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Awards

The prestigious Distinguished Alumni and Foundation Graduate awards are offered annually under the auspices of the University of Tasmania Alumni Committee and the University of Tasmania Foundation.

The awards seek to honour the achievements of University graduates who have made or are making a significant difference in both local and/or wider international communities.

Alumni Award recipients View Foundation Graduate Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient for 2018

Nicholas Hayward

Nicholas Richard Heyward BA Hons

Nicholas Heyward has been Managing Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since October 2001 and has shown exemplary leadership in this role. He will retire from the TSO at the end of 2018.

Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Tasmania.

His deep involvement with the performing arts, and specifically music, began in 1963 with the St David’s Choir where he received first rate music education from one of the great Australian music educators, John Nicholls. Later, in London he was a member of the renowned Holst Singers who toured throughout Europe.

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Previous years recipients

Professor Pirkis has combined her two foundation disciplines Psychology and Epidemiology to forge a stellar research career in population mental health. Over the past 25 years her work has particularly focused on the major public health problem of suicide prevention.

Professor Pirkis is the Director of the Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics at the University of Melbourne where she has been employed since 2014. There she leads a team of researchers who bring multiple methods to bear on questions about how to reduce suicide. Professor Pirkis’ work is highly regarded because of its methodological rigour and far-reaching influence on policy and practice. There are numerous examples of the impact of Professor Pirkis’ work: the first is on ‘locations that are frequently used for suicide’ – public spots that gain a reputation as places where people seek to end their lives. Professor Pirkis has conducted empirical studies and meta-analyses of interventions showing that structural modifications work. Her work has been used by advocates to successfully support the introduction of these interventions and other measures in Tasmania and New South Wales and internationally in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Professor Pirkis also takes her role in mentoring emerging researchers very seriously, and is keen to build the capacity of the next generation of suicide prevention researchers.  She has supervised 26 PhD students and over 50 young researchers, many of whom have gone on to carve out successful careers as independent researchers or practitioners.

The second example of Professor Pirkis’ internationally renowned work is on suicide and the media. Her research has shown that irresponsible reporting of suicide can lead to imitative acts. This has informed Australian and international media guidelines on safer ways to present suicide-related stories.

Partnering with Movember and Heiress Films, she made and evaluated Man Up, an ABC documentary on suicide and masculinity, watched by millions. Professor Pirkis is a stellar performer when assessed against standard academic metrics. She has attracted nearly $50 million in research funding and published countless journal articles.

Professor Pirkis has continuously held NHMRC fellowships since 2003 and has been recognised through a range of prestigious awards including Suicide Prevention Australia’s Lifetime Research Award in 2010.

Professor Pirkis’ reviews many national and international grant programs and is General Secretary of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Professor Pirkis’ work has made a major contribution to the field of suicide and has almost certainly contributed to saving many lives.

The University of Tasmania is honoured to have Professor Pirkis as one of our alumni, and proud to be recognising her achievements in the awarding of the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017.

Professor Roger Byard earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Tasmania in 1978 and became a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada in 1982. From those beginnings, Professor Byard has gone to become one of the world's pre-eminent experts in forensic pathology. His achievements span many spheres, and his contributions to the field of pathology have been recognised around the world.  He is an Officer of the Order of Australia, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, an Honorary Member of the College of Forensic and Legal Medicine of Sri Lanka and a Registered Expert with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, among, many, many other title and honorifics.

Professor Byard's unique contribution to forensic pathology, in particular disaster victim identification and sudden infant and childhood death, has made a huge impact in the lives of countless families. His work has also been pivotal to law reform in Australia, leaving an enduring legacy in a difficult and highly emotive area of medicine.

Professor Byard is one of Australia's greatest contributors to the medical profession. He holds the George Richard Marks Chair of Pathology at the University of Adelaide and is a Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist at Forensic Science in Adelaide. Professor Byard spends his time examining, investigating and researching people's deaths, and he is generous and prolific in sharing his knowledge so that others might benefit. He has a specific interest in sudden infant and childhood deaths – more commonly known as the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS – and he has published over 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His work in this area continues, and we can expect to hear more from Professor Byard on this critical subject in the near future.  

And if all of that were not enough, Professor Byard also contributes his time to investigating and reporting on marine mammal and wildlife deaths in the hope of conserving marine species.

For his innumerable contributions, both national and global, Professor Roger Byard is a most deserving recipient of the 2016 University of Tasmania Distinguished Alumni Award.

Richard Miller Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961, and grew up in the remote mining town of Roseberry.  From these modest beginnings, Richard has emerged as the finest Australian novelist of his generation.

In 1979, he enrolled in an Arts degree at the University of Tasmania.  Four years later, he would graduate with First Class Honours in History.  But in addition to his sterling academic achievements, Richard further made his mark at the University through his dynamic and, at times, somewhat controversial leadership of the Tasmania University Union.  During his Presidency, the TUU introduced free dental and vision checks, a health food shop, a printing department, bus rebates for students from the northern part of Tasmania, a second-hand clothes and bookstore and a hair salon. Richard and his Council also worked for more student representation on university committees, anonymity in examinations and the establishment of an ombudsman. 

In 1984, Richard was selected to be a Rhodes Scholar, and he earned a MLitt at Worcester College, Oxford.  And then, interspersed with stints as a river guide and a labourer, he began the long journey of becoming one of the greatest novelists of the century.

Flanagan's fist four novels were non-fiction works, spanning such subjects as the Gordon River, the rise of the Green Party and a detailed account into the life and times of John Friedrich, known as Australia's greatest con-man. He refers to this period of his writing as his "apprenticeship".

