Honours recognise UNE student and former staff

Published 17 June 2011

oam.jpgTwo former UNE staff members and a current student have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Former Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts for 12 years, Bruce Marshall, now of Bundanoon, received an AM for service to the humanities and to education, particularly through the Australasian Society for Classical Studies.

Professor Stephen Dinham, now of Surrey Hills, Victoria, received an OAM for service to educational research, and to professional associations. He was Professor of Teacher Education, Pedagogy and Professional Development in UNE’s School of Education from 2002 to 2004, and has the rare distinction of holding three degrees from UNE.

Mrs Gail MacDonell, currently a postgraduate student in Psychology, received an OAM (Medal in the Order of Australia in the General Division) for service to Partners of Veterans and their families through the Partners of Veterans’ Association of Australia (PVA).
While she is a member of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters with the Commonwealth DVA and of the National Veterans Health and Well Being Forum, Mrs MacDonell has been working with partners of Veterans and their families on a volunteer basis since 1997.

In 2000, however, she took this labour of love further when she decided to study psychology to gain insight into the problems of families of Veterans. She gained a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at UNE, and is now working to complete her PhD.

“I became involved in this area because of huge mental health and behavioural issues with my own husband, and at that time there was nowhere to obtain support,” she said. “Research has now shown the huge impact that can occur living with someone who has war-related problems.”

Currently resident in Mary White College, Mrs MacDonell is investigating the psychosocial wellbeing of partners of Australian combat Veterans and the interaction between this wellbeing and health outcomes for the Veterans.
Mrs MacDonell’s connection with UNE has also become a family affair. Not only is her daughter, Vicki Dodds of Newcastle, currently undertaking a double degree Bachelor of Criminology and Bachelor of Laws through external study but her granddaughter, Emma Dodd, is expecting to begin a Bachelor of Social Work next semester.

UNE acknowledges the assistance of material from The Armidale Express in the preparation of this article.