ANU honours for distinguished leaders

2 December 2016

They have also remained close friends of ANU throughout their careers and beyond.

The ANU end of year graduation ceremonies will honour four distinguished global leaders - former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and businesswoman Thérèse Rein, former military commander Sir Angus Houston, and Indonesia's former Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa.

All four will receive honorary degrees from ANU in December in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Australia and the region.

ANU Chancellor Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC said the honorary degrees reflected the immense contribution each person had made to Australia and to the world.

"Kevin, Thérèse, Sir Angus and Marty Natalegawa have all left their stamp on Australia and the region, and represent the finest qualities of those who dedicate their lives to public service," Professor Evans said.

"They have also remained close friends of ANU throughout their careers and beyond, and have remained deeply engaged with the education and research at ANU."

Mr Rudd is a distinguished ANU alumnus and the first ANU graduate to become Prime Minister of Australia.

As Prime Minister, Mr Rudd was responsible for the historic National Apology to Indigenous Australians, and for guiding Australia's economy through the global financial crisis without going into recession.

Ms Rein, also a distinguished ANU alumna, established a global business which supports people with disabilities and helps them with rehabilitation, finding work, and addressing the physical and psychological aspects of their condition.

Ms Rein also has a life-long commitment to philanthropy and in 2010 was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission for her long-term dedication to human rights, especially the rights of people with disabilities.

"Kevin and Thérèse are great Australians and true friends of the ANU," Professor Evans said.

"Thérèse Rein's career has been one of exceptional achievement and contribution to the community. Her contributions in assisting socially and economically excluded people find independence, health and wellbeing are inestimable and global.

"Kevin Rudd is a great Australian leader of international standing who continues to contribute to society. He will always be remembered for the role he played in the national apology to the Stolen Generation, but also for his ongoing philanthropic work to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians."

Mr Rudd and Ms Rein will each be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa for their individual contributions to Australia, to international affairs and to business, human rights and philanthropy.

Ms Rein and Mr Rudd will receive their honorary doctorates at separate graduation ceremonies for the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences on Friday 16 December. Ms Rein will receive her award at the 10am ceremony and Mr Rudd at the 2pm ceremony.

Dr Natalegawa, who was Foreign Minister of Indonesia between 2009 and 2014, is an ANU alumnus who completed his PhD in International Relations in 1993. He will be awarded a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, for his role in building Australia-Indonesia ties and for his leadership in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Natalegawa will receive his honorary doctorate at the graduation ceremony for the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific at 10am on Wednesday 14 December.

Sir Angus, a former Commander of the Australian Defence Force, had a distinguished career in the military and has continued to serve Australia since his retirement, particularly by managing the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Sir Angus will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for his exceptional contribution in public service, both nationally and internationally, through career service in the military.

His honorary doctorate will be presented at the graduation ceremony for the ANU College of Business and Economics at 2pm on Thursday 15 December.

The University Council today agreed to recognise Australian War Memorial Director, former Liberal Party leader and diplomat Dr Brendan Nelson, with an honorary degree at the mid-year graduation ceremonies in July next year.