Former Chief Commissioner awarded honorary doctorate

Chancellor Dr Alan Finkel AO, on the left is the Deputy Chancellor Mr Shane Buggle and in the middle is Dr Ken Lay.

Chancellor Dr Alan Finkel AO, on the left is the Deputy Chancellor Mr Shane Buggle and in the middle is Dr Ken Lay.

Former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has been recognised with an honorary doctorate from Monash University.

The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, was conferred on Dr Lay at a ceremony at the University’s Clayton campus yesterday.

Dr Lay was recognised for his distinguished service to policing over four decades, his commitment to public service through his network of community organisations, and his lasting legacy in raising awareness of family violence, gender and racial inequality.

A prominent Monash alumnus Dr Lay has inspired leadership from within Monash as a keynote speaker of the University’s recent Senior Leadership Forum.

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish said Dr Lay’s distinguished and influential career made him a worthy recipient.

“As Monash continues to pursue excellence in research, teaching and innovation, it takes significant motivation and inspiration from alumni with the qualities displayed by Dr Lay,” Professor Cornish said. 

“His commitment to leading the police force through a period of great change for the better will serve as a lasting legacy, as will his dedication to public service and the community in which he continues to serve.” 

Ken Lay began his career with Victoria Police in 1974 and during a distinguished 40 year career has worked in a broad range of policing portfolios including operational, training and corporate, culminating in his appointment as Chief Commissioner in 2011.  

As Chief Commissioner, Dr Lay is widely known for raising awareness of family violence. His advocacy is credited with being a catalyst to instigate the Royal Commission into Family Violence in the State.

Prior to his appointment as the head of Victoria Police he served as Deputy Commissioner (Road Policing), the Assistant Commissioner with responsibility for Victoria's traffic and transit issues and as the Assistant Commissioner in charge of policing services for the north-west geographical area of Victoria, one of the largest police regions in the State.

In these leading roles Chief Commissioner Lay had strategic responsibility for road policing across the whole of Victoria. This involved developing strategic policy and leading legislative change, managing key relationship with government and key road safety partners, and the identification of best practice in road policing enforcement from across the world. He was the key Victoria Police media spokesperson on road safety issues as well as being jointly responsible for ensuring the delivery of the key outcomes from the Arrive Alive Strategy, the 10 year Victorian Road Safety Strategy. In partnership with the other road safety partners, he oversaw three consecutive record low road tolls.

Dr Lay has advised in a number of countries regarding road safety opportunities including New Zealand, the UK, Kuwait, Canada and Indonesia.