Recognition in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish

Monash University’s Chancellor, Dr Alan Finkel, and Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish, have both received Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) awards in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Dr Finkel’s award recognises not only his distinguished service to science and engineering and to tertiary education administration, but also the contribution he has made as an advocate for the protection of children, and to philanthropy.

Professor Cornish received her award for her distinguished service to higher education, to advances in biotechnology and horticultural genetic modification, and the fostering of partnerships with government, industry and the community.

Her award came as a lovely surprise, she said.

“Making the Honours List still feels so unreal,” Professor Cornish said.

“The award recognises the major phases in my career, both my early work in plant biotechnology and my current involvement in education.”

Her work in plant biotechnology went from basic science to successfully commercialising the world’s first genetically modified flowers.

“I learned how to translate science from a bench to real products. It was such a great experience.”

Since then Professor Cornish has worked with state and federal governments to develop processes and procedures for research infrastructure for Australia before becoming the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Monash in 2004.

“I have been involved with education at an exciting time, and we now have a truly international capability in Melbourne for research, which is very important for our future generations,” Professor Cornish said.

Professor Cornish was appointed as Provost and Senior Vice-President of the University in 2012.

Fellow Monash community members Professor Paul Grabowsky, Dr Lesley Boston, Emeritus Professor Sam Lake, Professor Peter Dixon, Professor Barbara Caine, Associate Professor Rosemary Sheehan, Associate Professor David Campbell, Professor Paul Komesaroff, Emeritus Professor Alan Lindsay and Emeritus Professor Philip Nagley have also been recognised for their extraordinary contributions to Australian communities in the 2014 Honours List.

Professor Grabowsky, Director of Monash University Performing Arts, was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to music as a performer, composer, educator and mentor, and through significant contributions to the arts as an administrator.

Former Monash Council member Dr Lesley Boston was appointed an AO for her distinguished service to education as an advocate for improved opportunities for young women, to innovative and best practice pedagogy, and to professional development.

Emeritus Professor Lake received his AO for his distinguished service to conservation and the environment as an ecologist and freshwater scientist, and to research and professional organisations.

Former Monash academic Professor Dixon was recognised with an AO for his distinguished service to education in the field of applied economics as an academic, researcher and author, through significant contributions to policy analysis and modelling.

Associate Professor Sheehan from the Department of Social Work was appointed an AM for her significant service to child welfare and the law, particularly through dispute resolution conferencing.

Professor Caine, who was for many years a distinguished scholar in the Monash Arts Faculty, received an AM for significant service to tertiary education, particularly to gender studies, to women's history, and as a role model and mentor.

Associate Professor Campbell, the Director of the University’s East Gippsland Regional Clinical School, was awarded an AM for significant service to rural and remote medicine and education, as a supporter of Indigenous health professionals, and to general practice.

Professor Komesaroff from the Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society received his AM for his significant service to ethics in medicine as a physician, researcher and philosopher.

Emeritus Professor Alan Lindsay from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Administration was honoured with an AM for his significant service to higher education, to academic and business development, and to international education.

Emeritus Professor Philip Nagley from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was awarded an AM for his significant service to education in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology.

A full list of recipients from the Monash community will be available in the coming days.

A full list of recipients can be found on the Governor General of Australia's website.