Parliamentarian and author Andrew Tink receives honorary doctorate

4 February 2013

Throughout a distinguished career in the law, government and writing, Andrew Tink BA LLB has made significant contributions to the cultural and political life of New South Wales. Today, he was recognised for these contributions with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from Macquarie University.

Educated at Sydney Grammar School and the Australian National University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, Tink also competed in sailing for Australia in the 1967 Interdominion Cherub Championships.

He practiced as a barrister in Sydney after university, before being elected to the NSW Parliament in 1988. As a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for nineteen years, Tink represented the Sydney areas of Eastwood (1988–1999) and Epping (1999–2007), both of which border Macquarie University in Northern Sydney.

Amongst a range of achievements during his eleven years as a shadow minister, Tink successfully spearheaded a campaign to introduce 11-1 majority jury verdicts in criminal trials, and a reform to lessen the trauma of rape victims who have to give evidence.

In 2007, due to health and personal reasons, Tink left Parliament to pursue a career as an author.

“With my political ambition thwarted, I became filled with a burning desire to succeed as a writer. By that I don’t mean writing best sellers, but writing about people and events not yet covered by historians and biographers,” says Tink.

He has now written and published two political biographies: William Charles Wentworth: Australia’s greatest native son and Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend, with a third book on the way.

“In 2010, William Charles Wentworth: Australia’s greatest native son won ‘The Nib’ CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature.  This award, and my honorary doctorate today have both provided validation of my decision to become a writer. I didn’t want to just ‘go and get another job’ after politics, I wanted to write. It is just wonderful for me to have my efforts recognised from a university I have been closely associated with ever since I first entered Parliament in 1988.”

Tink’s latest book on a 1940 Canberra air crash, which killed three cabinet ministers and a general and led to a change of government the following year, will be in bookshops soon.

In 2006 Tink was appointed a visiting fellow at Macquarie University’s Law School and in 2012 was appointed a member of the Library Council of New South Wales and a trustee of the Historic Houses Trust.

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