Ms Roxon is perhaps best-known for her tenure as Federal Minister for Health and Ageing from 2007 to 2011, during which time she led the world’s first successful implementation of plain cigarette packaging laws.
Twenty-nine countries and territories have since adopted or pledged to adopt similar laws, which aim to reduce and prevent smoking. The World Health Organisation presented her with two awards for this accomplishment.
This Honorary Doctorate is also an acknowledgement of Ms Roxon’s historic appointment as Australia’s first female Attorney General in 2011.
In this role, she notably directed the establishment of the historic Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Chancellor of the University of Sydney Belinda Hutchinson AM conferred the Honorary Doctorate on Ms Roxon at a ceremony on campus this week.
“Ms Roxon is a pioneer in health prevention and law. It is appropriate that her outstanding contributions are recognised in this manner,” the Chancellor said.
“I congratulate Ms Roxon on this honour, which recognises her remarkable achievements and commitment to the public good,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence AC.
Dr Spence said the honour was also a fitting continuation of the University’s role in tobacco control.
The University of Sydney has a long history of engagement in tobacco control and was the world’s first university to implement a policy preventing staff and students from accepting grants from tobacco companies. This has been emulated by nearly all Australian universities and many others around the world.
“At the University of Sydney, we share Ms Roxon’s genuine desire to build a better, healthier future for the world and we are so proud when our world-class research is used by policymakers to bring about real change,” he said.
The University of Sydney has awarded an honorary doctorate to the Right Honourable Helen Clark ONZ, the first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand and the first woman to head the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).