Victoria University awarded an Honorary Degree to The Hon Julia Gillard on 13 May.
She was admitted to the degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian society as a Federal Member of Parliament representing the western region of Melbourne, and especially for her role in championing important reforms in the education sector and in disability care.
As a Federal Minister Julia Gillard championed important reforms designed to enhance educational outcomes for all Australians.
The Chancellor of Victoria University, Mr George Pappas said, “On behalf of Victoria University Council I am delighted to acknowledge the work of Dr Gillard in promoting the crucial importance of education in developing a strong and dynamic society.”
Julia Gillard championed education throughout her political career and one of her early leadership roles (1983) was as National Education Vice-President of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) and later she became president of the NUS.
Mr Pappas said, “Dr Gillard championed important reforms of the education sector designed to enhance educational outcomes for all Australians. On becoming Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, she provided strong leadership and introduced significant social initiatives including sweeping changes to the delivery of disability care.”
Speaking to the graduating students in the audience after receiving her award, Dr Gillard said, “What you are really doing is you are taking part in the thing that is the most powerful change thing in our world. The most powerful thing in our world is the power of education. It transforms lives and communities and nations, and eventually the whole world.”
Mr Pappas said that the University was proud to honour Dr Gillard, as she exemplified the University’s mission to provide opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to further their education and make a difference in the world.
Editors Note: Photos of Dr Gillard are available on request
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
9919 4322; 0434 602884; [email protected]