Western Sydney University celebrates June graduation

Western Sydney University will celebrate the achievements of more than 4,300 graduands as part of its June graduation ceremonies being held at the Parramatta South campus from 18–25 June.

Across seven days and 26 ceremonies, students will receive degrees from a range of disciplines, including nursing and midwifery, business, social science, education, engineering, law, psychology, arts and communication.

As well as celebrating with their cohorts and families and friends, students will have the opportunity to hear from a range of inspiring occasional speakers from across industry and the community.

As part of graduation celebrations, Western Sydney University will also honour a number of outstanding individuals for their significant contributions to the Greater Western Sydney community and Australian public life.

Among the recipients is Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, who will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in recognition of her esteemed contribution through leadership roles in the judiciary, and as a mentor of young women lawyers.

Daniel Gilbert AM, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Law firm Gilbert + Tobin, will also be acknowledged with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in recognition of his significant and sustained contribution to Western Sydney University.

While Multicultural Community Liaison Officer for the Campbelltown Police, Rosemary Kariuki — who was named Australia's Local Hero for 2021 at this year's Australian of the Year Award — will be among three community leaders acknowledged as a Community Fellow.

The full list of honorary awardees for the June graduation ceremonies are:

  • Ms Lynne Anderson will receive an Honorary Fellowship
  • Professor Kay Anderson will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Professor Sharon Bell AM will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws
  • Professor Tony Bennett will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Professor Alan Bensoussan will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Auntie Fran Bodkin will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters
  • Professor Steven Freeland will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Mr Danny Gilbert AM will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws
  • Ms Rosemary Kariuki will receive a Community Fellowship
  • Professor Denise Kirkpatrick will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Ms Amanda Larkin will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters
  • Mr Arthur Laundy AM will receive an Honorary Fellowship
  • Professor John Macdonald will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Mr Roy Medich OAM will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters
  • Professor Belinda Medlyn will be accorded the title of Distinguished Professor
  • Dr Sarah Midgley OAM will receive a Community Fellowship
  • Dr Ly Qui Trung will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters
  • Mr Ron Ray OAM will receive a Community Fellowship
  • Professor Hazel Smith will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor
  • Professor Paul Wormell will be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor.

WHERE: Western Sydney University's Parramatta South campus, corner Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere.

WHEN: Friday 18 June to Friday 25 June 2021.

TIME: Ceremonies begin from 9.30am each day.

FOR JOURNALISTS: Please advise the Media Team if you plan to attend, who can assist with parking, via email: media@westernsydney.edu.au. Please note a number of COVID-19 safe measures will be in place, and you will be required to check in via a QR code.

Honorary Awardee and Occasional Address Speaker Biographies

During the June graduation ceremonies, a series of honorary awards will be presented – with the titles of Honorary Doctorate, Honorary Fellow and Community Fellow bestowed upon distinguished community leaders.

An additional highlight of each graduation ceremony is the Occasional Address. Western Sydney University graduands and their guests will have the opportunity to hear from a range of distinguished guest speakers.

Ceremony 1 - Friday, 18 June 2021 - 9:30am

Daniel (Danny) Gilbert AM

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Gilbert + Tobin

Daniel will deliver the Occasional Address and receive of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws

Daniel Gilbert AM is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Law firm Gilbert + Tobin, one of Australia’s leading corporate law firms with over 80 partners, 400 lawyers and offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Over the past 20 years, Danny has received several awards including, more recently, the 2020 Australasian Law Award for Law Firm Leader of the Year, the 2018 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards Managing Partner of the Year, and the 2017 Financial Times Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers inaugural Special Achievement Award for his extraordinary contribution to law and commitment to innovation. In December 2019, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by the University of New South Wales.

Danny is a Director of the Business Council of Australia, Co-Chair of Cape York Partnership Group Pty Limited, Member of the Social Impact Investing Taskforce Expert Panel within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Honorary Ambassador of the Menzies School of Health Research.  He is also a Trustee of various private charitable trusts.

Previously, Danny held various non-executive positions, including a Non-Executive Director of National Australia Bank, and Chair of the National Museum of Australia, Australian Film Television and Radio School, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Passionate about addressing social justice issues, particularly those facing the First Australians, in 2005 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the law and the community, particularly Indigenous Australians.

His advocacy continues as Co-Chair of Cape York Partnership, an Indigenous organisation promoting and enabling Indigenous rights through partnerships with business and government. Danny has delivered speeches calling for Indigenous Constitutional recognition at the Sydney Institute in 2017 and the Yothu Yindi Foundation Garma Festival in 2019.

As a strong supporter of Western Sydney University for many years, he held the position of Chair of the University’s Foundation Council from February 2012 to May 2019, encouraging and fostering interest in financial and other support for the University.

Ceremony 2 - Friday, 18 June 2021 - 12 noon

Rosemary Kariuki

Multicultural Community Liaison Officer for the Campbelltown Police

Rosemary will deliver the Occasional Address and receive a Community Fellowship

Rosemary Kariuki is the Multicultural Community Liaison Officer for the Campbelltown Police. She specialises in helping migrants who are facing domestic violence, language barriers and financial distress.

Fleeing Kenya alone in 1999 to escape family abuse and tribal clashes, Rosemary’s early years in Australia were terribly lonely. Her experience helped her recognise that isolation is a huge issue for many migrant women. Many are unused to going out alone, have no transport and speak little or no English. So Rosemary devised ways to help them address these challenges and meet women in similar circumstances.

In partnership with the African Women’s Group, she helped start the African Women’s Dinner Dance. Now in its 15th year, more than 400 women attend the annual event. She also started the African Village Market – a program to help migrants and refugees start their own businesses – which ran for four years.

Her community programs are aimed to reduce the sense of loneliness and isolation, bringing together migrants from European, Middle Eastern, South American, African and Asian backgrounds.

Rosemary’s work as a multicultural liaison officer connects migrants and refugees with resources and each other, and in doing so, employs culturally affirming ways of “being and doing” to address the social challenges they face. Many who engage with Rosemary’s programs report it to be an empowering process that gives them confidence to help others.

Her work in support of refugees earned her the title of Australia's Local Hero for 2021 at this year's Australian of the Year Awards. Rosemary’s warmth, courage and kindness inspire all who meet her. Her work is the subject of a documentary called ‘Rosemary’s Way’, which celebrates her work as a charismatic community worker who has transformed the lives of thousands of women dealing with disconnection, domestic violence and trauma.

Ceremony 3 - Friday, 18 June 2021 - 2:30pm

Professor Hazel Smith

Professor Smith will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Hazel Smith is a major creative artist and literary scholar whose books and creative works have an international reputation. Recognised internationally in practice-led research and research-led creative practice, Professor Smith’s teaching and research career has built upon her pursuits in literary studies and creative writing.

Professor Smith’s major intellectual and creative contributions have been in the areas of contemporary poetry, the creative process, creative writing and creative writing pedagogy, relationships between the arts, writing for performance, and writing for new technologies.

