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Years of service honoured

3 min read
06 May 2022
honorary award recipients
Chancellor John Dornbusch, Dr Hannah Tehan, Mary Rohde, Professor Emeritus Paul Bates, Professor Emeritus John Cole OAM, Professor Emeritus John Thompson PSM, Dr Carol Cox AM, Major General (Retd) Stuart Smith AO DSC and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie.

A suite of University of Southern Queensland education icons has received the University’s most prestigious recognition.

Chancellor John Dornbusch and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie announced six new honorary award recipients in a recent ceremony, recognising their outstanding achievements across a wide range of endeavours.

Paul Bates, John Cole OAM, John Thompson PSM and the late Gerald (Gerry) Tehan were named the University’s newest Emeritus Professors; Dr Carol Cox AM received an Honorary Award of Doctor of Sciences; and Major General (Retd) Stuart Smith AO DSC was bestowed an Honorary Award of Doctor of Business.

Chancellor John Dornbusch acknowledged each recipients’ many years of commitment to the betterment of society.

“You have achieved tremendous things in your individual fields through decades of hard work, dedication to excellence and perseverance in the face of obstacles,” Mr Dornbusch said.

• Professor Emeritus Paul Bates

Professor Paul Bates may have taken flight from the classroom with his 2021 retirement, but the acclaimed aviation/aerospace academic remains connected to the University of Southern Queensland as a Professor Emeritus. Professor Bates has dedicated his career to improving aviation education globally. He played a leading role in developing the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program, making the University of Southern Queensland the first regional university to be involved in such a partnership.

• Professor Emeritus John Cole

A distinguished leader and vocal advocate for the regions, Professor John Cole OAM has over 30 years’ experience on not-for-profit and public interest boards. In 2021 Professor Cole retired as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at the University of Southern Queensland. Prior to this, he served as the founding Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), and the founding Executive Director of the University’s Institute for Resilient Regions.

• Professor Emeritus John Thompson

Professor John Thompson PSM is recognised as a leader of root-lesion nematode research in the Australian grain industries. His work has delivered solutions leading to ground-breaking results, saving cereal and pulse growers tens of millions of dollars each year. Professor Thompson joined the University’s Centre for Crop Health in 2014, having previously been Senior Principal Soil Microbiologist with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

• Professor Emeritus Gerald Tehan

Professor Gerald (Gerry) Tehan first taught at the University of Southern Queensland (then the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education) in 1986, continuing in different roles until his retirement in December 2020. Among his many achievements, Professor Tehan played a leading role in the University’s offshore offering of Psychology in Singapore in the mid-1990s and leadership of the psychological skills courses at Springfield campus in the mid-2000s.

• Dr Carol Cox AM - Honorary Award of Doctor of Sciences

Dr Carol Cox AM retired as a medical general practitioner in 2015, having dedicated a career of over 40 years to the health sector. Her career included significant appointments such as her time as a medical officer with the Rural Women’s General Practice Service (a division of the Royal Flying Doctor Service). Dr Cox has also contributed significantly to the University, serving 12 years as a member of the University of Southern Queensland Council.

• Major General (Retd) Stuart Smith AO DSC - Honorary Award of Doctor of Business

In a military career spanning 36 years, Major General Stuart Smith gained command and leadership experience at the highest levels, including in East Timor in 2003, and in the Middle East and Afghanistan in 2012. His final military appointment was as the Deputy Chief of Joint Operations (2015-2017). In 2020, Major General Smith was appointed Defence Engagement Commissioner. In 2018-2019 he was State Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the Central Queensland Bushfires and the North Queensland Monsoon Floods. Major General Smith is a proud University of Southern Queensland alumnus, having completed a Master of Business Administration in 2001.