Phillip Adams: left school in his teens but the lefty intellectual in chief and ABC broadcaster is the author of over 20 books, and has racked up four honorary doctorates from Griffith, Sydney, South Australia in 2004 and Edith Cowan Universities.
Robyn Archer: performer writer, director and festival director; was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of The Flinders University of South Australia.
Gillian Armstrong: in 1979 she became the first female to direct a feature film in Australia, My Brilliant Career. She holds an Honorary Doctorate in Film from Swinburne University and a Doctor of Letters, from the University of New South Wales for her contribution to the Australian film industry.
Jim Bacon: the late Premier of Tasmania, who died of lung cancer in June 2004, was awarded a posthumous honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Tasmania in August 2004.
Archie Barton: member of Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, received an honorary doctorate from University of South Australia in 1996 for his struggle to ensure compensation for the Maralinga Tjarutja people.
Peter Beattie: the former Queensland premier, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Queensland, December 2003 for his leadership and commitment to higher education through the Queensland government's Smart State initiatives.
John Bell: this Shakespearean actor has been awarded a couple of honorary Doctorate of Letters from the Universities of Newcastle in 1994 and Sydney in 1996 for his achievements in theatre.
Julian Burnside: the Kings Counsel barrister, human rights and refugee advocate, received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia, and the Australian Catholic University in 2005.
Joh Bjelke-Petersen: the former Queensland Premier was awarded an honorary doctorate in Political Science by University of Queensland Chancellor and accomplice Llew Edwards, despite not being able to recall the meaning of the “separation of powers”. They had given an honorary doctorate to the Premier of the time when the university celebrated its 25th and 50th anniversaries, so when the 75th came along, the Senate decided there was a tradition (i.e. it had happened twice already) and Joh must be similarly honoured. This was 1986 - not long before the Moonlight State - and it caused outrage amongst staff, students and the general community. There was a minor riot at the graduation ceremony, plate glass windows were broken, Joh failed to show up, and he was allegedly awarded the honour in a private ceremony in the Administration Building some time later. He never used the title.
Wolf Blass: awarded honorary doctorate of applied science by the Charles Sturt University for services to the wine industry.
Steve Bracks: the former Victorian Premier was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Deakin University in 2010.
Sir Donald Bradman: did not get an honorary doctorate, but the council of Griffith University wrote to the Don and offered one to him for services to cricket and he wrote back declining saying that the University should give his to Menzies instead.
Jillian Broadbent: company director (Macquarie, RBA etc) who received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Western Sydney.
Sultan of Brunei: awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Queensland when plans were afoot to construct a new residential college for Muslim international students, many of whom were to come from Brunei.
Quentin Bryce: the former Queensland Governor made history in 2008 when she was appointed the first female Governor-General of Australia. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from a number of universities including Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology, Charles Sturt University, Griffith University and the University of Queensland. Does Bill Shorten's mother-in-law hold the record?
John Buchanan: the former Australian cricket coach who Shane Warne so disliked. Received an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland, Doctor of the University honoris causa in July 2006. Recognising his distinguished career and his contribution to the development of sport in Queensland and Australia.
Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter: former boxer wrongfully jailed for murder, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2003 from Brisbane's Griffith University in recognition of his contribution to civil rights and social justice throughout the world.
Belinda Clark: champion cricketer, honorary doctorate from Newcastle University for service to cricket and for the promotion and development of the game for women.
Robert Clifford: chairman of the Tasmanian boat builder Incat which subsequently went into administration. He received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Tasmania in 1996.
William Clough: controversial former chairman of Clough Limited and board member of WA Newspaper Holdings has an honorary Doctorate of Engineering.
General Peter Cosgrove: received an honorary doctorate from Australian Catholic University in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding leadership and service to the Australian and international community in times of peace and of conflict.
Rev. Tim Costello: received an honorary doctorate for his contributions to religious life and social justice from the Australian Catholic University in 2008.
Ruth Cracknell: late great actress, also received honorary doctorates from the University of Sydney and Queensland University of Technology.
Ray Crooke: artist, he received an honorary doctorate from Griffith University for his services to Art.
Sir William Deane: former Governor-General and High Court judge, received an honorary doctorate of laws from Dublin University in recognition of his contribution to reconciliation and multiculturalism in Australia and service to humanity.
Richard Divall: as a conductor he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Monash University in 1992.
John Doyle: rampaging Roy Slaven received an honorary doctorate from the University of Newcastle. His great speech made up for our sole subscriber having to sit through three hours of hand clapping for each of the 3,000 recipients.
Russell Drysdale: painter, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from University of Melbourne conferred posthumously.
Duke of Edinburgh: professional gaffe-maker. In 1986, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Monash University decided to award an honorary doctorate to the “Puke of Edinburgh”. At the same time, it cut funding to the library. The ceremony took place during term break. A sole subscriber who was Secretary of the Admin Exec of the Monash Association of students at the time was part of a novel little protest. As part of the protest, they had a ceremony where our hero's Chihuahua was given a degree. They did, however, have a little gown and cap made for her. Our sole subscriber still has the invite he was given to Government House for afternoon tea afterward. He didn't go, not that he thought they would actually let him in. He was refused entry to the actual degree ceremony itself, probably because he tried to bring his dog in with him.
