Honorary awards

Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC

The degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) was conferred upon Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC at the ceremony held at 4.00pm on 19 May 1995.

Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC

Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC, photo, 'The University of Sydney News', 31 May 1995.


Presented by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor D McNicol


I have the honour to present Mr Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa).

In 1949 he joined the executive of Musica Viva Australia and, when he retired in 1986, it was as Musica Viva's National Chair and Music Director. He is now Patron of Musica Viva and his advice is often sought by his successors. He helped to establish, and is still a member and Deputy Chairman of, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Foundation.

Mr Tribe has had a major impact on the educational and cultural life of this University, a contribution recognised in 1985 with the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship. From 1978 to 1984 he served as the first Chairperson of the Sydney College of the Arts. He has served as a member of the Council of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, has had a fruitful association with the Seymour Theatre Centre and, currently, is a member of the Nicholson Museum Advisory Committee.

Despite his primary affinity with the humanities, his judgement and insight have been placed at the disposal of several disciplines. In 1993 he became Chair of the Board of the Centenary Institute, a major research enterprise in medical science. At first, given his age, Mr Tribe was inclined to refuse involvement in the Centenary Institute.

"When I looked at all aspects of the Institute's work," he said, "I was taken with the individuals concerned, and the challenge in supporting these scientists." His abundant energies and wisdom have also benefited the community at large. For forty years he worked on behalf of the hearing impaired, helping to set up the Australian Deafness Council.

The University has been privileged to be the focus of his abundant energies and wisdom.

As a graduate of this University - Mr Tribe holds a Bachelor of Laws - he has developed a special relationship with his Alma Mater. "I believe it is important to maintain contact because an institution, in turn, draws strength from its alumni," he said.

Recently, he has assisted the Faculty of Dentistry in drafting a deed for a Dentistry Foundation. Tongue in cheek, he comments: "My only association with Dentistry before this was as a victim."

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting Mr Kenneth Wilberforce Tribe AC for admission to the degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa).