Business leader, Sir Ralph Norris awarded UNSW’s highest honour

Friday, 15 November 2013  Features

Sir Ralph Norris, Former Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The degree recognises his eminent service to the business community.

The Doctor of business honoris causa continues his association with UNSW and most especially the Australian School of Business. Sir Ralph is a member of the ASB Business Advisory Council and he helped to establish crucial support for the UNSW based Centre for International Finance and Regulation. He has also been a guest speaker at ASB's flagship event, Meet the CEO.

Prior to his role at CBA, Sir Ralph was CEO of Air New Zealand and Managing Director and CEO of Auckland Savings Bank. Since retiring from CBA, he has taken up directorships with New Zealand dairy giant, Fonterra and Origin Energy. He also sits on the University of Auckland council and mentors junior and senior executives.

Sir Ralph's numerous community activities include membership of the New Zealand Olympic Advisory Committee, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advisory Board and the Australian Business and Community Network. He is also an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.

In his address to graduating business students, Sir Ralph discussed the importance of possessing a great attitude for success in business and in life.

He quoted American Theologian, Charles Swindoll, "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ....we are in charge of our attitudes".

In 2006, Sir Ralph was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and in 2009, a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Read Sir Ralph Norris' graduation address,