Honorary awards

David Stuart Clarke AO

The degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa) was conferred upon David Stuart Clarke AO, the Executive Chairman of Macquarie Bank Limited, by Chancellor Emeritus Professor Dame Leonie Kramer AC at a ceremony held in the Great Hall on 13 June 2000.

Chancellor Dame Leonie Kramer AC and David Clarke AO

Chancellor Dame Leonie Kramer AC DVO and David Clarke AO, photo, Tracey Schramm, 'The University of Sydney News', 15 June 2000, University of Sydney Archives.


Presented by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gavin Brown:

Chancellor, I present to you David Stuart Stuart Clarke, AO for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics, honoris causa.

David Clarke is an Honours graduate in Economics from the University of Sydney, and in business administration from Harvard University, but his interests extend far beyond these two disciplines. As an undergraduate in the 1960s, he might have been inclined to agree with Carlyle's description of economics as "The Dismal Science", but his subsequent career has been marked by enthusiastic participation in a remarkable range of activities, public roles, and personal interests. He is a banker, a vigneron, an opera lover, a rugby enthusiast, an outstanding businessman, and a philanthropist, and he counts among his recreations, bridge, tennis, cricket, golf, skiing, ballet and philately.

Yet to each of his business activities and voluntary public roles, he has given seemingly undivided attention. The success of Macquarie Bank Limited, of which he has been Executive Chairman since 1985, can be attributed in large measure to his entrepreneurial and innovative talents. And this is only one of the many companies of which he has been a director and chairman.

Under his Chairmanship, from 1986 -1995, the Australian Opera expanded its activities, built a loyal audience, and became recognised abroad for its artistic quality and achievement. He is now President of the National Council of Opera Australia and a member of the National Institute of Dramatic Art's committee for the development of a new building.

His commitment to the public good is exemplified in his continuing contribution to the Salvation Army through active membership of its Education Foundation and its Appeals Advisory Boards. He is also a member of the Corporate Citizens Committee of the Children's Leukaemia and Cancer Foundation, of the Board of
Trustees of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children, and of the Council of the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales.

As an undergraduate, David Clarke played representative cricket and rugby, and was a member of the Australian Universities rugby union team. He maintains this strong sporting connection with the University through his membership of the Friends of the University of Sydney Football Club. His support goes beyond a continuing enthusiasm for the game, to assistance with scholarships and employment opportunities. He is Deputy Chairman of Australia Rugby Union Ltd.

His interest in wine is not simply that of a connoisseur. He is a keen and active viticulturist, the owner of the Hunter Valley vineyards Poole's Rock and Cockfighters' Ghost. It is first-hand knowledge which informs his Chairmanship of Brian McGuigan Wines and of the Wine Committee of the Royal Agricultural Society.

His accomplishments, of which I have described only a small sample, define his capacities and skills. None of the many roles he has assumed has been merely token. To each of his activities he brings broad experience, wisdom and practical assistance. He is a man whose deeds give substance to his ideas and words, a man of convictions and with a strong sense of responsibility to the community.

What would you expect a man of these accomplishments to be like? Remote, perhaps, even daunting? David Clarke is very good company, cheerful, lively, and disarmingly modest.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present David Stuart Clarke, AO for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics honoris causa and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.