Honorary awards

Bohdan Bilinsky

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Bohdan Bilinsky by the Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO at the Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony held at 11.30am on 18 December 2009.

Bohdan Bilinsky

The Chancellor and Mr Bilinsky, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Chancellor, I have much pleasure in presenting Bohdan Bilinsky to receive the award of an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Sydney.

Bohdan Bilinsky attended Homebush High School before attaining a Commonwealth Scholarship to this University in 1958. He graduated in Arts and Law, subsequently receiving a Masters degree in each Faculty.

During his student years Bohdan Bilinsky was active in the Sydney University Law Society of which he was President in 1966-1967 and he was awarded a University Blue in water polo in 1961, and represented the Australian Universities in swimming and water polo from 1961 to 1963. He has been an office bearer in the swimming and water polo clubs within the University, and served upon the Management Committee of the Sports Union and the Committee of the Blues Association.

Mr Bilinsky was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in 1964, and subsequently in England and became a notary public in 1994. While in legal practice was a part-time lecturer in the Faculty of Law, and subsequently, from 1971 to 1994 he held a full-time position as a Senior Lecturer.

As an academic Mr Bilinsky was instrumental in promoting accord and forging special ties with scholars and learned institutions overseas, especially in England at the University of Cambridge (where he has held visiting fellowships), and in the United States of America, at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr Bilinsky has been the author of scholarly and academic writings, including articles in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, and a chapter in A Century Down Town, the history of the Sydney University Law School. While on the Law School staff Mr Bilinsky was Sub-Dean of the Faculty, a member of the Academic Board for five years, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Continuing Education, and a member of the Board of Adult Education as well as serving on various Proctorial Boards.

Mr Bilinsky’s concern for the interests of students was manifest in the numerous positions which he held in the Sydney University Union, of which he was an elected director from 1964-1970, also holding office as Honorary Treasurer, Vice-President and Honorary Secretary. He served on many committees of the University Union. After his retirement as an elected director he was for some years the Senate Representative on its Board. Mr Bilinsky was closely associated with the establishment of the Wentworth Building, a joint enterprise between the Sydney University Union, and the Sydney University Women’s Union, which ultimately resulted in the amalgamation of those two bodies into the University of Sydney Union. Those services were commemorated in the eponymous room named after him in the Holme Building in 1991.

For some 30 years Mr Bilinsky was a member of the Standing Committee of Convocation (now known as the Alumni Council), of which body he held office as Honorary Secretary for four years. A foundation member, he was for twelve years Treasurer of the Law Graduates Association, then its Secretary for three years.

Bohdan Bilinsky currently holds the ceremonial office of Esquire Bedell.

Chancellor, I present Bohdan Bilinsky, an outstanding graduate of the University of Sydney, whose “distinguished creative achievement” in furthering the objects of the University as a graduate, as a teacher, and as a practitioner in the Law, has so ably advanced “the interests and welfare of the University”, to become one of its Honorary Fellows, and I invite you to confer that award upon him.