UNSW academics, alumni and former colleagues have been recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions across a broad range of fields.
UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Attila Brungs, congratulated honourees from the UNSW community.
“You have been recognised by your peers for your outstanding achievements and for making a difference. Thank you for your exceptional commitment in creating positive change and improving the world around us.
“I would like to applaud our community for being recognised across a number of varied disciplines this year. Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt’s dedication to reduce and prevent substance use related harms and Professor Merlin Crossley’s service to education and to molecular biology are just two examples of academics being honoured for their outstanding service.”
Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt FASSA FAHMS
Prof. Degenhardt was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medical research, particularly addiction and mental disorders, to psychology, and to professional associations.
Deputy Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), and Scientia Professor and Professor of Epidemiology at UNSW Medicine & Health, Prof. Degenhardt is internationally recognised for her leading research on the epidemiology of illicit drug use, morbidity and mortality focusing on people with extra-medical or dependent opioid use or chronic pain.
“My vision is to significantly increase the evidence around the epidemiology of illicit drug use and interventions that may reduce harm,” Prof. Degenhardt said.
Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton FTSE
Prof. Stapleton was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to optometry as a researcher, mentor and role model, to tertiary education, and to national and international organisations.
From the School of Optometry & Vision Science, UNSW Medicine & Health, Prof. Stapleton is a leader in the field of eye health and technology. A researcher, mentor and role model for young women, her influence upon the contact lens industry is shown through close collaboration, research translation and prestigious awards.
“I am really humbled by the nomination for this award and absolutely thrilled to be recognised. I am truly grateful to my amazing higher degree students and colleagues around the world,” Prof. Stapleton said.
Professor Merlin Crossley
Prof. Crossley was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to education, and to molecular biology. He is Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Quality at UNSW and Professor of Molecular Biology, UNSW Science.
Prof. Crossley is an enthusiastic science communicator, Chair of the Editorial Board of The Conversation, of UNSW Press, Deputy Director of the Australian Science Media Centre, a member of the Editorial Board of BioEssays, and an Honorary Associate of the Australian Museum.
His lab works on CRISPR gene editing to treat inherited blood disorders. He has been recognised by multiple awards, including a Rhodes Scholarship, the 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Medical Biological Science, and the 2021 Lemberg Medal from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
“I’m delighted by this honour, and feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful colleagues in a sector that is so vitally important to society,” Prof. Crossley said.
Scientia Professor Rebecca Ivers
Prof. Ivers was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to community health through injury prevention research and education. She is a global leader in the field of injury research, and as the Head of the School of Population Health, UNSW Medicine & Health, and the Chair and Director of the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australasia (CAPHIA), she has played a major role in shaping health across communities.
“I am honoured to be recognised in this way. Throughout my career I have worked with many partners to reduce the burden of injury in our communities, make health care more equitable, and importantly, to build the capacity of public health academics and practitioners.” Prof. Ivers said.
Prof. Ivers’ research has focused on reducing inequities in injury in Australia and globally. This includes impactful work on road injury, drowning, burns and falls, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and in resource poor settings.
Scientia Professor John Roberts FASSA
Prof. Roberts was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to tertiary education, and to business and management. He is a Scientia Professor of Marketing in the UNSW Business School.
Prof. Roberts has extensive senior executive experience and the company that he founded, Marketing Insights, an Asian leader in strategic marketing consulting, is now a part of the world’s largest marketing information company, A C Nielsen.
“I love Australia and I love my work in marketing and management. I try to add value to our community wherever I can. I am so thrilled that this award provides recognition at least to some extent I have succeeded,” Prof. Roberts said.
Scientia Professor Carla Treloar FASSA
Prof. Treloar was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to social research, and to tertiary education.
Prof. Treloar, from the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture, is one of Australia’s most accomplished and internationally recognised researchers in social research in health in marginalised groups with a focus on stigma and trust in health systems. Her work spans the disciplines of health psychology, sociology, public health and health services research, much of it located at the field-defining intersection of social science and medicine.
“This award means a lot to me, I’m very grateful for this recognition and I’m thrilled to have social research acknowledged as an important part of Australian scholarly and public life,” Prof. Treloar said.
Associate Professor Ping Wang
A/Prof. Wang was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the arts, and to classical literature.
