Griffith greats receive Queen’s Birthday Honours

An inspirational scientist and international leader in stem cell research, who was named Australian of the Year in 2017, Griffith Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim has been awarded Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List, for his significant service to tertiary education, and to biomedical science.  

In 1987, Professor Mackay-Sim AM came to Griffith University with a research focus on the olfactory organ responsible for the sense of smell.  

Professor Mackay-Sim during his career at Griffith University.

It took 20 years for the research to lead to a successful world-first human clinical trial in Brisbane, Professor Mackay-Sim and his team proving that transplanting nasal cells into the spinal cord was safe. 

During this time, he served as Director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Griffith University for more than a decade. 

Other Griffith staff, alumni and supporters honoured in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 List include philanthropistbusinessman and architect Soheil Abedian AM, recognised for his significant service to the community, and to the property development sector. 

Dr Abedian, who is a Doctor of the University (DUniv), and his wife Anne are long-term supporters of Griffith University, with a focus on helping talented students experiencing adversity through life-changing scholarships. 

Others to be awarded Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia include: 

  • Associate Professor Kate Copeland AM – for significant service to health infrastructure planning and management. Ms Copeland is an Adjunct Associate Professor for the School of Medicine and Dentistry. 
  • Professor Emeritus David Carter AM – for significant service to tertiary education, and to cultural and literary studies. Professor Carter was employed within the Faculty of Humanities between 1987 and 2000.  
  • John Kotzas AM – for significant service to the performing arts as an administrator and artistic director. Mr Kotzas is a Doctor of the University (DUNiv) and a current member of the Queensland Conservatorium Advisory Board. 
  • Harvey Lister AM  for significant service to the arts, tourism, sport, and to the venue management and events industries. Mr Lister is a Doctor of the University (DUniv). 
  • Professor Emeritus Toni Makkai AM – for significant service to tertiary education, and to public administration. Professor Makkai is Chair of Griffith Criminology Institute Advisory Board. 
  • Wayne Kratzmann AM – for significant service to the visual and performing arts, and to education. Mr Kratzmann is a donor to the Queensland Conservatorium. 

Griffith community members who have been named an Officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia include: 

  • The Hon Justice Dr Ian Freckelton QC AO – law adjunct prof and outstanding alumnus 2019 – for distinguished service to the law, and to the legal profession, across fields including health, medicine and technology. Hon Justice Freckelton is an Adjunct Professor at Griffith Law School and was Arts, Education and Law’s Outstanding Alumnus in 2019.
  • Philip Bacon AO – for distinguished service to the arts, to social and cultural organisations, and through support for young artists. Mr Bacon is a Doctor of the University (DUniv) and former member of the Queensland Conservatorium Advisory Board. 
  • Dr Bridget Carty AO – for distinguished service to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, to education and research, and to the community. Dr Carty was a Research Fellow for the Centre for Deafness Studies from 1988–2000. 

An Industry Fellow with Griffith Asia Institute, Major General Adam Findlay AO was named an Officer (AO) in the military division of the Order of Australia. He received the award for his distinguished service and exceptional leadership as Special Operations Commander Australia, Commander Special Operations Joint Task Force – Iraq, and Commander of the 7th Brigade. 

Those recognised with a medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the general division include:   

  • Griffith alumnus Beny Bol
    Griffith alumnus Beny Bol

    Beny Bol OAM – for service to youth. Mr Bol is a Griffith Law School alumnus. 

  • Matthew Hickey OAM – for service to music, and to the law. Mr Hickey is a Queensland Conservatorium alumnus and a member of the Queensland Conservatorium Advisory Board. 
  • Sandra Doumany OAM – for service to the community of the Gold Coast. Ms Doumany is a benefactor for the Institute for Glycomics and a member of the Glycomics Circle. 

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans congratulated all Griffith recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours on their well-deserved honours. 

“This recognition of current and former members of Griffith, our donors and associates is a testament to the important impact that our colleagues have in the community,” Professor Evans said. 

“I am delighted to see their efforts recognised in this way.”