Honorary awards

Lady Persia Elsbeth Galleghan OBE, Order of St John

The degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa) was conferred upon Lady Galleghan, OBE and member of the Order of St John, at the Arts ceremony held at 9.30am on 13 April 1995.

Lady Persia Elsbeth Galleghan OBE

Lady Galleghan receiving her award, photo, 'The University of Sydney News', 5 July 1995.


Presented by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor D J Anderson


I have the honour to present Lady Persia Elspbeth Galleghan OBE, Order of St John for admission to the degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa).

Lady Galleghan has made a distinguished contribution to many areas of Australian life but has been particularly active in her work for service and cultural institutions. During World War II she served as a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment. She was assistant controller of N.S.W. Red Cross from 1945 to 1985, and is now an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Red Cross Society.

In 1955 she gained a Diploma in Social Studies from this University. From 1955 to 1964 she was employed as a social worker at the Repatriation Hospital, Concord.

Lady Galleghan has also been foundation chairman or president of such significant bodies as the Keep Australia Beautiful Council, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Committee and the Opera Foundation Society. She is currently a member of the board of Opera Foundation Australia, Deputy Chairman of the Metropolitan National Auditions Australia and Vice President of St John Ambulance (N.S.W.).

Lady Galleghan has been a generous benefactor to the University, especially in her support for Australian Literature. She enabled the establishment of the Herbert Blaiklock Memorial Lecture, named after her father, and honouring the poet Henry Kendall.

Since 1971, lectures have been given annually by such distinguished writers and scholars as A.D. Hope, Manning Clark, James McAuley, Thea Astley, David Campbell, David Malouf and Elizabeth Jolley. Publication of the lectures in the journal Southerly has also allowed many others to share in the insights and delights offered by the speakers.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Lady Galleghan OBE, Order of St John for admission to the degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa).