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Race discrimination commissioner to deliver occasional address at Sydney graduation


Sharlene King
21 March 2014
Race discrimination commissioner Dr Tim Southphommasane will deliver the occasional address at Southern Cross University’s Sydney graduation at the Wesley Conference Centre tomorrow (Saturday, March 22).

There are 135 students who will graduate at the 9.30am ceremony, with the largest contingent from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Two Doctorates of Business Administration will be presented at the ceremony. One will be to Herbert Hermens whose thesis focused on Understanding Home Improvement Consumers Purchasing Strategies; while the second will be to Lim Keai who researched the application of a Total Quality Management model in Private Education under the EduTrust Certification framework in Singapore.

The awards will be conferred by the Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC and a live video stream of the graduation ceremony will be available from 9.30am.

“Part of the tradition of a university graduation at Southern Cross University is to have a distinguished person present the occasional address,” Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said.

“Dr Southphommasane is such a person and we are delighted he can speak to graduates on this happy occasion.”

Dr Soutphommasane commenced his five-year appointment as Race Discrimination Commissioner in August last year.

“I'm honoured to join SCU for the occasion,” he said.

Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, Dr Soutphommasane was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain.

Dr Soutphommasane is the author of three books and he has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers. Last year he presented a six-part documentary series about Australian multiculturalism.

He is a board member of the National Australia Day Council, a member of the Australian Multicultural Council, and a member of the advisory council of the Global Foundation.

A first-generation Australian of Chinese and Lao extraction, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, from where he also holds a Master of Philosophy degree.

Photo: Dr Tim Southphommasane.