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Business leader Alec Brennan awarded honorary doctorate

1 June 2021
Successful businessman admitted to the degree of Doctor of Business (honoris causa)
This week, the University of Sydney awarded an honorary doctorate Alec Brennan AM in recognition of his outstanding contributions to business, community initiatives and the not-for-profit sector.

The highly successful businessman was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Business (honoris causa) during a ceremony on 31 May, presided over by the Chancellor.

Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC presents Alec Brennan AM with his honorary doctorate.

Mr Brennan’s career began as a research scientist in food technology, after which he completed a Master of Business Administration and Harvard Business School’s Senior Financial Management Program.

He has more than 30 years’ experience as a public company director in the resources, manufacturing and materials sectors. Mr Brennan spent most of his career with CSR Group, as the Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Executive Officer.

While working in senior management roles, Alec started his governance career as a board member for organisations focused on ground-breaking medical research, and environment policy and practice.

More recently, he has been a generous supporter of the University of Sydney’s Institute of Bone and Joint Research, which is dedicated to advancing understanding of disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

He also continues to champion the protection and preservation of the environment as a member of the Board of Directors at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Mr Brennan speaking at the Great Hall during the ceremony. 

Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Belinda Hutchinson AC, said: “Alec is a generous supporter of the University of Sydney, having made significant contributions to both research and educational initiatives.

“Alec has applied his professional expertise and success to drive positive change in the community, for which we are grateful.”

Mr Brennan served as a Fellow of the University’s Senate from 2006 to 2017, Pro-Chancellor from 2011 to 2015 and Deputy Chancellor from 2015 to 2017. He was the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee from 2010 to 2017 and Chair of the Human Resources Committee from 2010 to 2016.

His philanthropic contributions extend beyond the University. In 2010, he established the Brennan Family Foundation to provide ongoing charitable support to a range of organisations. Last year, the Foundation supported a research project on skeletal dysplasias at the University.

He was also the inaugural Chair of Emeco Group when it first listed on the ASX and served three years on the ASIC External Advisory Committee.

In the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Mr Brennan was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to business and commerce to tertiary education administration and to the community.

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