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Industry and industry research shine in King’s Birthday 2023 Honours

Manufacturing News

Business and industrial researchers led by Adelaide defence company leader Jim Whalley have featured in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List among 1,192 recipients.

Whalley, Deputy Chair of Nova Systems and a former RAAF officer, was among the six appointed to the top category of Companion of the Order for distinguished service to business, particularly the defence capability industry, to the public sector, to aviation history, and to the community.

Whalley co-founded Nova Systems which in recent years has moved from service provision to manufacturing in 2000, and has served as CEO and Chair.

He is also Non-Executive Director, Australian Naval Infrastructure which is constructing the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, Former Chair, South Australia Defence Industry Association and the former Chief Entrepreneur of South Australia.

In a list dominated by recipients for medical research and community service – and the occasional ex-politician – two industry related recipients were named among 46 appointments as Officers of the Order.

Robert Millner was named Officer of the Order for distinguished service to business, to rugby union as an administrator, and to the community through philanthropic contributions.

He has been Chairman of investment company Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company Limited since 1998 and Chairman of Brickworks Limited since 1999.

Washington H Soul Pattinson is the major shareholder in building materials manufacturer Brickworks which in recent years has expanded into brick making in the United States.

Most recently Washington H Soul Pattinson acquired 100 percent of electrical engineering business Ampcontrol.

Dr Misty Jenkins was appointed Officer for distinguished service to medical science as an immunologist, to the promotion of women in STEM, and to the Indigenous community. She worked as a Scientist and Laboratory Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, which has been a leader in collaboration with industry.

The following were appointed as Members of the Order:

Yasmin Akken appointed Member of the Order for significant service to finance and business, and to the not-for-profit sector. She is Chair, Digital Skills Organisation, Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and has been Non-Executive Director, medical device manufacturer Cochlear Ltd, since 2010. She is also Non-Executive Director, Santos Ltd.

Professor Marcela Bilek, Professor of Applied Physics and Surface Engineering at the University of Sydney, appointed Member of the Order for her research into the use of plasma related methods to synthesise thin film materials and modify surfaces and interfaces. She was named Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2012 and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2015 for contributions to the science and application of plasma processes for materials modification and synthesis. Among her many awards are the Malcolm-McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year in 2002 and the Pawsey Medal awarded by the Australian Academy of Science in 2004.

Lindsay Bourke appointed Member of the Order for significant service to the beekeeping and honey industry, and to the community. He has been Tasmanian Beekeepers Association President since 2011 and is owner of Australian Honey products Pty Ltd.

John Camillo appointed Member of the Order for significant service to industrial relations in the manufacturing industry, and to the community. He is a former state secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, South Australia, a former Secretary, Federation of Vehicle Industry Unions, and former State President, Vehicle Builders Employees Federation.

Dr Anna Lavelle appointed Member of the Order for significant service to science and innovation through a range of roles. She is Chair of Medicines Australia, and a Non-Executive Director, Sementis Ltd, Island Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, Non-Executive Director, Cyban Pty Ltd, and Non-Executive Director, BioMedVic. Between 2005 and 2016 she was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of industry group AusBiotech.

Ms Jane McAloon appointed Member of the Order for significant service to the business and energy sectors. She is Chair of Energy Australia and a member of the board of BlueScope Steel.

Dr Peter Rogers appointed Member of the Order for significant service to engineering, to education, and to the community. He is Emeritus Chairman of Monash Engineering and IT Foundation, Monash University, and has been a senior executive in ICI Limited in Australia, Europe, and Bangladesh. He is a former Director, ICI Bangladesh, and former HR Director, Overseas Group Operations, ICI PLC.

Ms Pia Turcinov appointed Member of the Order for significant service to technology and innovation, and to women in STEM. She has been Women in Technology Western Australia (WITWA) Ambassador since 2020 and is a Council member of Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. She is Non-Executive Director of semiconductor technology company BrainChip Holdings Limited and Chair, Industry Advisory Board, Western Australia Cyber Security Innovation Hub.

Christopher Vonwiller and Dr Julia Vonwiller were separately appointed Member of the Order for significant service to science and technology development. Christopher is Chair of Appen Limited which provides or improves data used for the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence products. Julia is a board member of Appen. In 2015 she was named NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur, NSW Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. She won an Australian Export Award (Information and Communication Technology), Australian Export Awards in 2008, and in the same year was named the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award, Australian Export Awards.

Picture: Jim Whalley, Officer Order of Australia

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