Australia Day honours for outstanding Flinders achievers

From outstanding achievements in health to pop culture’s impact on modern society, a rich array of leading academics and alumni at Flinders University have received Australia Day honours recognising their longstanding contributions to higher education and community advancement.

And none more so than the 2019 Australian of the Year Dr Richard Harris OAM, jointly awarded the honour with his dive partner Craig Challen.

Dr Harris, an anaesthetist who completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Flinders in 1988 – and accomplished diver – played a pivotal role in the rescue of a boys soccer team and their coach from a flooded Thai cave.

The Australian of the Year honour crowns a strong of accolades for his bravery, including 2018 South Australian of the Year,  an Order of Australia medal, and the Star of Courage prestigious bravery award.

An exemplar of Flinders University’s values of courage, integrity, innovation and excellence, Flinders is proud to name him amongst its stellar alumni community.

Professor Tara Brabazon – Dean of Graduate Research and Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders University – has been awarded Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to education, particularly to graduate and cultural studies.

Specialising in the study of popular culture and its social implications, Professor Brabazon has built a strong global profile through her work at nine universities in four countries, holding research professorships in media, creative media, communication and education.

Professor Tara Brabazon

Her talent for identifying and explaining modern cultural phenomena has seen her publish 18 books, including such successful pop culture titles as The University of Google; Ladies Who Lunge: Celebrating Difficult Women; Digital Hemlock: Internet Education and the Poisoning of Teaching, and Digital Dieting: From Information Obesity to Intellectual Fitness.

Professor Brabazon’s latest book – Trump Studies: An Intellectual Guide to Why Citizens Vote Against Their Interests – explores why unusual events like Brexit, Donald Trump’s presidency and the revolving door prime ministerships in Australia are occurring. She asks what such events mean for the future of universities, research and knowledge.

Her influence has stretched further as founder and director of the Popular Culture Collective contributor to Times Higher Education (London) since 2008, and she has produced and directed more than 190 podcasts and YouTube Vlogs for higher degree research students.

Her expertise has seen Professor Brabazon win six teaching awards, including the National Teaching Award for the Humanities, along with other awards for disability education, cultural studies and doctoral supervision. In recognition of her community engagement, she was a finalist for Australian of the Year and Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2005.

Professor Judith Dwyer has been awarded Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her significant service to education in the field of health care management, and to medical administration.

Professor Judith Dwyer

Professor Dwyer is the former Director of Research in the Department of Health Care Management in Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health, and she teaches in the Masters of Health Administration, and conducts research focused on health system governance and design, with a particular focus on Aboriginal health services. She was a Research Program Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

In more than two decades as an administrator, she worked as Chief Executive of Flinders Medical Centre and Southern Health in Melbourne, Deputy Chief Executive of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, in addition to other key roles at Family Planning Association of South Australia, Julia Farr Centre, National Health and Medical Research Council, Adelaide Women’s Community Health Centre and Director of Health Programs at the South Australian Health Commission. She is Cancer Council Australia Deputy Chair, since 2017, and a Director since 2013.

Banduk Marika with one of her famous artworks,
‘Djanda and sacred waterhole’, linocut, colour inks on paper, created 1984.

This year’s Australia Day Honours list also recognises esteemed indigenous artist Banduk Marika, who receives an AO. The first Yolngu printmaker from northeast Arnhem Land received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Flinders University in 2018, in recognition of her remarkable contributions as a First Nations artist and cultural advocate for the Yolngu people.

“These awards showcase the incredible value of our alumni who are making a difference in the world. Their achievements are at the very heart of what Flinders stands for. These honours are also a tacit tribute to the many academics and researchers who helped provide the foundation for their success”  says Flinders University’s Director of Alumni and Advancement Callista Thillou.

Other Australia Day honours recipients connected with Flinders University are:

  • Margaret Cook AO, alumnus, for distinguished service to human rights.
  • Professor Bruce Kemp AO, alumnus, for distinguished service to biomedical research, particularly to the study of protein phosphorylation.
  • Dawn Thorp AO, alumnus, for distinguished service to nursing, and to medicine, in the field of haematology.
  • Dr Bronte Ayers AM, former staff, for significant service to children’s charities, and to medicine as a cardiologist.
  • Professor John Beltrame AM, alumnus, for significant service to cardiovascular medicine, and to medical research and education.
  • Peter Bicknell AM, Alumnus, for significant service to social welfare, and to the community of South Australia.
  • Dr Anne Chang AM, former staff and alumnus, for significant service to paediatric respiratory medicine as a clinician and researcher.
  • Bishop Daniel Hurley AM, alumnus, for significant service to the Catholic Church in Australia, and to the community of the Northern Territory.
  • Robert Mitchell AM, alumnus, For significant service to the community through charitable organisations, and to the Anglican Church of Australia.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Strasser AM, former staff, for service to medical education, particularly to rural general practice.
  • Professor Lyndall Ryan AM, alumnus and former professor of women’s studies (1986-98), for services to higher education.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Strasser AM, former Flinders NT assoc. dean Medical School (2010-14) and former director rural clinical school (2007-09).
  • Moira Deslandes AM, former field education supervisor (1989-99).
  • Stan Evans OAM, Former University Council Member.
  • Dr Robert Wright OAM, former senior visiting practitioner at Flinders, for services to medicine.
  • Susan Chapman OAM, alumnus, for service to conservation and the environment.
  • Alison Rosser OAM, alumnus, for service to the community.
  • Margaret Shore OAM, alumnus, for service to the international community of Indonesia through education programs.

For more information go to the Flinders Australia Day Honours wepage.

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