Sir William Deane AC KBE

Sir William Deane received a Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of his distinguished career and his outstanding contribution to Australia in his role as Governor-General.

Born in Melbourne, Sir William and attended schools in both Canberra and Sydney – St Christopher’s School and St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill respectively. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney. In 1955, he received the Diploma (cum laude) of The Hague Academy of International Law.

After establishing himself in the legal profession as both a barrister and academic, Sir William was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1966. In 1977 Sir William was appointed a judge in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The same year, he was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and president of the Australian Trade Practices Tribunal.

In July 1982, Sir William was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia. During his tenure he sat in judgement of significant cases including the 1983 Franklin River case and the 1992 Mabo case.

He was appointed a Knight of the British Empire in 1982 and a Companion in the Order of Australia in 1988. Sir William was sworn in as Australia’s 22nd Governor General on 16 February 1996.


Doctor of Laws honoris causa