Murwillumbah farmer and former deputy prime minister Doug Anthony has been made an honorary doctor for his services to Australian politics and the north coast of New South Wales.
The former politician was leader of the National Party from 1971 to 1984, and deputy prime minister from 1971 to 1972, and again from 1975 to 1983.
Mr Anthony was elected at the age of 27, replacing his father Larry who had also held the seat of Richmond. His son Larry later also held the seat of Richmond.
Mr Anthony received his honorary doctorate at a ceremony at Southern Cross University’s Tweed campus at the weekend.
SCU vice-chancellor Professor Peter Lee said Mr Anthony was being honoured for his continued service to northern NSW.
‘Although Doug has retired to his family farm near Murwillumbah, his passion for the north coast continues through his generosity and community spirit,’ Prof Lee said.
‘Doug, and his wife Margot, donated the land necessary to accommodate the new Margaret Olley Art Centre at the Tweed River Gallery, having donated the original land which houses the gallery.’
Mr Anthony was a member of parliament for 26 years and acted as prime minister on more than 25 occasions.
His ministerial portfolios included Interior, Primary Industry, Trade and Industry, Overseas Trade, National Resources, and Trade and Resources.
The doctorate is not the first award Mr Anthony has received.
He was appointed a privy councillor in 1971, a companion of honour in 1981 and was awarded the centenary medal in 2001. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003, for service to the Australian parliament, for forging the development of bilateral trade agreements, and for continued leadership and dedication to the social, educational, health and development needs of rural and regional communities.