Mike was admitted into the degree on Wednesday 12 October in a ceremony in The University of Sydney Great Hall presided over by University of Sydney Pro-Chancellor, Kate McClymont AM, and presented by Professor Suresh Cuganesan, Deputy Dean of the Business School.
Mike has delivered extraordinary public service to the community.
“As NSW Premier, Mike’s integrity and commitment to social good was demonstrated frequently. He was a passionate backer of public education and the Gonski education reforms and an outspoken advocate for increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake for refugees, particularly those fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq.”
The son of former NSW Liberal Party deputy leader Bruce Baird, Mike forged a high-flying career in banking before entering politics and later the not-for-profit sector.
Mike has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Sydney and started his career at the National Australia Bank in Sydney. He went on to hold senior roles in NAB’s corporate and institutional banking team in Australia and London, as well as roles at Deutsche Bank and HSBC in Australia and New Zealand, while also completing executive management courses at Harvard and Duke University.
Mike entered NSW state politics in 2007, upon his election to the NSW Legislative Assembly in the seat of Manly. Less than two years after entering parliament, he was appointed as Shadow Treasurer, having previously held the shadow portfolios of Finance, Energy, Commerce and Youth Affairs.
In 2011, he was appointed NSW Treasurer, which reflected his strong finance sector background and communications skills. In 2014, he was appointed Premier of New South Wales, a role he held for three years.
“While in NSW Parliament and particularly when he was Treasurer, Mike helped reinvigorate the country's largest state economy and revived the private sector's role in Australian infrastructure. Mike was the key driver in the creation and funding of infrastructure projects that assisted the well-being of and improved the living standards of the entire community. This included social infrastructure projects that assisted those most in need in our community,” Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC said.
Mike’s efforts as Premier were praised by society, business leaders and other politicians from other states and at the federal level. His infrastructure plans and policies were later adopted by other states as well as by the Australian Federal Government.
“Mike was and remains a key supporter of those who require and utilise aged care, and in his current role as chief executive officer of not-for-profit aged care company HammondCare, Mike is striving to deliver better outcomes for those in palliative and dementia care in his own business and across the industry.”
In 2020, Mike was awarded an Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the people and Parliament of NSW and to the wider community.
Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community or who have achieved exceptional academic or creative excellence.