Graduations

Guest speakers - by ceremony 1856 - 2005

The names of some of the guest speakers at graduation ceremonies held between 1856 and 2005 can be accessed below:


1856 - 1927

Between 1856 and 1927, one graduation ceremony was held each year. Some of the speakers are listed below:

  • 18 February 1856: The University conferred its first seven undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Arts) at a ceremony held in the building previously known as Sydney College (now Sydney Grammar School). The Address was given by the Provost, Sir Charles Nicholson - Address.
  • Saturday 18 July 1859: At the first annual Commemoration of Benefactors and Conferring of Degrees ceremony (which was also the first held in the Great Hall), the Provost (later Chancellor), Sir Charles Nicholson, conferred the degrees and gave the Annual Address, setting the pattern for future occasions.
  • Saturday 16 July 1881: At the annual Commemoration of Benefactors and Conferring of Degrees ceremony, the Address was delivered by the Chancellor, Sir William Manning - Extract from the address
  • Saturday 18 April 1896: At the annual Commemoration of Benefactors and Conferring of Degrees ceremony, the Address was delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Henry Normand MacLaurin - Report on the Address

1928 - 2005

From 1928 on there have been multiple degree conferring ceremonies, commencing with the separate conferring of degrees in medicine in 1928. Some of the speakers are listed below:

  • Saturday 7 May 1938: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the Faculties of Arts and Law, speeches were delivered by:
    — the Chancellor (Sir Percival Halse Rogers KBE)
    — the Governor of NSW and Visitor to the University (His Excellency the Right Hon Lord Wakehurst, KCMG)
    — At the conclusion of the degree ceremony an Inaugural Address entitled "Greek in the University" was delivered by the newly appointed Professor of Greek (Professor J Enoch Powell).
  • Saturday 14 May 1938: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the other Faculties, speeches were delivered by:
    — the Deputy Chancellor (Dr Arthur Edward Mills)
    — the Premier of NSW (the Hon Bertram S B Stevens, MLA)
    — the Right Hon the Lord Mayor of Sydney (Alderman Norman L Nock).
  • Saturday 6 May 1939: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the Faculties of Arts and Law:
    — the Chancellor (Sir Percival Halse Rogers KBE) who delivered a stirring address to the gathering
    — after which Dr A H McDonald, Reader in Ancient World History, gave his Inaugural Address entitled "The Eise of Roman Imperialism."
  • Saturday 13 May 1939: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the other Faculties, speeches were delivered by:
    — the Right Hon the Lord Mayor of Sydney (Alderman Norman L Nock)
    — the Minister for Education (the Hon D H Drummond, MLA)
    — the Minister of Justice (the Hon L O Martin, BA LLB, MLA).
  • Saturday 15 June 1940: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the Faculties of Arts and Law, addresses were delivered by:
    — the Chancellor (Sir Percival Halse Rogers KBE), and
    — the Governor of NSW and Visitor to the University (His Excellency the Right Hon Lord Wakehurst, KCMG)
  • Saturday 22 June 1940: At the ceremony for the conferring of degrees in the other Faculties, speeches were delivered by:
    — the Right Hon the Lord Mayor of Sydney ((Alderman Stanley S Crick)
    — the Federal Treasurer (the Hon P C Spender, MHR KC, BA LLB).
  • 1955: At the various ceremonies for the conferring of degrees in 1955, the speakers were:
    — the Governor of NSW (General Sir John Northcott, KCMG KCVO CB KtStJ)
    — the Chancellor (Lt Gen Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn KCMG OBE)
    — the Vice-Chancellor (Emeritus Professor Sir Stephen Henry Roberts CMG)
    — Mr R G C Parry-Okeden, Chairman of the Nuclear Research Foundation
    — Dr S H Stackpole, Executive Associate, British Dominions and Colonies Program, Carnegie Corporation
    — Dr N A M MacKenzie CMG MM QC, President of the University of British Columbia
    — Emeritus Professor G W Paton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne
  • 30 April 1998: At the Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony, the speaker was Professor Anthony Basten, Professor of Immunology and Director of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology - occasional address
  • 29 October 1999: At the graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Law, Graduate School of Business and Faculty of Education, the speaker was the Hon Justice Mary Gaudron, High Court of Australia - occasional address
  • Professor Judith Whitworth, 25 May 2000 (Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra
  • Chris Sidoti, 25 May 2000 (Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Human Rights Commissioner
  • The Hon John Hatzistergos, MLC, 26 October 2001 (Faculty of Law graduation ceremony) - occasional address
  • The Hon. John Watkins, 22 March 2002 (Faculty of Education graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    NSW Minister for Education and Training
  • Professor John Young, 11.30am, 10 May 2002 (Faculty of Medicine graduation ceremony) - occasional address, from Radius, October 2003
    Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences
  • The Hon Dennis Mahoney AO QC, 24 May 2002 (Faculty of Law graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Former President of the Court of Appeal
  • Associate Professor Johanna Westbrook, 4 April 2003 (Faculty of Nursing graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Deputy Director, Clinical Centre for Health Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW
  • Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom, 16 May 2003, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources graduation ceremony - occasional address
    Professor of Geography at the University of Sydney (1985-1993), Vice Chancellor of the University of New England (1994 to 1996) and member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
  • Rhoda Roberts, 23 May 2003 (Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Social Work graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Indigenous Australian and arts consultant
  • The Hon J J Spigelman AC, 28 May 2004 (Faculty of Law graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Chief Justice of NSW
  • Emeritus Professor Donald Horne AO, 29 April 2005 (Faculty of Arts graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Writer and lecturer, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Germaine Greer, 4 November 2005 (Faculty of Arts graduation ceremony) - occasional address
    Internationally acclaimed writer, broadcaster and academic
Professor Germaine Greer

Professor Germaine Greerp, photo, courtesy University Publications