Australia Day Honours for UQ community

Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher was recognised for her work in the field of
Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher was recognised for her work in the field of Down syndrome. Image, UQ
An expert in the field of molecular biology, and an educator specialising in Down syndrome research are among The University of Queensland staff and alumni recognised in the 2023 Australia Day Honours.

Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to people with Down syndrome through research programs and education initiatives.

Dr Faragher has been the Director of the Down Syndrome Research Program within the School of Education since 2016.

It’s the oldest, most complete study of its kind anywhere in the world.

"I had not thought of reward, so the email came as a complete surprise," Dr Faragher said of learning about the honour.

She cited her daughter as her initial motivation but watching other students with Down syndrome succeed at school was extremely rewarding.

"Seeing incremental change, with more students completing secondary mathematics and getting their senior school certificates is a particular highlight," Professor Faragher said.

"I’m also proud to have led the writing team for Down Syndrome International which produced Education Guidelines that have been acknowledged by the United Nations.

"They are making a real difference around the world."

Professor David Hume has also been honoured with an AO for distinguished service to biological science, noting his work in the field of molecular biology and tertiary education.

The former long-time Deputy Director of the Institute of Molecular Bioscience , now a Professorial Research Fellow at the Mater Research Institute - UQ within the Faculty of Medicine.

"I am immensely grateful for the recognition," Professor Hume said.

"The best science I have been involved in has been based upon collaboration and collegiality and I have been fortunate to work with great people.

"I have worked on the biology of macrophages, cells of the immune system, for more than 40 years, yet our ongoing research at MRI-UQ is probably the most exciting and surprising of my career."

Professor Hume has supervised more than 60 PhD students, 4 of whom are Professors at UQ.

"In the life sciences, content is redundant almost as soon as it is taught, but enthusiasm for science is a life-long gift," he said.

Emeritus Professor Jenny Ziviani from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences , was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to occupational therapy and medical tertiary education.

UQ Alumni to receive awards include, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, The Honourable James Allsop, who was promoted to Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) and Honorary Professor Melissa Little was also awarded an AC for her eminent service to medical research.

The full list will follow in coming days.

* Professor David Hume has been honoured with an AO for distinguished service to biological science and tertiary education. Image, Supplied.