most hope in his lifetime”.

It’s a legacy to be proud of, with so much potential still to come.

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Professor Gary Banks AO

Professor Gary Banks AOProfessor Gary Banks AO is Chief Executive and Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, a consortium of government and academic institutions dedicated to developing excellence in public sector leadership and performance. 

Professor Banks has wide experience of major public policy issues following a long and successful leadership record at the Productivity Commission, which has become Australia’s most respected source of independent, evidence-based advice to Government. 

He was Chairman of the Productivity Commission from its inception in 1998 until 2012. During this time, he not only oversaw the Commission’s development and activities, but he also personally undertook national inquiries on a variety of significant public policy and regulatory topics. These included research and development, infrastructure regulation, greenhouse policy, private health insurance, gambling policy, housing affordability, availability of finance, the National Competition Policy, executive remuneration, import safeguards and trans-Tasman economic relations.

Prior to joining the Productivity Commission, Professor Banks worked for the Centre for International Economics in Canberra and consulted to the OECD, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. He was previously a Senior Economist with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Secretariat in Geneva and a Visiting Fellow at the Trade Policy Research Centre in London. 

For many years, Professor Banks chaired the Council of Australian Governments Steering Committee for the Review of Government Services, which produces a major report (the Blue Book) annually. He was also the initial Convenor for the Review's Working Group on Indigenous Disadvantage. For several years, he had responsibility for overseeing the Commonwealth’s regulation-making processes through the Office of Regulation Review, and in 2007 established its successor body, the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

In August 2013, Professor Banks joined the Macquarie Group Board as an Independent non-executive Director and in December he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council. He has chaired the Regulatory Policy Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since early 2012. He is an occasional lecturer at the Melbourne Business School in its Public Policy Program. He has also been a member of the judging panel for the BHP-Billiton Reconciliation Australia ‘Indigenous Governance Awards’ since 2005.

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Ms Maggie Beer AM

Maggie Beer AMMaggie Beer has made a unique contribution to South Australia’s tourism and hospitality industries, and to the promotion of Australian produce and cuisine. Despite not having any formal training as a chef, Maggie has made it a career that spans almost five decades. Originally from Sydney, she worked and travelled overseas in an variety of jobs before her marriage led her to the Barossa Valley in 1973, where she and her husband began pheasant breeding and grape growing. The establishment of the Maggie Beer Pheasant Farm was the start of a career that now spans farming, food production, exporting, food writing and television presenting.

In 1991, the Pheasant Farm Restaurant won the Remy Martin Cognac/Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year. More business related accolades included the Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 1997, the Jaguar/Australian Gourmet Traveller Award of Excellence in 1999, and in 2001 she was presented with the Food Media Club’s Industry Peer Award.

Maggie has written eight books in total. The first being Maggie’s Farm, followed by Maggie’s Orchard and Cooking with Verjuice. She then collaborated with Stephanie Alexander and chronicled their Italian cooking school experiences in Stephanie and Maggie’s Tuscan Cookbook which has been translated into five languages. Her fifth book Maggie’s Table won the Best Regional Cook Book in English in 2001, and then against all other languages, replicated its success in the Gourmand World Cook Book Awards in Perigord, France. In 2003, Maggie’s Table was also awarded the Australian Food Media Award for Best Hardcover Recipe Book.

The sixth addition to her literary collection is Maggie’s Harvest, which was awarded second place against books from 27 countries for the best cookbook cover in the world at the 2007 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Maggie’s Kitchen, released in 2008, is a collection of favourite recipes as well as the everyday basics she believes form the foundations of a good food life. Her most recent addition to the library is Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook published in 2012.

It was a natural extension, with her passion for food and food writing, that she found herself in front of the camera in her own television series. Screening on the ABC, The Cook and The Chef shows Maggie introducing Executive Chef, Simon Bryant, to her home region and the people who supply her with the produce she has used to create her culinary reputation. Her success on the show was cemented at the 2008 Australian Food Media Awards where Maggie won the inaugural Lifestyle Food Channel’s People’s Choice Award, and The Cook and The Chef won the Sizzler Bernard King Award for Best Television Food Segment. 

Wrapping up production on The Cook and the Chef has by no means meant Maggie has escaped the spotlight. As part of the 2010 Australia Day Awards, Maggie was honoured with winning Senior Australian of the Year in recognition of her focus on cooking with seasonal produce, that has in turn, helped to educate so many Australians to make informed food choices. This inspired the establishment of the Maggie Beer Foundation in 2014, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of older Australians living both in residential care settings and in the community, through the shared enjoyment of fresh, seasonal, nutritious food. The Foundation’s motto is ‘creating an appetite for life’; its core aim is to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of all older persons through food which nurtures both the body and the soul, and thus the quality of life experienced by older Australians.

