Three University of Newcastle researchers have each received one of the highest honours in the 2012 Australia Day honours list.
Professor John Forbes, the Honourable Kevin Lindgren QC and Emeritus Scientia Professor Eugenie Lumbers were each named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Internationally-renowned breast cancer expert, Professor Forbes, was honoured for service to medicine in the field of breast cancer research and for his role in the development of improved clinical practice standards. Professor Forbes has led a number of national and international clinical trials on breast cancer that have led to improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment of the disease.
Conjoint Professor Lindgren was honoured for his service to the judiciary, the administration of justice and to legal education in the area of commercial law. A Federal Court of Australia judge from 1994 to 2010, Professor Lindgren was a leader in the areas of intellectual property, equity and commercial law. Prior to his appointment to the Bench he was a solicitor, Professor of Law at the University of Newcastle, barrister and Queen’s Counsel. He was President of the Copyright Tribunal from 2000-2007.
Emeritus Scientia Professor Eugenie Lumbers was recognised for her service to the medical sciences in the fields of physiology and pharmacology as a distinguished researcher, academic and administrator. The internationally-respected authority on foetal and maternal processes has been involved in a range of research programs at the University’s Mothers and Babies Research Centre, particularly relating to the Indigenous community. One important aspect of her work has led to better understanding of the factors that impact in early life on the development of a healthy a kidney.
Three university academics were also awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM):
• Conjoint Professor Peter Hansen was recognised for his service to the building and construction industry. He is a fellow of Australian Institute of Building and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
• Conjoint Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor Ganapathi Asari Murugesan, received an OAM for service to medicine, particularly in the field of psychiatry. Since 2001 Associate Professor Murugesan has been the Medical Superintendent and Director of Rehabilitation at Bloomfield Mental Health Service in Orange and has served on a host of industry organisations dedicated to the improvement of mental health.
• Founder of the University’s Science and Engineering Challenge, Bob Nelson, was acknowledged for his contribution to education through the development and national delivery of the innovative program. The Challenge encourages high school students’ interest in science and engineering by engaging them in fun, hands-on activities. It has grown from a local event to one involving more than 20,000 students nationwide each year.
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen paid tribute to the award recipients.
“It is wonderful to see commitment and dedication rewarded with such deserving honours. The University of Newcastle is very privileged to be working with such great individuals. I sincerely congratulate each of them on this prestigious recognition of their contribution to their various fields on the regional, national and international stage.”