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18 members of UC community honoured in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021

Suzanne Lazaroo

15 June 2021: The University of Canberra extends its congratulations to the 18 members of the University community honoured on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which includes a former Deputy Chancellor and members of alumni.

University and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said it was wonderful to see the life-changing work, and community- and nation-building initiatives from so many members of the University of Canberra community.

“In both professional and personal capacities, these amazing members of the UC community have made – and continue to make – great contributions across our capital, region and nation,” Professor Nixon said.

“Their work is truly inspiring, and we are very happy that they have received this recognition.”

General Division Honours

Dr Sarah Anne Ryan was awarded as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the environment, education and the community.

Dr Ryan was Deputy Chancellor of the University from 2015 to 2017, and a University Council member between 2009 and 2017.

She is the current Chair of both the Capital Region Landkeepers Trust and the ACT Bushfire Council.

Her long involvement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) began with a role as a research scientist in the Division of Plant Industry in 1982, then grew to encompass senior executive roles.

Her presence across the education sphere has included roles as Ministerial Appointed Member to the ACT Advisory Council on Public Education (1992-1994) and Chair of the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Council.

Dr Ryan was also a respite foster carer from 1998 to 2007, and an art school volunteer at the Australian National University’s Environment Studio from 2003 to 2013.

Also receiving an AM was alumnus Dr Brian Keith Babington, who was honoured for his significant service to children through safety and well-being initiatives.

Among his many roles, Dr Babington is the Chief Executive Officer of Families Australia; Ambassador for Centrecare’s Valuing Children Initiative; Convenor of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing; Founder and Director, Indonesian Orphanages Research Centre; Deputy Chair, Communities at Work; Co-Chair, National Forum for Protecting Australian Children; and Vice-President, Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program.

A former diplomat, Dr Babington spent 15 years with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and served as the Australian Government Delegate to the 43rd-46th United Nations General Assemblies, from 1988 to 1992.

He was also the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Heritage Commission (1996-2001).

He was the Director of Plan International from 2012 to 2019 and President of Parentline between 2004 and 2009.

Dr Babington attained a Graduate Diploma in Community Counselling from the University in 2004.

University alumna Rosalind Elaine Butler, who received a Master of Education in 1996, was recognised with an AM for her significant service to vocational education, women and gender equity.

She is a veteran researcher, with a strong focus on women and girls, issues of gender equality and social inclusion, vocational education and training and decent work, Adult Community education and basic education.

Among her many roles in the education and gender equality spaces, Ms Butler is a Founding Member of the Australian Coalition for Education and Development, former Convenor for Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) and has been a WAVE Ambassador since 2014.

Joan Warhurst received an AM for her significant service to education, and research and curriculum development.

Ms Warhurst is the former Executive Officer for the Australian Association for Research in Education, (2009-2011); Chief Executive Officer, National Catholic Education Commission (2004-2008); and Executive Director, Australian Curriculum Studies Association (1995-2004) – just some of her many roles.

She completed a Master of Education at the University in 1983.

For her service to the library and information sciences, UC Distinguished Alumna 2001 Roxanne Missingham was recognised with an OAM.

Ms Missingham completed a Master of Public Administration in 1999 at the University, following a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship in 1977, and has held many roles in the libraries and resources spaces.

Currently the University Librarian, Chief Scholarly Information Officer, Chief Privacy Officer and Copyright Officer at the Australian National University, Ms Missingham has had extensive involvement with the Australian Library and Information Association for over 40 years, and formerly served as its Vice President and Director.

She is also the former Chair of Electronic Resources Australia, and is currently a Mentor with the Aurora Foundation.

Roger Blair Allan was recognised with an OAM for his service to primary education, and to disability sports.

Mr Allan completed a Master of Education at the University in 1992, after completing a Bachelor of Education in 1980.

A veteran primary school teacher, Mr Allan has had extensive involvement in disability sport, including the role of Disability Adviser for the Planning Committee of the Pacific School Games Canberra in 2008, Timekeeper for the National Electric Wheelchair Sports, from 1995 to 2004, and Wheelchair Sports Fundraiser for the Royal Canberra Show (1994-2003).

Medy Hassan received an OAM for his service to the building and construction industry.

An Adjunct Professor and alumnus of the University, Mr Hassan graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design in 1987. He is the founding donor of the Built Environment Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship in the University’s Faculty of Arts and Design.

Mr Hassan has held various roles across the industry, including as the Vice-President of both the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Institute of Building and the ACT Division, Property Council of Australia. In addition to his role as Adjunct Professor with the University of Canberra, he is an Adjunct with RMIT University and Western Sydney University.

Dr Craig Cormick, a University of Canberra Distinguished Alumni Finalist 2017, graduated with a Master of Arts in Communications in 1999, after attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing, (1984) and a Graduate Diploma in Communication (1990). He was awarded an OAM for his service to science and the community.

