Flinders University graduates, and past and present staff, have been praised for their outstanding contributions to the community in this year’s Australia Day awards and honours, with a total of 15 awards given to University associates.
Singer, songwriter and Flinders alumnus John Schumann received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to music and to the veteran community. Mr Schumann was awarded a Flinders Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 for his contribution to Australian music and to social justice.
Flinders alumnus Michael Hewitson was made an AM for significant service to education, to the Anglican Church in Australia, and to the community of Unley, while Professor Ian North was awarded an AM for significant service to the visual arts as a photographer, curator and educator.
Other Flinders alumni to be honoured were:
- Brenda Aynsley – OAM for service to the information and communications technology sector
- Nicholas Dean – OAM for service to sport, particularly athletes with a disability
- Reverend John Neill – OAM for service to education, and to the Catholic Church in Australia
- Rhondda Vassallo – Public Service Medal for outstanding public service, particularly to people with a disability and their families
- Robert Elliott – Ambulance Service Medal
Flinders graduate, staff member and longest-serving Mayor of Marion, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, was the South Australian finalist in the 2014 Australian of the Year Awards. Dr Lewis, a Senior Lecturer in Health Curriculum Studies at Flinders since 1999, became South Australia’s Australian of the Year in November 2013 for her contributions to the community, particularly for efforts to further reconciliation with Aboriginal people, and to support the settlement process for refugees and migrants.
Dr Barbara Hardy AO was the South Australian national finalist for Senior Australian of the Year. Dr Hardy studied at Flinders in the 1970s and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 1993. Her selection to represent South Australia at the national awards was wonderful recognition of significant contribution to science and the environment over many years.
Flinders Professor Graeme Young, a world-leading gastroenterologist, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to medicine through a range of research, clinical and academic roles, particular his instrumental role in developing the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. It comes on the back of another major milestone for Professor Young, who was named the 2013 South Australian Scientist of the Year.
Former staff member Professor Michael Cousins received an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medicine through specialised tertiary curriculum development as a researcher and advocate for reform and human rights in the field of pain, and as an author and mentor.
Flinders Associate Professor Carolyn Palmer was named an AM for significant service to the community, particularly to people who are blind or vision impaired. Associate Professor Palmer has been a valued member of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law since 1991.
Adjunct Clinical Lecturer Susan Charlton was made an AM for her significant service to the community through a range of philanthropic and charitable organisations, and to physiotherapy.
Former staff member Dr Graham Fleming was made an AM for significant service to medicine in rural South Australia, and as an advocate in the field of mental health and suicide prevention.