Australia Day Honours for UQ community

30 January 2023

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.

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, is 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. 

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.”

Other UQ community members recognised were:

Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

Honorary Professor Melissa Little AC – Alumnus

Professor Margaret Reynolds AC — Alumnus


Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

Dr Michael Berndt AO — Alumnus


Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Dr Sonya Bennett AM — Alumnus

Dr Alan Bryan AM – Alumnus

Mr Victor Hoog Antink AM – Alumnus

Mr Peter Johnson AM — Alumnus

Dr Donald (Don) Markwell AM — Alumnus

Emeritus Professor Barry Nurcombe AM — Alumnus

Mrs Mary Seefried AM - Alumnus

Ms Kristin Stubbins AM — Alumnus

Professor Kerry Walsh AM – Alumnus

Emeritus Professor Jenny Ziviani AM – Alumnus


Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

Mr Reginald Collard OAM – Alumnus

Dr John Cox OAM — Alumnus

Mrs Susan Croft OAM — Alumnus

Dr Debra Graves OAM – Alumnus

Mrs Samantha Griffin OAM - Alumnus

Mr Andrew Kendall OAM - Alumnus

Dr Vernon Moo OAM – Alumnus

Mr Robert Rotar OAM – Alumnus

Dr Karen Smith OAM – Alumnus


Public Service Medal (PSM)

Mr Toby Keene PSM - Alumnus


Australian Police Medal (APM)

Ms Katrina Carr APM – Alumnus

Information on the awardees is on the Governor-General’s website.

Media: Communications,, +61 429 056 139.