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2024 Australia Day Honours for 17 members of the UC community

Suzanne Lazaroo

29 January 2024: The University of Canberra congratulates 17 members of the UC community who were recognised on the 2024 Australia Day Honours List.

University of Canberra Interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lucy Johnston, said that it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate alumni, staff and former staff who have made such significant impact locally and beyond.

“Congratulations to all Australia Day honours recipients – in particular, members of the UC community who have had their work recognised,” Professor Johnston said.

“These awards are a testament of their commitment and dedication, and to the contribution they have made in the wider community. We celebrate with them and thank them for all they have done.”

The Australia Day Honours are awarded in recognition of significant service in areas including education, health and the arts. The UC community members receiving the awards this year are:

Order of Australia – General Division

Emeritus Professor Dudley Creagh AM, from the Faculty of Science and Technology, received the award for his significant services to science and tertiary education. A leading global expert in X-ray scattering, Professor Creagh has had a long and distinguished career as a scientist and has been recognised for his pioneering contributions to synchrotron science in Australia.

Mr Richard Potok AM, who received an Honorary Degree from the University in 2017, was awarded for significant service to the Indigenous community, education and the law. Mr Potok is a legal expert and educator, and the Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the Project and Aurora Education Foundation.

Emeritus Professor Hilton Kobus AM, with the Faculty of Science and Technology, was honoured for his service to forensic science through governance and administrative roles.

University alumna Ms Belinda Adams OAM received the award for her services to community health. The brain injury advocate founded Banging the Drum for Brain Injury in 2019, and has been an Ambassador and Panel Member at the Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience, from the same year. Ms Adams completed her Graduate Certificate in Creative Business at the University in 2022.

Mr Colin Dunn OAM was honoured for service to the community of Pambula – where he is the President of the Pambula Rotary Club – and to education. Mr Dunn is a University alumnus, and completed a Graduate Diploma in Curriculum in 1989.

Ms Bilawara Lee OAM was recognised for service to the Indigenous community of the Northern Territory. Ms Lee was the Manager of the University’s Ngunnawal Centre between 1987 and 1998. She has extensive community service experience, and is now Flinders University’s Elder on Campus in the Northern Territory Medical Program, as well as the Larrakia Academic in Residence at Charles Darwin University. In 2009, she was named Northern Territory Woman of the Year, and received the Female Elder of the Year Award at the 2021 Northern Territory NAIDOC Awards.

Mrs Lois Maiden OAM was recognised for her services to primary and early childhood education; an alumna of the University, she attained a Diploma of Teaching in 1990 and a Bachelor of Education in 1991. She has extensive teaching experience and is now a music teacher at the Totom House Early Childhood Centre in Kaleen.

Ms Dominique Mecoy OAM received the honour for service to business and the community. An alumna of the University, she attained a Graduate Diploma in Marketing in 1996. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Leadership WA and Chair of The Leadership Network.

University of Canberra alumnus and current Chair of the Gundaroo Park Trust, Mr Ronald Miller OAM was recognised for service to the community of Gundaroo. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing in 1979 and was a Distinguished Alumnus 2008 as well as a Canberra Centre for Advanced Education (CCAE) Foundation staff. He is also the Vice President of the Gundaroo and District Historical Society.

Alumnus Mr David Robson OAM was honoured posthumously, for his service to aviation. Mr Robson had graduated from the University in 1978, with both a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design and a Bachelor of Industrial Design. He was the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Director of the Aviation Theory Centre, 1998-2023.

Mr Roy Teymant OAM was recognised for service to chess, serving in various roles – including President, Chief Organiser and Promoter – with the Canberra Chess Club, since 2010. He graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from the University in 2005.

Order of Australia – Military Division

Commodore Peter Leavy CSM RAN AM was honoured for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command positions. He is an alumnus of the University with a Master of Management in Defence Studies (2002). Commodore Leavy led the Australian Defence Force Academy through the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic; he also served as the Naval Attache Washington.

Air Commodore Anthony Hindmarsh AM received recognition for his exceptional service in Personnel Capability Management and organisational sustainment for the Royal Australian Air Force. Air Commodore Hindmarsh is credited with introducing a comprehensive approach to strategic workforce design and planning for an innovative philosophical shift in how work and workforce are viewed.


Ms Fiona Barbaro PSM was cited for outstanding public service to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program; she led the roll-out of the program, pioneering innovative approaches to promote and improve vaccine coverage. Ms Barbaro attained an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University in 2021.

Ms Natalie Cooper PSM received the award for outstanding public service in communications to the ACT Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Part of the ACT’s COVID-19 Executive team, she led the communications for the vaccination roll-out, and later led the COVID-19 Communications team as well. She’s an alumna of the University, with a Bachelor of Communication (1998), Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (2004), Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (2006), and Master of Business Administration (2008).

Mr Michael Hatswell PSM was recognised for outstanding public services to public education as the principal of Evatt Primary School. The University alumnus attained a Bachelor of Education in 2004, Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education in 2007 and Master of Inclusive Education in 2008. He was cited for improving student outcomes which advocating for the individual needs of all students.

University alumnus Mr Victor Martin PSM received the award for outstanding public service in managing the COVID-19 Proactive Compliance Inspection Program for the ACT’s COVID-19 response – this program ensured that businesses and organisations complied with the public health directions in place. He attained a Graduate Diploma in Employment Relations in 2001, and a Bachelor of Laws in 2008.


AM – Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia/ Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia

OAM – Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

PSM – Public Service Medal in the General Division