Australian Laureate Fellowships honour two researchers

Two University of Sydney academics have been awarded prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowships from the Australian Research Council.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced $58.3 million in funding over five years for 17 Australian Laureate Fellowships.  

Cutting-edge senior researchers who can provide a supportive research environment for early-career researchers and conduct research for the benefit of national and international communities receive Australian Laureate Fellowships. 

Two University of Sydney researchers were recognised. 


Professor Liza Lim
 AM is an Australian composer, educator, researcher and the Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at  Sydney Conservatorium of Music . She has received $3.74 million as part of a 5-year program to communicate the urgency of climate change and lead social change through music. 

Professor Lim will use the funding to advance Australia’s growing access to international markets by creating compelling arts experiences for people to access and respond to ecological ideas in ways that can provoke social change.

The program centres music and the arts in investigating how animals, plants and living systems sense and communicate, producing new creative works, new technologies with potential applications for Australia’s burgeoning $115 billion-per-annum creative and cultural industries sector, and a unique training program in music with unprecedented access to international networks.

Professor Michael Ward  is Chair of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety in the University’s Faculty of Science. He has received $3.66 million for his project on defining the wild-domestic animal interface and microbial spillover risk.

With this funding he will draw on a range of case studies to better understand the points of contact between wild and domestic animals, allowing an advanced assessment of the risk of movement of diseases between species.

Professor Ward’s project will build resilience to the risks associated with the spread of microbes. These include threats to the health and productivity of livestock; undermining ecosystems; putting stress on food security in remote Indigenous communities; and creating pandemic risks. This work will be promoted nationally and globally so others will be able to use their own data to undertake risk assessments.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Johnson, said the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme is an important part of the ARC’s Discovery Program.

"The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme offers researchers the opportunity to design ambitious research programs around a team of postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students, which is vital for ensuring high-quality mentorship of Australia’s up-and-coming researchers," Dr Johnson said.  

Three University of Sydney academics have been awarded prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowships from the Australian Research Council.

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Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Composing Women program led by Professor Liza Lim has demonstrated leadership and influence in the push for gender equity in programming and commissioning works by female composers in classical and art music.