Slim Dusty: a national treasure, he was awarded an honorary degree from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, September 2002 for his services to country music.
John Eales: rugby legend, received an honorary doctorate from Australian Catholic University in 2005 for his services to sport.
Ted Egan: outback singer, received an honorary Doctorate of Letters at Northern Territory University in June 2002.
Gareth Evans: Hawke era Foreign Minister who received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Melbourne in March 2002.
Mem Fox: children's author, received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 1996.
Malcolm Fraser: the former Prime Minister has been awarded honorary doctorates from Deakin University, Murdoch University and the University of South Carolina in recognition of his contribution to reconciliation and multiculturalism in Australia and service to humanity.
Cathy Freeman: got one from the University of Ballarat which the citation said was for her “determination and willingness to tackle challenges”.
Ruby Langford Ginibi: this Australian writer, noted for her representations of urban Indigenous issues, was awarded an honorary doctorate by La Trobe University in 1998.
Murray Gleeson: the former chief justice of High Court, received an honorary doctorate from Griffith University.
Evonne Goolagong-Cawley: awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles Sturt University for her community and sporting achievements in April 2000.
Sir Guy Green: the Governor of Tasmania from 1995 to 2003 was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws in 1996 from the University of Tasmania.
Rino Grollo: Melbourne-based property developer, humanitarian and prominent Australian was awarded with Australian Catholic University's highest honour, Doctor of the University in 2008, and from La Trobe University in 1998 for helping establish their Mt Buller Campus.
Rolf Harris: disgraced former entertainer and board wobbler who received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Edith Cowan University in 2000.
Hazel Hawke: was awarded an honorary doctorate from Curtin University in 2006. The former PM's former wife got to don the baggy hat at Curtin University in April 2006 “for her service to public life and distinguished contribution to learning, demonstrated through strong advocacy for education, particularly for women's and indigenous education".
Bill Hayden: was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from University of Queensland in 1990 for his distinguished contributions to Australian life as an MP, Foreign Minister and Governor-General.
Scott Hicks: the film director of Shine, graduated from Flinders University of South Australia in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1997.
Peter Hollingworth: the former GG received the Lambeth Doctorate of Letters from the Archbishop of Canterbury (we've put this on the list although the Archbishop of Canterbury says it is NOT an honorary doctorate).
Jose Ramos Horta: the East Timorese independence movement leader received an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of NSW.
John Howard: he received honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in December 2008 for "outstanding statesmanship and leading role on the world stage in promoting democracy and combating international terrorism" and his "remarkable understanding of, and exceptional support for, the State of Israel and his deep friendship with the Australian Jewish community". Morover, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Notre Dame in WA, and he also received an honorary doctorate from Bond University in 2009.
Robert Hughes: the art critic was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Melbourne in 1995 - it was his first degree after he dropped out of their undergraduate course.
Barry Humphries: comedian and entertainer, he received an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 1994 and an honorary Doctorate of Laws, from the University of Melbourne in 2003.
Puggy Hunter: an Aboriginal leader, received an honorary doctorate from James Cook University “in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the advancement of human well-being”.
Hiroyuki Iwaki: conductor who received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Monash University in 1986.
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson: the former Olympian and SA Governor received an honorary doctorate from Charles Sturt University in April 2001.
Elizabeth Jolley: acclaimed author who was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland in 1997 and from Macquarie University in 1995.
Brian Johns: the former ABC chief received an honorary doctorate from Queensland University of Technology.
Barry Jones: he holds the honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology, Sydney and University of Wollongong, Doctor of Science from Macquarie University and Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne.
Robert Juniper: renowned artist, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Australia in 1984.
Paul Keating: antique clock collector and former PM, he has been awarded honorary Doctorates in Laws from Keio University in Tokyo, the National University of Singapore, and the University of New South Wales. Still refuses to receive any form of Australian gong from the government and is yet to even write a memoir.
Ian Kiernan: the founder of Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World earned his honorary doctorate from the University of New South Wales in 2006. Onlookers were urged to put all their rubbish in bins at the rear of the auditorium on their way out, or else.
Paul Kelly: the Australian's legendary senior journalist received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of NSW.
Jeff Kennett: collected one from Ballarat University despite being an anti-intellectual who is proud of the fact that he never went to university and doesn't like graduates of university too much.
Yvonne Kenny: soprano who received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Sydney University in 1999.
Michael Kirby: the former high court judge was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Australian National University in 2004, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of NSW in September 2008.
Dame Leonie Kramer: the former Sydney University Chancellor received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Tasmania, and honorary Doctorates of Law from both the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University.
Dalai Lama: the exiled Tibetan leader received an honorary Doctorate of Law from Melbourne University.
Kathy Lette: the author received an honorary doctorate from England's Southampton Solent University in November 2009 and then got another one from Wollongong University in 2017.
Michael Leunig: the cartoonist from The Age received an honorary doctorate from Latrobe University and just happened to be the guest speaker at that particular ceremony.
Jimmy Little: pioneering Indigenous musician and performer earns his honorary doctorate from Queensland University of Technology 2004, and was awarded Doctor of the University for the Australian Catholic University in 2007.
Frank Lowy: the Westfield founder was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of NSW.
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