Leading Australians honoured by Western Sydney University
A group of distinguished Australians including Dr Nicholas Whitlam, Roy Medich and Alan Zammit were recognised with honorary awards at Western Sydney University's April graduation ceremonies, being held Saturday 9 April to Friday 15 April 2016.
The University confers honorary awards on individuals who have contributed to the advancement of knowledge or the betterment of society and who have achieved eminence in their field of endeavour at local, state, national or international level.
The recipients honoured at the April graduation ceremonies were:
Professor Robert Hodge, Institute for Culture and Society
Professor Hodge was made an Emeritus Professor for his distinguished contribution to teaching and research in the field of humanities and cultural studies, and for his service to Western Sydney University. Saturday 9 April.
The University is pleased to be awarding Professor Bob Hodge the title of Emeritus Professor for his distinguished contribution to teaching and research in the field of humanities and cultural studies, and for his service to the University.
Professor Hodge came to the University in 1993 with expertise in linguistics, semiotics and social theory, and an international reputation as an influential figure in the development of cultural studies as a field of education.
Professor Hodge has provided exemplary leadership within cultural studies at Western Sydney University. In 2008, he received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision.
As the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (1998–2000), Professor Hodge helped develop the brand of humanities which now distinguishes Western Sydney University in this field. He provided the vision, devised a new curriculum and recruited outstanding staff.
Professor Hodge became a Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy (Cultural and Communication Studies, Linguistics) in 2000 and received a Centennial Medal in 2002 for services to higher education.
Professor Hodge is an internationally recognised scholar, a highly respected leader in his field and has shown a deep commitment to the University's mission.
Ms Judy Jacka, Vice-Chairperson, The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies
Ms Jacka was made an Honorary Fellow of the University, in recognition of her distinguished service in the fields of natural therapies and complementary medicine. Saturday 9 April.
The University is pleased to be awarding Judy Jacka the title of Honorary Fellow of the University, in recognition of her distinguished service in the fields of natural therapies and complementary medicine.
Judy is a published author and active advocate for research and the evidence base of naturopathy.
Judy graduated from General Nursing Training and obtained a Naturopathic Diploma from the Southern School of Natural Therapies where she was later appointed principal, remaining in the role for 17 years.
In 1999, she was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Natural Therapists Association for her contributions to the profession, education and industry.
The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies (JFNT) was formed in 2010 to support research in naturopathy and the development of a community of researchers, scholars and leaders in the naturopathic profession.
Over the last six years, JFNT has donated over $2 million to further the research of Western Sydney University's National Institute of Complementary Medicine, with a commitment of another $2 million over the next two years.
In 2015, the JFNT Chair of Integrative Medicine Research was established in partnership with Western Sydney University.
Mr Alan Zammit AM, Managing Director, UPDM Pty Limited
Mr Zammit was made an Honorary Fellow of the University, in recognition of his distinguished service to Western Sydney University. Tuesday 12 April.
The University is pleased to be awarding Alan Zammit AM the title of Honorary Fellow of the University as part of this ceremony, in recognition of his distinguished service to the University.
Alan Zammit has over 45 years' experience in urban, regional and community development, and a long association with Western Sydney University.
From 1996 to 1998, Alan was a council member of the Nepean College of Advanced Education, one of the institutions that would become part of the University.
He became a Director of the UWS Foundation Limited (1993 to 2008) and was Chair of the Foundation (1997 to 2002). He was a member of numerous University committees including as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee since 2011.
Alan has served as Chair of the Salvation Army Greater Western Sydney Advisory Board since 1996 and was Chair of the Partnerships and Alliances Committee of Affordable Community Housing Limited in 2014 and 2015.
In June 2009 Alan was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the community of north-western Sydney.
Dr Nicholas Whitlam
Dr Whitlam received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his distinguished service to business and the broader community. Tuesday 12 April.
The University is pleased to be awarding Dr Nicholas Whitlam an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his distinguished service to business and the broader community.
Dr Whitlam has had a distinguished career. He was CEO of the State Bank of NSW (1981 to 1987) before establishing investment bank Whitlam Turnbull & Co. He was President of the NRMA (1996 to 2002) and Chair of NRMA Insurance (1996 to 2001).
Dr Whitlam has devoted much of his energy to the broader community. He served on committees in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and proudly served as Olympic Attaché for Hong Kong at the Games. He was also Chair of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1991 to 1996).
Dr Whitlam was the inaugural Chair of the Whitlam Institute, established in April 2000 to honour the work of Gough Whitlam, and served on the Institute's Board until 2015. He remains Chairman of the Port Authority of NSW.
Dr Whitlam holds a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in History from Harvard University and a Master of Science from the University of London.
