From the website of the University of Melbourne:

Richard Pratt has long believed in service to the community and in corporate philanthropy. His service to the community includes positions as Foundation Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, President of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust, Chairman of the Australia Foundation for Culture and Humanities, Chairman of the Australian Business Arts Foundation, Chairman Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Australian United States Coral Sea Commemorative Council, and Breakthrough Appeal Chairman for the McFarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research. He is an active participant in national debates on population and immigration policy, irrigation and water conservation policy, and the need for greater business philanthropy.

In recognition of his major contribution to manufacturing industry, and his exemplary support for the arts, higher education, medical research, aboriginal health and community, youth welfare, and philanthropy across many spheres, Richard Pratt was awarded an AO in 1985 and Australia’s highest honour, the AC, in 1998. He has received honorary doctorates from Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University.

Richard Pratt has made a very special contribution to Australia and to the University. It is fitting that his contribution is recognised by the highest award of the University of Melbourne.

Which by the by is an honorary Doctorate in Law, a qualification that presumably gives Richard Pratt AC unusual insight into these thoughts from the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Graeme Samuel, on the operation of cartels, a ”form of theft … little different from classes of corporate crime that already attract criminal sentences”.

Any Australian consumer who’s ever unwittingly paid through the nose for anything in a cardboard box might be tempted to agree.

Peter Fray

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