In 1994 came Flanagan's first fiction novel, "Death of a River Guide", followed three years later by "The Sound of One Hand Clapping", which became a major best-seller and was then turned into a major film with Richard serving as writer and director. Four more novels followed, each receiving increasing numbers of literary awards and the critic's praises, all culminating with the publication in 2013 of "The Narrow Road to the Deep North", winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Richard Flanagan is more than a novelist.  He is also a distinguished journalist, and his work has appeared in the world's leading publications, including Le Monde, The London Daily Telegraph, the New York Times and the New Yorker. Indeed, his 2007 essay on the logging company Gunns led to all sorts of consequences, and the piece won the 2008 John Curtin Prize for Journalism. 

Richard Flanagan represents the best of Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, and we are extremely proud and privileged to recognise him this evening as the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Born in Brighton, a seaside suburb of Adelaide, Christobel Mattingley came to Tasmania with her family as a fourteen year old. Her studies at the University of Tasmania began in 1948 and in May 1951, she successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with first class honours, majoring in German.

Christobel is a prolific writer, having authored over 50 books. While she lives in South Australia, her Tasmanian connection has been maintained over the decades, including significant writings with a Tasmanian theme. Amongst these works is King of the Wilderness, a book of great significance to Tasmania, as it places the importance of the Tasmanian wilderness into global view. Meticulously researched over a long period, it is the personal story of a man who was a pioneer in Tasmania’s South-West. It offers an historical and environmental insight into ideas, people and places of which many Tasmanians would not be aware.

Another significant publication with a Tasmanian connection is Battle Order 204. It is a vivid account of her husband’s war experiences, which tells of his leaving his Launceston home to become an RAAF bomber pilot based in England. Again, through Christobel’s meticulous research to recover details of events and personal recollections, the book conveys the message of the horror of war told from an intensely personal standpoint.

Christobel’s writing embodies a keen community concern. Her children’s books feature characters who may be viewed as desirable models for young people, without detracting from the appeal of the stories. Many of her books have been translated into other languages and published in Braille and as Hear a Book for the visually impaired. Her writing reflects a passion for causes such as preservation of the environment, Aboriginal rights and heritage, the effects of nuclear weapons on innocent people, and international cooperation.

Christobel’s strongly held principles and concerns are not only expressed in her books. Her energetic participation in workshops and community events throughout Australia and beyond, and her willingness to share her writing expertise with young people, is represented by a constant stream of activity which has continued through to the present day. Her contribution has been consistently recognised over four and a half decades through a number of awards and accolades.

Notable amongst these honours are an Australia Council Literature Board Fellowship; the Advance Australia Award for Service to Literature; and for outstanding contribution to the creation of Australian children’s books, the Inaugural Ekidnas Lifetime Recognition Award. In 1987, the City of South Perth, WA inaugurated the annual Christobel Mattingley Award for Young Writers.

In 1995, Christobel received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia for service to literature. The following year she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature and social justice.

The University of Tasmania is honoured to have Christobel as one of our alumni, and proud to be recognising her in the awarding of the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2014.

Donald William Challen’s career was founded on 15 years as a University of Tasmania academic economist. Don graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours in 1970 and Master of Economics in 1976. He tutored in the Economics Department in 1971, was appointed a Lecturer in 1972, Senior Lecturer in 1978 and Reader in Economics in 1984.

In 1980, he was instrumental in establishing and obtaining Commonwealth and State Government funding for the Centre for Regional Economics (CREA), of which he was the founding Director. He also served as Chair of CREA’s Board for a decade from 1993. CREA was the first research centre at the University outside the physical sciences, and for 20 years it played an influential role in Tasmanian policy-making, establishing an enviable reputation for high quality policy-relevant research and regional analysis.

After two years in Canberra at the Office of the Economic Planning Advisory Council, Don returned to Tasmania in 1986, taking up the role of Deputy Under-Treasurer at the Tasmanian Treasury. Don’s career continued as Managing Director of the Tasmanian Development Authority for two years, before he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance in 1993, a position he held for 17 years.

Don provided exceptional leadership to the Treasury and within the public sector more broadly. He worked with six Premiers and six Treasurers, in Liberal and Labor governments, providing advice essential for consolidating Tasmania’s dire fiscal position, inherited from the 1980s. He can be credited with supporting then Premier Michael Field AC in enabling opinion-makers to support a new era of fiscal stringency in 1989. Don had overarching responsibility for Tasmania’s entry into the National Electricity Market, and served with distinction on the boards of Basslink and Hydro Tasmania. He also played a leading role in upgrading Australian accounting standards for governments and their agencies, with ‘greater transparency’ his mantra.

Don’s outstanding contribution to public administration was recognised in 2011 when he was made a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

His commitment to public policy did not end when he retired in 2010. He currently serves as Chairman of the Tasmanian Public Finance Corporation, Transend Networks, and the Motor Accidents Insurance Board; he is Deputy President of the Retirement Benefits Fund Board, and a Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Don was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia this year for significant service to economics, and to public administration in Tasmania in the treasury and finance sector.

Dr Nicholas Hope has made an outstanding contribution to economic development in emerging countries as a Senior Director of the World Bank and as Director of the Centre for International Development at Stanford University. Nick has influenced international economic theory and practice through his academic role, co-editing How far Across the River? : Chinese Policy Reform at the Millennium in 2003, and Policy Reform and Chinese Markets in 2008.

Nick was born in Hobart and his father was Clerk of the Court of Petty Sessions. After attending Hobart High School, where he was Dux and Head Prefect, he studied maths and physics at the University of Tasmania, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1965 and gaining a Rhodes Scholarship. At Balliol College Oxford he was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, specialising in Mathematics, in 1967, and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Economics in 1969.

