26 January 2024
The impact of university research on the lives of Australians is front and centre in the 2024 Australia Day Honours List.
“Australia’s world class academics and researchers have been recognised at the highest levels for their innovative discoveries, their life saving work, their commitment to finding solutions to complex challenges, and enhancing the lives of future generations,” said Group of Eight (Go8) Chief Executive Vicki Thomson.
The Go8, which represents Australia’s world class research-intensive universities congratulates University of Sydney Professors Georgina Long and Richard Scolyer, co-medical directors of the Melanoma Institute Australia who jointly won the prestigious Australian of Year award for their pioneering work in the treatment of melanoma.
The contribution of our universities and academics has been recognised with the appointment of four university leaders as Companions of the Order of Australia, for their service to Australia and humanity at large.
University of Queensland Vice Chancellor, Professor Deborah Terry, University of Melbourne Emeritus Laureate Professor David Boger, University of Queensland criminologist Professor Lorraine Mazerolle, and University of Technology Sydney Chancellor Catherine Livingstone, all hail from academia and were all given the top honour.
“Many outstanding researchers have featured prominently this year’s Australia’s Day honours and we congratulate them all, in particular the University of Queensland’s Professor Paul Harpur, a leading international and comparative disability rights legal academic, awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to people with disability. He is an outstanding advocate for empowering people with disabilities and the role of education in creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
“The 2024 Australia Day awards while recognising the incredible achievements of our researchers, also highlight that without investment in research, our world would be vastly different. Every day our university researchers, scientists and innovators tackle the big challenges that make our nation stronger, our people healthier and improve the lives of all Australians.
“2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of Eight – all eight ranked in the world’s top 100 universities, with three in the top 30 and six in the top 50. We are at the forefront of the research, innovation and technology creating lasting solutions to the challenges we face.
“Ensuring adequate funding is directed to all important university research is as essential as funding for our defence and health sectors. This is why the Go8 will continue to advocate for the Australian Government to set a formal target to lift investment in R&D to 3 percent of GDP as a national priority.
“Investment in research is an investment in Australia’s future,” said Ms Thomson.