Mr Roy Medich OAM, Joint Managing Director, Medich Corporation
Mr Medich was made an Honorary Fellow of the University for his distinguished service to Greater Western Sydney and for his contributions to business and charitable organisations. Wednesday 13 April.
The University is pleased to be awarding Roy Medich OAM the title of Honorary Fellow of the University in recognition of his distinguished service to business and charitable organisations.
Roy has been an active member of the south-western Sydney community for over 50 years.
He received the Companion of the Order of Liverpool (1997) and the Medal of the Order of Australia (1999) for his services to the community through fundraising. In 2003, he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the Liverpool community.
Roy served on numerous local, regional and state committees. He contributed to the South Western Sydney Bowel Cancer Foundation and was a member of the South Western Sydney Area Health Service and Greater Western Sydney Economic Development boards.
Roy remains engaged with the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Greater Western Sydney and was involved in the creation of the Ingham Medical Research Institute for south-western Sydney.
His involvement with Western Sydney University spans over a decade including through boards and committees, and continues today via the Roy Medich Bachelor of Medical Research Scholarship.
The Board of Trustees has also introduced the title of Community Fellow of the University, which is given to individuals who have enhanced the social, economic, cultural, environmental or technological development of Western Sydney. The recipients of these awards in April are:
Mr Paul Tosi
Mr Tosi received a Community Fellowship in recognition of his distinguished service to public administration in the community. Wednesday 13 April.
Mr Paul Tosi is a well-known and highly respected local government administrator in the Macarthur area. He worked at Campbelltown Council for 33 years, during which time he rose to the positon of the Council General Manager, a position he held with distinction for over 16 years prior to his retirement in September 2015.
Former Campbelltown Mayor, Councillor Paul Lake has credited the commitment and hard work of Mr Tosi, noting that "It was Mr Tosi's dedication and hard work that laid the foundation for Campbelltown to be named a regional city in 2014".
While at Campbelltown Council, Mr Tosi managed a budget of $153 million and 1,000 staff, delivering services to an area where population had doubled. Mr Tosi has worked closely and constructively with Western Sydney University and has had a strong association with the University's Campbelltown Campus, which he watched flourish from its early years.
Mr Tosi's keen interest in the need for local education opportunities led to the development of an education precinct in the Campbelltown region, which included the establishment of the South West Institute of TAFE adjacent to the University's Campbelltown campus.
As the Campbelltown campus grew, Mr Tosi and the Council were strong supporters of the University's ambition to bring a Medical School to the Macarthur area.
In 2001, Paul Tosi was recognised with a Centenary Medal – 'for service to the Campbelltown Community and the Centenary of Federation celebrations.'
From 2007-2008, Mr Tosi served as a member of the then UWS Audit & Risk Management Committee.
Ms Polly Grundy
President of the Mark Grundy Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group Incorporated. Ms Grundy was made a Community Fellow of the University in recognition of her distinguished service to the community and for her charitable work for cancer awareness. Thursday 14 April.
Ms Polly Grundy is the president of the Mark Grundy Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group Incorporated, a not-for-profit organisation that Ms Grundy founded in 2012. Over 1,300 people are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in Australia each year.
The Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group aims to provide information and support to those affected by oesophageal cancer. In addition to raising awareness of oesophageal cancer and fundraising for targeted research, the organisation also works to educate the medical and broader community about the common symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, with the slogan 'Don't be afraid to ask'.
The Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group recently joined with other organisations in the Macarthur region to form an informal network 'Charity Links Macarthur' that aims to foster a healthier, well-supported and inclusive Macarthur community.
Ms Grundy has also established a Parents and Citizens' co-op group which allows parent groups from communities across South-Western Sydney to share resources to raise funds for their schools.
In 2014, Ms Grundy received a Local Woman of the Year Award for her leadership role in youth sports, for her work with the Parents and Citizens Association at local schools in the Campbelltown area, and for establishing the Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group.
This year, Ms Grundy's organisation pledged $39,000 to fund a three year PhD in Western Sydney University's School of Medicine. This PhD scholarship will make a significant difference to oesophageal cancer research through the development of prevention strategies, diagnostic tools for early detection, and more effective treatments for oesophageal cancer.
Ms Grundy has made a particular and sustained contribution to enhancing the social and charitable development of the Greater Western Sydney region.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover says each of these award recipients have made a significant contribution to public life in their own unique way.
"Whether it is through philanthropy, business, the arts, or public administration, each of these Australians have sought to bring about positive change and make a difference in our communities, particularly within Western Sydney," says Professor Glover.
"On behalf of the University community, I congratulate each of our esteemed honorary award recipients on their achievements."
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