Four outstanding members of the University of Newcastle community have had their commitment and passion for education recognised in the 2009 Queen's Birthday honour list.
Dr Geoff Leonard, Professor Kichu Nair, Ms Jennie Thomas and Emeritus Professor Warren Pengilley have been named members in the general division of the Order of Australia (AM).
Dr Leonard received his honour for service to tertiary education through the University of Newcastle, to the health care industry, and to medical research. He was appointed Foundation Chair of the Hunter Medical Research Institute in 1998 and remains a Board member today.
A Chartered Accountant specialising in corporate advice, the University awarded Dr Leonard an honorary Doctorate of Business in 2002 and he is currently the Director of Newcastle Innovation, the commercial arm of the University.
Professor Kichu Nair is a Conjoint Professor with the University's School of Medicine and Public Health and is Hunter New England Health Director of Medical Professional Development. He was awarded an AM for his service to medical education through the development of undergraduate and professional development programs in Newcastle.
Professor Nair is a senior examiner on the Australian Medical Council and a researcher with the University's Priority Researcher Centre for Gender Health and Ageing.
A long-time supporter of the University, Ms Thomas has fulfilled the dreams of a number of students by funding research programs. A graduate of the University, Ms Thomas aims to help young people follow their passions and make the most of their talents with scholarships.
She was awarded an AM for service to the community through her philanthropic support for higher education and medical research, in addition to her support of international humanitarian aid projects.
Emeritus Professor Pengilley has been acknowledged for his extensive contributions to the law as a practitioner, regulator, academic and commentator in the areas of trade practices and franchising.
He was the University's Professor of Commercial Law from 1993 to 2004 when he was named Emeritus Professor. In addition to his career in law, Emeritus Professor Pengilley served almost 25 years in the Australian Army and Royal Australia Air Force Reserves, retiring in 1993 with the rank Squadron Leader.