Former Indonesian president His Excellency Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been awarded an honorary doctorate at The University of Western Australia, in recognition of his contribution to global affairs and long-term advocacy in building strong relations between Australia and Indonesia.
UWA Chancellor Michael Chaney said the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters followed Dr Yudhoyono’s appointment earlier this year as a visiting Professor at UWA and Senior Fellow with the Perth USAsia Centre.
"This honorary doctorate acknowledges Dr Yudhoyono’s many outstanding achievements during his time as Indonesian president, in particular his commitment and vision to build a stronger Indo-Pacific region and relations with Australia, Indonesia’s nearest neighbour," Dr Chaney said.
"We are greatly honoured to have a leader of Dr Yudhoyono’s stature and vision join the University. As President of one of the world’s largest democracies and a leading nation in the Indo-Pacific, he helped set the agenda and advance regional cooperation on many issues important to Indonesia, Australia and the broader region.
"During his two terms in office he presided over a period marked by democratic reforms, political stability, high economic growth and resilience."
Indonesia’s sixth president and the country’s first directly elected President, entered office in 2004 and served two consecutive five-year terms. In 2010 he became the fifth visiting head of state to address both houses of the Australian Parliament.
Addressing graduands during today’s ceremony, Dr Yudhoyono said he was humbled by the conferral of the honorary degree.
"I accept the degree as a recognition of the great friendship and goodwill that exist between the peoples of Australia and Indonesia," he said.
He urged the new graduates to use their power well and improve the state of the world and told them they faced three critical tasks in order to understand the world around them.
"All the education you received would mean little if you don’t use it in the battle against poverty, ignorance, hatred," Dr Yudhoyono said.
"Strive to be a person of your time – and if possible to take a hand in that time," he said. "Find your rightful place in that new world (your parents may have a simpler way of putting it: ‘Get a job’). When you have found your place the third task is to help shape that brave new world."
Dr Yudhoyono has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University in US, a doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture and he attended the US Army Command and General Staff College.
The recipient of many international awards, he was named by the United Nations as a Global Champion for ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ in 2011 for his efforts to make this a national priority after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.
Dr Yudhoyono received his honorary doctorate in UWA’s Winthrop Hall, before more than 300 people including graduands from the Business School, their families, special guests and University staff.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716