Our highest honour
- Author: Fran Strachan
- Posted: 21st August 2012
Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan and Indigenous leader Professor Patrick Dodson have been awarded honorary doctorates from the UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in recognition of their eminent service to the community.
Susan Ryan, who was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, served in senior portfolios in the Hawke Government, where she was the first woman to hold a Cabinet post. A committed feminist, she pioneered extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation. In 1990, Ryan was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Parliament.
She has also held a number of senior positions in industry, including President of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.
Ryan has a long relationship with UNSW. She is a former Pro-Chancellor and a long-serving member of the UNSW Council. In 2010 she was appointed as the inaugural chair of the Advisory Council for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
An Honorary Doctorate of Letters has also been awarded to Professor Patrick Dodson.
Professor Dodson is a Yawuru man from Broome in WA. He has dedicated his life work to advocate for constructive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and is a recipient of the Sydney International Peace prize.
He is a former Royal Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, former Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and is currently Co-Chair of the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
He was the founding Director of UNSW’s Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit and accepted an honorary professorship when his appointment ended earlier this year.
The awards were presented as part of the University’s August graduation ceremonies.