As a Lecturer in Economics at Monash University between 1971 and 1976, Nick received a Research Fellowship from the Brooking Institute, Washington DC in 1974. Nick studied Economics at Princeton University in the United States graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in 1975.

A stellar career with the World Bank began in 1977 for Nick, becoming involved in the production of the ‘World Bank Development report’ and, in 1980, his role as Division Chief in the External Debt Division of the Economic Analysis and Projections Department covered many projects, supervising the World Debt Tables and representing the World Bank at global seminars and conferences. In 1990, as Director of the World Bank, Resident Staff, Indonesia he was responsible for 75 projects and a $9.5 billion lending portfolio. Nick was Country Director for China and Mongolia from 1994 and heavily involved in the ‘China 2020 Study’, and from 1997 he coordinated 11 Country Directors as World Bank Staff Director in Europe and Central Asia.

Taking a secondment from the World Bank in 1998, Nick took up the position at Stanford University in San Francisco of Deputy Director of the Stanford Centre for International Development. He became permanent after two years, then Director of the Centre in 2007. Nick teaches and provides student supervision in development of Asian economies, and the role and effectiveness of international financial institutions.

As a well-respected Director of the University of Tasmania Foundation USA, Nicholas has provided much expertise and support for UTAS fundraising in the United States.

In the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Nick was appointed a Member of Australia for service to the international business and finance sector, particularly the economic development of emerging nations, through senior leadership with banking and academic institutions.

Professor Rupert Maclean AO has enjoyed – and continues to enjoy – a stellar career in education, both locally and internationally.

After a spell of teaching in Australia and the UK, Rupert lectured in the Centre for Education at the University of Tasmania. While working, he gained his PhD at UTAS in 1988 under the supervision of Professor Kevin Collis and the late Professor Phillip Hughes, with whom he went on to enjoy a lifelong association and friendship.

Rupert then embarked on a highly distinguished twenty-year international career with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – UNESCO. Since 1990, he has held several significant and prestigious appointments, in Yangon, Bangkok, Paris and finally Bonn, where he was the Foundation Director of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Education. Rupert’s roles with UNESCO were linked by a common purpose of improving education, particularly in developing countries. His work has included a wide range of challenges such as creating training models for former Afghani and Liberian child soldiers, improving the education of girls and women in rural areas in China, and strengthening and upgrading teacher education in Myanmar.

After his sojourn in Bonn, Rupert moved to his current home, Hong Kong, where he now holds three concurrent professorial positions at the Hong Kong Institute of Education: Chair Professor of International Education; UNESCO Chair in Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Education; and Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development. In addition, he  holds academic positions in Melbourne, China, the Philippines and as a Visiting Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Rupert has published widely in his areas of expertise, and is author or co-author of 17 books, numerous chapters in books, research reports, journal articles and papers. Some of his publications have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Russian, and he is on the editorial advisory boards of several international education journals.

Rupert’s significant contribution to education internationally was recognised in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday honours list with an Officer of the Order of Australia award for ‘distinguished service to technical and vocational education, particularly through UNESCO’.

Despite his overseas appointments, Rupert has maintained close ties with Tasmania, through regular visits and as a visiting lecturer in the UTAS Faculty of Education’s Masters program in global education. To us, therefore, he is a former student, friend, colleague and – deservedly – a distinguished alumnus.

Distinguished Professor Ross Large is an economic geologist who is internationally recognised for his research and leadership in the field of ore deposits.

After attending Hobart High, Ross received a BSc Hons from the University of Tasmania in 1969, and a PhD from the University of New England. He undertook a CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto, then worked for a decade in mineral exploration with Geopeko Ltd, exploring for mineral deposits in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania. The mid-eighties saw him back at UTAS, and in 1989 he established ‘CODES’, a National Key Centre in ore deposit research jointly funded by the Australian Research Council, the University of Tasmania, the mining industry and State government.

Under Ross’s leadership, CODES has progressed from an Australian Research Council – or ARC – Key Centre, to an ARC Special Research Centre, to an ARC Centre of Excellence in 2005. As such, it is now one of the top research institutes in the field of ore deposit geology and exploration in the world. With an operating budget of around $10 million, 42 geoscientists and 95 postgraduate students form a research team that works with over fifty mining and exploration companies worldwide.

Ross himself has become internationally recognised for his research on the genesis of stratiform gold and base metal sulphide deposits in volcanic arcs and sedimentary basins. His research has involved close collaboration with the international mining industry to determine the geological and geochemical factors that control the genesis of, and exploration for, mineral deposits. He has published ninety papers in national and international journals, and delivered fifty invited keynote addresses at conferences around the world.

Ross has received numerous awards for his work – too numerous to list here. In brief, he received the Haddon Forrester King Medal from the Australian Academy of Science in 2005 for his research contributions related to the exploration for mineral deposits, and in 2009 he became a Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania. That year he also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lulea, Sweden, for his international research in ore deposits.

Ross has made an outstanding contribution to ore research, and elevated the standing of the University in the international arena. He is a most worthy recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Reverend Professor Michael Tate has had an extraordinary and diverse career as academic, politician, diplomat and priest.

He gained a first class honours in Law from the University of Tasmania before studying a Bachelor of Arts at Oxford in the Honour School of Theology in 1971. An academic career at UTAS followed, including serving as Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1977-78.

Michael has also had a long and distinguished career as a Federal politician. From 1978 he was for fifteen years a Labor Senator for Tasmania, and will be remembered for holding the position of Minister for Justice from 1987 to 1993 in the Hawke and Keating governments. He also gave significant parliamentary committee service, including as Chair of several committees.

