Jimmy Smith receives honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne

Jimmy Smith, director general of ILRI, received a doctorate with honoris causa and gave the commencement speech at the University of Melbourne’s today (6 Dec 2018) in Melbourne, Australia. The speech, called an Occasional Address in Australia, and delivered before the graduates in the law and agricultural sciences programs, brought together several important strands in Smith’s thinking over the years: The value of education as a way of transcending class and racial boundaries, the importance of development-oriented agricultural research, and the need to combat the narrow forces of prejudice and nationalism.

Lindsay Falvay,  ILRI’s board chairman and a professor at the University of Melbourne, said that the conferral of the honorary doctorate is a recognition of Smith’s exemplary leadership of ILRI and of the major global contributions ILRI continues to make to international agricultural research. 

Following is the speech as drafted to the graduates today. See his speech as delivered here (starting from around 41 mins).

 

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JiJimmy Smith, director general of ILRI at the Africa Livestock Conference and Exhibition held in Nairobi 26-28 June 2013 (photo credit: ILRI/Raphael Njoroge).

‘Chancellor, Allan J. Myers AC QC, vice chancellor professor Duncan Maskell–thank you for the warm introduction, dean, members of the faculty and the university council,
graduands, families and friends, ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for the recognition and tremendous honour you have bestowed on me today.

That this has come from one of the finest Agricultural Faculties in the world—and indeed, from one of the finest universities in the world, makes me and my wife Charmaine (sitting in the audience) feel extremely proud and privileged.