Kevin McCann AO awarded Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)  

9 December 2022

The University awards Kevin McCann a Doctor of Laws for his contributions to law, business and community  

The University of Sydney awards a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) to Kevin McCann AO for his exemplary contributions to law, social justice and fostering international relations.

Kevin McCann AO was awarded a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) during a ceremony held at the University of Sydney on Friday, 9 December, presided over by Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott AO.

“Kevin McCann’s immense contributions to the law over his five-decade career in Australia are complemented by his devotion to philanthropy, culture, and education,” said Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott. “It’s a pleasure to award Mr McCann his honorary doctorate for his outstanding impact on our community.”

In 1961, Mr McCann graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts, and then in 1964, he completed his Bachelor of Laws with Honours. He continued his studies at Harvard University and graduated with a Master of Law. 

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO and Kevin McCann AO.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott AO and Kevin McCann AO photographed at the ceremony. Image Credit: The University of Sydney. 

He launched his legal career in 1970, working in corporate commercial and resource law at the Australian law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, where he specialised in mergers, acquisitions, mineral and resource law and capital market transactions.  

After leaving the company in 2004, he served as the Independent Director and then as Chairman of Macquarie Group Limited, Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Origin Energy Limited, and Non-Executive Director of BlueScope Steel Limited. He also held positions as Chairman of Healthscope Limited and Independent Chairman of Triako Resources Limited.  

Mr McCann's involvement in the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre and his role as the Co-Vice-Chair of the New Colombo Plan Reference Group are testaments of his dedication to our community and Australia's relationship with our global peers.  

“It’s a pleasure to award Mr McCann his honorary doctorate for his outstanding impact on our community.”
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott

In 2005, Mr McCann was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for law in mining, corporate and commercial law, and the community and business. Then in 2020, he received an Officer of the Order.  

At the University of Sydney, he served as a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate and on various Senate Committees, most notably as Chair of the Safety and Risk Committee. He is also a Presiding Pro-Chancellor of the University. Mr McCann has notably contributed to funding the new Law School Building and the teaching of a postgraduate unit on Global Energy and Resources Law. 

From 2005 to 2011, Mr McCann served on the Council of the National Library and chaired the advisory committee that became the library’s Foundation Board from 2009 to 2018. He also contributed to the Macquarie Group Foundation during his term as Chairman of Macquarie Bank to support the Library’s Treasuries Gallery and Fellowship program. 

Mr McCann has supported strengthening Sydney’s global reputation through his involvement with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, which he chaired from 2001 to 2010 and 2016 to 2018. Additionally, he is the founding member of the Male Champions of Change and a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 


Faye Couros

Assistant Media and PR Advisor (Central)

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