From the School of Humanities & Languages, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, A/Prof. Wang’s research covers the area of classical Chinese philosophy and literature. Her research also extends to Chinese literati art and aesthetics.
“I’m still utterly dumbfounded and can’t believe it! As a member of the UNSW community, I feel very proud to be included in the King’s Birthday Honours list, but also humbled. I am delighted to see that the importance of arts and classical literature have been so highly valued,” A/Prof. Wang said.
Other UNSW recipients of King’s Birthday Honours in 2023 include:
Companion (AC) in the General Division
- Professor Glenda Halliday, former Professor of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), UNSW Medicine & Health. For eminent service to medical research in the field of neurodegenerative disorders, including the development of revised diagnostic criteria for Parkinson's disease, and as a mentor.
Officer (AO) in the General Division
- Clinical Associate Professor Robert Ali, Visiting Research Fellow – National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Medicine & Health. For distinguished service to medical and health research, particularly drug and alcohol dependence, and to education and training.
- Adjunct Professor Cassandra Goldie, School of Law, Society & Criminology, UNSW Law & Justice. For distinguished service to social justice through leadership and advocacy to promote the rights of people marginalised and disadvantaged in the community.
- Mr Nicholas Moore, former Chair, Business School Advisory Council, UNSW Business School. For distinguished service to the finance, business, and commerce sectors, to arts administration, and to education.
- Ms Naomi Steer, former member of the Advisory Council, Arts, Design & Architecture. For distinguished service to human rights through international humanitarian relief operations, and to the superannuation sector.
Member (AM) in the General Division
- Ms Suzanne Becker, former member of the Understanding Behaviour Support Practice Guide Reference Group, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to the disability services sector.
- Emeritus Professor Philip Boyce, former member of the Mood Disorders Unit, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to psychiatric research and education.
- Ms Marina Go, member of the Business School Advisory Council, UNSW Business School. For significant service to business governance, to sport administration, and to the media industry.
- The late Richard Grills, member of the Visiting Committee, School of Optometry and Visions Science, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to community eye health, and to the ophthalmic optics industry.
- Emeritus Professor Raphael Grzebieta, Transport and Road Safety Research Centre, School of Aviation, UNSW Science. For significant service to the transport industry through road safety research and promotion.
- Conjoint Professor Arthur Ho, Chief Scientist and Innovation Officer – Brien Holden Vision Institute, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to optometry as a researcher, designer and educator.
- Dr Richard Jones, former Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to medicine in the field of spinal injury and rehabilitation.
- Professor Richard Mattick, Honorary Professor – National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to drug and alcohol research through education and social policy, and to medical organisations.
- Dr Michael McGrath, former Senior Lecturer, Vascular Medicine, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to medicine as a vascular specialist.
- Conjoint Associate Professor George Skowronski, St George Clinical School, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to intensive care medicine, and to medical research.
- Associate Professor Stephen Steigrad, Honorary Associate Professor – School of Women's & Children's Health, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to medicine particularly in a range of national and international organisations.
- Adjunct Professor Alison Todd FTSE, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science, UNSW Science. For significant service to medical research, and to tertiary education.
- Professor Emerita Sally Tracy, former Conjoint Professor of Midwifery, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to tertiary education, and to midwifery.
- Emeritus Professor John Trinder, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, UNSW Engineering. For significant service to tertiary education, and to professional associations.
- Emeritus Professor Phil Waite, School of Biomedical Sciences, UNSW Medicine & Health. For significant service to medical science, and to tertiary education.
Medal (OAM) in the General Division
- The late Dr Edgar Freed, former Conjoint Lecturer, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine & Health. For service to medicine as a psychiatrist.
- Ms Louise Robert-Smith, former member of the Deans’ Advisory Board, School of Mathematics & Statistics, UNSW Science. For service to secondary education.
- Ms Sophie Scott, Founding Board Member of the Australian Mental Health Prize, UNSW Medicine & Health. For service to the broadcast media, and to community health.
- Tresne Chesher, Health Safety Environment Advisor at UNSW Engineering, was awarded an Emergency Services Medal for her work with Surf Lifesaving NSW.
UNSW congratulates all the members of its community who received 2023 King’s Birthday Honours.
Find the full list of recipients on the Governor-General’s website.
Read the list UNSW alumni who received awards.