In 1993 he was appointed Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands and Holy See. He represented Australia at the International Court of Justice and was involved in the early days of the War Crimes Tribunal. In 1996 his outstanding achievements were recognised through the award of an officer of the Order of Australia. More recently Michael has answered a calling and is now a priest in the Hobart Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1992 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Tasmania and has been an Honorary Professor since 1997. In numerous ways, Michael continues to promote the standing of UTAS and the Faculty of Law, both at a local and international level. He continues to provide seminars for staff and lectures to students in International Law. He was instrumental in establishing the Tim Hawkins Memorial Scholarship which enables a UTAS graduate to gain experience at the War Crimes Tribunals at The Hague. He also advised the Australian Government delegation at the 2010 Uganda Conference amending the Treaty of the International Criminal Court.

He has been active in promoting UTAS alumni opportunities including facilitating recent events in Melbourne, London and Oxford. Last year Michael was appointed Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, a position associated with Tasmania’s new Integrity Commission.

In short, Reverend Professor Michael Tate AO has excelled in all his professional domains. He has made an outstanding contribution to his University, his community, his State and his country. We are honoured to have him as one of our alumni, and it is fitting that his contributions be recognised by the University of Tasmania Alumni through the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Professor Byrne obtained a First Class MBBS Honours degree from UTAS in 1974. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia, the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, a highly eminent neuroscientist and has made an outstanding contribution to research into degenerative neurological diseases. Prof Byrne first went to Monash University as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, a role he held from 2003 to 2007. Another move to England followed with his appointment as the Vice Provost (Health) at University College London from 2007. In July last year he became the eighth Vice-Chancellor of Monash University. Apart from his dedication to clinical neurology, Prof Byrne has made an outstanding contribution to the field of research into degenerative neurological diseases, particularly as they relate to progressive muscular disease such as muscular dystrophy. Prof Byrne has also served on a number of charitable trusts and provided advice in the neurology area to several community-based organisations.

Tasmanians are renowned for their 'can do' attitude.  As an island community we have had to be resourceful, adaptable, and energetic.  Faced with strong competition from larger economies, we have also had to be visionary and strategic and community minded.  John Cruickshank encapsulates all those qualities and provides a shining role model, which all Tasmanians, particularly our young graduates, should hope to emulate.

By profession, John Cruickshank is an engineer, gaining his Bachelor of Engineering degree from UTAS in 1957.  John went to school in Waddamana and later moved to Hobart and studied at The Friends School.  In 1950 John was elected President of the Union.  One project he undertook whilst in office was that of finding a suitable building for a women's college.  The outcome was the acquisition of an historic house in Davey Street which became Jane Franklin Hall.

His career included the creation of a Wood flour Mill in Canberra, then working as a management consultant in the 1960s.  The management consulting companies, Cruickshank Management Resources Pty Ltd and Ad Hoc Pty Ltd  grew to become the third largest consulting group in Australia.  With Ad Hoc Pty Ltd, John was breaking new ground by supplying temporary executives and professionals to help companies with projects or temporary staff shortages.

John sensed the opportunities that would arise from the onset of the computer age.  He moved back to his core disciplines and bought a small software company in the 1980s.  Through Cruickshank Technology Pty Ltd, John sponsored a number of fellowships.  The 1980s also saw John producing his first vintage on the homestead block of an old property called "Callatoota".  Callatoota at Wybong, NSW has become an icon of the Upper Hunter and a recognised tourist destination for which John received an Award in 2003 "for an outstanding contribution to tourism in the Upper Hunter Valley".  John has recently been described as the "Elder Statesman of the Upper Hunter Wine Industry".

John formed Cruickshank Wines Pty Ltd with Laurie Nicholls, his winemaker.  In 2006 it became clear that the proposed Anvil Hill open cut coal mine to be established within a kilometre of the winery would ruin the business.  John negotiated with the mining company to buy his property and this enabled him to buy another vineyard 4km from Denman which has an outstanding position but three times the size of the Wybong Vineyard.  John has built a new winery and cellar door and will make the 2009 vintage in the new facility.

John Cruickshank - engineer, leader, visionary, and entrepreneur - displaying the very best Tasmanian qualities and a great advertisement for this State and this University

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No award was presented in 2008.

Jim Reid's Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding service to the University recognises his long and productive career at UTAS. Jim is currently Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology. He was previously Chair of the Academic Senate, Head of the School of Plant Science, a member of the University's Council, and a member or Chair of a number of Council and University committees. He is known internationally for his scholarship and research in the field of plant genetics and his reputation and scholarship were fundamental in attracting to UTAS three successive forestry-related Cooperative Research Centres. Jim was awarded the rarely conferred Doctor of Science degree by UTAS for his prodigious and internationally-acclaimed research output and was the first recipient of the University's Distinguished Service Medal. His contribution in a variety of managerial and leadership roles has ben marked by excellence, integrity and a willingness to contribute, and by the selfless manner in which he has mentored many younger researchers and leaders.

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Michael John Vertigan, AC, BEc(Hons) Tas, PhD Berkeley (Chancellor of the University from 1998 to 2006) received a Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding service to the University of Tasmania in 2006.

An alumnus of this UTAS Mike graduated with a first class honours in Economics in 1964. He went on to undertake postgraduate study at the University of California at Berkeley and to a career as a university academic in the United States and Canada, returning to Australia in 1981 to head Graduate Studies in Business and Administration and the Centre for Business Research and Development at Curtin University.

