Many of you may not know this about me, but I began my academic life as a social historian. I’ve always been fascinated by the way that history informs and changes people’s trajectories and can set people on pathways they never imagined. That an individual’s education and work can change their future is no surprise to anyone, but the paths people choose, the opportunities they pursue and why and how, is captivating. Over the last month, I got to hear about these pathways and celebrate remarkable achievements of CSI’s people past and present.
CSI was lucky to have Professor Peter Shergold AC as its inaugural CEO & Macquarie Group Foundation Professor. Peter’s vision and dedication to social impact over his career, including his contribution to CSI, has been remarkable. His exemplary and “eminent service to the community” as a significant leader of change and innovation was fittingly recognised by UNSW Sydney last month in the conferral of the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.
During the same week, Emeritus Professor Richard Henry AM (the Chair of CSI's board) was conferred the degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from UNSW Sydney in recognition of his "eminent service to the university and the community". Emeritus Professor Henry is a staunch and loyal supporter of UNSW, in particular of some of the university's key social change programs such as Nura Gili and the Indigenous Student Emergency Support Fund. He has also made a remarkable and dedicated contribution to CSI. I was delighted to witness both tributes to two wonderful men and listen to their inspiring occasional addresses to a room full of new graduates and their family and friends.
In other outstanding achievements, our ex-Academic Director Professor Roger Simnett was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia for “Distinguished service to the accountancy profession, to business education, to the development of national and international auditing and assurance standards, to accounting organisations, and to research”.
There was also a group of leaders in social impact who are just beginning to reshape their futures that had impressive acheivements in the last month. Congratulations to Dr Sarah Adams, Dr Ami Seivwright and Dr Darja Miscenko, three of CSI’s PhD students, who graduated or had their PhD’s conferred. Finally, I was thrilled to be present at CSI UNSW’s first MBA (Social Impact) graduation – congratulations Nicholas Chadwick!
CSI aims to develop social impact leaders for a better world. This group are an embodiment of that vision and I send my heartfelt congratulations to them and look forward to witnessing their ongoing contributions to helping to create a bright future.