Jeanne Pratt awarded honorary doctorate
Date posted: Tuesday 2 Aug 2011
Swinburne University of Technology will award an honorary doctorate to Mrs Jeanne Pratt for her contribution to the arts, Australian society and to Swinburne at its graduation ceremony today.
Mrs Pratt is the widow of the university's Foundation Chancellor, the late Richard Pratt.
"Jeanne Pratt is well known for her philanthropic activities and her exceptional contribution to the arts," said Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson.
"Together with her husband Richard, she established the Pratt Foundation to support charities throughout the world."
During the 1980s and 90s, the couple became known in Australia for funding the arts, medical research and higher education. Since then the Pratt family has donated about $200 million in grants to worthy causes.
"Mrs Pratt has also actively supported Swinburne, contributing to our research and development foundation, scholarships and the Becton Trust which assists students in financial need who wish to live in Swinburne residences.
"For more than 15 years, she has opened her house Raheen for a number of Swinburne alumni events."
Mrs Pratt is also chair of The Production Company, a not-for-profit theatrical company she established in 1998 to promote and showcase new and established theatre talent.
"Jeanne Pratt's involvement with the arts, her philanthropic initiatives and her love of producing events and musicals have combined to create an enduring legacy," Professor Kristjanson said.
"The university is very grateful for her continued involvement and generosity in supporting the arts, research and higher education."
Mrs Pratt's contribution to society has been formally recognised in a number of arenas. She has received many awards including the Order of Australia, the Companion of the Order of Australia and the Centenary Medal.
Richard Pratt was awarded an honorary doctorate from Swinburne in 2002, recognising his important contribution to the university.
Image 2: Mrs Jeanne Pratt receives her honorary doctorate from Swinburne Chancellor Mr Bill Scales.
Image 3: Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson, Mrs Jeanne Pratt and Swinburne Chancellor Mr Bill Scales.
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