Honorary awards

Peter Irving Burrows AO

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Peter Irving Burrows AO by the Chancellor the Hon Kim Santow at the Medicine ceremony held at 9.30am on 15 April 2005.

Peter Burrows

The Chancellor and Mr Burrows, with Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hearn on the right, photo, courtesy University of Sydney Publications.


Presented by Professor John Hearn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Peter Irving Burrows, Member of the Order of Australia, Bachelor of Economics, for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Mr Peter Burrows has made an enormous contribution to the University of Sydney through his personal service to the University itself and to many of its affiliated organizations and through his remarkable contribution to the philanthropic support of all these bodies. His expertise, energy and commitment have not only benefited the University’s financial balance sheets but also enriched its cultural life and fabric.

The foundation for Peter Burrows’s contribution to the University and to Australian Society stems from his great talents and unique expertise in stock broking, in the broader world of finance and in Australian corporate life. A graduate of the University of Sydney, Peter Burrows was Channel Nine’s “Stockbroker of the year” in 1986 and in 1987 and is now a senior stockbroker with Bell Potter Securities Limited.

From this spring board in the corporate world, Mr Burrows launched himself with great commitment into the financial and cultural life of the University of Sydney, bringing a rare blend of financial know-how and commitment to intellectual and cultural activity. One of his greatest achievements has been the demonstration that philanthropy at the University and in Australian Society can attain and sustain higher goals over a broad range of activity.

His remarkable contributions to this University are too numerous to list but they include Chairing the capital appeal that raised $33M for the New Children’s Hospital at Westmead and leading the Medical Foundation as a Governor and then President, building up its corpus to $38M in 2001, and making a grant of $10M towards the University’s new Medical Foundation Building on Parramatta Road. Over the same period he became President of the Power Institute and the Power Foundation for Fine Arts, and chaired a successful appeal in 1999 to build the $2.2m Schaeffer library for Fine Arts at the University of Sydney. He funded the Overseas visiting Professorship of The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens for the years 2001 to 2004. Over the same period, Peter has been Chairman or President of innumerable research organisations associated with the University of Sydney and is now Chairman of the Board of The George Institute for International Health.

Quite apart from his extensive support for Medical Research, and for other disciplines at the University of Sydney, Peter Burrows has played an active role in the Governance of the University, first as a co-opted member of the Finance & Investment Committees of the Senate (1995-97) and then after election to the Senate in 1997, as Chairman of the University’s Finance, Remuneration, Investment and Audit Committees (1997-2001). In those roles, he initiated new policies for the University’s Investment and property portfolios.

Peter Burrows has also worked tirelessly within the broader community, as Director of the Kindergarten Union of NSW (1978-1982) as Chairman of the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation from 2000, as Governor of the Museum of Sydney from 1994, as Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the Historic Homes Trust of NSW Foundation (1996-2001).

Peter Burrows is an outstanding graduate of this University and we are fortunate that he has channelled so much of his energy, expertise and commitment to so many of its integral and affiliated organizations.

Chancellor, I am pleased to present to you, for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University, businessman, philanthropist and champion of cultural and research activity, Mr Peter Burrows.