Honorary awards

The Right Honorable John Douglas Anthony

The degree of Doctor of the University was conferred upon the Right Honorable John Douglas Anthony by the Chancellor the Hon Justice Kim Santow at the graduation ceremony held at 4.00pm on 18 December 1997.



I have the honour to present John Douglas Anthony for conferring of the Degree of Doctor of the University.

Mr Anthony was the member for Richmond in northern NSW in the House of Representatives, a seat previously held by his father. Although he was only aged 27 when first elected in 1957, he immediately made his mark and over the next 27 years he had an extraordinary and distinguished parliamentary career. He held various ministerial portfolios including Minister for the Interior, for Primary Industry, for Trade and Industry, for Overseas Trade, for Minerals and Energy and for National Resources, and was Deputy Prime Minister between 1971-1972 and 1975-1983. In 1982 he was made a Companion of Honour in recognition of this long and distinguished record of public service.

On retiring from Federal Parliament in 1984 Doug Anthony maintained his interest in primary production by running the family farm at Murwillumbah and as a director of a number of mining and other companies. It was about that time that the University of Sydney was seeking ways to raise external funds to improve accommodation in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, particularly for the Department of Veterinary Pathology which had been housed since 1947 in a temporary fibro shed. In 1986, the Senate created the J.D. Stewart Foundation, named after the first professor of Veterinary Science in the University, with the general goal of promoting veterinary science education and research. Mr Anthony, perhaps because he missed the cut and thrust of parliament and yearned for another major challenge, graciously accepted the invitation to become the Foundation's President. The challenge that he faced in raising several millions of dollars was formidable indeed. However, through his very influential representations, the Federal Government agreed to sell to the University the CSIRO McMaster Laboratory which had, in the 1920's, been built in the Veterinary Science Precinct of this Camperdown Campus. Furthermore, Mr Anthony also persuaded the Government to give the University all the money required to purchase this building in 1992. In September this year, Veterinary Pathology was rehoused in this splendidly renovated laboratory building.

Under Mr Anthony's leadership, the J.D. Stewart Foundation went on to raise a further $2.5 million from public donations and bequests. The respect with which he is held by the public was a crucial factor in achieving this goal. These funds have now been used to build the Veterinary Science Conference Centre, which has just been completed and is the most well-appointed public venue in the University.

Mr Anthony has devoted a vast amount of time and energy in promoting these major developments over the past ten years. For his dedication in helping this University and for his outstanding record of parliamentary public service we wish to honour him today.

It is with great pleasure Chancellor, that I now present the Right Honorable John Douglas Anthony, Companion of Honour, for admission to the Degree of Doctor of the University.