The President of Ireland His Excellency Michael Higgins has been awarded an honorary doctorate at The University of Western Australia, in recognition of his contribution to global affairs and long-term advocacy on behalf of minority groups including the poor, marginalised and underprivileged.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws celebrated Dr Higgins’ significant achievements.
“We are delighted to present His Excellency with an honorary doctorate to celebrate his achievements, advocacy and work with minority groups and disadvantaged members of the community,” Professor Freshwater said.
“His Excellency has campaigned for human rights, the rights of indigenous people and the promotion of peace and democracy in Ireland and many parts of the world, from Nicaragua and Chile to Cambodia, Iraq and Somalia.”
“Like many in Ireland, His Excellency has seen generations of his family emigrate. He has a strong interest and solidarity with the Irish abroad including more than 250,000 people in Western Australia who claim Irish heritage.”
Dr Higgins said he was humbled by the conferral of the honorary degree.
“It is a great privilege to receive this honorary doctorate from a University that has such a distinguished reputation and proud history of academic excellence across many fields and as a world class centre of research,” Dr Higgins said.
“I am pleased to be here at The University of Western Australia celebrating the legacy, and paying tribute to the work of Irish citizens in Western Australia and the many links that they have forged between Ireland and Western Australia.”
Dr Higgins received his honorary doctorate at a special ceremony held in UWA’s Winthrop Hall, before invited guests, members of the Senate and the Convocation, and University staff and students.
Photo: President of Ireland (L) being presented with an Honorary Doctorate by UWA Pro-Chancellor Penelope Flett AO
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations Advisor) (+61 8) 6488 6876