Monash to host Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi Image: iStock

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will speak on issues including reconciliation and human rights in her Victorian-only public address at Monash  this week, part of her first official visit to Australia.

Following an engaging discussion with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, Burma, Monash  Chancellor, Dr Alan Finkel AM, will confer on her a degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa at the Clayton campus on Saturday 30 November. The event has sold out. 

Daw Suu Kyi has long been a patron of Global Reconciliation, an international reconciliation network based at Monash since 2005 which works to promote dialogue across national, cultural, religious and racial differences.

Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne said the University was extremely proud that Daw Suu Kyi had chosen to accept its highest honour.

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the most eminent statespersons and advocates for peace and non-violence in the world today. She is universally beloved as a great and inspiring figure and is seen as a symbol for the global struggle for human rights. Her thought has provided critical support for non-violent action for democracy and reconciliation,” Professor Byrne said.

“She has a special and enduring connection with Monash, as a patron of Global Reconciliation, an international NGO based at Monash that promotes peace and reconciliation.

“We are extremely proud that Daw Suu Kyi has chosen to honour our university by accepting its highest award. We look forward to extending the relationship we have built with her over the last few years to assist further in the work of reconstructing the educational and health infrastructure of her country.”

In recognition of her accomplishments in the global field of reconciliation, Daw Suu Kyi will receive the Desmund Tutu Award from Global Reconciliation, presented by Professor Paul Komesaroff.

“Daw Aung Sung Suu Kyi is a role model for people everywhere who aspire to a life of moral courage and public service,” Professor Komesaroff said. 

“Monash is proud to be part of a growing partnership in Australia that is building exchanges and relationships of many kinds with Myanmar, in the fields of education, health care, law and culture.

“The Desmond Tutu Fellowship acknowledges her outstanding global contribution to dialogue and understanding across cultural, racial, religious and political divides.”

Daw Suu Kyi recently announced that she would seek the presidency of Myanmar in the 2015 national elections. In her political career, she has been a determined advocate for democracy, dignity and human rights. She spent decades under house arrest until her release in 2010. For her non-violent campaign, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Since then, she has received more than 130 awards and honours internationally.