A change in career direction saw Mike return to Tasmania in 1985 as Deputy Under Treasurer (Economic and Financial Policy). He quickly rose to become Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet and was then appointed to the key post of Secretary, Department of Treasury and Finance. Such was his ability, he was approached by the Premier of Victoria to take up the same position in that State in 1993. When Mike chose to return to Tasmania in 1998, the Council of the University was quick to approach him to take on the role of Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, knowing that he had the skills and attributes to carry the University through to the next phase of its development, subsequent to the amalgamation with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology and a period of consolidation of the ‘new’ University of Tasmania as a State-wide institution.

The Council could not have made a better choice. Mike himself has indicated that there are four areas in which a Chancellor of a university is expected to make a contribution – firstly in governance, secondly as an advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, thirdly in external relationships, and fourthly through the conduct of graduation ceremonies. In each case Mike performed outstandingly. He played a major part in changing the University of Tasmania Act to streamline the University Council, reshaping it as a more manageable and responsive governing body with a wider diversity of experience in its membership. He was a wise and tactful mentor to two Vice-Chancellors, providing advice and relaying a vision that had come from wide academic and professional experience, and an outstanding knowledge of the community and government. He also worked tirelessly to build positive relationships with the wider community, and was noted for his dignified yet warm presence hosting University functions – especially graduation ceremonies.

Mike can be justifiably proud that the University of Tasmania, during his Chancellorship, attained both national and international recognition as a leading research and teaching institution and research arms of the Australian Government.

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Professor Geoffrey Lancaster, AM, BA ANU, MMus Tas, PhD Syd, FRSA, MACE received a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to the community in 2006.

Geoffrey Lancaster has matched his gift and passion for music teaching with a stellar career as a concerto soloist and a conductor in the world’s concert halls. He is at the forefront of the historically informed performance practice movement, and as a fortepianist, pianist, harpsichordist and conductor is much in demand in concert halls and recording studios throughout the world. He has appeared as a concerto soloist and conductor with all of the major Australian orchestras, as well as with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto. He has toured Germany, Switzerland, China and Japan as soloist with leading international orchestras and tours Australia for Musica Viva. Geoffrey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the Australian National University, A Master of Music degree from UTAS, and is a Doctor of Philosophy of Sydney University. In 1996, he was appointed Associate Professor at the Royal College of Music, London, subsequently taking up an appointment at The Australian National University in 2002, where he is now Associate Professor in the School of Music. He has also, since 1999, been visiting Professor of Fortepiano at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland, and undertakes regular residencies at significant European conservatoria.

Geoffrey is the first Australian to win a major international keyboard competition, receiving First Prize at the 23rd Festival of Flanders, International Mozart Fortepiano Competition. He is internationally recognised as a recording artist and has an on-going association with the label ABC Classics. His thirty CD’s have won many prestigious awards including the Gramophone award for Best Recording, and the Australian Recording Industry Association award for Best Classical Recording. He shares his prodigious knowledge with others enthusiastically, be it in regional Australia or the world at large. He has been generous to emerging young Australian musicians through his decision to remain based in Australia despite the lure of world’s concert halls, and to teach and perform here. His influence has been broad and hugely appreciated. In 1993 he received the Australian Artists Creative Fellowship from the Commonwealth of Australia for his outstanding artistic contribution to the nation, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for services to the arts as a keyboardist, and for his services to orchestral direction and music education. He was also named Australian of the Year for the Australian Capital Territory in the same year.

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Dr Peter Smith OAM, DipApChem, BSc(Hons) PhD(London), FRACI, FRANZAAS, AMAIMM received a Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding service to the University of Tasmania in 2005.

Dr Peter Smith has left an indelible and positive mark on the University community. He has given a lifetime of service as a dedicated teacher, researcher and mentor. Following graduation with a BSc (Hons), his lengthy and productive career in the School of Chemistry at UTAS commenced in 1952. His academic career included periods as Demonstrator, Senior Demonstrator, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and finally Reader in 1971. He formally "retired" in 1989, and is one of only seven academics to have served the School for more than thirty years. His research in structural aspects of Inorganic Chemistry was extremely productive, with 40 published papers to his name and 25 supervised honours and PhD students during this same period. Dr Smith was also a keen supporter, and was instrumental in the formation of the Central Science Laboratory, serving for a time as its Acting Director.

But beyond being a UTAS alumnus and a distinguished member of the UTAS Chemistry staff, Dr Smith's passion is not just in Chemistry books but in creating community.Dr Peter Smith has been a mentor, guide and friend to countless staff and students. What set Peter Smith apart was his attitude, care and general concern. His time in Chemistry was characterised by his genuine interest in the welfare and wellbeing of countless students. At all times Dr Smith endeavoured to foster a personal rapport with those under his tutelage. He knew each student by name. Many owe a great debt to Dr Smith for his wise counsel, his arrangement of vacation or full time work, his financial and moral support, and mostly, for his genuine interest in their physical wellbeing. Generations of UTAS Chemistry students and graduates have benefited from Dr Smith's hospitality in many other ways - through his late night biscuits and cups of tea, weekend study retreats at his shack at Orford, and study trips to Tasmanian industries and related organisations.

It is these intangible contributions to Chemistry that has made Dr Smith so special to many.

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The Hon Peter Elliott Rae AO, BA, LLB Hons Tas, FAIE, FAICD, AADM received a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to the community in 2005.

Peter Rae’s service to the community is both outstanding and long standing. After a successful career in the law including a period as the then youngest President of the Law Society, Peter was elected to the Senate in 1967 as the youngest Senator in the chamber. During his term as a Senator he was, for six years, a Shadow Minister with portfolios that included Industry and Commerce, Finance, and Education and Science. He was also State Minister for Education, and for Technology and Industrial Relations.

