Order of Australia honours for Flinders academics and alumni

Emeritus Professor Norman Feather
Emeritus Professor Norman Feather

Founders of psychology and computer science programs at Flinders – and Professorial Fellow former SA Premier Mike Rann – were recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

A number of high-profile Flinders graduates, including former federal politician Brendan Nelson AO and University council member Douglas Gautier AM, featured on the list.

Among staff member were Norman Feather, foundation professor of the School of Psychology 1970-2000, who was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “significant service to higher education as an academic, author and editor, to the social and behavioural sciences, and to professional bodies”.

Emeritus Professor Feather, who was appointed foundational chair to Flinders’ new psychology course in 1967, has helped to develop a psychology department with a strong national and international reputation for its research.

The Society of Australasian Social Psychologists last year presented Professor Feather with the national 2015 John Turner Medal for his outstanding contribution to the field of social psychology.

Emeritus Professor Feather is also the recipient of two honorary degrees, one from Flinders University and the other from the University of New England. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and other organisations.

Dr (Jonathon) Craig Mudge, foundation professor of computer science at Flinders 1990-94, received the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguised service to science, particularly through pioneering initiatives in the information technology sector, as a researcher and author, and as a mentor of young scientists”.

The CSIRO Research Fellow was director of the CSIRO-Flinders Joint Resource Centre for Information Technology from 1990-1994 before progressing to work on cloud computing technologies. He has been chairman of the Working Group on Cloud Computing at Peta-scale since 2008.

Former South Australian Labor Premier Mike Rann, who has been a Professorial Fellow at Flinders’ School of Social and Policy Studies since 2012, was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).

Mr Rann was cited for “eminent service to the Parliament and the community of SA, particularly as Premier, through broad-ranging policy design and implementation, and to the advancement of Australia’s diplomatic, trade and cultural relationships”.

Senior South Australian of the Year was renewable energy campaigner Monica Oliphant AO, who spent part of her early research career at Flinders.

Other Flinders academics in the Australia Day Honours list include Associate Professor David Cherry (AM), Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, current and Senior Lecturer since 1982, and Flinders graduate and adjunct academic Associate Professor Paul Pigou who received an Medal of the Order for Public Service.

Associate Professor Pigou is involved in research and teaching at Flinders University while working as a lead scientist at Forensic Science SA in Adelaide.

Professor Leon Mann, previously with the School of Psychology at Flinders, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the humanities and social sciences, to tertiary education and professional organisations, and to Jewish history and culture”.

Dr Brian Spain AM, previously from Flinders’ Northern Territory Clinical School Darwin Campus, was cited for significant service to medicine in the discipline of anaesthesia, as a clinician, to healthcare standards, and to professional medical bodies.

Outstanding Flinders alumni on the Australia Day awards list include:   

  • Dr Brendan Nelson AO – for distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia, to the community, to the advancement of Australia’s international relations, and to major cultural institutions.
  • Dr Simon Oldfield AO – for distinguished service to science, particularly in the areas of defence materiel, nutrition, and improved equipment for military personnel, and to international research collaboration.
  • Mr Douglas Gautier AM – for significant service to arts administration through leadership roles with a range of institutions, to tertiary education, and to the community.
  • Dr Jennifer Farnden OAM – for service to people with an acquired brain injury, and their families.
  • Mr Wallace Taylor OAM – for service to the information technology sector, and to rural development.
  • Ms Nicola Doumany Public Service Medal – for outstanding public service to the Queensland Judicial Service.
  • Mr Mark Withnell Public Service Medal – for outstanding public service in leading significant reform to improve the strategic approach to fraud and compliance in social security programs.











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