It is a great loss to South Africa and the world, but the death of Nelson Mandela will also be deeply felt in South Australia.
University of South Australia Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the University has been honoured and humbled to count Mandela as a patron, an inspiration and a friend.
“Nelson Mandela has lived a heroic life and one of passionate dedication to justice, to illumination and to peace – we have lost a great human being,” Prof Lloyd says.
“His belief that education is a key path to empowerment and equality has a resonance that will live on in the many organisations he has influenced, including the University of South Australia.”
A 20th century champion of social justice and reconciliation and the first black President of South Africa, Mandela was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of South Australia in 1998 at a special ceremony at Fort Hare University.
His close relationship with former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke saw him accept an invitation to become International Patron of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in 2001.
In 2007 the Hawke Centre and UniSA’s School of Law established the annual Nelson Mandela public lecture in his honour, a series dedicated to highlighting issues around the themes of truth, justice and reconciliation.
Director of UniSA’s Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Elizabeth Ho OAM, says it has been a privilege for the Centre to have the patronage of one of history’s most remarkable figures.
“Our sympathies today are with Nelson Mandela’s family and with the people of South Africa who will deeply miss this extraordinary man,” she said.
“Mandela, through his remarkable example of forgiveness and powerful commitment to democracy, equality and political renewal has given us another pathway to deal with loss, conflict and injustice.
“His example will continue to inspire the Centre to carry forth his legacy in our program of educational engagement with the public.”
The Hawke Centre will make available shortly a Nelson Mandela memory book for members of the public to sign and pay their respects. For exact details check the Hawke Centre website www.hawkecentre.unisa.edu.au
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