27 September 2022

Actor, civil rights activist, and social media mega power George Takei.

Actor, civil rights activist, and social media mega power George Takei will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to the community.

Globally renowned for his portrayal of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise in the acclaimed original Star Trek TV series Takei’s award will be conferred within the starship-like walls of Pridham Hall, UniSA – Australia’s University of Enterprise - on Wednesday 28 September.

Throughout his six-decade career, Takei’s career has boldly gone where few have gone before.

From a childhood spent with his family imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War 2, to becoming a key figure in the fight for social justice, LGBTQIA+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.

Equally compelling in portraying a 23rd Century Star Trek Officer on screen, an unjustly incarcerated WW2 Japanese-American in his new Broadway musical Allegiance, or most recently, a computer-animated cat-warrior in feudal Japan in Paws of Fury, Takei appears to take on any challenge.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says he is thrilled to welcome such a creative icon and social justice leader to the University community.

“George has a unique ability to portray and connect with people of different backgrounds, circumstances, and generations,” Prof Lloyd says.

“While so many of us know and love him as a talented actor, he is also a powerful human rights activist, representing the voices and concerns of underrepresented groups all around the world.

“Just as diversity and a quest for knowledge have always been at the heart of Star Trek, so too are they at the heart of UniSA. And these values connect us both.

“George’s determination to make a difference to the lives of so many - particularly to those in the LGBTQIA+ community - and his understanding of the role that education plays, is exemplary.”

He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television shows; he is a Grammy-nominated recording artist; a New York Times bestselling author; and a social media sensation.

His velvety baritone voices many films, video games, TV series, and commercials, with notable appearances in Mission: Impossible, The Twilight Zone, The Simpsons, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Takei served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League.

He served on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton, and, in 2004, was conferred with the Gold Rays with Rosette of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to US-Japan relations.

Today, he serves as Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees.

Beyond his star power and charisma, Takei is known for his humility, charm and wicked sense of humour. When he’s not joking around, or tasting debatable ‘delicacies’ on celebrity challenges, he is enchanting millions on social platforms.

Clearly, there is no final frontier to hold him back.

Takei is attending events at the University of South Australia, including “An Evening with George Takei” at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre on Tuesday 27 September at 7pm – SOLD OUT.


Media contact: Annabel Mansfield M: +61 479 182 489 E: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

Other articles you may be interested in