[ASA] Australia Day Honours List 2013

Kate Brooks Kate.Brooks at csiro.au
Sun Jan 27 14:32:02 AEDT 2013

Dear colleagues,

I am proud to report that three members of the Astronomical Society of Australia are among more than 500 people recognised yesterday in the Australia Day Honours List. 

Professor Brian Schmidt 
-  For eminent service as a global science leader in the field of physics through research in the study of astronomy and astrophysics, contributions to scientific bodies and the promotion of science education.

Professor Michael Dopita 
- For significant service to science in the field of astronomy and astrophysics.

Professor Brian Boyle
- For outstanding public service to Australian astronomy and for leadership of the Australian team bidding to host the international Square Kilometre Array facility.

Brian Schmidt and Michael Dopita have been appointed to the Order of Australia.  In the Australian honours system, appointments to the Order of Australia confer the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service. There are two divisions of the Order of Australia: the Civil or General Division and the Military Division. The General Division of the Order of Australia has four levels:
- Companion of the Order (AC)
- Officer of the Order (AO)
- Member of the Order (AM)
- Medal of the Order (OAM)

Brian Schmidt was awarded Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia.  The Companion of the Order  is awarded for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large. The Companion is Australia’s greatest civic honour. Brian's appointment is a testament to the outstanding achievements he has made in astronomical research as well as his tireless commitment to popularising science in our community and highlighting the importance of science education and research funding.  The Companion of the Order of Australia is a beautiful badge with a gold insignia of the Order in the centre. It will sit very well alongside Brian's Nobel Prize medal and the many other medals and awards he has received and richly deserved. 

Michael Dopita was awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.  The Member of the Order is awarded for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group and confers Mike's significant achievements in the fields of theoretical and observational astronomy and his service to the science community. Mike has been a Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University since 1975 and was Head of the Astrophysical Theory Centre between 1999 and 2007. His major research contributions have been recognised by the award of the ISI Citation Laureate in 2001, the Award of the Australian Centenary Medal in 2003, and by the award in 2001 of an inaugural Australian Federation Fellowship. He was the President of Division VI of the International Astronomical Union (1997-2000) and has served on many international peer-review panels and policy-advice committees. Mike is Treasurer of the Australian Academy of Science and is Editor-in-Chief for Astrophysics & Space Science.

Brian Boyle was awarded a Public Service Medal. The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local government employees. This award recognises Brian's tremendous service to the Australian astronomy community over the past sixteen years in his roles as Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (1996 to 2003) and Director of CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility (2003 to 2009) before his appointment to CSIRO SKA Director in February 2009. The award acknowledges Brian's tremendous leadership in securing Australia's important role in the SKA project and setting the science direction for Australian astronomy through leading the development of the Australian Astronomy Decadal Plan 2006-15. Brian was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to Australian Astronomy and is currently the Project Director for the  Australia & New Zealand SKA project (anzSKA).

I congratulate both Brians and Mike on their well-deserved accolades. I am proud to be part of a society that has so many amazing astronomers who inspire and drive such scientific excellence. 

Kate Brooks,
ASA, President

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