From 2007 to 2017, Hazel was a Research Professor in Western Sydney University’s Writing and Society Research Centre. Previously, she was a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Creative Communication, University of Canberra and a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, where she founded the highly successful Creative Writing program. She is author of The Writing Experiment, which was shortlisted for the Australian Publishing Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. This pioneering volume brought critical thinking to the acquisition of creative writing strategies. She is also: author of Hyperscapes in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara, the first highly theorized study of that poet; author of The Contemporary Literature-Music Relationship, which brings new methodologies to the study of musico-literary discourse; co-author of Improvisation, Hypermedia and the Arts since 1945; and co-editor of the highly cited volume Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts.

Hazel is also a poet, performer and new media artist, and has published four volumes of poetry, three CDs of performance work and numerous multimedia works.  Her most recent volumes of poetry are Word Migrants, and The Erotics of Geography which has an accompanying CD Rom of audio-visual works. She is a significant figure nationally and internationally in the fields of performance writing and electronic writing. Formerly a professional violinist, Hazel is a member of austraLYSIS, the international sound and intermedia arts group. She has performed her work extensively in the US, Europe, the UK and Australasia, and has been recipient and co-recipient of numerous grants for austraLYSIS from the Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW. She has had five large-scale commissions from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and in 1992 her work, Poet Without Language, was nominated by the ABC for the prestigious Prix Italia. In 2016, her collaboration motions was included in the Electronic Literature Collection: the premier international anthology of electronic writing. Her collaboration novelling won the Electronic Literature Organisation's international Robert Coover award in 2018.

While at Western Sydney University, Professor Smith supervised and co-supervised numerous Doctoral theses to completion. She has an extensive and distinguished publication record, has been an outstanding contributor to the Performing Arts and Creative Writing, and Literary Studies fields of research, and has continued to publish extensively since her retirement in 2017.

Ceremony 4 - Friday, 18 June 2021 - 5:00 pm

Joanne Carmichael

Sub-Regional Lead for Advisory, Planning and Design NSW and ACT, Arup

Joanne will deliver the Occasional Address

Joanne Carmichael is a chartered engineer who studied civil engineering and construction management and has spent the last 11 years at Arup leading a large, multi-disciplinary team, first in Dubai, and then in NSW and the ACT.

With 24 years’ experience across Australia, the UK and the Middle East, Joanne has a wealth of knowledge and experience in tackling the complex challenges that face growing cities and centres. She has been at the forefront of some of the largest city-shaping projects in the United Kingdom, India, Middle East and Africa region.

Prior to moving to Australia, Joanne was a Board Member of the UK Transport Planning Society and was the Transport Planning Skills Network Lead for Arup. She has been recognised for her contribution to the industry by being named a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.

Joanne is also passionate about encouraging lifelong learning and development, and is a keen mentor to Arup’s younger engineers. She is also a strong advocate for women in STEM, actively encouraging young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Ceremony 5 - Saturday, 19 June 2021 - 9:30am

Melissa Jovic

Technical Director, Transport for NSW

Melissa will deliver the Occasional Address

Melissa Jovic is a chartered professional civil engineer, Fellow and Engineering Executive with more than 30 years’ experience in strategic planning, governance, design, program and project management of railway and infrastructure projects.

Her experience includes high-speed, heavy and light rail systems, identifying risk levels associated with the development, delivery and operations of a wide range of programs and projects within Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Since 2009 she has been working for the NSW government in the area of rail transport strategy.

She is currently the Technical Director for Transport for NSW and has previously held senior roles in organisations such as RailCorp, AECOM and Hyder Consulting.

Melissa holds postgraduate degrees in Civil Engineering and System Engineering, has a Professional Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, is a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors and is an Engineer’s Australia Executive Engineer and Fellow.

She has been active in the Women in Engineering program at Engineers Australia since 2002.

In 2017, Melissa was recognised within Transport for NSW with a Champion of Diversity and Inclusion award.

Ceremony 6 – Saturday, 19 June 2021 - 12 noon

Dr Sarah Midgley OAM

Dr Midgley will receive a Community Fellowship

Dr Sarah Midgley OAM is an experienced manager, quantum physicist, and dedicated volunteer, currently working in education and skills research and strategy for the NSW public sector. Sarah is passionate about increasing the participation of women in STEM and working to reduce the discrimination experienced by LGBTIQ people, particularly through grassroots community action. As NSW Co-Convenor and Board Director for Australian Marriage Equality, Sarah was a tireless advocate for LGBTIQ people’s rights to social inclusion and equality, during the historic YES campaign.

Dr Midgley grew up in the NSW Hawkesbury area, attending Glossodia Public School and Hawkesbury High School, before commencing her tertiary education at Western Sydney University (then UWS). In 2005, she completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced Science), receiving First Class Honours in Mathematics as well as the University Medal. Sarah went on to complete a post-graduate diploma at the Australian National University, before attaining a PhD in Quantum Physics from the University of Queensland and working as a postdoctoral researcher at University College London. She has also held science outreach roles within the university research environment, including co-founding “KOALA” a trans-Tasman undergraduate conference on optics, atoms and laser applications, that celebrated 10 years in 2019.

While living in Brisbane in 2007, Sarah and her now wife, Dr Shirleene Robinson, became involved in the issue of marriage equality. On moving back to Sydney, they joined grassroots movements committed to advocating for the right to equality for LGBTIQ people, before being invited to join the Board of Australian Marriage Equality in 2012.  This is where Sarah focused on building local campaigner and volunteer capacity across Australia and supporting a range of national campaign actions including digital and field activities, political advocacy and stakeholder engagements. Australian Marriage Equality achieved its goal in December 2017, when marriage equality became law in Australia.

Sarah remains dedicated to a number of volunteer roles, including being a Committee Member of the Flying Bats Women’s Football Club, the largest lesbian soccer club in the world, and as a member of Sydney’s Pride History Group, a community history group focused on Sydney’s LGBTIQ past. Sarah also serves on a Reference Panel to guide the formation of a Pride Centre in the Inner West of Sydney.

In 2018, Sarah was awarded Inner West Council Citizen of the Year for her marriage equality advocacy and in January 2020, she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the General Division for service to the LGBTIQ communities.

Urvashi Chadha

Head of Strategic Delivery, Risk Transformation Programs - Commonwealth Bank

Urvashi will deliver the Occasional Address

Urvashi Chadha is currently heading the solution architecture in Institutional and business banking divisions at Commonwealth Bank. Urvashi has held various roles at CBA for last 11 and a half years including Executive Manager Program Delivery, Portfolio execution, Outsourcing and architecture focused roles such as leading information architecture at CommSec and digital channels. Prior to that. Urvashi held several technical consulting roles providing solutions for clients in financial, insurance, property and regulatory sectors.

