A career in psycho-oncology results in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Professor Suzanne Chambers from Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, has become a recipient of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours with the award of Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

A recognised international expert on the psychological effects of cancer and how best to provide support for individuals and couples, Professor Chambers is a multi-award-winning researcher.

“I feel very humbled and honoured to receive this award in recognition of my contribution to psycho-oncology,” says Professor Chambers. “I hope this award recognises the burden that families and people with prostate cancer carry, as well as the need for researchers to continue with the work they do in this area.”

Drawing from more than 25 years of health psychology and research, Suzanne has numerous strings to her bow, including being an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, author of a book entitled Facing the Tiger: A Guide for Men with Prostate Cancer and the People who Love them and is chief investigator on successful research grants valued over $30m.

“I am delighted that Professor Chambers has been awarded this honour,” says PVC (Health) Professor Sheena Reilly. “She has led an outstanding research program in psycho-oncology that has improved the lives of many Australian cancer survivors.”

Work with Cancer Council Queensland

Professor Chambers works closely with the Cancer Council Queensland, Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia, Cancer Australia and Beyond Blue — all working towards the best possible prospects of preventing, detecting, treating and surviving a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan commended Professor Chambers on the well-deserved award.

“During the 22 years she worked at Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ) as both a health practitioner and researcher, Professor Chambers developed and led supportive care programs for cancer patients and their families that are among the best in the world, making a significant contribution to the advancement of psycho-oncology in Australia and internationally,” Ms McMillan says.

“Since 2011 Professor Chambers has continued to collaborate on research projects with CCQ, continuing her pivotal work understanding the impact of cancer on individuals and couples and helping shape further support programs that reduce the psychological burden of cancer.”

Professor Don Stewart recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Professor Don Stewart was also appointed anOfficer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to education as an academic and researcher, and to Australia-Indonesia relations through a range of public health improvement projects.

Professor Don Stewart OAM

Professor Stewart is part of Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland and convenes the Music, Health and Wellbeing program at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre.

He recently led Australia’s first study into the benefits of singing for people living with Parkinson’s.More than 70 people from around Queensland participated in the ground-breaking Griffith University study, which revealed that weekly singing sessions led to marked improvements in the health and wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s.

Professor Stewart was also part of a team that designed and distributed low-cost latrines to reduce parasitic infection and environmental pollution in developing countries. He followed up this project with an innovative health promotion program in rural Indonesia that used traditional shadow puppetry and music to communicate the health benefits of improved hygiene and sanitation practices.

Professor Robert Love receives NZ Queens’s Birthday Honours

Meanwhile, services to dentistry have resulted in Queen’s Birthday Honours forProfessor Robert Love, Head of Griffith’s School of Dentistry and Oral Health.

He has become a recipient of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours with the award of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Professor Robert Love ONZM

A recognised international expert in dental accreditation, education and regulation, and a multi-award-winning researcher, Professor Love (58), previously held senior positions with the University of Otago’s Faculty of Dentistry.

Professor Love developed generalist and specialist clinical programmes that have educated New Zealanders and led to internationalisation, in particular providing higher education for practitioners from the Pacific Islands. He was an inaugural member of the joint accreditation committee with the Australian Dental Council and initiated a partnership with the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.

Another milestone in Professor San Thang’s incredible journey

Since being found huddled aboard a flimsy boat among 400 other Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea, Professor San Thang has come a long way.

The Griffith University science graduate was made a Companion in the General Division (AC) for his “eminent service to science, and to higher education, particularly in the fields of polymer chemistry and materials science, through seminal contributions as a research innovator, as a mentor, and to the community”.

Professor Thang came to Australia with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saigon, then went on to complete his PhD at Griffith in 1987.

Dr San Thang and Ms Tanya Kooymans, inaugural recipients of the Griffith Sciences Outstanding Alumni Awards
Dr San Thang and Ms Tanya Kooymans, inaugural recipients of the Griffith Sciences Outstanding Alumni Awards

His notable career highlights include his work with new polymer and plastics at the CSIRO that saw him and his colleagues recognised as contenders for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Dr Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt, a former staff member and Adjunct Professor with the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for ‘distinguished service to tertiary education in the field of action research and learning as an academic, author and mentor, and to professional bodies’.



Dr Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt AO

Professor Steve Margolis OAM

Professor Steve Margolis OAM

And Gold Coast-based Professor Steve Margolis was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to rural medicine and medical education.

Professor Margolis is an Academic Title Holder who is currently involved in academic research at Griffith Health.