Curtin University has awarded entrepreneur and philanthropist Kerry Stokes AC an Honorary Doctorate of Science for his significant and sustained contribution to child health research in Western Australia.
Mr Stokes, who is the Chair of Seven West Media and Australian Capital Equity, has used the television medium to support the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) in Perth, through Channel Seven’s Perth Telethon and the Channel 7 Telethon Trust.
Mr Stokes’ substantial support for TKI has enabled the institution to strengthen its position as one of Australia’s leading child-health research centres and has grown to become the largest centre of excellence in healthcare, research and education in the Southern Hemisphere.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery said Mr Stokes was a remarkable businessman and entrepreneur, who has channelled his philanthropic principles and vision into raising Australia’s capabilities in child-health research.
“Along with his significant contribution to the media industry, Mr Stokes has also helped to change the culture of giving in WA through Telethon – a live 26-hour annual appeal which raises money for diseases in children such as brain cancer and leukaemia,” Professor Cordery said.
“Over 52 years, Perth Telethon has built a culture of giving that is peerless in Australia, making it the highest donating telethon in the world. To date, Perth Telethon has raised more than $300 million for community organisations.
“Mr Stokes has committed his life to making an extraordinary contribution to WA’s health community and has had a positive impact on the lives of children in need. His long-term commitment to child health research shows him to be a most worthy recipient of the award of Honorary Doctorate of Science.”
Throughout his distinguished career, Mr Stokes has held the positions of Chair of Seven West Media (formerly West Australian Newspapers Holdings) and Chair of Seven Group Holdings.
In 2018, Curtin announced the Kerry M Stokes Chair of Child Health – a joint initiative between Curtin, the Channel 7 Telethon Trust and Telethon Kids Institute named in honour of Mr Stokes.
Mr Stokes has received multiple awards for his philanthropy. He was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2008 and was honoured as WA Australian of the Year in 2012.
Mr Stokes was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science at the Curtin University graduation ceremony held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.