During his term in the Senate, he chaired a six-year investigation of all Commonwealth Statutory Authorities and government businesses examining their overall structure, financial management, and business operation as well as their accountability. The series of reports that resulted led to the Australia-wide legislation and regulation covering the operation of the Government Business Enterprises at a Commonwealth, and subsequently, State level. Prior to that Peter had led a four-year investigation of the capital markets of Australia, particularly the Stock Exchanges. The ‘Rae Report’ led to the establishment of what is now the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. He was also leader of several of the Australian delegations to European Parliament, the Council of Europe and NATO.

Peter resigned form the Senate in 1986. In 1988 he was elected Chairman of the Australian Education Council, an office he held for two years. In 1992 he was appointed to the Hydro-Electric Commission and was Chairman of the, now, Hydro-Electric Corporation from 1993 to 2004. He has been instrumental in guiding Hydro Tasmania’s heavy involvement in renewable energy generation programs. These now include large-scale wind farm developments operating or developing in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Recently, in furtherance of this objective, Hydro Tasmania provided $350,000 to the University’s School of Engineering for research into potential hydrogen applications in automotive technology and electrical engineering.

Peter is also Chairman of REGA, the association of the renewable energy generators in Australia, and Chairman of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Roundtable, a federation bringing together the major renewable and sustainable industry organisations in Australia. He represented REGA at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in The Hague in 2000, in Marrakech in 2001, and in New Delhi in 2003. He is a frequent keynote speaker at renewable energy conferences in Australia and overseas.

Peter is Director of number of businesses and community organisations including the 10 Days on the Island Festival. Amongst his public offices, he was for sixteen years closely involved with the Australian National University as a member of the University’s Council and as a member of the Finance Committee. He was also for a time a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania. In 1999 Peter was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to business and commerce in Australia and to Parliament.

Ms Kim Boyer, BA (1972 – Hons 1973), MHum (1983) Tas , Grad Dip Man, GradCert Health Econ Monash , JP received a Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding service to the University of Tasmania in 2004.

Kim Boyer has been associated with the University of Tasmania since 1968 when she enrolled at the University in first-year units of the Bachelor of Arts degree course. Twenty years later she was successful in her bid to be elected, as a representative of the graduates, a member of the Council of the University. Kim remained on the Council as a representative of the graduates until 1993.

This period was a time of major change for the University. The Dawkins reforms imposed by the Commonwealth required the University to amalgamate with other institutions of higher education in the State to comply with benchmark enrolment targets that had been set by the Commonwealth. The University of Tasmania was to amalgamate with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology and the Australian Maritime College. The ‘new' University of Tasmania emerged from the difficult and protracted negotiations that resulted. The guidance of wise and level heads was necessary to both bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion and to launch a new university that was truly State-wide in its outlook and application. Kim was a member of that leadership team.

It is a tribute to Kim's standing both within the University and the community that she was appointed by the Council, in 1996, as Deputy Chancellor of the University. She was the first woman to occupy that office. As Deputy Chancellor she regularly deputised for the Chancellor. She chaired the influential Buildings and Campus Committee and was a member of other Council committees. Subsequent to the death of the then Chancellor, the Honourable Mr Justice Zeeman in January 1998, Kim served as acting Chancellor for nearly nine months prior to the appointment of Dr Michael Vertigan.

As a member of Council and as Deputy and Acting Chancellor, Kim was noted for the enthusiastic and committed, yet perceptive manner in which she embraced her duties. She always retained the human touch and enjoyed great respect from her colleagues, and from the staff and graduates of the University. She also understood the importance of linking the University to its community. Kim was a great networker and was always happy to represent the University at a variety of forums. She understood the value of continuing links to the alumni and gave the University of Tasmania Alumni her total support. As such, she was a wonderful ambassador for the University of Tasmania.

Kim stepped down from Council and the office of Deputy Chancellor at the end of 2002. She has retained her links with the University however and is now a part-time Senior Research Fellow in the University Department of Rural Health. She continues to take an active interest in the University of Tasmania Alumni and to support the work of the Alumni.

The Rev Dr Christopher James Newell, AM, BA (1987) TSIT, BD Murd , MA W'gong, PhD Deakin , MACE received a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to the community.

Christopher Newell, teacher, ethicist, human rights activist and Anglican priest gave sustained and extraordinary service to the community with great merit and at great personal cost, in the service of people with disabilities and in the service of medical education, bioethics, pastoral care, telecommunication, and community development.

Dr Newell was Associate Professor of Medical Ethics within the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania. He overcame his own disability to become one of the first students to complete a degree course by distance education through the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology. At that time he was searching for a direction in his life and the University hopes that it was instrumental in helping him find that direction.

He worked as tutor, lecturer and consultant in several higher education institutions. His outstanding contribution as an academic was in the areas of bioethics, technology policy, and disability studies. Dr Newell was a recognised authority in his areas of expertise and provides advice and consultancy to corporations and government bodies, and to universities and community sector organisations.

From 1994 to 2000 he was Vice-President of the Australian Bioethics Association and a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, a principal committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council. From 1997 to 2001 he also chaired the Telstra Consumer Consultative Council thus heading the largest corporate consultative process in Australasia.

He was a member of the Private Health Industry Quality and Safety Committee, of the Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Council, and of the Australian Medical Council. He was recently appointed to membership of the Licensing Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council and was a member of the Tasmanian Government's Disability Policy Steering Committee. He chairs the Disability Advisory Board of the Australian Communications Industry Forum, and was a member for the Governing Committee of the Consumers' Health Forum of Australia.