In 2011 Maggie was named South Australian of the Year and, on Australia Day 2012,  was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to tourism and hospitality.

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Ms Evonne Goolagong Cawley AO MBE

Evonne Goolagong Cawley MBE AOIn her glorious tennis career Evonne Goolagong Cawley was ranked the number one player in the world in 1971 and 1976. In total she won 92 pro tournaments, was a finalist in 18 Grand Slam events winning singles at Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open four times, the French Open once and was runner up four years in succession at the US Open. At her second Wimbledon triumph in 1980 Evonne became the first mother to win since Dorothy Lambert Chambers in 1914. She represented Australia seven times in the Fed Cup winning in 1971, 1973 and 1974 and was Australia’s Fed Cup Captain from 2002-04.

Ms Goolagong Cawley is a Wiradjuri Aborigine. She has been Australian of the Year and Australian Sportsman of the Year. In 1988 she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Rhode Island and the following year, into the Aboriginal Sporting Hall of Fame. At Barcelona in 1992, she became one of the first ever international Olympic torch bearers and later at Monte Carlo, was part of the successful Sydney 2000 bid. She served on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee to SOCOG at the games. In 2003 she received the International Olympic Committee’s Women & Sport Trophy for her services in those fields.             

 In 1991, prompted by the death of her mother and determined to expand her knowledge of her Aboriginal heritage, she left the USA to return to Australia. In 1993, her autobiography Home! The Evonne Goolagong Story was published and became an immediate best seller. With Sir William Deane, she has been the Co-Patron of Reconciliation Australia.

In 1995/96 she was a board member of the Australian Sports Commission. In July 1997/2001 the Federal Government appointed her as a consultant in Indigenous Sport forming The Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust to review Aboriginal sports facilities and raise funds to finance new facilities and equipment. In 2003 the Commission presented her with The Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award for her services to sport. 

In 2007-11 Evonne was a Board member of the Indigenous Land Corporation and in 2008 was elected to the board of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. In 2011, she received the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sport. In August 2012, she established and became the first Chair of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation for the benefit of young Indigenous Australians.

Since 2005, her Foundation has run the Goolagong National Development Camp. Using tennis as a vehicle to promote better health, education and employment, the program has awarded over 50 school scholarships, produced university scholars, tennis players, coaches, and sports administrators and has helped with employment placement.  Since 2012, in conjunction with the Australian Government, the Foundation’s expanded “Dream, Believe, Learn, Achieve” program has run Tennis Come & Try Days nationally. They lead to assisted coaching, progressing to a Goolagong State Development Camp which can lead to selection in the national development camp. 

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Mrs Marie Coleman AO

Mrs Marie Coleman AOMarie Coleman is a retired Commonwealth public servant whose career has been illustrious and pioneering. 
She was raised in rural NSW during the Great Depression and studied for a Bachelor of Arts (1953) and a Diploma of Social Studies (1955) at the University of Sydney. She worked as a: journalist; public relations consultant; social worker; teacher; and a script writer, until in 1973 she was recruited to the Australian Public Service by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, and became the first woman in Australia to head a government agency – the Australian Social Welfare Commission. 

She has spent her life advocating for women and has had a significant impact on our country by providing a positive outlook for women during a period of massive social change. For over 60 years her name has been synonymous with the women’s movement in Australia, and has always been linked with a cause: indigenous rights, paid parental leave, the gender pay gap and child care funding are just a few. Coleman continues to work with national women’s organisations, in cooperation with a wide range of other groups including unions and academic researchers. 

She was founding Secretary of the National Foundation for Australian Women, and was on the board of directors who worked to establish the Australian Women’s Archives Project to build knowledge and recognition of the contribution made by women to Australia. As Chair of the Foundation’s Social Policy Committee, she played a leadership role for national women’s organisations in research and analysis of the impacts of the former WorkChoices and Welfare to Work policies on women. She spearheaded the campaign which resulted in the establishment of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into a national paid maternity, paternity and parental leave scheme. She coordinated a project to encourage women to respond to the Henry Report on Australia’s Future Tax System, and she led a national project with the National Women’s Alliance promoting the expansion of affordable rental housing.

