The University of Notre Dame (UNDA) has recognised one of Australia’s great diplomats, awarding Michael Gerald L’Estrange AO a degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.
The accolade adds to a number of Mr L’Estrange’s prestigious academic achievements, which include graduating from the University of Sydney with honours in 1974 after studying history.
He is a Rhodes scholar and graduate of Oxford University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkley.
Mr L’Estange worked for the Department of the Prime Minister in Cabinet in 1981 and on the staff of Justice Robert Hope’s Royal Commission into Australia’s Security and Intelligence Agencies.
From 1989 to 1994, he worked for several leaders of the Opposition in a range of policy advisory positions and, in 1995, was appointed the inaugural Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre in Canberra.
Since then he has served successive governments in positions including High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Secretary to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In 2007, Mr L’Estrange was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the development and implementation of public policy in Australia, particularly national security and strengthening Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom.
In speaking to UNDA graduates, Mr L’Estrange said they would all have varying career paths and it was important for each of them to remain optimistic about the future.