Two prominent leaders in Vietnam were awarded honorary doctorates in the 2015 RMIT Vietnam graduation ceremonies, giving graduates advice based on hard-earned experience.
The Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, John McAnulty AM, was awarded the honour for his outstanding contribution to RMIT University.
And the Chairman and CEO of Le Invest (Holdings) Corporation, Le Quoc Vinh, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Vietnam’s communication and media industry.
Both men congratulated the more than 1600 students who graduated in five RMIT Vietnam ceremonies in Saigon South and Hanoi.
Mr McAnulty spoke about the strength of education links between Australia and Vietnam, describing them as a cornerstone of the relationship between the two countries. He said that his education-related work in Vietnam was his most satisfying.
“There is nothing better than seeing eager young people in Vietnam receiving a good education: people who are wanting to learn and to secure a good future,” Mr McAnulty said.
“The population of Vietnam is young, the future of Vietnam is in its youth, a well-educated youth. You are the future of Vietnam. With your education from RMIT you will succeed in life. This is assured!”
Mr McAnulty said that after a country Australia school career where he played hard, he started work in the junior ranks of the Foreign Service. His family could not afford for him to go to university and his school achievements were not good enough anyway.
“I was determined to work hard, believing that success would follow.
“Over time my work ethic paid dividends. I got noticed by supervisors and, as my experience grew, I gained a reputation as someone who was dependable and committed to the organisation. Someone who would take on challenges – difficult challenges that some others avoided.”
To the graduates he said: “The best advice I can give is very simple. That is - Work hard!
Hard work will pay off for you.
“As a result of your RMIT experience you are now armed with the tools needed to forge your path ahead. It’s not the diploma itself that counts – it’s about what you have learned along the way and what you do with the education you have acquired in your journey to graduation today. You are the lucky ones. Seize this opportunity!”
Mr Le’s honorary doctorate recognises his long and continuing support for RMIT students during their studies and in the workplace.
He advised the graduates that having a bachelor degree does not mean they’ve completed yet another stage of life.
“It is but the start of a meaningful life, a stage where you start to discover a rightful mission for yourself,” he said.
“Think not whether your mission is inferior or immense because achieving a single tiny objective is more important than wandering aimlessly in the illusion of grandeur. All contributions to the society are valuable.”
Mr Le said he defines himself as a PR practitioner, journalist, media manager and above all, a person with a mission to develop a Vietnamese communication industry that is still young, astray and confused on the path towards shaping itself and international integration.
“The values I am trying to pursue are transparency in information and an ethical relationship between PR practitioners and the press.
“Above all, I commit myself to, and struggle for the protection and enforcement of copyrights and intellectual property rights, which are the groundwork for a healthy existence and steady growth of creative industries in general and the communication industry in particular.”
The presentation of an honorary doctorate is a time‐honoured tradition. It is a time when the University gathers to recognise a member of the community who has excelled in their chosen field, and made an outstanding contribution to society. Recipients of an honorary doctorate are receiving the highest honour from the University – a degree honoris causa. These are people who have striven to improve the lives of others, through their leadership and commitment to their profession and to the community as a whole.