Once again University alumni were well represented in the 2012 Australia’s Day honours. Two were named Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia, the highest honour bestowed, with the Honourable Justice Virginia Bell and conductor Maestro Richard Bonynge, who studied at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, both receiving the title.
Virginia Bell (LLB ’77) was named for eminent service to the judiciary and to the law through leadership in criminal law reform and public policy development, to judicial administration, and as an advocate for the economically and socially disadvantaged. She has been a Justice of the High Court of Australia since 2009, and was a judge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1999 to 2009.
Richard Bonynge (SCM ’49) was named for eminent service to the performing arts as an acclaimed conductor and musical scholar, to classical singing and the promotion of opera, and through the collection and preservation of operatic manuscripts. Throughout his career he has conducted in the world ’s great opera houses including those in New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and many others.
Other alumni to have received honours this year include:
Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia
Malcolm Begbie (BEc ’66) for distinguished service to the international community in the provision of humanitarian relief, particularly through the Crossroads Foundation, and as a significant contributor to United Nations efforts to connect business organisations with those in need.
Professor Charles MacKenzie (BSc(Vet) ’69 BVetSc ’71 PhD ’76) for distinguished service to veterinary pathology and to medical science through significant contributions to filarial disease eradication in the peoples of Equatorial Africa, and as a researcher and educator.
The Very Reverend William Uren (GradDipJur ’68) for distinguished service to education as a philosopher and bioethicist, as a commentator on contemporary issues in Australian society, as a scholar and mentor to the Catholic Church and in Australia.
Member (AM) of the Order of Australia
The Hon Jennifer Boland (LLM ’92) for service to the judiciary through the Family Court of Australia, to legal education, and to the community, particularly through social welfare organisations.
Dr Jillian Benson (MBBS ’79) for service to medicine through contributions in the field of mental health, particularly for refugees and people seeking asylum, and to the Indigenous community in South Australia.
Dr Susan Briggs (BScAgr ’73) for service to conservation and the environment through scientific, research and advisory roles supporting natural resources management and policy development.
Stirling Mortlock (BSc ’99) for service to the sport of rugby union football, particularly as Captain of the Wallabies. He is currently captain of the Melbourne Rebels, with whom he has played since 2010.
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia
Emeritus Professor Brian Fletcher (BA ’53 DipEd ’54 MA ’62) for service to education as an academic, researcher and author in the discipline of Australian history.
Judith Friend (BA ’61) for service to the arts through voluntary roles with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art.