She enjoys establishing capability, leading transformation journeys and developing tech strategy for the business. Urvashi is passionate about building and leading teams, particularly in areas where coaching and leading skills are required across technology, process, methodologies and operating models. She enjoys establishing capability underpinned by technology, leading business and technology transformation and developing technology strategy for the business particularly in data and analytics. She has extensive experience in solution delivery in high-paced project environments, and has been involved in every facet of technology strategy.

Urvashi holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in Economics) from Delhi University, and both a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Computing and a Master of Computing and Information Technology from this University. She started her professional career in Australia as an Associate Lecturer with us for five years, until 2005 when she decided to pursue career in the IT industry.

Ceremony 7 – Saturday, 19 June 2021 - 2:30pm

Roy Medich OAM

Roy will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters

Mr Roy Medich OAM is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist from south-west Sydney, who has made outstanding contributions to the region over the last 50 years. As an investor, he strives to combine his entrepreneurial endeavours with clear social benefits.

Roy is best known for the legacy he has created. He is one of western Sydney’s most prominent developers and a prolific contributor to community activities, donating both time and money to various causes. His significant philanthropic activities have, and will continue to have, a lasting impact for many Australians.

Mr Medich grew up in Cabramatta in western Sydney, attended St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill, and studied Hotel Management at East Sydney Technical College. He joined his family’s cinema and hospitality business in the late 1960s, and at the age of 20 managed the Regal Theatre in Liverpool. He then went on to run the family hotel portfolio. Following the passing of his father in 1978, Roy sustained a successful period in property development and investment.

In the early 2000s, Roy and his son, Anthony, established Medich Corporation and expanded the family’s extensive property interests to the Hunter Valley and interstate to Victoria.

Currently, Roy’s main focus is his role as Chair of the Medich Foundation, through which he directs the family’s philanthropic endeavours in the areas of health and medical research, the arts, and community activities. Through the Medich Foundation, he has been recognised as one of Australia’s most generous philanthropists, evidenced by the Foundation’s inclusion in the Australian Financial Review’s list of Australia’s top 50 private donors in 2020.

Roy has a particular interest in health and medical research and, as a member of a number of boards and foundations in this area, has raised millions of dollars for specific research causes. In addition, he was involved in the creation of the Ingham Medical Research Institute for South Western Sydney.

In 1999, Mr Medich was awarded The Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community through fundraising.  Locally, he was awarded in 1997 with a Companion of the Order of Liverpool, Liverpool’s highest award, for community service and in 2003, awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for his services to the Liverpool community.

Roy has been engaged with the University as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009, and director of the Foundation Board from 2006 to 2013. He is a major benefactor to the University, having supported the Roy Medich Bachelor of Medical Research Scholarship since 2007.

Ceremony 8 - Monday, 21 June 2021 - 9:30am

Amanda Larkin

Amanda will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters

Amanda Larkin has over 35 years of experience in health service management. She is currently the Chief Executive at the South Western Sydney Local Health District, a position she has held since 2011. She also currently serves as a Board member of the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, South Western Sydney Primary Health Network and Health Infrastructure.

As Chief Executive, she is responsible for the provision of all south western Sydney public health services, an area from Bankstown to Bowral which includes five district hospitals, a major referral hospital and community and public health services. She provides strategic leadership and sound governance with the aim of delivering safe, equitable and quality healthcare to the booming and diverse populations of south western Sydney.

Amanda is committed to further developing south western Sydney as a hub for health, research and education excellence, identified as a key priority in the South Western Sydney Local Health District’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021.

In her time with the South Western Sydney Local Health District, she has been instrumental in securing a capital program of over three billion dollars that includes significant redevelopments at Bowral, Campbelltown and Liverpool Hospitals, and a new hospital for Bankstown. These projects are transformational for the community of the south west and will ensure equity of access for comprehensive health services for the local communities.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Social Work, and an Associate Diploma in Environmental Service. She served as a member of Western Sydney University External Relations Working Party for two

Ceremony 9 - Monday, 21 June 2021 - 12 noon

Professor Alan Bensoussan

Professor Bensoussan will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Bensoussan is one of Australia’s prominent integrative medicine researchers with a focus on Chinese medicine. Through his academic career in integrative medicine research and practice, his work has had a significant impact on national and international government policies, industry engagement, and approaches to research and practice guidelines.

Professor Bensoussan joined Western Sydney University in 1989 as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Health. He was appointed the Head of the Complementary Research Unit in 1995.  In 2002 he became the Professor and Founding Director for the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University and, in 2008, this Centre became the NICM Health Research Institute at the Westmead campus.

Throughout his 40-year academic career, Alan forged a broad network of links with national and international organisations within government and industry.  This included major collaborative research projects with key international institutions which continue to work with the University since his retirement. He was instrumental in the research and education collaboration between the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and NICM Health Research Institute. He has also been appointed to many Australian Commonwealth and State Government Committees related to health policy development and medicines regulation. Under Alan’s leadership, NICM Health Research Institute has become recognised as one of the world’s leading research institutes in integrative medicine.

Professor Bensoussan’s research has been instrumental both on a national and international stage. During his time at Western Sydney University, Alan has generated over $30 million of funding through various competitive grant schemes, industry commissions and philanthropy. He has published over 200 scientific papers and two books, including a review of acupuncture scientific evidence (1990) and a major government report on the practice of traditional Chinese medicine in Australia (1996). The latter resulted in national government regulation in 2012 of Chinese medicine practitioners in Australia – the first western nation to do so. Alan has also been a lead investigator on numerous high quality clinical trials and meta-analyses resulting in publications in leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet.

Evidence of Professor Bensoussan’s international renown can be found in the many awards he has received in recent years.  These include: the Achievement Award in Medical Science by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology – the first prize for outstanding achievement in advancing medical science of Chinese medicine; International Qi Huang Award for his research in Chinese medicine from the Chinese Association of Chinese Medicine; the Lady Cilento Award from Complementary Medicines Australia, which recognises an individual’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the community; and the International Award for Contribution to Chinese Medicine by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology awarded for outstanding international researchers in Chinese Medicine.

Ceremony 10 - Monday, 21 June 2021 - 2:30pm

Professor Belinda Medlyn

Professor Medlyn will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Distinguished Professor

Professor Belinda Medlyn focuses on how plants, especially forests, respond to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change. She works at the interface between experiments and models to develop evidence-based models of how ecosystem productivity, water use and species composition will be affected by global change, collaborating with experimental teams world-wide to test and improve ecosystem models.

Through the research in her Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship, Belinda will build a dynamic vegetation model (DVM) focusing on Australian vegetation. Her plan is to build a community model to bring a wide range of different types of data together that will allow researchers to identify the factors that determine Australian vegetation distribution, and make predictions for the kinds of vegetation shifts that we might expect in the near future as climate change gets underway. Belinda has an Honours degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Adelaide and obtained a PhD in theoretical biology from University of NSW. She then spent four years as a post-doc in Europe. Belinda joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment in 2015.

