In summary

  • Eleven Swinburne community members have been named in the Queen's Birthday 2021 Honours List
  • Winners include engineers, CEOs, a water ski champion, a surf lifesaver and a firefighter
  • Dr Bronwyn Evans, Honorary Doctorate of Engineering recipient, is recognised for her service to engineering, to standards and to medical technology

CEOs, a water ski champion, a surf life saver, a firefighter and an army major are among eleven members of the Swinburne community recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List.

There are four levels of award with Companion of the Order of Australia being the highest, followed by Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). All are given to Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement in a particular field.

Member of the Order of Australia

Dr Bronwyn Evans, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering earlier this year, is recognised for her significant service to engineering, to standards and to medical technology. She is currently the CEO of Engineers Australia, a director of GME and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She was a major contributor to the Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum.

Dr Gillian Sparkes is honoured for her significant service to environmental sustainability and to public administration. Gillian graduated from Swinburne with a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science in 1987 and is now the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.

Maree McCabe has used her Master of Business Administration (MBA), completed in 2001, to become a leader in aged care. She is currently CEO of Dementia Australia and is recognised for her significant service to people living with Alzheimer's and dementia, and to the aged care sector.

Medal of the Order of Australia 

Mark Beretta is awarded for his service to the community through charitable organisations. Mark has had a rich and varied career thus far, from his Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing) in 1990, to becoming a ten-times Australian water ski champion to sports reporter to co-host of Sunrise. He is a board member of Tour de Cure Australia, ambassador for Raise Foundation and the 2019 Australian Father of the Year. 

Kenneth Birkett graduated from Swinburne’s Diploma of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1965. He is recognised for his service to the community of the Goulburn Valley as a volunteer, leader and founding member across philanthropic, community and special interest groups.  

Colin Frost receives his medal for service to electrical engineering. Now the Director of Power Project Engineering, Colin graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) in 1983.  

Alistair McCooke is honoured for his service to surf lifesaving. Alistair graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety in 2012, after which he started his business, AED Australia, to grow the delivery of education, training and supply of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout Australia. He started with the introduction of AEDs, as well as pain relieving drugs, to Lifesaving Victoria. 

Douglas Whan is recognised for his service to the community through the church. He graduated from Swinburne’s Diploma of Commerce in 1963 and has been a trusted treasurer in the church community since.

Other awards 

Major Benjamin McCaskill is awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for meritorious devotion to the Australian Army. He graduated from a Graduate Diploma of Information Systems Management in 2011. 

Louise Smith is recognised with an Australian Corrections Medal. She is Governor at NSW Department of Communities and Justice. She has worked in corrective services since 1999 and completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) in 2015 to further develop her expertise in offenders and their complex needs. 

Peter Baker receives the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) after 49 years of dedicated and exceptional service to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) of Victoria. Peter graduated with an Associate Diploma of Applied Science (Fire Technology) in 1994. 

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