Dr Nelson, who is Australian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg, Australia’s Special Representative at the World Health Organisation and NATO and former federal opposition leader, will be awarded the Degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa today.
The University this week also bestowed the title of honorary doctor on Mr Hieu Van Le, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and Aboriginal Elder, Ms Mona Tur. Professor Martha Hill, a leader in academic nursing from John Hopkins University, will also receive her honorary doctorate today.
Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber said the conferral of awards represented the culmination of years of hard work and determination for distinguished guests and students alike.
“Each of the four honorary doctors has made a committed effort to improving society through politics, social inclusion, advocacy or the health sector,” Professor Barber said.
“The Flinders community is very pleased to be able to extend the University’s highest honour to four remarkable people,” he said.
“They serve as an inspiration to our more than 1500 students from across all four faculties, for whom this week is the reward of commitment and ambition to a better life through higher education. We congratulate them on a wonderful achievement and encourage them to carve out their own, unique paths in successful careers and contribution to society.”
Dr Nelson said the strong emphasis on public health and social justice in Flinders University’s medical course had an influence on his future career, including his advocacy as Australian Medical Association president for improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and tobacco control.
Dr Nelson will address graduands when he accepts his honorary degree at 11.00am.
Flinders graduation ceremonies are being held at the Alan Mitchell Sports Centre, Flinders University.