Ceremony 11 - Monday, 21 June 2021 - 5:00pm

Professor Paul Wormell

Professor Wormell will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Paul Wormell has served Western Sydney University with great distinction over many years and has provided leadership to his discipline, school and Academic Senate for over two decades.

Paul has had a long and distinguished career at Western Sydney University. After completing his earlier education at Marsden High School, not far from this campus, he graduated with First Class Honours and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Sydney. Over the course of his studies, he developed his abiding interest in university service and governance, serving as a member of Sydney University’s Academic Board and an elected member of the University Senate, as well as Vice-President of the University Union. Following tutoring and postdoctoral research positions, Paul was appointed as a lecturer at Western Sydney University in 1990. While initially his work was within the discipline of Chemistry, it did not take long for his talents to be recognised outside the school and across the wider institution.

Over three decades at Western Sydney University, Paul has contributed in manifold ways. As well as his extensive contributions in academic governance and leadership, he has a significant traditional academic portfolio including two book chapters, 27 journal articles in high impact journals, and 54 unrefereed publications and conference papers. An enthusiastic, versatile and effective educator, he has contributed strongly to undergraduate teaching and curriculum development, and to the supervision of 13 higher degree and honours students at this University.

Professor Wormell’s achievements and leadership in teaching are especially worth noting.  He has played major roles over the years in developing and leading the University’s Science degrees, including a foundational role in establishing the Forensic Science program. Paul has held a number of leadership positions in the School of Science and its predecessors, always willing to take on substantive or acting roles to support the University. This includes: Head of Program; Associate Head of School; and extended periods as Acting Head, School of Science - Food and Horticulture; Acting Associate Dean (Academic), College of Health and Science; Deputy Dean; and most recently Interim Dean (Planning).

Professor Wormell has made a remarkable contribution to the University’s governance and policy work, significantly influencing our strategic direction and institutional culture. In 2003 he joined the Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Task Force, and co-authored a strategic plan that articulated the identity and priorities of the then recently unified University. In 2009 he was elected as the Chair of Academic Senate and a member of the Board of Trustees, being re-elected three times and serving for over eight years. He guided the institution through external quality audits including the Australian Quality Framework in 2014 and re-registration by the University regulator, TEQSA, in 2018. As Chair of Academic Senate, Paul led and operationalised a collegiate and successful redesign of Academic Senate, its standing committees, academic polices and delegations to align with a new organisational structure in 2012. An accomplished and inclusive Chair, he has always been a firm advocate for the mission, identity and culture of the University, helping to protect its reputation and standards, and supporting successive Vice-Chancellors and their Executives in the University’s continued growth and development. The outcomes of this work immeasurably benefited the University and helped to set the stage for our current strategic plan, Sustaining Success 2021-2026.

Professor Wormell’s extensive knowledge and experience, wise counsel and mentoring skills, and his capacity to support the successful implementation of University priorities are exemplary. Many colleagues speak of his generosity of time and resources to assist new staff and students through their careers at Western Sydney University.

Externally, Professor Wormell is recognised nationally for his contributions to university governance, including two terms as Chair of the NSW and Territories Committee of Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates. As a scholar and researcher, Paul has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, where he continues as an Honorary Professor. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Although formally retired in January this year, Paul remains active in serving the University, through academic mentoring, supporting University projects, giving guest lectures, serving on governance reviews and as President of the Hawkesbury Foundation, and, reflecting his life-long passion for the academic discipline of chemistry, working in the laboratory again.

Ceremony 12 - Tuesday, 22 June 2021 - 9:30am

Professor Sharon Bell AM

Professor Bell will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Sharon Bell AM is an academic leader with over thirty years of leadership experience in the Australian higher education sector, and is recognised as a national figure in Australian university administration and policy-based research.

Professor Bell was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategy and Planning) at Western Sydney University from 2017 to 2019.  Prior to this, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Charles Darwin University (from 2011-2016) and Senior Program Developer and Professorial Fellow at the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne (from 2008-2014). She is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Wollongong. She is currently the Interim Dean, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.

In her time at Western Sydney University, Professor Bell significantly contributed to the re-conceptualisation of the University’s role as an ‘engaged’ university and ‘anchor’ institution.  She led the design of a staged approach to academic restructure, to address issues of School sub-structure governance and leadership, and design an externally facing collegial meta-structure. Sharon also created a framework for decadal planning, guided the development of the University’s arts and culture decadal strategy - Western Sydney Creative, and identified the need for Sustainability and Indigenous Futures plans. She also created a strategic planning framework and consultation process for the University’s new strategic plan, Sustaining Success 2021-2026.

Equally impressive is Professor Bell’s significant influence on academic culture at Western Sydney University through her engagement with the Professoriate and the formation of a Professorial Leadership Group. She led the University’s consideration of the Freedom of Speech policy and contributed to the review of the Code of Conduct. Sharon’s other contributions include: her shared specialist knowledge on gender equity to inform SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) and Workplace Gender Equality Agency reporting; her role in finalising the Board of Trustees’ Ethical Framework for Decision-Making; and her participation in ‘speed mentoring' and the mentoring of academic and professional staff. A hallmark, and highly-valued, aspect of her time at Western Sydney University was the deployment and promotion of highly consultative processes to inform change.

In addition to holding senior executive roles with Australian universities, Professor Bell has an impressive and distinguished research career. She is a national leader in identifying and discussing barriers to gender equity and challenges for women in science.  She has conducted and published research on gender equity in the Australian academy and authored the influential report Women in Science in Australia: Maximising Productivity, Diversity and Innovation (FASTS, 2009).

Sharon continues her research on post-colonial Sri Lanka that commenced with her doctoral studies in Anthropology, awarded by the University of Sydney. Prior to taking on senior university leadership roles, she was a member of Film Australia's Ethnographic Film Unit (1986-1989) and Head of Fulltime Program at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (1990-1993). In 1999, Professor Bell spent six months in Sri Lanka consulting on the reform of performing arts teacher education for the World Bank. Later that year she was invited to return to Sri Lanka to advise the University Grants Commission on tertiary arts education through a review of the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Colombo. That work resulted in the Institute being granted independent status as The University of the Visual and Performing Arts in 2005.

Sharon is a Board Member of NintiOne, Chair of the Women in STEMM Expert Advisory Board and was a member of the SAGE Expert Advisory Committee from 2014-2017. She was also Co-convenor of Universities Australia Executive Women, from 2005 to 2008.

In January 2019, Sharon’s significant service to higher education and as an advocate for gender equity were recognised by her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Ceremony 13 - Tuesday, 22 June 2021 - 12:00 noon

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick

Professor Kirkpatrick will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick is an academic leader with over sixteen years of leadership experience in higher education, both in Australia and internationally. She is recognised for her scholarly contributions in the fields of technology-enhanced learning and quality assurance in higher education. Denise has been at the forefront of developing strategies to advance teaching and learning at many leading Australian universities, as well as at the Open University, United Kingdom. She has led many major projects designed to invigorate academic programs and improve student experience. She has worked as an academic, senior executive and higher education consultant in Australia, the UK, Africa and South East Asia.

