Four members of Flinders University’s academic staff are among the recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours announced today.
Public health researcher and advocate Professor Fran Baum and ground-breaking research scientist Professor Colin Raston were made Officers in the General Division (AO), while optometry educator Dr Jason Booth and social policy expert Professor Adam Graycar became Members of the Order of Australia (AM).
Professor Baum, Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders, was cited for “distinguished service to higher education as an academic and public health researcher, as an advocate for improved access to community health care, and to professional organisations”.
A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, she has held senior policy positions in public health nationally and internationally, including for the World Health Organisation, and is a world leader in research into the social and economic determinants of health.
Professor Baum, who migrated to Australia from the UK 30 years ago, says the honour is “the icing on the cake” in terms of recognition of her contribution to her adopted country.
”I was also happy when I heard because it was legitimatisation for my career in which I have been both activist and academic,” Professor Baum said
Professor Raston, who is the South Australian Premier’s Professorial Research Fellow in Clean Technology, has led the development of innovative technology including the Vortex Fluidic Device, which has applications in fields from cancer-treating drugs to new materials and alternative fuels.
He was cited for “distinguished service to science through seminal contributions to the field of chemistry as a researcher and academic, and to professional associations”.
Professor Raston’s work in the field of chemistry has earned myriad plaudits, including being named a Royal Australian Chemistry Institute living luminary for the international year of Chemistry in 2011.
Professor Raston says while all honours are a thrill, receiving an AO is especially so.
“In many ways I put my career on the line by leading the debate on developing green chemistry in Australia. It is truly humbling to be acknowledged by peers and appreciated in wider community in this way.”
Dr Booth, Principal Optometrist at Flinders Vision and lecturer at Flinders University, has also worked extensively in overseas programs to treat eye disease in Nepal and Mongolia.
He was cited for “significant service to optometry as a clinical educator, to professional organisations, and to international humanitarian eye care programs”.
Professor Graycar, whose research has examined issues such as corruption and workforce policy, is a former SA Commissioner for Ageing and has a distinguished record in other senior public service and policy-making roles.
He was cited for “significant service to tertiary education as an academic, to public administration through a range of leadership roles, and to professional groups”.
Two other AM recipients on the list have ties to Flinders: former staff member Dr Dean Beaumont, who was acknowledged for significant service to medicine, particularly in the field of otolaryngology and to medical research and education, and graduate Associate Professor Kaye Challinger (MHlthServMgmt ’95, BAppSc(Ng) ’84), cited for significant service to medical administration, to the advancement of nurse education, and to quality health care delivery.
OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) awards were also made to graduate and former staff member Dr David Brumley (MSc(PHC) ‘96, who was recognised for service to medicine as a general practitioner and to palliative care, while Dr David Wilkinson (BM, BS ’86) received his award for service to hyperbaric medicine.
Two Flinders graduates received the Public Service Medal: Mr Stuart Hocking (BEc ’85), for outstanding public service to economic, social and environmental policy reform in South Australia, and Mr Wayne See Kee (GCertPubSecMgmt ’03) for outstanding public service as Chief Executive Officer of the Torres Strait Regional Authority.