Honorary Doctorate (April 2010)
Richard Woolcott AC was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in April 2010 in recognition of his lifetime of distinguished international diplomatic service and leadership.
Richard Woolcott AC has been a toweringly important figure in Australian international diplomacy for decades. He has been the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has served in various ambassadorial roles in Australian missions in places such as Moscow, South Africa, Malaysia, and the Philippines. He has been Ambassador at the United Nations, representing Australia on the Security Council. He has carried out special envoy roles for Prime Ministers Holt, Whitlam, Howard and Rudd. He has authored a number of important books and has delivered powerful orations at many important forums in Australia and around the world. It is the substance of those orations that define the man, his philosophies and his reputation as the quintessential diplomat, especially in furthering Asia-Pacific relationships. His love of this country is unquestioned, yet he also has a clear vision about its standing and its future and states those views clearly and forcefully and often critically. His vision reflects a deep concern about human rights and civil liberties and the importance of reasoned and informed dissent in a democracy. He is a strong advocate of education being the government’s highest priority in shaping Australia’s future. This is a man who has helped configure our nation and its place in the world – and he remains highly active on that mission in his current work.