Professor Kirkpatrick jointed Western Sydney University in 2015 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), and in 2019 she became Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor until September 2020.

Prior to this, she was at La Trobe University as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in 2005 and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from 2006 to 2007.  From 2007 to 2012, Denise was Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning, Teaching and Quality, and Vice-President, at The Open University United Kingdom and, from 2012 t0 2015, she was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at the University of Adelaide.

As a valued member of Western Sydney University’s Senior Executive Group, Professor Kirkpatrick has led and significantly contributed to a number of strategic projects. In her capacity as the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, she has overseen the implementation of the new academic structure; the development of the University’s new strategic plan, Sustaining Success, 2021-2026; and shaped and fostered the University’s educational partnerships strategy. In addition, she has demonstrated significant leadership in helping to guide the University’s response to recent challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and higher education reforms.

As the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), she led the University’s academic portfolio where she demonstrated a commitment to strengthening excellence and innovation in learning and teaching. This included the strategic development of the University’s academic programs and offerings, successfully leading the work that resulted in the University’s re-registration with TEQSA, and leading the academic development of the University’s CBD

campuses at Parramatta, Liverpool and Bankstown. In addition, Professor Kirkpatrick led the Transforming Western Sydney University strategic project which resulted in the conceptualisation, design and delivery of a program of initiatives designed to not just achieve, but expand the aspirations identified in the University’s strategic plan.

Denise has a deep commitment to promoting gender equity. Her leadership in supporting gender equity initiatives is demonstrated in the development of leadership programs for emerging and senior women, in the work undertaken for the University’s successful Athena Swan SAGE Bronze Award application, and in further strengthening our academic promotions policy process to allow for a more equitable recognition of achievements.

Currently, Professor Kirkpatrick is Chair of the University Admissions Centre Board and President of the Nan Tien Institute, Australia’s first tertiary institution grounded in Applied Buddhist wisdom. She has been a director on the Board of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship since its inception in 2017. In addition, she has chaired and been a director on the boards of The College and Western Sydney University International College.

Ceremony 14 - Tuesday, 22 June 2021 - 2:30 pm

Kim Maddock

Nurse Manager, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District

Kim will deliver the Occasional Address

Kim Maddock has been with NSW Health for more than 20 years. She has held various management roles for Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, including Divisional Nurse Manager, LHD Directorate Nurse Manager and Acting Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery. Graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Western Sydney University in 1997, Kim’s expertise has covered vast areas of healthcare, including surgical, medical, cancer, rehabilitation and aged care nursing.

In 2017, Kim developed and led the implementation of The Patient’s Voice project, a patient-centred initiative designed the empower patients to provide first-hand feedback to nursing staff and assist them in understanding important elements of their treatment. After a highly successful pilot program at Nepean Hospital, The Patient’s Voice was recognised with a NSW Health Award in the category of Patients as Partners, rolled out to other hospitals locally and across Australia and has recently been adopted into the Clinical Excellence Commissions Safety Fundamentals.

Kim was also part of the team recognised during the 2014 Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Quality Awards for a best practice dementia initiative, receiving the Chairman Award for Quality and Safety.

Kim is the author and co-author of a number of published works, including pieces focussing on enhancing hospital care of patients with cognitive impairment and The Patient’s Voice initiative. Her work has been featured in publications including the International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance and the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

Like many in her profession around the world, Kim and her team have formed a vital part of the COVID-19 response in the Nepean Blue Mountains area.

Ceremony 15 - Tuesday, 22 June 2021 - 5:00 pm

Jacqui Cross

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Ministry of Health

Jacqui will deliver the Occasional Address

Jacqui has been the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at NSW Health since 2016, providing advice on professional nursing and midwifery issues as well as informing, implementing and monitoring policies across the state. Jacqui advocates for nurses and midwives and is a representative with the NSW Ministry of Health.

A dedicated health professional, Jacqui has held a number of nursing positions since commencing as a Registered Nurse in 1990 at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney. She has also previously held senior roles across the health industry, including as Director of Nursing at the Children’s Hospital Westmead, and Director of Nursing and Midwifery at South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Jacqui is passionate about the role that nurses and midwives play in the health sector in providing compassionate, evidenced-based, and patient-centred nursing care. She believes that nurses and midwives are the cornerstone of the health system, and is committed to person-centred care and the development of effective workplace cultures to support that care.

Jacqui graduated with a Diploma in Comprehensive Nursing from Hawkes Bay Polytechnic in New Zealand, and in 1996 graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Management from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Ceremony 16 - Wednesday, 23 June 2021 - 9:30am

Ronald (Ron) Ray OAM

Ron will receive a Community Fellowship

Mr Ronald Ray OAM is a former Army Sergeant, Western Sydney University alumnus and retired human resources specialist, who has volunteered over the past 20 years for a number of local organisations that provide valuable services to the Sydney community.

Mr Ray is passionate about keeping Australian heritage and history alive, and has channelled this into his volunteer work. He has been a guide for the Australian National Maritime Museum since 2007, and currently, is a coordinator of the Museums Speakers Group, a dynamic program that he co-founded in 2014. Mr Ray has also been a guide for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and spent 5 years as a volunteer for the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company.

For 25 years, Mr Ray has been a member of the New South Wales Corps of Marines and other re-enactment groups.  He holds memberships at Ex- Service Organisations in Castle Hill, the Returned Services League of Australia and the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia since 2001.

Ron co-founded Friends of Bella Vista Farm in 2001, and has remained active in preserving and promoting the heritage of this iconic homestead. During special events at the Farm, he organises volunteers from the NSW Corps of Marines to demonstrate their drill and weaponry skills. Each month, he dedicates time to guide visitors through the Farm, and regularly helps to feed the merino sheep.

During his professional life, Ron worked in Human Resources and in 2000, he completed a Master of Commerce degree at Western Sydney University, specialising in Workplace Relations.  He has also been a Justice of the Peace for about 40 years.

In January 2020, Ron was awarded an OAM in the General Division for his service to the community.

Jane Stratton

CEO and Founder, Think+DO Tank Foundation and Lost in Books

Jane will deliver the Occasional Address

Jane Stratton is the CEO and founder of the Think+DO Tank Foundation. In 2017 Jane created the highly successful social enterprise LOST IN BOOKS, a multilingual kids’ bookshop, creative community hub and safer space for women and children in Fairfield, South Western Sydney.

Jane works through the arts to elevate the voices of low-income and excluded community members to inform, and to model systems reform. She enables multi-disciplinary collaborative projects, enterprises and enquiries in low-income communities in response to the question: “What would make life here easier, better or more affordable?”.

Jane has an accomplished background in commercial and public interest law; human rights and social policy. She has worked for leading rights-based organisations including Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Jane was the Acting Head, Pro Bono and then the inaugural Head, Corporate Social Responsibility at Gilbert+Tobin Lawyers.

