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David Anstice honoured with Alumni Award

07 Mar 2012

David Anstice Business School alumnus David Anstice ('70) was honoured by the University of Sydney during the presentation of the 2011 Alumni Award for International Achievement on 29 February.

The award, recognising the personal contributions that alumni have made to the enrichment of international society through their community or professional service, was presented by Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor.

"David Anstice receives this award" Dr Spence said during the presentation, alluding to the ideals of William Charles Wentworth, a man whose staunch belief in accessible education for all was a driving factor in the creation of the University of Sydney.

Accepting the award, David spoke on the topics of innovation, and the difficulties that could lie ahead for our nation when the current resources boom comes to a close.

"Returning to the University of Sydney to accept this award is very humbling," David said. "I have always enjoyed doing what I do, and I don't do things for personal reward in that sense - but it's very nice to have that recognised in such a fashion."

David received his award for his outstanding contributions through philanthropy and an untiring commitment to the promotion of the University of Sydney, both locally and overseas.

On the topic of philanthropy, David said that there is a big difference between the levels of philanthropy for tertiary institutions in Australia, compared to those in the United States, where he has been a resident for more than 20 years.

"What I've learnt in my 24 years in the United States, and from what I know of Australia - and I'm sure attitudes are changing here, but I think there was always a sense in Australia that the government would solve the problem," David said. "The big difference in the US is that people believe that people, not governments, solve the problem of financial support.

"They recognize that a very important part of the fabric of the community is the university, and therefore a strong university is important. And the way to make that university strong is through its alumni. It's not the responsibility of the current students through the fees they pay, nor the government providing funding - it's not their obligation to make it strong, but rather it's the obligation of the people that went there before.

"It needs to start with the individual - make some provision as you have the means to do so, to support your community. I believe that all education is critical. I think it's vital that those with the means to fund, actually do."