Recognising recipients of the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Monday, 8 June 2020

Reflecting the integral part the University of Newcastle plays in its community, 15 of its affiliates have been congratulated by the organisation’s leaders for their recognition in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The University's former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, said the occasion marked an important time to stop and reflect on the efforts of many outstanding citizens.

“This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours come at a point when our country is adjusting to a new normal in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“After months of furious activity, it feels more important than ever to take a moment and recognise the significant impact of those building better futures in their professional fields and wider communities.”

Professor Zelinsky, who himself was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017, sent his sincere congratulations to all those recognised in this year’s ceremony.

“I’d like to acknowledge the University’s alumni, staff, former staff and supporters who have been awarded honours, including the University’s former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen who was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. It’s a privilege to sustain strong connections with so many incredible individuals across the globe,” he said.

“Our Looking Ahead strategic plan outlines our commitment to be a University of our regions, for our regions, and what we’ve seen in this honour list is a sample of the outstanding individuals our University teaches and supports.”

The University’s distinguished 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients include:

Officer (AO) in the General Division

  • Ms Denise Goldsworthy for distinguished service to business, particularly to technological innovation and research in the mining and manufacturing sectors.
  • Professor Caroline McMillen for distinguished service to medical science, and to tertiary education, to the community of South Australia, and to social equity.

Member (AM) in the General Division

  • Emeritus Professor Michael Capra for significant service to tertiary education, particularly to workplace health and safety science.
  • Associate Professor Seamus Fagan for significant service to tertiary education, particularly to English language teaching.
  • Dr Jennifer Gordon for significant service to psychological medicine, and to professional medical bodies.
  • Emeritus Professor William (Bill) Purcell for significant service to tertiary education, to business, and to Australia-Japan relations.

Medal (OAM) in the General Division

  • Ms Rosemary Allen for service to music education, and to the community.
  • Mrs Vera Deacon for service to community history, and to conservation.
  • Mr Brian Debus for service to primary education.
  • Dr Wendy Michaels for service to women, and to the dramatic arts.
  • Dr Mulavana (Usha) Parvathy for service to medicine, and to medical education.
  • Mr Gregory Paterson for service to the performing arts, particularly to music.
  • Dr John Peschar for service to the community of Newcastle.
  • Dr Jaelea Skehan for service to community mental health and wellbeing.
  • Conjoint Professor Paul Walker for service to paediatric medicine, and to professional organisations.

Access the full list of recipients here

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.