Dr Newell's work as a communicator and agent of change was extraordinary. He regularly delivered keynote addresses at both national and international conferences and gained an international reputation for giving powerful presentations that address the human condition and people's situations. He had an extensive range of publications, including seven books, to his credit and chaired the Editorial Committee of Australian Health Consumer for some years. He was a member of the editorial boards of a number of prestigious journals in the fields of health care and bioethics, and has been commissioned to write several entries for the five volume Encyclopaedia of Disability.

In 1999 Dr Newell was awarded a ‘Highly Commended' citation in the Human Rights Medal category of the Australian Human Rights Awards for ‘significantly contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights and equal opportunity in Australia'. In 2001 he was awarded the ‘Australian Achiever' award in the Australia Day Awards and in the same year was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Dr Newell had a severe life-threatening disability and until his untimely death overcame massive barriers and personal difficulties gave unstintingly to others, and to the communities he served. He was a Tasmanian, national, and international leader in his fields of endeavour.

Sir Guy Green, AC, KBE, CVO, LLB, Hon LLD received the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Only one award was made in 2003. Because of Sir Guy’s outstanding service to both the University and the community he received the award on both counts.

Sir Guy is a former member of the Faculty of Law (1974 to 1985) and was Chancellor of the University of Tasmania from 1985 to 1995. At the time of his membership of the Faculty of Law, Sir Guy was Chief Justice of Tasmania. He was a committed member of Faculty and his input was greatly valued. His support for the University of Tasmania Law School has been wholehearted.

As Chancellor of the University, he played a significant role in guiding the old University of Tasmania into amalgamation with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology and headed the University’s amalgamation negotiating team. As Chancellor of the ‘new’ University of Tasmania, he was responsible for leading the University during the most critical stage of its development. He was able to guide to realisation a university for all Tasmanians, and ensure that all sectors of the Tasmanian community gave the University their unqualified support.

It is a tribute to his leadership during those early formative years that the University is now recognised both nationally and internationally for its teaching and research in theme areas. In recognition of this valued contribution, the University awarded Sir Guy an honorary doctorate of laws in 1996.

Sir Guy was Governor of Tasmania from 1995 to 2003 and was the first Tasmanian born Governor of the State. He has been incredibly generous in his commitment to public life giving of his time unstintingly and showing a real passion for Tasmania. As both Chief Justice and Governor of the State, he has been a wonderful role model for those who would hope to play a part in public life. Sir Guy has been energetic and punctilious in performing his public duties. He has also been very much the people’s Governor. He has been caring and supportive, and has worked tirelessly to both bring cohesion to the Tasmanian community and to promote Tasmania as a very special part of Australia – welcoming visitors to the State and identifying and promoting Tasmania’s special strengths.

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Miss Ann Hopkins, BA (1958), DipEd (1963) received a Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding service to the University of Tasmania in 2002.

Miss Hopkins has given dedicated support and commitment to the University of Tasmania over many years in a number of capacities. Ann's involvement in the University through the Alumni began in 1978 when she was elected to the Standing Committee of Convocation of the 'old' University of Tasmania as a representative the Arts Faculty. She continued in that role until 1991 when the University of Tasmania re-emerged as the 'new' University of Tasmania as a consequence of amalgamation with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology. Prior to the amalgamation, Ann was also for many years a member of the University Fine Arts Committee.

Ann played a key role in the establishment of the new graduate body after the amalgamation of the University and the TSIT, and has been with the University of Tasmania Alumni, the graduate association of the 'new' University of Tasmania, since its inception. She was elected to the Interim Alumni Committee in 1992 and to the substantive committee as a General Representative in 1993.

In recognition of her experience and wisdom, and her standing in the graduate community, Ann was elected Chairman of the University of Tasmania Alumni in November 1996 upon the retirement of Ken Axton. Ann continued in that position until November 2000 and guided the Alumni through a period of significant expansion in its activities. Ann still continues to serve on the Alumni Committee as a General Representative.

Ann's service on the Alumni Committee can best be described as 'above and beyond the call of duty'. She has always taken her role very seriously, and always with the best long-term interests of the University in mind. During her term as Chairman she was always available to undertake any duties that might further the cause of the Alumni, and by definition, of the University. She has been a very loyal friend of the University and has worked hard to support its endeavours in both direct and indirect ways. The former includes being a regular donor to the Alumni West North West Bursary Fund, setting a fine example to other Alumni members.

Mr Richard McCreadie, APM, BA (1989) received a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to the Community in 2002.

Richard McCreadie has had a long and distinguished career in the Tasmania Police. He was formerly Superintendent of the Tasmanian Police Academy with responsibility for recruitment and police training throughout the State, and was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police in 1991 at the young age of 45 years. In 1996 he rose to the top of his profession on being appointed Commissioner of Police for Tasmania.

Within the Tasmania Police Service, Mr Creadie as Deputy Commissioner, and later as Commissioner, initiated and presided over a period of remarkable reform and development. This has included achievements as diverse as the nationally-acclaimed police action at the "Port Arthur Siege", the involvement in Tasmania Police training of the University's Centre for Applied Philosophy and Ethics, and the creation of a partnership with the University culminating in the establishment of a range of University programs in Police Studies.

This 'modernisation' of Tasmania Police has been achieved through a planned approach involving a high emphasis on changing the culture of the service and re-engineering processes with the department. The outcome has been the achievement of a standard of excellence that places Tasmania Police at the forefront of police services in Australia. In the words of a referee who has had the opportunity to assess a number of police services in Australia and overseas, 'I do not know of any better'.

Commissioner McCreadie has reached the top of his chosen profession and has the respect of colleagues across the country. In overseeing the restructure and development of the Tasmania Police to a high level of excellence, including exemplary relations with the University, he has rendered outstanding service to the community.