Jane’s intelligent and empathetic approach has fostered her reputation as a courageous leader at the forefront of collaborative work with communities, inspiring those within them and beyond them to broaden the horizon of what is possible.

Ceremony 17 - Wednesday, 23 June 2021 - 12 noon

Jason Miezis

Principal, Cherrybrook Public School

Jason will deliver the Occasional Address

Jason Miezis has held roles as a Principal and Director in the NSW public education system for almost 20 years, after graduating from this University with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 1991.

Jason was appointed the Principal of Rouse Hill Public School in 2003, a role he held for seven years. One of the highlights of Jason’s role as Principal came in 2007, when the school became one of only four primary schools in NSW to take part in an innovative bilingual Asian language program, focusing on Chinese Mandarin. Three of the students in the program went on to continue this throughout their schooling, completing their Chinese Mandarin studies during last year’s HSC.

In 2010, Jason became the School Education Director, which was the first of a number of Director roles he has held with the NSW Department of Education. Since then Jason has been the Director, Educational Services and Director, Early Learning and Primary Education.

In 2017, Jason returned to the school system, taking up the role of principal of Cherrybrook Public School.

Jason is now the Director of Educational Leadership for the Eastern Creek Network. This executive role provides policy advice, supports the continuous improvement of principals and teachers in NSW public schools and ensures the multi-faceted needs of all students, from preschool to year 12, are fulfilled.

Ceremony 18 - Wednesday, 23 June 2021 - 2:30pm

Professor John Macdonald

Professor Macdonald will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor John Macdonald is public health academic whose 24-year career has put him at the forefront of men's health nationally and internationally. He is a leader in men's health, both in Australia and overseas.

Professor Macdonald commenced at the then-named University of Western Sydney in October 1996, as Foundation Chair of Primary Health Care. Prior to his appointment at the University, John had taught primary healthcare at Manchester and Bristol universities in the UK, as well as at INSERM (French Institute of Health and Medical Research) in Paris.

Professor Macdonald's work at Western Sydney University has focused on the promotion of the social determinants of health and their intersection with public health. In particular, he has used this approach to focus on men's health. His work has also addressed areas of suicide among Aboriginal men, and through this, Professor Macdonald developed and founded The Shed at Mt Druitt, a drop-in centre and ‘one stop shop’ for men in need, funded by the Commonwealth and State governments.

In 1999, in collaboration with colleague Michael Woods, John established the Men's Health Information and Resource Centre. The Centre has been the driving force behind the development of a range of men's health policies and initiatives, including the 2010 National Male Health Policy, the establishment of The Shed at Mt Druitt, Men's Health Week, and MENGAGE, a men's health website and clearing house.

Professor Macdonald has published two books, Primary Health Care - Medicine in its Place (in 1994), and Environments for Health (in 2005), as well as a range of journal articles across his career. Currently, he is working on his third book, the Social Determinants of Male Health.  On three occasions he has been a consultant to the World Health Organisation in Geneva, most recently to report on the mental health of people in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Before he came to Australia, the British government sent him to the West Bank to help set up a Diploma and Masters in Primary Healthcare and Public Health in Birzeit University. He continues to teach into those programs.

Further impact has been created through the PhD students who he has supervised, all of whom have gone on to share John's passion and commitment for the social determinants of health, and have secured important government and non-government positions.

Equally impressive has been John’s contribution to postgraduate and undergraduate teaching over many years at the University. John has displayed a commitment to his students, and particularly the many international students he has taught, that is well beyond expectations. Feedback on his teaching has been exceptionally positive over many years, as he ensures his teaching is embedded within contemporary public health issues. Students take away from John's classes, real-life cases that they can then apply internationally to improve health across the world.

Through Professor Macdonald's work, he has ensured that Western Sydney University is at the forefront of men's health both nationally and internationally. He has had significant impact on Aboriginal men and their health and wellbeing, and has ensured he works to equip men with the skills they need to achieve a safe and fulfilled life.

Ceremony 19 - Thursday, 24 June 2021 - 9:30am

Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC

Her Excellency will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws

Her Excellency is the 39th Governor of New South Wales, and commenced her five-year tenure on 2 May 2019. Prior to this appointment, she enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at the state and national level.

Born and raised in Hurstville, Her Excellency completed a Bachelor of Laws with honours at the University of Sydney, and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1975.  She was a Judicial Member of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal from 1984 to 1988, and in 1989 was appointed Queen's Counsel. She was an Acting District Court Judge from 1990 to 1991, and served as Assistant Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption from 1991 to 1992.

In 1993, she was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia – the first woman to sit exclusively in that Court. In 1996, she achieved the distinction of being the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, subsequently in 2013, the first woman to be appointed as its President.

Her Excellency is Patron, and co-Patron with her husband Mr Dennis Wilson, to a total of over 200 organisations based in New South Wales. This includes organisations such as the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Toongabbie Legal Centre, Bach Akademie Australia, Just Reinvest NSW, SHINE for Kids and Heartfelt House - a not-for profit organisation that provides therapeutic group programs for long-term survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The Governor brings her deep commitment to education, youth leadership, human rights and social justice to the role in service of the people of New South Wales.

Her Excellency has received numerous awards in recognition of her contribution to the community. Most significantly, in June 2006 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her service to the judiciary and the law, and subsequently in January 2020 was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for her "eminent service to the people of New South Wales, particularly through leadership roles in the judiciary, and as a mentor of young women lawyers".

Ceremony 20 - Thursday, 24 June 2021 - 12 noon

Dr Ly Qui Trung

Dr Qui Trung will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws

Dr Trung Qui Ly is an outstanding alumnus of the University. A highly respected entrepreneur in both the business management and hospitality industries, he is the co-founder of Pho24, a hugely successful and well-known Vietnamese restaurant chain that has over 60 stores all over the world including Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. He was one of the first Vietnamese nationals to study in a democratic country since the unification of his country in 1975. He graduated in 1994, with a Bachelor of Hospitality Management.

Dr Trung grew up in Vietnam and commenced his life long journey in the food and hospitality industry by waiting tables in a hotel’s restaurant and helping his mother to open a small restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was here that his passion for hospitality began. Following his study years at Western Sydney University, Dr Trung returned to his homeland and went on to become one of Vietnam's most successful and iconic entrepreneurs as co-founder of Pho24 in 2003, and also the co-founder of the Nam An Group that operates several different food and beverage business concepts. Today Dr Trung is the Managing Director of a business consultant company.

Dr Trung has also authored several books. These include a brand-building guide for SMEs, an autobiography, as well as books about franchising. His new book, Startup in the new normal, will be published in Vietnam in July this year.

For many years, Dr Trung has always remained connected to the University, and undertakes promotional and engagement activities both in Australia and Vietnam on behalf of the University. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Business and is also an Honorary Senior Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor and President, supporting the development of the University's ASEAN Hub initiatives in partnership with the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Dr Trung has also completed a Masters in Hospitality from Griffith University, and a PhD in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University, USA.  He received the Australia Asia Pacific Executive Award in 2007, the International Alumnus of the Year awarded by Queensland Government in 2008, the Outstanding Alumni Award by Griffith University in 2009, and was Entrepreneur of the Year (awarded by City Council of Ho Chi Minh City) in 2006.  In 2011, Dr Trung was voted as one of the 50 Game Changers of Vietnam by VnExpress, the highest ranking of online newspaper in the country.

