Old Collegian, Professor David Horner, was inducted into the Princes Men Gallery on Tuesday, 14 August, 2018. It is customary for Prince Alfred College to honour the distinction of achievement in the chosen fields of our Old Scholars. Emeritus Professor David Horner, is one of Australia’s leading historians and is based at the Australian National University. He is the author, or editor of 34 books and numerous articles on military history, strategy and defence. He attended Prince Alfred College from 1961 to 1965.
At the induction, Headmaster, Bradley Fenner, spoke of the Professor’s success including; his achievements during his time at PAC and hisaccomplishments in his career, taking him to the very top of his profession.
Presentation Speech by: Headmaster Bradley Fenner:
Good afternoon students, staff and special guests, and in particular ,Emeritus Professor David Horner and family. It gives me great pleasure to welcome our special guests here today for this induction.
For this term’s induction, we now turn to someone who has achieved at the highest levels in the world of academia, academic education, which is of course what we are all about. Today’s recipient is one of our most distinguished Old Scholar academics and has had an interesting pathway to achieve the distinctions that he has. That pathway also connects him with our military tradition, another proud tradition of PAC going back to our very early days.
Son of an Old Scholar, the late Murray Horner, David Horner attended Prince Alfred College from 1961 to 1965. In his final year, he was a Prefect and Cadet Under Officer. We no longer have a Cadet Unit at PAC, as the Federal Government removed funding for this in the early 1970s. However, our Cadet Unit had been a feature of the College from 1898.
Interestingly, the seeds of David Horner’s future career as a military historian were clearly sown during his time at school, when he wrote a history of the PAC Cadet Unit in 1964, his first publication, when he was in Year 11. To all the students, there is a lesson here: the interests that David had in the military and in history were evident from his school days. Just as the interests that you are all developing during your time here will play a part in shaping your futures as well.
After school, there should be no surprise that David entered the Australian regular Army, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Canberra, in 1969. He saw active service in Vietnam and spent 25 years in the Army before pursuing a career as an academic. As a Colonel in the Army Reserve, he was the first Head of the Australian Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre.
David has a Master’s Degree from the University of New South Wales and was awarded the Churchill Fellowship, for military history study overseas. He received the Crawford Prize for excellence for his Doctorate in History and Strategic Studies, at the Australian National University. He is the author or editor of 34 books and numerous articles on military history, strategy and defence.
His first volume of the history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, ASIO, called The Spy Catchers, won the 2015 UK Intelligence Book of the Year Prize and was joint winner of the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for History. He was General Editor of the Australian Army’s military history series, has written four prestigious American history publications and has been an historical consultant for television programs on military history.
Emeritus Professor David Horner, is one of Australia’s leading historians and is based at the Australian National University, a leading university in this country which is also ranked highly internationally. He was Professor of Australian Defence History at the University for 15 years and is considered Australia’s premier military historian, with a significant international reputation for military history and strategic analysis.
David is currently completing the six-volume official history of Australian peacekeeping, humanitarian and post-Cold War operations. He is a Member of the Order of Australia for services to higher education in the area of Australian military history and heritage, as a researcher, author and academic. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.
Clearly, David has pursued his career and interests with passion and determination taking him to the very top of his profession. I know that David is another proud Princes Man and it is most fitting and appropriate that we recognise him with the highest distinction for our Old Collegians.
Emeritus Professor David Horner, it is with great pleasure and pride that I now induct you into Our Princes Men Gallery and present you with this tie, which is worn only by members this distinguished group. Congratulations from all of us.
Headmaster, Prince Alfred College.