Honorary awards

Kevin Alan Shorten

The degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa) was conferred upon Kevin Alan Shorten at the ceremony held at 9.30am on 12 April 1996.


Presented by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor L Cram


I have the honour to present Kevin Alan Shorten for admission to the degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa).

Mr Shorten joined the University in 1952 as a bookkeeper. In 1955 he left the University to join the staff of the Australian National University as Assistant to the Accountant. In 1959 he returned to the University of Sydney as Senior Clerical Officer. He was later appointed Senior Finance Officer and, in 1972, he was appointed University Accountant, a position he held until his retirement in 1982.

During this time he shaped the transition from electro-mechanical accounting machines firstly to a punched card and magnetic tape-based electronic accounting system and secondly, to a fully-fledged electronic data, processing system. His work on the automation of the accounting system was conducted with great attention to detail. Before any part of the University's accounts were converted to the automated system, he required evidence that the system would run as planned.

In 1976 he supervised the installation of a General Ledger system that was regarded by many as the most advanced university system in Australia. He insisted that any changes, however minor, be thoroughly tested. He enjoyed the great respect and affection of his staff and colleagues. As University Accountant he had presided over the transformation of the somewhat ponderous finance office into a dynamic group responsive to University needs.

After retiring, he maintained an active interest in University affairs. He assisted in the implementation of the Heart Research Institute's financial and administrative systems. He devotes an enormous amount of energy to the Institute's annual fund raising appeal.

In 1993 he was elected Honorary Treasurer of the Chancellor's Committee, which raises funds for University projects. His life of dedicated service has enriched the University and all those who know Kevin Shorten.

Chancellor, I have the honour to present Kevin Alan Shorten for admission to the degree of Master of Arts (honoris causa).