Ceremony 21 - Thursday, 24 June 2021 - 2:30pm

Lynne Anderson

Lynne will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Fellowship

Ms Lynne Anderson is a leading Australian sports administrator. Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer of Paralympics Australia, and was Chair of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Rugby League Club from 2018 until October 2020.

An experienced Chief Executive Officer in the sports industry, Ms Anderson is skilled in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, sport and event management, media relations, sponsorship, and market research.  After returning to university studies at the age of 35, she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing at Western Sydney University in 1992.

In 1993, Lynne was appointed Marketing Manager of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Rugby League Club - a position she held for four years until she established her own sports research consultancy.  Although Lynne sold that business in 2007 to Australian company, Repucom, she continued on as Managing Director of the Australia and New Zealand region until 2014. Repucom grew rapidly from a market leader in Australia and New Zealand into a global powerhouse in sport and sponsorship research and consulting, with a client list including some of the largest corporate partners, broadcasters and professional sports in the world.

In 2015, Ms Anderson was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Paralympic Committee.  During her tenure, she has revolutionised the way the organisation does business, including a brand change to Paralympics Australia. As part of this role, Lynne has been instrumental in building the profile of both the Australian Paralympic team and the parasport movement in Australia, and globally. She has helped bring an additional $25 million into the parasport sector, seeking to redress the traditional inequity of investment in high performance sport for people with a disability. Most recently, she was successful in lobbying for an additional $8 million investment from the Australian Government for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games being held 2021.

In February 2018, Ms Anderson was elected Chair of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Board. In standing for the role, her platform focused on cultural change within the Club.

Lynne was presented the Australian Institute of Sport Leadership Award in December 2019.  The award recognises her major contribution to: the progress of female athletes, in her role as CEO of Paralympics Australia; and the development of opportunities for female rugby league players, as Chair of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Ceremony 22 - Thursday, 24 June 2021 - 5:00pm

Arthur Laundy AM

Arthur will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Fellowship

Mr Arthur Laundy AM is a second-generation publican, philanthropist and patriarch of the Laundy family enterprise. Over the past 50 years, Arthur – together with his wife Margaret – has built a thriving hotel empire, Laundy Hotels, which now includes multiple venues across the state and is the largest independent hotel operator in NSW.

The Laundy family hotel business began more than 70 years ago, when Arthur’s parents, Arthur Senior and Veronica, took on the Sackville Hotel at Rozelle in 1948.  Almost 20 years later, the Laundys made their move to Bass Hill in Sydney’s south-west, where they built the Twin Willows Hotel.

Arthur had his own leasehold on the Royal Exhibition Hotel, Surry Hills, and in 1969 was placed into control of the family business following the tragic passing of his father, Arthur Senior, in a light plane accident.  At that time, the business included the Twin Willows and the Hume Hotel, Yagoona. Since then, Arthur and his wife Margaret have built a highly successful hotel empire in NSW, and it continues to grow, while remaining committed to the Laundy core values of good service and providing family friendly social environments.

Over the years, Arthur has continued to invest in the economic development and growth of Greater Western Sydney. The Laundy family purchased the Bidwill Hotel in 2020 and plans are underway to open a family friendly tavern in Jordan Springs in 2022. The Laundy family are also currently involved in the re-build of the iconic Log Cabin in Penrith, as a consortium with the Cottle Family and businessman Rob Wearn.

Arthur has always been quick to help those in need. In 2004, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly through philanthropic contributions to charitable organisations and assistance to people in need. More recently, he supported the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s program, Strengthening Rural Communities. I In 2018, Arthur participated with his grandsons in the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave, raising nearly $35,000 to support those diagnosed with blood cancer.

In 2006, Arthur was named Hotelier of the Year by the Australian Hotels Association, in recognition of his 50-plus years of dedicated service to the Hotel industry.  The following year, he was entered into the Australian Hotels Association’s Hall of Fame.

Ceremony 23 - Friday, 25 June 2021 - 9:30 am

Professor Steven Freeland

Professor Freeland will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Steven Freeland is an internationally acknowledged expert in International Criminal Law, Commercial Aspects of Space Law, Public International Law, and Human Rights Law.

Following his highly successful 20-year career as an international commercial lawyer and investment banker with a number of global companies, he commenced his academic career in 2002 at Western Sydney University. He was promoted to Professor in 2011, and appointed the Dean of the School of Law from July 2017 to April 2019.

Professor Freeland’s contributions to the School of Law, the University and internationally are extensive.  He has published widely, with over 300 publications in high quality journals and with leading publishers such as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge UK, Edward Elgar UK and Taylor Francis.  Over a period of eight years, Steven has annotated vital international criminal law cases, which are cited by international courts and key global decision makers.

Professor Freeland is a very engaged scholar through his work with the United Nations, and has been appointed to be the moderator of negotiations between 96 States regarding the use of space. As well as working with the United Nations, Steven also has been an advisor to governments such as Norway, New Zealand and Australia on their legal regimes governing their regulation of the use of space.

Steven has both a domestic and international profile in the areas of international criminal law and international space law. He is a Director of the Paris-based International Institute of Space Law; a member of the Space Law Committee of the London-based International Law Association; and a member of both the Space Law Committee and War Crimes Committee of the London-based International Bar Association.  Within Australia, he has been appointed by the Australian Government as a Member of the Australian Space Agency Advisory Board.

Professor Freeland is an engaged member of the School of Law.  During his time as Dean, Steven was instrumental in increasing research quality, introducing support mechanisms and policies to ensure early career researchers could achieve research outcomes. These measures led to the School achieving an international standard rating of research in the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia assessment of the School’s research.  Steven has also been active in supporting and mentoring early career researchers and remains keen to develop the School.

Professor Freeland’s outstanding reputation has seen him secure numerous international appointments including Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna in Austria; Permanent Visiting Professor at the iCourts Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark; Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong; Senior Fellow at the London Institute of Space Policy and Law; Visiting Professor at Université Toulouse 1 Capitole in France; Professorial Fellow at Bond University; and Associate Member at the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law at McGill University in Canada.

Ceremony 24 - Friday, 25 June 2021 - 12 noon

Professor Kay Anderson

Professor Anderson will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

Professor Kay Anderson has had a distinguished career as a researcher at Western Sydney University.  She has been a prominent researcher in human and cultural geography, playing a key formative role in the development of the Institute for Culture and Society.  Renowned internationally for scholarly excellence in the politics of race and ethnicity and ethnic precincts in metropolitan cities, cultures of nature, and urban cultures and place, Professor Anderson is widely recognised as an international leader in her field. Her contributions to the field of human and cultural geography are recognised as innovative, theoretically complex and empirically challenging.

