2010 INAUGURAL ALUMNI AWARDS
The 2010 inaugural Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Alumni Awards were announced at the Centenary Gala Dinner held on Saturday 5 June in the Great Hall, Camperdown Campus. In its first year the Agriculture Alumni Awards attracted a competitive field of nominees, across discipline areas, genders and ages. This year is a celebration of the Faculty's illustrious history, a reflection of where we stand now and a vision of where we are going.
The Dean, Professor Mark Adams said: " It is a great honour in this Agriculture Centenary year to present inaugural Faculty Alumni Awards to three very different but equally outstanding alumni. The University of Sydney places a high value on alumni and students who make significant contributions to their local, international and University communities through a wide range of endeavours. In this special year of celebration and recognition it is fitting that all three recipients have addressed the key questions facing us today. They are among many alumni who are making a difference, and that's why agriculture graduates remain in high demand by employers."
The three recipients were:
Alumni Award for International Achievement
Dr Barry McCleary
BSc Agr (Hons 1) '72 PhD '75 DSc Agr '89
Dr Barry McCleary is in the unique position of managing a successful agricultural chemistry company while remaining an internationally recognised author and scientist.
Barry graduated with first-class honours in agricultural science in 1972, and followed this up with a PhD in Agricultural Science (Biochemistry) in 1976, and began his career researching the cause of massive sheep losses in the north of NSW which led to identification of the toxic principle as the enzyme thiaminase present in the plant, Nardoo. Recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship in 1978, and the Nuffield Foundation Scholarship in 1982, he started his own company in the garage of his family home in 1988. This company, Megazyme, won the NSW Small Business of the Year Award, and the Australian Small Business of the Year Award (Manufacturing) in 1993 having just three employees and still operating from the garages. The company relocated to Bray, Ireland in 1996 where Megazyme built a highly successful, much lauded "purpose-built" research facility.
For his research, McCleary has received many awards, including the Guthrie Medal in 1992, prestigious Harvey W. Wiley Medal from AOAC International for outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and many book chapters in the areas of carbohydrates and enzymes, and President elect of the American Association of Cereal Chemists.
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Dr Brian Fisher AO PSM
BSc Agr (Hons 1) '73, PhD '78
Former Dean, and Foundation Member, Agriculture Alumni Steering Committee
Dr Brian Fisher is one of Australia's most respected advisers on climate change, emissions trading and the economic impact of current and future climate and energy policies. He is a well known commentator on Australian agricultural, minerals and energy commodities, and is currently Managing Director, BAEconomics Pty Ltd. His last position was as Executive Director, Economic Analysis at Concept Economics, which specialised in the application of economic analysis to complex issues of public policy, through the development of economic arguments, models and evidence.
Dr Fisher previously held the position of Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) for 18 years from 1988. During his time at ABARE Brian positioned the organisation at the forefront of public policy debate across a range of agricultural and natural resource issues. Prior to heading up ABARE, Brian was Profession of Agricultural Economics and Faculty Dean, Brian has published over 250 papers and monographs, and is an internationally recognised researcher. In 1993 Brian was appointed one of the experts completing the socioeconomic assessment of climate change for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report. He played an integral role in the international climate change negotiations as economic adviser to Australia's negotiating team in the lead up to, and at, the third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto. He received the Farrer Memorial Medal in August 1994, became a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in November 1995, was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2002 and received an Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2007.
Alumni Award For Young Alumni Achievement
Mr Paul Burke
B Agr Ec '03
First-Class Honours Agricultural Economics graduate, Paul also received an University Medal for his academic brilliance. He was awarded an Economic Society of Australia Award as Best Economics Honours Student in New South Wales. Paul is a shining example of alumni who are making a difference in our global community. He has undertaken extensive volunteer work in Vietnam, has been employed by the Government of Tonga, the National Economics University of Vietnam, and a Hanoi-based economics research company. He has also carried out a number of consulting assignments in the areas of resource economics and poverty alleviation for international aid donors. At the age of 29 Paul has recently submitted his thesis, titled 'On Impacts of Economic Growth', for a PhD in Economics at the Australian National University, and has several publications in international economics journals, and is about to commence work as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University.