Honorary awards

Professor Ross Gregory Garnaut AO

The honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Economics was conferred upon Professor Ross Gregory Garnaut AO, BA PhD HonDLitt ANU, FASSA, by the Chancellor at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences graduation ceremony at 2.00pm on 11 October 2013.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present Professor Ross Gregory Garnaut AO for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa).

Ross Garnaut is one of Australia’s foremost and most influential academic economists. His career has spanned senior roles in academia, government and business. He has also been a member of a broad and diverse range other Australian and international institutions. He is no stranger to the media and is recognized as one of this country’s major contributors to debate on issues of public policy, particularly in the areas of development, economic policy and international relations.

A West Australian by birth, Ross Garnaut was educated at Perth Modern School and at the Australian National University, where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 and a PhD in 1972.

His service to government has included: appointment as First Assistant Secretary to the Papua New Guinea Ministry of Finance during the period in which PNG achieved independence where he successfully laid the foundations of that country’s macroeconomic policy; appointment as Principal Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke in the mid 1980’s in which role he contributed significantly to what was arguably the most important program of Australian economic reform of the last sixty years; and as Australian Ambassador to China in the late 1980’s, a period characterized by a significant expansion and diversification of Sino-Australian relations, particularly in the areas of economic, educational and political relations.

Of the many contributions he has made to government throughout his career that with which his fellow Australians would be most familiar is the Garnaut Climate Change Review, conducted in 2007 -2008 and updated in 2011. The review and subsequent report focussed on the likely effect of human induced climate change on Australia’s environment and economy and on the policy responses which might be brought to bear, both in Australia and internationally, to ameliorate those effects.

As an academic Ross Garnaut has made major intellectual contributions in the areas of economic development, public finance, international economic relations and macroeconomics, particularly in relation to the Asia Pacific region. His career has been described as one ‘built around the analysis of and practice of policy connected to development, economic policy and international relations in Australia, Asia and the Pacific’. He has authored over 40 books and authored or co authored over 180 articles or book chapters. Through his publications and his many other contributions Ross Garnaut has been at the centre of economic policy debate and decision making in Australia and the Asia Pacific region for the last four decades.

Currently Professor Garnaut holds the positions of Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and those of Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1993 ‘in recognition of service to education, particularly in the field of economics and to international relations’.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa), Professor Ross Gregory Garnaut and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.