Advocate for older people, Flinders distinguished alumna Dr Kate Barnett, has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to aged welfare.
She is one of several high-profile Flinders University alumni, former staff and supporters recognised in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. They include:
Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
The Honorable Catherine Branson QC (Flinders alum LLD ‘12)
Citation: For eminent service to the judiciary as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, to the law as an advocate for human rights and civil liberties, to judicial administration and professional development, and to governance roles in tertiary education.
Emeritus Professor Geoff Harcourt (Former Flinders staff)
For eminent service to higher education as an academic economist and author, particularly in the fields of Post-Keynesian economics, capital theory and economic thought.
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
Professor James McCluskey (Former Flinders staff)
For distinguished service to medical education, as an academic in immunology, and through research into immune systems response to viruses.
Dr David Pescod (Alum GradCertPHCDev ‘11)
Distinguished service to medicine, and to Australia-Mongolia relations, particularly through the provision of surgical and anaesthetic care, and to health education and standards.
Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
Dr Timothy Henderson (Former Flinders staff)
For significant service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology, and to Indigenous eye health in the Northern Territory.
Miss Jane Smith (Alum BA ‘78)
For significant service to the broadcast media industry, particularly to film and television, through administrative roles, and to the community.
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
Dr Kate Barnett (Alum DipEd ’71 Med ’77)
Service to aged welfare.
Dr Stephen Kinnear (Former Flinders staff)
For service to medicine, particularly to anaesthesiology.
Dr Mark Kirkland (dec) (Alum PhD(Med) ’91)
For service to medical research.
Ms Lynne Koerbin (Alum MpublicHlth ‘11)
For service to people with a disability, and to community health.
Mr Peter Munn (Alum BsocAdmin ’77)
For service to education in South Australia.
Public Service Medal (PSM)
Mr Kevin Corcoran (Alum BA ‘83)
For outstanding public service to Justice and Corrective Services in NSW.
Dr Jo Mitchell (Alum DrPH ‘07)
For outstanding public service to population health policy in NSW.
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM)
Mrs Kaye Healing (Alum GCertPubSecMgmt ‘13)
Dr Kate Barnett OAM’s contribution to the field of gerontology over the years continues to shape both national and state services, with her specialisation in ageing and aged care leading to a 2014 Churchill Fellowship in North America investigating the teaching and research aged care working model.
The social policy and gerontology researcher graduated from Flinders University with a Master in Education in 1977, after earlier completing a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education at the University.
She received a 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Flinders University for significant contribution to the community, the state and the nation as a social policy researcher in the areas of ageing and multiculturalism.
From 2006 -2016, Dr Barnett was Deputy-Director of the University of Adelaide’s Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre (WISeR).
In 2016-17, she returned to Flinders for two Visiting Senior Research Fellow assignments at the Flinders University Medical Devices Research Institute and Australian Industrial Transformation Institute at Flinders at Tonsley.
Dr Barnett says her life-long interest in learning and career trajectory has been shaped extensively by Flinders University, where she finds herself coming back to again and again.
“I feel that I owe so much to Flinders and it has been a good fit for me,” she says of coming to the new University at Bedford Park in its foundation years.
“I was in the second intake of students when the ‘University of Adelaide at Bedford Park’, as it was known initially, became Flinders University,” she recalls.
“People asked why would you go to a new university with no established record, but I wanted to go somewhere fresh and new.
“Flinders was for the adventurous and the risk-takers, as were its first staff. It was a time of change and challenge, of pathfinding because we were the founding students, and it was the best decision I ever made.
“Even after 50 years, it’s still got the culture of welcoming and friendliness. It’s made me who I am, particularly in regards to thinking outside the square for something new, innovative and positive.”
Dr Barnett, 68, says she cannot imagine a time when she will retire completely but looks forwards to spending more time with her new grandchild and overseas travel tracing her family history – in between writing a book on the positive aspects of ageing.
“If we challenge the negative stereotypes and norms, there’s a lot of positive research out there to give aged-care providers and policy-makers,” she says.
“I think it’s rather funny that I get to my age and get an OAM for ageing!” she adds.
The 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours were presented on Monday 11 June 2018.