Honorary awards

Sir Robert Cotton AO KCMG

The degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) was conferred upon Sir Robert Cotton AO KCMG at the Science ceremony held at 2.00pm on 2 June 1995.


Presented by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor D McNicol


I have the honour to present the Hon. Sir Robert Cotton, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa).

Those who have had the privilege of working with Sir Robert have come to admire his vision, wisdom and capacity for sheer hard work. Sir Robert has long been an advocate for the retention of Australia's ideas and knowledge within and for the benefit of Australia, and consequently has been an enthusiastic proponent of the Australian Technology Park at Redfern.

In the corridors of power, he has been a forceful advocate for this University and for the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre, which he has chaired since 1992. With the support gained through its association with the CRC Program, the University of Sydney's Optical Fibre Technology Centre (OFTC) has been able to expand its advanced research program and to embark m innovative new programs such as the Interactive Multimedia Education and Training Program. With Sir Robert's active encouragement, the OFTC will move to the Australian Technology Park this year. The wisdom and experience brought by Sir Robert to the Centre have been invaluable.

Sir Robert has had a distinguished career in public life. He has held major positions within the Liberal Party, culminating in his election as Senator for NSW, a position held from 1965 to 1978. He has held ministerial posts within the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser ministries; and has been appointed to public sector, industry board and senior diplomatic positions. The legacy of his appointment as Australian Ambassador to Washington in the early 1980s was a profound interest in Australian┬ČUnited States relations. He played a leading role in the establishment of the Australian Centre for American Studies located at the University of Sydney.

He served as Director of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Chair of the Task Force reviewing the AMA and for ten years was Chairman of the Australia Political Exchange Council. He recently retired as Chair of the National Gallery Foundation Board.

It is fitting, therefore, that the University not only honour Sir Robert for his remarkable contribution to these ventures but in so doing also recognise that his career has been dedicated to the service of his country.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Sir Robert Cotton, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa).