Honorary awards

Michael John Sharpe AM

The degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa) was conferred upon Michael John Sharpe AM at an Arts ceremony held on 26 March 1999.

Professor Ken Eltis and Michael Sharpe AM

Professor Ken Eltis and Michael Sharpe AM, photo, Tracey Schramm, 'The University of Sydney News' 15 April 1999, University of Sydney Archives.



I have the honour to present Michael John Sharpe AM for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa).

The University of Sydney is conferring the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Economics on Michael Sharpe who will join the ranks of World Bank President, James Wolfensohn and Industrial Relations Chief Justice, William Fisher, previous years' recipients of the honour.

Michael Sharpe has had a most distinguished career in business and public accounting. Highlights of his career include a major contribution to the National Economic Forum, 1983, independent auditor of the Australian National Audit Office, 1988-92, and membership of the boards of large listed companies. He was named Australian Accountant of the year in 1994. He is not only an outstanding graduate of the University, he is also a very influential ambassador for Australia.

Michael Sharpe joined Coopers & Lybrand in 1955. He studied economics part time and graduated Bachelor of Economics in 1959. He remained with the firm, where he held several international and national executive positions, until his recent retirement in 1998. He remains associated with the firm, now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, in an advisory capacity.

Michael has made an important contribution to the development of the theory and practice of accounting and auditing. As Chairman of Coopers & Lybrand International's Auditing Committee from 1983-86 (the only Australian to hold this position), he was instrumental in the development of auditing methodology which forms the basis for the auditing curriculum in Australian and overseas universities. More recently, as chairman of the International Accounting Standards Committee from 1995 to 1997, he has had a profound impact on financial reporting in many countries. The fruits of his IASC work - comparable, high quality and transparent accounting standards - are vital to the development of a global economy.

Michael Sharpe has also made an important contribution to accounting education. As President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, he was responsible for the professional education of chartered accountants and the accreditation of accounting programmes around Australia. As a member and President of the University of Sydney Pacioli Society he has helped maintain the balance between academic education and the exigencies of business practices. He is a member of the International Board, Nijenrode University, Amsterdam and Honorary Professor of International Accounting at Capital University, Beijing.

Michael Sharpe continues to contribute to the community as President of Cranbrook School, Lay Canon of St Andrews Cathedral, Chairman of the Sir David Martin Foundation, and Deputy Chairman of the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation. He is currently a director of the Australian Stock Exchange, National Australia Trustees Limited, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme, and chairman of the State Super Financial Services Limited. Michael's contribution to the Australian community is evidenced by the award of member of the Order of Australia in 1991.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting Michael John Sharpe, AM for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (honoris causa) and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.