Georgina Long Richard Scolyer and Australian PM at Australian of the Year ceremony

University community recognised in 2024 Australia Day Honours

26 January 2024
Academic contribution to community acknowledged
A revolutionary approach to treating melanomas and major contributions to advancing immunisation, mental health, sound economic social policy, pain management and soil science were among the achievements of current University of Sydney staff individually honoured on Australia Day.

The Governor-General announced the awards for outstanding Australians who have benefitted their communities at a local, national and international level.  

Australians of the Year

Joint winners of the Australians of Year are University of Sydney Professors Georgina Long AO, and Richard Scolyer AO, co-medical directors of the Melanoma Institute Australia for their pioneering work in the treatment of melanoma.  

In a joint statement Professor Long and Professor Scolyer said they were honoured to have received the award: “We stand here tonight proudly representing every melanoma patient and their families, all those impacted by brain cancer, and indeed, all cancers."

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott AO congratulated Professor Long and Professor Scolyer on the honour: “This award is extremely well deserved and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Long and Professor Scolyer for their remarkable achievements."

Australia Day Honours

Professor Scott also extended his congratulations to the University of Sydney community who were acknowledged in the Australia Day Honours.

“These awards are another powerful demonstration of how universities serve their communities.  I warmly congratulate University of Sydney staff for their dedication and significant contributions to improving society, celebrated by these awards,” he said. 

Officer of the Order of Australia in the General Division (AO)

Professor Julie Leask  
Professor Julie Leask was recognised for distinguished service to health and medical research, policy advice, and to enhancing community understanding of immunisation. 

Professor Leask is among 49 Australians honoured for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whose names will be included in an ongoing and permanent COVID-19 honour roll. 

Professor Leask joined the University of Sydney as a Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Westmead. She now co-leads the Social and Behavioural Insights research group and is a member of Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute. Professor Leask’s research explores the social and behavioural aspects of vaccination and prevention of infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2. Professor Leask was a trusted name during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the media and public navigate complex and evolving vaccination and public health information. 

Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark
Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark was recognised for distinguished service to economic research, tertiary education, and the social sciences.  

Professor Cobb-Clark joined the School of Economics in 2016 where she holds the position of Professor and Deputy Head of School (Research). In addition, Professor Cobb-Clark is a member of the University’s Brain and Mind Centre  and the  Charles Perkin Centre; Director of the Program in Gender and Families at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany; a Chief Investigator in the  ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course; and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Her research centres on the effect of social policy on labour market outcomes including immigration, sexual and racial harassment, health, old-age support, education and youth transitions.

Professor Ian Hickie 
Professor Ian Hickie was recognised for distinguished service to psychiatric research and reforms as an advocate for improved mental health care and awareness. 

Professor Hickie joined Sydney Medical School in 2003 as a Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute, which would go on to become the Brain and Mind Centre where he has been Co-Director of Health and Policy since 2014. In addition, Professor Hickie was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission from 2012 to 2018, overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention. 

Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division

Professor Anthony Harris
Professor of Psychiatry, Westmead Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health

For significant service to mental health as a clinician and academic.

Professor Christopher Maher
Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health and Founding Director, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health, Sydney Local Health District.

For significant service to physiotherapy as a researcher, clinician and mentor, particularly in the field of pain management.

Professor Alexander McBratney
Director, Sydney Institute of Agriculture and Professor of Digital Agriculture and Soil Science, Faculty of Science.

For significant service to soil science through research and education, and to the development of digital mapping techniques.

Professor Glenda Wardle
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science.

For significant service to science in the field of ecology and evolution.

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division

Professor Elizabeth New
Professor, School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science.

For service to science as a researcher in chemical biology and molecular imaging.

Please note the University has now published a full list of staff and alumni recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours.

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