Victoria University is proud to award an honorary doctorate to Susan Alberti for her outstanding philanthropic service and her advocacy for medical research, education and sport.
She was presented with the Doctor of the University, honoris causa, at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday 25 May, 2016.
As director and chair of the Victoria University Foundation, Dr Alberti has played a crucial role in establishing and contributing to a unique model of VU scholarships, the Achievement Scholarships, introduced in 2010. She also recently became a supporter of the Western Chances Scholarship program.
Dr Alberti became one of the first women to obtain a commercial builders’ licence in Victoria after assumed the role of general manager in the DANSU Group, a commercial building and development company she and her late husband Angelo established.
Her business success allowed her to devote more time to her private passion of philanthropy, in particular, the cause of juvenile diabetes. For 30 years, the Susan Alberti Gala Ball raised valuable funds toward medical research focusing on finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.
In 1994 she founded the Melbourne and Sydney annual "Walk for the Cure," a significant annual fundraiser which to date has raised more than $30 million toward the search for a cure for diabetes. She served as national president of Australia's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as the first international patron of International Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In 2004, Dr Alberti joined the board of the Western Bulldogs Football Club, and was subsequently appointed the Club’s patron, and its vice president. She is also the founding co-chair of its Forever Foundation. In 2015, she was awarded a life membership of the Club. She is also president of the Footscray Football Club VFL team
Having played football as a young woman, Dr Alberti has been an outspoken advocate for the role of women in sport. She is a strong supporter of the Victorian Women's Football League. The VWFL Premier Division Cup is named the Susan Alberti Cup in her honour.
Dr Alberti was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Award on two occasions. In 1997 she received an AM (Member of the Order), and in 2007 awarded an AO (Officer of the Order). She was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in January 2016.
In 2012 Dr Alberti won the Humanitarian Award at the 5th Annual Gold Harold Awards which honour achievements of leading Australians and organisations contributing to the health and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people.
In 2013 she was a recipient of Research Australia's Great Australian Philanthropy Award.
She was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, and in 2015, was appointed a director of the Australia Day Council.