One of Australia’s leading science communicators, Dr Cormick has specialised in translating complex scientific ideas for the community over his 30-year career, and was the President of Australian Science Communicators from 2006 to 2017.

He is currently a Member of the Advisory Board on Education and Outreach (ABEO), Chemical Weapons Convention, DFAT.

Janet Jukes received an OAM for service to the community through LGBTQI advocacy and social welfare organisations.

Ms Jukes is the President of the Victorian AIDS Council and Chief Executive Officer for Relationship Matters Counselling and Mediation, and has extensive experience in youth development and outreach. She is a Community Member, LGBTI Taskforce, in the Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria, and Co-Chair of the LGBTI Justice Advisory Committee.

Previous roles include Director/Deputy Chair of the National LGBTI Health Alliance (2016-2018); Director of No to Violence (2015-2020); and Founding Co-Convenor, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (of which she is also a Life Member).

Ms Jukes completed a Bachelor of Education at the University in 1995.

Jean Isabel Bennet received the OAM for service to the Canberra community.

She graduated from the Canberra College of Advanced Education (CCAE) with a Graduate Diploma in Education in 1974, and was formerly a science teacher and Experimental Officer with CSIRO.

Ms Bennet is the President of the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association, Australia.

She has a long and active involvement with the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales – Canberra Evening Branch, serving as its President (1995 to 1997), and currently, the Visiting Speakers Officer.

From 2003 to 2008, she was the President and Committee Member for Radio 1RPH and in 2011, became a Founding Member of the Growing Old Disgracefully (GOLD) Seniors Dance Group at Canberra Dance Theatre.

University alumna Mary Anne Neilsen completed a Bachelor of Laws in 1999, and received an OAM for service to the community as a church organist.

A Senior Research Specialist at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library, from 1988 to 2019, Ms Neilsen has served as a Church Organist at many churches across Canberra, including for 50 years at both St Christopher's Cathedral and St Paul's Memorial Anzac Chapel at the Royal Military College at Duntroon.

She is also a Volunteer Guide at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA).

Robyn Porter was honoured with an OAM for service to science and the community. Ms Porter is a Distinguished Life Member of Professionals Australia. In her long involvement with the organisation, she has served in many roles – most recently as National Secretary from 2009 to 2020 – and was the President of the ACT Branch from 2000 to 2010.

She is a former Policy Chair and Board Advisor for Science and Technology Australia, and Treasurer and Public Office for the Women in Science Enquiry Network (WISENet). Ms Porter has also held such roles asProject Officer for the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme and Programs Officer, Sustainable Development Directorate, both for the ACT Government.

Military Division Honours

Six alumni were honoured in the Military Division of the Order of Australia.

Major General Adam George Findlay was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service and exceptional leadership as Special Operations Commander Australia, Commander Special Operations Joint Task Force – Iraq, and Commander of the 7th Brigade.

He led the command through a period of cultural change and capability renewal, driving ongoing reform in Special Operations Command, while continuing to respond to high readiness operational requirements, counter-terrorism deployments, and international partner engagements. His leadership resulted in significant capability improvements in the Australian Army.

Major General Findlay completed a Master of Defence Studies at the University in 2000.

Air Vice-Marshal Alan Gregory Clements graduated with a Master of Management in Defence Studies in 2003, and was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in delivering the 2013 Force Structure Review, and in international engagement as Head of the Australian Defence Staff in Washington.

Group Captain James Wilmot received an AM for his exceptional service in aviation workforce sustainment for the ADF – this includes conceiving, developing and leading the implementation of the most significant Human Resource Management reforms in Defence since World War II, and remediating longstanding health issues in aviation stream training and employment to sustainably improve aviation workforce supply.

He attained a Master of Management in Defence Studies from the University in 2001.

An OAM was awarded to Colonel James Waddell, for meritorious performance of duty as Director of Operations and Security Law and as Director of Army Legal Services for the Australian Defence Force. Colonel Waddell received a Master of Defence Studies from the University in 2000.

Brigadier Christopher John Mills AM received a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding achievement as the Director General Force Options and Plans through the application of exceptional skill, judgement and dedication in the planning and delivery of the 2020 Defence Force Structure Plan. Brigadier Mills completed a Master of Management in Defence Studies at the University in 2004.

An Emergency Services Medal was awarded to James Montgomery, who completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with the University in 1998, and continued further study to receive a Graduate Diploma in Education in 2002.

Mr Montgomery has been an active volunteer with the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) for over 23 years, commencing his service with the then ACT Emergency Service. His invaluable experience has contributed greatly to training and development of other members, and includes ACT Emergency Service Agency (ACTESA) operations supporting the 2003 and 2020 Canberra fires, as well as major storm and flood operations between 2010 and 2020 and deployment to other states.