Exceptional ANU staff awarded in 2023 Australia Day Honours

27 Jan 2023

An esteemed astronomer, a specialist in Asian Art History, a leader in science education and research, and a GP working in drug and alcohol dependency were among those recognised in the 2023 Australia Day Honours.

Distinguished Professor Matthew Colless from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to scientific research, particularly to astronomy and astrophysics, and to professional societies.

Distinguished Professor Colless is one of Australia's most esteemed astronomers who has led the effort to establish Australia's largest optical telescope, operated by a consortium of 13 universities. He also received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Contribution to the University in 2022.

"I had the opportunity to work with outstanding teams of people at both the Australian National University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)," Distinguished Professor Colless said.

 "Research in general, and astronomy in particular, is very much a collaborative venture. I've been fortunate to work alongside remarkable scientists and been supported by excellent technical and administrative staff at both institutions. Leading such groups of people is a wonderful experience and a great privilege. So I'd like to take this chance to thank my ANU and AAO colleagues and remind them of all we have achieved together." 

Other recipients include Dr Charlotte Galloway, Honorary Associate Professor with the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, who received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to Education and History. Dr Galloway is an accomplished educator, art curator, and researcher with a special focus on Myanmar. 

She considers herself lucky to have had her academic career.

"I have always considered myself so fortunate to have had access to education at all levels and diverse opportunities - and have been very aware that this access is not equal, in Australia or many other places in the world. It will always be a privilege to share my experiences and learning with those who, through no fault of their own, have been denied these opportunities. The desire for knowledge is universal, but the actions of a few deny so many the freedoms that most of us enjoy."

Another exceptional member of the ANU community, Professor Kiaran Kirk, Dean of the ANU College of Science and former National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) chief investigator and project grant review panel chair, was appointed Member of the Order of Australia.

Professor Kirk was awarded this honour for his significant service to science education and research, and to professional organisations. Professor Kirk was also elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2017.

Dr Michael Tedeschi, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Health and Medicine, was also appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine, particularly to people with drug and alcohol dependency. 

"My work as a GP at ANU has been the perfect 'counterpoint' to my drug and alcohol work at the hospital. I have loved dealing with the students and staff of the University over the last 25 years," Dr Tedeschi said.  

More than 30 members of our alumni community were also recognised in the 2023 Australia Day Honours.