Kay has made an outstanding contribution to this university since her appointment in 2004. During this time, she has demonstrated exceptional research leadership and has worked tirelessly to help establish a thriving research culture based on interdisciplinary collaboration and public engagement. In her time at Western Sydney University, Kay was successful in gaining two Australian Research Council Discovery grants and four Linkage grants.

Testament to her scholarly excellence, she has received significant recognition for her work, both nationally and internationally. In 1993, Kay was awarded the John Porter Prize of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association.  In 2007, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award for Contributions to Scholarship on Race and Ethnicity of the Association of American Geographers. In 2008, her book, Race and the Crisis of Humanism was the recipient of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Critical Writing.

Kay has published widely in major international geography journals, as well as in more interdisciplinary journals. Her global leadership role in the field is also demonstrated by her contribution as co-editor of authoritative discipline overviews such as the International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, published in 2009 and the Handbook of Cultural Geography, published in 2002.

In recognition of her intellectual contributions, Professor Anderson has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in the UK in 2004, and as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences in 2007. In 2009 she was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Australian Geographers for her significant contributions to the development of Australian geographical knowledge.

During her time at the University she held the role of Chair of the Australian branch of the International Geographical Union’s ‘Cultural Approach to Geography’ Taskforce.  She also played a leadership role in founding the Cultural Geography Study Group of the Institute of Australian Geographers, and in 2013 she delivered the keynote address to mark the 20th anniversary of the journal Cultural Geographies at the American Association of Geographers conference in Los Angeles.

Over the years she has been a member of a number of University committees, including the University’s College of Arts Research Committee, the Urban Research Centre Advisory Committee and numerous appointments and promotions committees.

Kay has played a pivotal role in raising the University’s profile in the discipline of Geography.  By 2018, the discipline at Western Sydney University was rated 4 (above world standard) in the Excellence for Research in Australia framework.

At Western, Kay exerted significant intellectual leadership by mentoring early career researchers and developing externally funded collaborative projects.  She organised and convened the highly successful conference on ‘Post-Suburban Sydney’, in Parramatta in 2005.  The event lead to a range of important community and organisational partnerships, with the Attorney-General’s Department of NSW, Parramatta City Council and the Urban Development Institute of Australia, which subsequently elevated the University’s engagement with the Western Sydney region.

As a scholar, researcher, writer, mentor and collaborator, Kay has made a lasting impact on the communities of Western Sydney and significantly enhanced the reputation of the University.

Ceremony 25 - Friday, 25 June 2021 - 2:30 pm

Professor Tony Bennett

Professor Bennett will deliver the Occasional Address and be accorded the title of Emeritus Professor

With a career spanning almost fifty years, Professor Bennett has acquired and sustained a reputation as one of the most innovative and influential global leaders in Cultural Studies and Cultural Sociology. His work has been internationally recognised as groundbreaking, through establishing conceptual, theoretical and methodological advances in our understanding of cultural studies, literary theory, museum studies and sociology.

Tony has made significant contributions to Western Sydney University since his appointment in 2009 as a Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory, in the Institute for Culture and Society. The University’s high Excellence in Research for Australia ranking in Cultural Studies owes much to the contributions and influence of Professor Bennett in developing this field of academic research across his distinguished career.

He has been appointed to major academic leadership positions, such as: Research Director in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University; Co-Director of the Economic and Social Research Council Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change, at Open University and the University of Manchester; Director of Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy at Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, and the University of Queensland; and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Griffith University. Professor Bennett has also made distinguished contributions to teaching cultural studies and sociology through open learning courses directed for the Open University in the UK, and for the Open Learning Agency of Australia.

Tony has authored an extraordinary number of publications throughout his career, including 35 book publications, more than 150 book chapters and journal articles, 6 research reports, and more than 200 conference, seminar presentations and public lectures. His work has been translated into 12 foreign languages and attracts global readership. He has received numerous awards, invitations to give plenary addresses and other honours, including the 2016 Gerbrands Laureate by the Foundation for Ethnology of Leiden in the Netherlands; the Michael Volkerling Memorial Lecture at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand; and the Norbert Lechner Memorial Lecture at the Diego Portales University in Santiago, Chile.

Tony has also played a significant role in leading research teams for specific projects and in directing national research centres, initially at the Australian Research Council’s Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, and subsequently, as Co-Director of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change. He has been awarded millions of dollars in research grants, both in Australia and the United Kingdom.

His achievements have been recognised by two learned academies: in 1998, by the Australian Academy of the Humanities as a Foundation Fellow of the Academy’s Cultural and Communication Studies section; and in 2012, by the UK Academy of Social Sciences. It is rare for an academic to be appointed to academies in both social sciences and humanities – a recognition that is a testament to his distinguished career.

Ceremony 26 - Friday, 25 June 2021 - 5:00 pm

Auntie Frances Bodkin

Auntie Bodkin will deliver the Occasional Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters

Auntie Fran Bodkin, an Aboriginal Elder on Campus and D’harawal Elder of the Bidjigal clan, is a qualified ethnobotanist and environmental scientist. She has given a life of service to the community and worked tirelessly towards the teaching and promotion of Aboriginal culture, native plants and bush medicines.

A parliamentary secretary and researcher for 28 years, Auntie Fran worked with members of state and federal parliament on matters relating to environment, welfare and crime. During this time, she shared with Prime Minister Gough Whitlam her dream of having a botanic garden, a university and a hospital working together to understand, develop and use the medicinal properties of Australian native plants. This dream led to funds being set aside to purchase the land where Campbelltown Hospital, Western Sydney University Campbelltown campus and the Australian Botanic Gardens at Mt Annan are today.

Since her retirement from parliamentary service, Auntie Fran has served as a founding member on several boards and committees, including the Campbelltown Hospital Board, Australian Indigenous Medicines Committee, Wollondilly Regional Disadvantaged Youth Committee and Banyadjaminga South Western Sydney Aboriginal Action Corporation.

In recognition of her work, in 2011 Auntie Fran was named one of the 100 most influential Aboriginal women of the last 100 years by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance, and in 2017 was named one of 17 incredible Australian women in botany in by Australian Geographic. She has received numerous awards, including a Western Sydney University Women of the West Award in 2014 and the NSW Landcare Indigenous Land Management Award in 2019.

Auntie Fran has completed a Bachelor’s Degree from Macquarie University, with five majors in Environmental Sciences, Geomorphology, Palaeontology, Climatology, and Marine Studies, and holds a post-graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies.

She has been a guest lecturer at Macquarie University, University of Newcastle, Canberra University, Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University, and since 2021, has been an Adjunct Fellow of this university.

Through mentoring programs tailored for Aboriginal primary and high school students, such as Heartbeat, the Koori Flow Project, Bulbuwil Bangawarra and Twugia, Auntie Fran continues to inspire the next generation of school and university students, Landcare groups and the general community.


18 June 2021

Media Unit

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas