Honorary awards

Professor Marie Bashir AC

The honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine was conferred upon Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AC by the Chancellor the Hon Justice Kim Santow at the ceremony held on 11 October 2002 in the Great Hall. The ceremony marked the sesquicentenary of the inauguration of the University of Sydney and of the commencement of Higher Education.

Photographs are courtesy, ZOOM Productions.

Professor Marie Bashir AC

Vice-Chancellor Professor Gavin Brown reading the citation for the honorary degree.

Professor Marie Bashir AC

The Chancellor conferring the honorary degree upon Professor Bashir.


Presented by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gavin Brown.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Professor Marie Bashir AC for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa).

Professor Marie Bashir graduated from this University in 1956 with the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. She then pursued a career in adolescent psychiatry and became an outstanding practitioner and teacher. Her academic association with the University was formally recognised in 1993, when Senate conferred upon her the title of Clinical Professor.

Professor Bashir has made an outstanding contribution to adolescent psychiatry. In 1972 she was appointed Foundation Director of the Rivendell Adolescent Unit in Sydney, an inpatient unit providing assessment, diagnosis and treatment throughout the State for psychiatric disorders in adolescents. She then expanded these services to the Thomas Walker Hospital at Concord. For her services to children and adolescents, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988.

In 1997 she was appointed Director of the Community Health Services in the Central Sydney Area Health Service. This enabled her to develop services that linked care in the community with specialized care when needed in hospital. Marginalised groups, often overlooked, received greater attention. These groups included non-English speaking migrants and Aboriginal indigenous people living in the inner city.

In 1995, in partnership with the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern, she established the Aboriginal Mental Health Unit. This enterprise provides regular clinics and counseling at both the Aboriginal Medical Service and other health service sites.

Professor Bashir's contributions have not been limited to Australia. She forged major professional links with psychiatry departments in South East Asia, especially Vietnam. Psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees have come for postgraduate experience at this University's teaching hospitals.

In March 2001, Professor Bashir was appointed Governor of New South Wales and in that same year was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. In that role her interest in the causes in which she has long believed is undiminished. These causes include the health and welfare of children, reconciliation with the Indigenous people of Australia, people coping with psychiatric conditions and the plight of refugees and the disadvantaged.

Chancellor, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa), Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Roslyn Bashir.