Honorary Doctorate (April 2016)
Dr Kenneth Cato AO was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in April 2016 in recognition of his distinguished achievements, leadership and service to the design industry, graphic design, and education; and for his sustained commitment to the students of USC in providing world-class learning experiences.
Ken Cato is one of Australia’s most well-known designers, and he has a significant international reputation. In 2013, Ken became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to the graphic design profession. Ken is Chairman of Cato Brand Partners, which has offices in four Australian capital cities and sixteen international locations. As a designer, his professional achievements speak for themselves.
For most Australians, it is impossible not to come into contact with the work of Ken and his team on a daily basis. His design appears in various forms almost everywhere one looks: the Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, Members Equity Bank, SBS, Qantas, Channel Seven, BenQ, Australian Made, Coles, Energex, Suncorp, BHP, Australia Post Express, Brand Victoria, Brand South Australia, two other universities, numerous beer companies, four AFL football clubs—and the list goes on.
With a long-standing commitment to design education, it is in giving back that Ken truly excels. Since 1991, the annual AGIdeas conference that Ken founded has brought together thousands of design students and some of the world’s most prominent designers for a week of interaction and talks—and the conference continues to go from strength to strength.
Ken regularly gives guest lectures in Australia and internationally. Despite his incredibly busy schedule, since 2002 Ken has found one week (every year without fail) to share his knowledge, and to intensively mentor final-year design students at just one university in Australia – the University of the Sunshine Coast.