Victoria University will honour two great Australian women – the Hon Julia Gillard and Mrs Kirsty Sword Gusmao – at the University’s graduation ceremonies this week.
Ms Gillard and Mrs Sword Gusmao will be admitted to the degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa in recognition of their significant contributions to education.
Victoria University, Chancellor Mr George Pappas said, “On behalf of Victoria University Council I am delighted to acknowledge the work of The Hon Julia Gillard and Mrs Kirsty Sword Gusmao 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 that she became president of the NUS.
Mr Pappas said, “We wish to honour Julia Gillard for her outstanding contribution to Australian society as a Member of Federal Parliament representing the western region of Melbourne. Ms 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,” he said.
Mrs Kirsty Sword Gusmao will be awarded an honorary degree by the University in recognition of her outstanding community service in championing the importance of education in improving the lives of women and children in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
Mr Pappas said, “She has worked tirelessly to promote educational initiatives and to generate support for women’s rights and the education of women in order to nurture them as leaders.
“Victoria University is proud to be honouring these two extraordinary women as they exemplify the University’s mission to provide opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to further their education and make a difference in the world. It will be a memorable week for all of us at VU.”
Christine White, Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University
9919 4322; 0434 602884; [email protected]