Current student, former leaders of UNE honoured on Australia Day

Published 29 January 2010

medalA current PhD student and three former senior members of staff at the University of New England have been named Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.

The Rev. Dr Geoffrey Glassock AM

The Rev. Dr Geoffrey Glassock is conducting research to gain an understanding of the effect on a family when one of its members goes missing. Dr Myfanwy Maple, the principal supervisor of his research project at UNE, said Dr Glassock’s study was the first of its kind.

Dr Glassock received his Australia Day award for “service to the community through the development of programs and services to assist people experiencing grief and bereavement, and to the Anglican Church of Australia”.

“It is a great honour,” Dr Glassock said, “and I realise that such an award – and what work I have been able to do – has been because of a supportive and loving family and the wonderful group of colleagues with whom I have worked over the years.”

Dr Glassock is an Anglican Minister in the Diocese of Sydney, and has been instrumental in the development of grief and bereavement services and programs throughout Australia – and internationally – for more than 30 years.

A founding member and life member of the National Association for Loss and Grief, he has served as the Association’s National President (1986-1993) and NSW President (1983-1993). He is also a foundation member of the Australasian Critical Incident Stress Association, and Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Sydney International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society.

From 1990 to 1994 Dr Glassock was Head of the Department of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health Studies at the University of Sydney. He is a member of the National Committee of the Australian Psychological Society College of Counselling Psychologists, and Chair of the NSW Branch.

Dr Glassock acts as psychologist and counsellor for several leading social-service organisations, and as chaplain for various health and palliative care organisations.

A former Vice-Chancellor of UNE, and two men who were Foundation Professors at the University, have also been named Members of the Order of Australia.

Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom was UNE’s Vice-Chancellor from 1994 to 1996, Professor Roger Kitching was Foundation Professor of Ecosystem Management from 1986 to 1992, and Professor Alan Pearson was Foundation Professor Nursing and Head of the School of Health from 1992 to 1995.

Professor Roger Kitching AM

Professor Kitching, who has conducted research in rainforests throughout the world, is Chair of the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee for Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage, a member of the Expert Panel on Biodiversity of the Australian Greenhouse Office, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Canopy Program (based in Oxford, UK).

He was Special Commissioner for the Resource Assessment Commission’s Kakadu Conservation Zone Inquiry in 1990-1992, and he was the first Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Biodiversity Advisory Council. Professor Kitching’s work at UNE emphasised the vital importance of forest conservation in protecting Australia’s environment. He is now Foundation Professor of Ecology at Griffith University.

His award was for “service to conservation science as an academic, researcher and educator, particularly in the field of tropical rainforest ecology and ecosystem management”.

Professor Alan Pearson AM

Professor Pearson’s award was for “service to nursing as an educator and leader in the development of evidence-based health care and clinical best practice”. As well as being Foundation Professor of Nursing at UNE, he has also been Foundation Professor of Nursing at Deakin University and Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Adelaide. He is now the University of Adelaide’s Professor of Evidence-Based Health Care, and Founder and Executive Director of the Joanna Briggs Institute at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Professor Pearson is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (UK), a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology, and Editor of the International Journal of Nursing Practice.

Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom AM

Professor Thom, who has been President of the Australian Coastal Society since 2006, received his award for “service to the environment as an adviser and advocate for the ecological management of the coastal zone and as a contributor to public debate on natural resource policy, and to the academic and professional discipline of geography”.

He has chaired several State and national committees on environmental management, including the NSW Coastal Council (1999-2004), the Commonwealth Government’s State of the Environment Committee (1998-2002), and the State Assessment Panel of the National Heritage Trust’s Coast and Clean Seas Program (1997-2002).

Before coming to UNE as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thom was Professor of Geography and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney. He has been President of the Geoscience Council of Australia (1990-1991) and President of the Institute of Australian Geographers (1986-1989), and was awarded the Griffith Taylor Medal of the Institute of Australian Geographers in 2004.

In addition to these four men, the 2010 Australia Day Honours List includes a number of UNE alumni and people with other connections to the University.