Dr Patricia Cameron, an Aboriginal Elder who has spent 45 years working to improve access to education for Indigenous Tasmanians, is among a strong representation of University of Tasmania alumni and staff in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Dr Cameron is now an officer of the Order of Australia (AO), having been recognised for her decades of service to improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal Tasmanians and preserving Indigenous culture. Dr Cameron studied a Bachelor of Arts (General Studies) at the University of Tasmania, graduating in 1991, before returning years later to graduate from a Bachelor of Arts in 2007, followed by a Master of Arts focusing on Aboriginal History in 2008 and an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2016.
During her career Dr Cameron became the first Tasmanian to be appointed to the landmark National Aboriginal Education Committee and also helped set up the Aboriginal Studies course at the University of Tasmania, and the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education.
University alumnus Dr David Daintree, who served as a principal of the University’s Jane Franklin Hall for 18 years, was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) both as a scholar and for his services to education, particularly to tertiary colleges. Dr Daintree (AM) graduated from the University with a PhD in 1994, and is now currently the Director of the Hobart-based Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies.
Professor John Biggs, an honorary staff member with the University’s Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching and the school of Health Sciences, was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to tertiary education.
Other alumni named as Members of the Order of Australia (AM) include:
- Sheree Vertigan — for service to secondary education, professional leadership and educational administration and to youth.
- Michael Brown — former head of Tasmania Fire Service for his service to the community through fire and emergency management.
- Jody Heald — for her service to music education as a teacher, mentor and administrator and to professional associations.
- Dr Timothy Mooney — for service to medicine, to doctors in rural and remote areas and communities.
- Dianne Snowden — for service to the community as an historian and genealogical researcher, to higher education and heritage groups.
Alumnus Robert Harry Wilsdon was awarded a Medal (OAM) in the General Division for his service to people with disabilities, and to the community of Tasmania.
Public Service Medals were awarded to Karen Gee — for her service to primary school teaching, special education and psychology, and Lynne McDougall, for her service to special education and student disability at both state and national levels.
Image: Dr Patricia Cameron, pictured here during the graduation ceremony in which she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters last year.