Fellows of Senate

Memorial Ceremony for the Hon Kim Santow AO

A Memorial Ceremony to celebrate the life of the Hon Kim Santow AO, who was Chancellor of the University from October 2001 to May 2008 and who died peacefully after a short illness on 10 April 2008, was held in The Great Hall at 6.00pm on Wednesday, 23 April 2008.


The Hon Kim Santow AO

Order of proceedings

Carillon Recital
Liz Cartwright, Honorary Carillonist

Organ Music
Amy Johansen, University Organist

Assembly stands as the Speakers enter the Great Hall

Master of Ceremonies
John Sheldon - Opening speech and introduction to the speakers

Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Professor Gavin Brown AO, FAA CorrFRSE
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Chancellor's Tribute
Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO - Eulogy (pdf)

Stephen Chipkin - Tribute (pdf)
Edward Santow - Tribute (pdf)
William Santow - Tribute (pdf)

Sydney University Graduate Choir
"Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring"
from the Cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leven
(Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life), BWV 147

"Ach Herr, lass dein lieb' Engelein"
(May angels bear my soul away) from the St John Passion

Simon Santow - Tribute (pdf)
Dr Pierre Ryckmans - Tribute (pdf)

Assembly stands as the Speakers retire

Organ Music
Amy Johansen, University Organist

Carillon Recital
Dr Jill Forrest, University Carollonist

Refreshments served in the MacLaurin Hall at the conclusion of the ceremony


The Hon GFK Santow AO, BA LLM HonLLD Syd
11 March 1941 — 10 April 2008

The Hon GFK Santow, AO, BA LLM Hon LLD was Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 2 October 2001 to 31 May 2007. Kim Santow was a Judge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales Court of Appeal from 2002 to 2007, having earlier served as a judge in the Equity Division since 1993 where he was in charge of the Corporations List. From 1965 until 1993, he was a senior partner at the firm then known as Freehill Hollingdale & Page and was involved in commercial and international work. His appointment to the Supreme Court directly from the firm was, and remains, highly unusual.

Throughout his legal career, Kim maintained strong links with the University. For more than 30 years he made an invaluable contribution to the Law Faculty as a part-time lecturer in the Master of Laws program, also lecturing at the University of New South Wales. He was a prolific writer on law and other subjects.

Kim graduated from the University in Arts and Law, and later as a Master of Laws. From his student days, he cherished his University Blue in rowing and remained an energetic and enthusiastic supporter, not only of rowing but of all University sport and co-curricular activities such as drama, music, archaeology and debating. He took great interest in the residential colleges.

Kim had immense practical experience in business, serving as a director of a number of companies, public and private. He was also a member of various State and Federal Government committees. These included the Legal and other committees advising the Commonwealth Attorney-General on Company Law and Securities and the New South Wales Government Task Force formed to promote Sydney as an international financial centre. Both the University and the Supreme Court benefited from his long-standing commercial expertise.

In 1990, Kim was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his tireless community work, which included service as director or trustee of a number of community organisations. These included the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children (Chair), the Council of the Asia-Australia Institute of the University of New South Wales, the Sydney Opera House, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, VisAsia, St Vincent's Hospital and Sydney Grammar School (Chair).

In the June 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for service to the judiciary and the
law, to education governance, and to the arts. The Chancellor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon Kim at a ceremony at St Vincent's Hospital held on 27 March 2008.

During Kim's stewardship of the University as Chancellor he played an important and decisive role dealing with issues of governance, accountability and the proper division of roles between Senate and executive management. His style emphasised open collaboration, always constructive, never confrontational. He recognised the tension between academia and excessive commercialism, but believed there was no conflict between academic values and running a University in an efficient and business-like manner.

Kim worked closely with the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Pofessor Gavin Brown, in drawing highly talented people to the Uiversity and in laying the groundwork for the Graduate School of Government. During his stewardship, important international links were forged with Lord May, then President of the Royal Society in London, and with Jim Wolfensohn, formerly head of the World Bank in New York. During this period former WA Premier Geoff Gallop (now head of the Graduate School of Government), and Alan Dupont, head of the Centre for International Security, among others, were attracted to key positions at the University. Kim enlivened the spirit of numerous Alumni, including Michael Hintze, who have so generously supported the University, financially and otherwise.

Kim's vision for the University and its place in the international university community is reflected in the strong links forged with Harvard and with Oxford University, particularly through Michael Spence, then Chair of Law at Oxford and soon to succeed Gavin Brown as Vice-Chancellor.

Towards the end of his tenure as Chancellor, Kim, in partnership with senior management. brought his skills and experience to bear on the task of developing the successful bid to establish the important and prestigious United States Studies Centre, initiated by former Prime Minister, John Howard, and in which Bob O'Neill and others played such constructive roles. This Centre is of considerable importance to the University and to Australia in forging links with the United States and promoting a better understanding of international affairs.

Kim was a man of exceptional intelligence. A humanist. A man of great wisdom and integrity. He always made time for his large family and many friends. A humble man whose impact on so many, young and old, was considerable. He will be sorely missed.

The Hon GFK Santow

The University of Sydney gratefully acknowledges the Santow family in the preparation of this biography.

From an article by Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald

"There is a view, a cliche, that the Emerald City glitters with a shallow greed behind its brilliant harbour. That is only partly true. There is also a steel spine of intellectual rigour, a discriminating elite that holds the city together. Discrimination is a good thing, so is elitism.

This spine does not usually seek, nor often grace, the mass media. But it is there, it is sizeable, it is crucial, and it was amply evident in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney last Wednesday night.

The Great Hall seats 600. By 6pm, every seat was taken. A spillover crowd of 100 people gathered in an anteroom. Among those who spoke to this packed audience was the Governor, Professor Marie Bashir, impressive and warm as ever. ...

The Governor, like the rest, had come to honour and farewell G.F.K. Santow, who died on April 10, at the age of 67. He had been bristling with his usual energy and curiosity until quite recently, when an onrushing cancer snuffed out the light.

For the great majority of people, his name does not resonate, but his sudden passing was like a large ship slipping quietly out of the harbour on a final voyage."

From an article by Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 27 April 2008.



See further information on the Hon Kim Santow AO as Chancellor.