From left: Dorothy Hoddinot,  Belinda Hutchinson, David Mortimer, Kate McClymont and Marian Baird all stand in graduation garb

Honorary doctorate recognises David Mortimer

8 June 2021
Leading businessman recognised for contributions to business, art and sport.
The University of Sydney awarded an honorary doctorate to David Mortimer AO, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to business and the wider arts and sporting communities.

He was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Business (honoris causa) during a ceremony held on 2 June, presided over by the Chancellor.

In 2016, the University’s new multi-sport Grandstand named its high-performance gym in honour of Mr Mortimer. But his relationship with the University dates back to 1970, when he completed a Bachelor of Economics with first-class honours.

His career thrived from an early stage when he joined leading transport company TNT Limited three years after graduating. Mr Mortimer was later appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Mr Mortimer’s outstanding leadership at TNT Limited saw him head-hunted as an independent advisor to the Australian federal government for over two decades. One of the projects for which he is best known is ‘The Mortimer Report’, which involved an extensive review of business programs.

During his career, Mr Mortimer held over 35 Chairman, Director and Board positions in a range of private, public and not-for-profit organisations. He has had a transformative impact on the financial success, management structure and performance of the Sydney University Football Club as the club’s longest-serving President, retiring in 2016 after 16 years in office.  

From left: University of Sydney Business School Dean Professor Greg Whitwell, David Mortimer and University Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson all standing in graduation garb

From left: University of Sydney Business School Dean Professor Greg Whitwell, David Mortimer AO and University Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC

Under his tenure, the club enjoyed unparalleled success and today he serves as Chairman of the Friends of Sydney University Football Club.

“David is one of Australia’s most respected chairmen and professional company directors, with a demonstrated ability to seek creative approaches to lead organisations through major change,” said Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson.

“He has consistently attempted to use his experience and seniority to contribute to the wellbeing of the community, government and the broader social engagement of business. David continues to inspire the next generation of leaders to shape the future of business, sport and the arts in Australia.”

He was appointed as a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate in 2010 and served as Chair of the Senate’s Investment and Commercialisation Committee from 2012 to 2018, Pro-Chancellor from 2017 to 2018 and has been the Presiding Pro-Chancellor since November 2017.

Mr Mortimer currently serves as Chairman of Opera Australia, Governor of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Leadership Council of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

In 2005, Mr Mortimer was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for “service to business and commerce through innovation and visionary leadership, as an advisor to government and to the community”.

Katie Booth

Media & PR Adviser (Business School)

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