Mrs Margaret Eldridge, BA (1980), GradDipEdStuds (1990) received a Distinguished Alumni Award for her service to the community in 2001.

Mrs Eldridge undertook pioneering work in providing support to, and developing support mechanisms for, overseas students.

She was a founder member in 1968 of the Host family Scheme and of Operation Welcome for international students. She convened the Host Family Scheme from 1970 to 1986. Mrs Eldridge also set up and convened the International Womens' Group for wives of international students and local women, and set up and operated a furniture pool for international students and their families.

Mrs Eldridge set up and taught voluntarily English language classes for the spouses of international students and was a member of the working party set up to establish English language support for overseas students. She was the founding President of the Council of Groups Supporting Overseas Students in Tasmania and was also a fundraiser and activist in establishing a creche at the University.

Through her actions she not only helped create a climate which facilitated the academic endeavours of overseas students, but which also facilitated intercultural understanding and helped dispel prejudice.

Mr Peter Cranswick, QC, LLB Hons (1955), BA (1958) received a Distinguished Alumni award for his outstanding service to the University of Tasmania in 2001.

Mr Cranswick was elected to membership of the University of Tasmania Convocation, the forerunner of the University of Tasmania Alumni, in the late 1970's. The esteem in which he was held by graduates quickly saw him elected as a member of the University's Council in 1982. Recognition of his ability on the part of other Council members, gave rise to his election as Deputy Chancellor of the University in 1985. He was to continue in this role until the University of Tasmania amalgamated with the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology in 1991 to form the new University of Tasmania.

Mr Cranswick also maintained a strong interest in the teaching of his discipline. He was a member of the Board of the Faculty of Law from 1982 to 1989 and lectured in the Law School on a part-time basis from 1986 to 1993, and from 1997 to 2000. Additionally, he gave occasional lectures in Professional Ethics, on Lawyers and Legal Institutions, in Company Law, and on Law and Finance.

It would be difficult to cite another record of such fine and dedicated commitment to the University by one of its community of graduates.

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The Alumni Committee also considered that several special Distinguished International Alumni Awards should be made in 2001 to overseas alumni to mark the golden jubilee of the Colombo Plan. These were not seen as continuing awards, but as special acknowledgment of an outstanding contribution to alumni relations on the part of overseas alumni who were also former Colombo Plan scholars. Awards were made to Datuk Verus Aman Sham, President of the Sabah branch of the University of Tasmania Alumni; Ibu Koesmarihati Sugondo, President of IKAMA, the Australian Alumni Association in Indonesia; and, Pak Jonathan Parapak, former President of IKAMA, and Chairman of IKAMA's Board of Advisers.

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The Alumni Committee also considered that several special Distinguished International Alumni Awards should be made in 2001 to overseas alumni to mark the golden jubilee of the Colombo Plan. These were not seen as continuing awards, but as special acknowledgment of an outstanding contribution to alumni relations on the part of overseas alumni who were also former Colombo Plan scholars. Awards were made to Datuk Verus Aman Sham, President of the Sabah branch of the University of Tasmania Alumni; Ibu Koesmarihati Sugondo, President of IKAMA, the Australian Alumni Association in Indonesia; and, Pak Jonathan Parapak, former President of IKAMA, and Chairman of IKAMA's Board of Advisers.

The Alumni Committee also considered that several special Distinguished International Alumni Awards should be made in 2001 to overseas alumni to mark the golden jubilee of the Colombo Plan. These were not seen as continuing awards, but as special acknowledgment of an outstanding contribution to alumni relations on the part of overseas alumni who were also former Colombo Plan scholars. Awards were made to Datuk Verus Aman Sham, President of the Sabah branch of the University of Tasmania Alumni; Ibu Koesmarihati Sugondo, President of IKAMA, the Australian Alumni Association in Indonesia; and, Pak Jonathan Parapak, former President of IKAMA, and Chairman of IKAMA's Board of Advisers.

Lady Loyal Burnley

Lady Loyal Burley BSc Tas received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Service in the Community in 2000.

Lady Burley's record of community achievement was both outstanding and extensive, covering several decades of committed involvement to a number of community and cultural organisations as leader, executive member and tireless worker. Lady Burley is a Science graduate of the University of Tasmania. She was an active in Tasmania in the Girl Guides Association, the Save the Children Fund and in the Australian Federation of University Women. She also served as Secretary and President of Musica Viva (Tasmanian branch) and was the Tasmanian representative on the Musica Viva Board for a number of years. Many other organisations have benefited from her participation.

Headshot of 2000 - Professor William Jackson BSc PhD Tas (deceased)

Professor William Jackson BSc, PhD Tas received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to the University of Tasmania.

Professor Jackson was regarded as an inspirational teacher and scholar. As Head of the Department of Botany for twenty years, he played an important role in showing how the University could provide benefit and leadership within the wider community. As a result of his influence, the School of Plant Science has become one of the leading departments in the country. Through his own work and that of his students he was responsible for the seminal work on the ecology of Tasmania, as well as having been an outstanding advocate for the conservation of Tasmania's natural environment.

Professor Jackson was also a significant benefactor to the University and established prizes and Scholarships to recognise and support students undertaking studies in plant science and genetics.

  • 1999 - Mr Max Bingham LLB Hons HonDLaws Tas
  • 1999 - Dr Paul Gatenby MBBS Hons Tas
  • 1998 - Dr Glen Kile AgricSc Hons PhD Tas
  • 1998 - The Hon Peter Heerey AM QC, BA LLB Hons Tas
  • 1997 - Dr Patrick Quilty PhD Tas
  • 1997 - Dr Paul Hanson MBBS Tas