Queen’s Birthday honours for Professor Hurriyet Babacan

Published 11 June 2014

HBProfessor of Social Work and Development in the School of Health at University of New England, Hurriyet Babacan has been awarded the Order of Australia medal in the general division ‘for significant service to the multicultural community, to education as an academic and author, and as an advocate for social policy development’.

This award recognises over 25 years of sustained contribution to higher education and social justice,  including Professor Babacan’s work in inter-disciplinary and inter-professional education and her contribution to social justice addressing disadvantage and supporting development and social inclusion in Australia and in the Asia Pacific region.

Hurriyet regards herself as an ‘engaged scholar’ where her work has engaged with community, industry, professional bodies, government , bridging the gap between academia and the broader community via her research, teaching and engagement.  She is passionate about knowledge transfer and capacity building, making her work accessible to government for policy and program improvements, community to build an evidence base for their needs and to industry to promote innovation.

She is passionate about knowledge transfer and capacity building, making her work accessible to government for policy and program improvements, community to build an evidence base for their needs and to industry to promote innovation.

Professor Babacan has a distinguished career over the last 30 years in senior roles in higher education, public administration, community development and research and training.  She has held senior roles including:

* Acting Head of School, School of Health, University of New England.
* Foundation Director, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University.
* Director, Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, Victoria University.
* Head of Social and Community Studies, University of the Sunshine Coast
* Commissioner, Ethnic Affairs Commission

Professor Babacan says it is a great honour to be receiving this award.

“It is wonderful to have decades of your work recognised, and I was surprised and thrilled when I was told about the award. While this award was given to me as an individual, there have been many people who have supported me and worked side-by-side with me. In that regard, I see it as an award for many.

“The award is of significance to me in that it places focus on the areas of work I am passionate about such as higher education, social justice, multiculturalism and policy development and hope that there will be greater recognition of these issues in the future.”

Professor Babacan has previously been recognised for her work with awards including the Bi-Centenary Medal awarded by the Prime Minister, 2002 and the Multicultural Services Award by the Premier of Queensland (1999).

Professor Babacan was the Queensland State Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award in the for Government and Public Service category in 2003. She was awarded a Certificate for Volunteer of the Year by the Minister for Family Services for her contribution to child protection.