An international leader in audiology and an Indigenous author and poet are among an extensive list of University of Queensland representatives who have been named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year.
UQ researchers, academics, alumni and philanthropists are among the 992 Australians recognised in the Order of Australia for their contributions and service to the community.
Professor Louise Hickson, who is recognised internationally as a leader in audiology, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to tertiary education and audiology associations.
Professor Hickson is Associate Dean (External Engagement) for the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, and has completed ground-breaking work on the effects of hearing impairment on people’s everyday lives, and strategies and interventions to help improve the uptake of hearing rehabilitation.
“I feel incredibly honoured to receive this award,” Professor Hickson said.
“Hearing loss affects one in six people and the consequences of untreated hearing loss are severe, affecting people’s ability to communicate and connect with those around them.
“My work with so many audiology associations has been about advocating for the needs of people with hearing loss and working with them to alleviate the impacts of the condition.”
Professor Hickson was also recently appointed as the new President of the International Society of Audiology.
Author, writer, poet, academic and proud Wiradjuri woman Dr Anita Heiss has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant services to tertiary Indigenous studies, and to the arts.
Dr Heiss, a Professor of Communications in UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, also recently won the 2022 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers’ Prize.
“Most of us don’t see ourselves as others do, we just get up and do ‘our thing’ every day,” Dr Heiss said.
“The nomination humbles me because someone, somewhere felt or believed I contribute something meaningful to Australian society, and they took the time to put their opinions forward, and that is just an extraordinarily humbling thing to me.
“People often ask what my proudest moment is in terms of the arts and I’d have to say carving out a space in Australian publishing as a First Nations author of commercial fiction telling our truths in Australia history and our excellence in the contemporary world.”
Emeritus Professor Linda Worrall has been recognised for her service to speech pathology through aphasia research and advocacy, with her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Professor Worrall, a leader of UQ’s aphasia research for many years, has authored more than 300 scientific papers and has devoted her professional life to aphasia, founding the Australian Aphasia Association and the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway.
“I am incredibly proud of this achievement because it shines a light on the plight of people, such as actor Bruce Willis who announced his retirement from acting because of aphasia,” Professor Worrall said.
“UQ has been at the forefront of aphasia research for decades and has partnered with Metro North to form the recently launched Queensland Aphasia Research Centre.
“This honour also goes to those who have worked with me over the years and my family and friends who have supported me.
“I’m also amazed that a girl from a sugar mill estate near Ayr in North Queensland can receive this prestigious honour.”
Emeritus Professor Shu Fukai, from the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to agriculture and food science research, and to education.
His research at UQ has focused on physiological understanding of tropical crops, including how genotypes can adapt to adverse growing conditions such as drought, low temperature, salinity, frost and low soil nitrogen, and how rice crop can be successfully grown to save water and protect the environment.
“I have been fortunate to have worked and continue to work with talented and nice people at UQ for a long time,” Professor Fukai said.
“I am honoured to be recognised for our research, research training and education in agriculture and food science.”
UQ Senior Lecturer and dentist Dr Michael Foley has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to community health and to dental education.
Dr Foley has been a Senior Lecturer at School of Dentistry since 2010, is also a member of UQ Alumni Association, and is currently completing a PhD in dental public health.
Dr Foley was one of many people who lobbied for water fluoridation in Queensland.
“Since 2008, people in south-east Queensland have enjoyed the dental health benefits of fluoridated drinking water, but most Queenslanders living regionally and remotely still miss out and risk poorer dental health as a result, so our work continues,” Dr Foley said.
“Better dental health should not be a residential lottery.
“Being awarded an AM is an unexpected honour and I’m very proud of a long connection with UQ, dating back to my dental degree and six wonderful years at St Leo’s College from 1977-82.”
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Board Member, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, has been appointed a Companion to the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to public health administration, to medicine and medical research, to the tertiary education sector, and as the 27th Governor appointed in Queensland.
UQ alum and Emeritus Professor The Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the judiciary and to the law, and to legal education. Her Honour is former Academic Dean and Head of School of the T.C Beirne School of Law, and is currently President of the Australian Law Reform Commission and a Judge in the Federal Court of Australia.
Other UQ community recipients include:
- School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Honorary Professor Kay Crossley AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to physiotherapy and to professional organisations.
- Energy and Poverty Research Group Adjunct Professor David John Allan OAM, Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to the international community of Myanmar.
- UQ alum Dr Frances Dark OAM, Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to psychiatry.
- The late Dr James Cameron AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to cardiology and to professional societies. He was a senior lecturer at UQ from 1986-2012.
- Dr Ewen McPhee AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to general medicine, to health administration, and to tertiary education. Dr McPhee was an Associate Professor and Senior Academic Clinician, Central Queensland Rural Training Hub, Rural Clinical School, 2017-2020, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in General Practice from 2013-2017.
- Dr Philip Forrest AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to Australia-Singapore business relations. He is the founding chairman of the Singapore Alumni Council in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.
- Professor Rory Medcalf AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to international relations, and to tertiary education. He received the UQ University Medal in 1995.
- Co-founder of the Brazil Family Foundation, Franklyn Brazil AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to medical research and to agriculture.
- Mrs Gina Fairfax was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to the community through leadership roles in charitable organisations, as an advocate for philanthropy, to arts administration, and to regional development.
- Dr Steven Hambleton AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for his service to medical governance, professional associations, and the community. He is a former Federal President of the Australian Medical Association and an Adjunct Associate Professor for the Centre for Health System Reform and Integration.
- Professor Jeremy Oats, AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to women’s health as a clinician and as an academic. He was a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2000 and 2001, and a Clinical Professor from 1996-2000.
- Dr Rachel McFadyen AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to biosecurity and to entomology. She is a former Lecturer in the International Course on Biological Control of Tropical Weeds at Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management at UQ.
A complete list of UQ community recipients will be posted in the coming days.
Image of Anita Heiss: Andrew Yeo.
Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate at www.gg.gov.au.