Honorary awards

Mrs Bunny Gardiner-Hill

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Mrs Bunny Gardiner-Hill at the Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony held at 11.30am on 7 May 2010.

Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and Mrs Gardiner-Hill

The Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO conferring the title upon Mrs Gardiner-Hill, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Bruce Robinson

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Mrs Bunny Gardiner-Hill for the conferral of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Bunny, the daughter of Founding Member Sir Robert Crichton-Brown, has contributed tirelessly to Sydney Medical School Foundation for over 40 years. She began her long stint by joining the Women’s Committee in 1968. Over the next 25 years she played a leading role in the organisation of some iconic fundraising events. These included the annual Easter Sunday Lunch at the Inglis’s Newmarket Sales, the Sheep Show Ball, and two Children’s Christmas Parties held at Government House.

In 1982 Bunny became the Foundation’s Honorary Secretary. In this role she was able to implement a strongly held personal view that all donors deserved recognition for their generosity regardless of the size of their contribution. To this end she ensured donors received personalised pink receipts of acknowledgement.

She relinquished her role as Honorary Secretary in 1989 and maintained her work for the Foundation as an Honorary Governor. In 1994 she was invited to play a more significant role in the Foundation as an Executive Committee Member, holding the position for four years and then resuming it from 2000 to 2002. She was also a member of the Appeal Committee for establishing the Chair in Adolescent Medicine from 2006 to 2009. Bunny remains an active member of Sydney Medical School Foundation Council today.

Bunny is a great networker and sets a fine example by fostering links between the University and other Australian institutions. She is actively involved in a range of organisations.

A member of the Australiana Fund since 2006 and also between 1984 and 1994, Bunny has held the positions of Councillor, Honorary Secretary, and Member of the Acquisitions Committee.

Involved in the early years of establishing the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children (now renamed Redkite) in Australia, Bunny Gardiner-Hill’s undertakings included setting up practice-athons in schools, music therapy, arranging concerts and events. Bunny was Trustee between 1984 and 1994 and Chairman for 5 years from 1990.

Bunny was also involved with the Australian Red Cross – Schools Program and Prevention – later known as CAPS. She was made an Honorary Life Governor of the Postgraduate Federation in Medicine 1987.

Less well known are Bunny’s musical talents. She enjoys singing and playing the piano. Currently a member of the Pyrmont Singers, Bunny has performed the Messiah at the Sydney Opera House and is currently training with a group of 1,000 for a performance of the Dream of Gerontius for Chorus Oz.

But of course Bunny Gardiner-Hill would not be content just to enjoy her musical pursuits; she also participated as a Member of the Friends Committee 2007-2008, and remains a “Friend” of The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia.

Bunny’s family have had a long and proud association with this University. Her father, Sir Robert resides in London these days and maintains a strong interest, last year being named a Patron of Sydney Medical School Foundation. I know Bunny would say that the association with the Foundation has always been an honour for her whole family including her husband Michael and extending to their children who grew up attending the functions.

Bunny and Michael have three daughters Fiona, Carolyn and Anna. Fiona and Anna are graduates of the University of Sydney. Fiona’s husband Richard Caldwell has been a member of the Foundation Council since 2000 and served as President between 2005 and 2009.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you, Mrs Bunny Gardiner-Hill for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.