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Professor Lord Anthony Giddens

Professor Lord Anthony Giddens is one of the most cited social scientists in the world. The author of some 40 books, published in over 40 languages, his theory of structuration has profoundly shaped the social sciences – especially in the Anglo-speaking world.  His works in which the theory of structuration is outlined, such as New Rules of Sociological Method (1976), Central Problems in Social Theory (1979) and The Constitution of Society (1984), brought him international fame in the discipline of sociology.  Lord Giddens’ theory of structuration argues that in order to understand society, one cannot look only at the actions of individuals or the social forces that maintain the society. Instead, it is both that shape our social reality.  In the 1990s, he is credited with developing the first major sociological theory of globalization – as set out in his books The Consequences of Modernity (1990) and Runaway World (1998).

He is also known for his interdisciplinary approach: he has commented not only on the developments in sociology, but also in anthropology, archaeology, psychology, philosophy, history, linguistics, economics, social work and most recently, political science. 

Lord Giddens taught at Cambridge University for over 25 years, where he was Professor of Sociology. From 1997 to 2003 he was Director of the London School of Economics. He is currently a Life Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

He was given a life peerage in 2004, as Baron Giddens of Southgate in the London Borough of Enfield and sits in the House of Lords for the Labour Party.  He has honorary degrees from over 20 universities and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He was the BBC Reith Lecturer in 1999 and has sat on the board of various public organisations, including the Institute of Public Policy Research.
Lord Giddens has also had a profound impact upon politics. His advice has been sought by political leaders from Asia, Latin America and Australia, as well as from the US and Europe. He has had a major impact upon the evolution of New Labour in the UK. He took part in the original Blair-Clinton dialogues from 1997 onwards.

He was also a principal adviser to Tony Blair during the 1990s; it was Lord Giddens’s "third way" political philosophy that strongly influenced Prime Minister Blair's New Labour. Since that period, he has been a vocal participant in various British political debates, supporting the centre-left Labour Party with media appearances and articles (many of which have been published in New Statesman and The Guardian).

Lord Giddens has also positively affected the teaching of social science at UniSA through his many contributions to sociology and social theory over four decades.  In addition, Lord Giddens has contributed at various times to the Hawke Research Institute through providing guidance and support to the Director, as well as publicly endorsing the work of the Institute and the University.

Mr John Barry Humphries AO CBE

Mr Barry Humphries AO CBEMr Humphries is one of the most famous and successful Australians of his era. He has been a part of our cultural landscape for half a century and captured the hearts of millions around the world. As well as his hugely successful career as a comedian, satirist and character actor, he has been a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre and an award-winning author. He is also an accomplished landscape painter.
Born in Melbourne, Mr Humphries was educated at Melbourne Grammar and the University of Melbourne, where he studied law, philosophy and fine arts and – as a sign of things to come – joined the newly formed Melbourne Theatre Company. It was back then that the first incarnation of his most famous character, Dame Edna Everage, appeared. It has been an enduring relationship.

Moving to London in the 1960s, Mr Humphries appeared in numerous West End productions, most notably the musicals Oliver! and Maggie May, and subsequently made theatrical tours of Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, the US, East Asia and the Middle East.

He gained particular notoriety when he first brought Mrs Everage to the British stage at the Fortune Theatre in 1969 for his one-man show, Just a Show. Since then, Dame Edna has appeared on stage in many countries and made regular television appearances in Australia, the UK and the US. These programs invariably are repeated all over North America and Europe, and in 1991 Mr Humphries was awarded the prestigious entertainment television award, the Golden Rose of Montreux.

Dame Edna has not had the spotlight all to herself, of course. Mr Humphries’ other comic characters, mostly parodies of Australian culture, include Dame Edna's nephew Barry McKenzie, cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson, socialist academic Neil Singleton, trade union official Lance Boyle and the gentle and gentlemanly Sandy Stone.
Away from the stage and screen, Mr Humphries is the author of many books and plays, and his autobiography, More Please, won the J.R. Ackerly prize for biography in 1993. He has made numerous recordings and written and produced films and television series.

Not surprisingly, Mr Humphries has received numerous awards during a long and successful career. In the year 2000 alone he received the Outer Critics Circle Award for theatrical achievements and the inaugural Special Tony Award for a Live Theatrical Event, and the Stella Award, the annual prize for the most outstanding act at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, was renamed The Barry Award in his honour.

Mr Humphries was awarded the Order of Australia in 1982 and made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2007 for his services to entertainment. In 2012 he was named Australian of the Year.

A conversation with Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries receives an honorary doctorate

Areas of study and research

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