Mrs Margaret Whitlam AO



Margaret Whitlam was born in 1919 and graduated from the University of Sydney with a Diploma in Social Studies. Her working life as a social worker and as a journalist was characterised by her concern to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people and by her support for the arts. Her work acquired an international dimension during the 1980s when she was widely acclaimed for her active role in supporting and promoting the programs of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. 

Her many roles within Australia are indicative of her strong commitment to the arts, to community causes in general and specifically to the fostering of literacy. She was Director, Commonwealth Hostels Limited, 1974-77, a Member of the National Advisory Council for International Women's Year 1975, Director of the Sydney Dance Company, 1977-82, President of the ACT. Council of Social Services, 1978-80, Chairman of the Opera Conference, 1979-81, President of the Council of Sydney Colleges of Advanced Education and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Law Foundation of New South Wales, 1982-83, and Chairman. of the National Council for International Literacy Year, 1989-91. The diversity and significance of her niany services were recognised by her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1983.

Mr Chancellor, in recognition of her distinguished contributions to the community, particularly the socially disadvantaged, and to the arts, I present to you Margaret Elaine Whitlam, Officer of the Order of Australia, Diplomate in Social Studies of the University of Sydney, for the conferral of the award of Doctor of Letters honoris causa to which she has been admitted by the Senate of the University. 


Doctor of Letters honoris causa