Dunkley Medal


The Dunkley Medal is awarded for "Excellence in Biomedical Research" by a student graduating with a  Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) degree at the University of Newcastle. It is a distinguished award, not necessarily presented every year, but rather on occasions of outstanding criteria-based achievement.

The naming of the medal is to honour the contributions made to the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy by Emeritus Professor Peter Dunkley and Conjoint Professor Margaret Dunkley. This honour reflects the exceptional contributions made by the Dunkleys, over many years, in fostering excellence in research within the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy.

Historical Dunkley Medal Dunkley Medal

The medal and its design

Sculptor and medallist,Michael Meszaros of Melbourne, Australia, was commissioned in 2011 to design the Dunkley Medal. Michael grew up the son of a sculptor and medallist, receiving his first professional commission at the age of 14.

He trained as an architect in the 1960s and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1969 to further his skills in medal-making in Italy at La Scuola Dell'Art Della

Medaglia, a part of Rome's main mint. He has been commissioned to design medals by The Royal Australian Mint, The Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Bicentennial Authority. His medals are held by the British Museum, the Royal Dutch Coin Collection, a number of other national collections, and private collections in Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In August 2011, Michael was awarded the 'Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture' by the American Numismatic Association.

The design brief was to produce a medal that reflects the growth and progress of students, in their The Dunkley Medalstudy and research careers, aided by the support of the University and the Dunkleys. The brief also specified that the medal should symbolise the Dunkley's intent that students acquire the best possible grounding in research, and that students should grow and move on to be greater than their teachers.

The medal design shows the outlines of two large portal figures honouring the Dunkleys. They grow out of the medal, which symbolises their relationship with the University as reinforced by the University's name in the medal inscription. The two large figures growing out of the medal's material suggest something elemental about what they stand for, while their architectural quality suggests a degree of permanence.That is, that the structures in place will last longer than themselves.

The half crescent array of cells of different sizes, at the lower right, depicts basic elements in biomedical science and growth. Passing through the two large portal figures is a procession of figures.

These figures start small on the left and increase in size as they progress though the large figures and then move away from the viewer until the furthest has grown to the same size as the portal figures, or greater if you allow for perspective. The composition of the medal uses the shape of the circle to emphasise the movement of the figures through the portals and beyond them.

Further information about the Dunkley Medal and other prizes can be obtained by contacting:

Mrs Donna Feeney
Personal Assistant to Head of School
The School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy