2013 Australia Day Honours

5 February 2013

The University extends its congratulations to over 60 alumni whose contributions to Australia have been recognised in this year's Australia Day Honours.

The Hon Tom Uren (DArch 2002) has been awarded the highest honour, being named Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC), "For eminent service to the community, particularly through contributions to the welfare of veterans, improved medical education in Vietnam and the preservation of sites of heritage and environmental significance." 

As Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam Government, Uren initiated many projects that have had a deep impact on Australian cultural life, including the development of the Australian Heritage Commission and the restoration of derelict inner city areas such as the Glebe Estate and Woolloomooloo. He also played a significant role in halting the building of a freeway through Glebe, and his advocacy for tree planting contributed to the development of Greening Australia.

After leaving parliament in 1990, he continued his involvement in conservation issues, particularly his longstanding concern for the wellbeing of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores. Uren was the last veteran of World War II in the House of Representatives, and having spent three years as a prisoner of war in Japan, he dedicated two decades to lobbying for all Australian prisoners of war to get receive financial support on top of their veterans' pension, a scheme which was introduced in 2011.

Businessman Michael Hintze (BSc 1975 BE (Elec) 1977) was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), "For significant service to the community through philanthropic contributions to organisations supporting the arts, health, and education."

Honoured as the UK Australian of the Year in 2008, and the 2009 winner of the Alumni Award for International Achievement, Hintze's generosity as a philanthropist has enabled the restoration of frescoes by Michelangelo in the Vatican, and he has made significant donations to the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Museum in London. In 2006, the University's Centre for International Security Studies was established by Hintze in conjunction with the Michael Hintze Chair of International Security.

Former Fellow of Senate of the University of Sydney between 2003 and 2011, the Hon John Aquilina MP (BA 1971 DipEd 1972)  was also appointed an AM, "For significant service to the Parliament of New South Wales, and to the community." Aquilina was Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 2003 to 2007, and held the Ministerial portfolios of Natural Resources, Youth and Community Services, Education and Training, Land and Water Conservation and Fair Trading. He has served as Mayor of Blacktown, Ambassador of the Sydney Youth Orchestra, and a Board Member of the State Records Authority.

Kenneth Turner, who has five degrees from the University from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and Education and Social Work, was honoured with an AM, "For significant service to tertiary education, particularly in the political history of New South Wales." Turner was a member of staff at the University for three decades, from the late 1950s until his retirement in 1988, and became one of the country's leading experts on Australian, and especially New South Wales, politics.

Members of the University of Sydney alumni community have also been honoured this year for their service to fields ranging from Australian opera and poetry, human rights, and drug and alcohol related programs, to clinical genetics, mathematical science and cancer research.

View the full list of alumni who received 2013 Australia Day Honours  here.