Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
August 2007 Issue
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UN honour for alumni


Four University of Adelaide staff and graduates have been honoured by the United Nations at a special function hosted by Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison.

The four were awarded certificates of achievement by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) for their respective work in science, linguistics, human rights and education. The recipients were:

  • Professor Stephen Lincoln, an expert on global warming and climate change;
  • Dr Rob Amery, Kaurna language specialist and reviver of endangered indigenous languages;
  • Human rights advocate Heather Southcott OAM; and
  • UNESCO delegate and education expert Joy de Leo OAM.

All were honoured at a civic reception at the Adelaide Town Hall last month to launch the Adelaide Chapter of UNESCO and the 60th anniversary of the organisation in Australia.

Professor Lincoln's award-winning work on energy use and climate change is highly regarded in Australia and overseas. In 2006 he published Challenged Earth, a scientifically based and comprehensive insight into the challenges facing humanity and Earth in the 21st century.

UNESCO honoured Professor Lincoln for his "scientific approach to the problems humanity faces and for ways of improving our stewardship of Earth".

Dr Rob Amery, a lecturer in linguistics at the University of Adelaide, has been credited with helping to revive the traditional Kaurna language and raising awareness of Aboriginal languages in Australia.

In 1998 Dr Amery completed a PhD on Kaurna, the language of the Adelaide Plains people, developing a range of innovative strategies to promote the Aboriginal language and a method for the reintroduction of 'sleeping' languages.

Dr Amery's UNESCO award was in recognition of "the documentation both of the Kaurna language and aspects of the traditions of the Kaurna Plains people and the development of language revival resources".

Heather Southcott, a pharmacology graduate of the University, is a member of Amnesty, the Coalition for the Bill of Rights and the International Human Rights Day Committee. She is also a strong advocate for social justice and children's rights.

UNESCO honoured Ms Southcott for her "services to the community, in particular as Chairperson of the United Nations Association of Australia".

Joy de Leo has been a member of nine Australian delegations to international UNESCO events since 1999 and a delegate and speaker on human rights education at more than 20 UNESCO conferences. She has a Graduate Diploma from the University of Adelaide and is currently studying for her Doctorate in Education at the University.

Ms de Leo promotes Values Education in Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region, working closely with UNESCO in Bangkok. Her award was in recognition of her "services to UNESCO, in particular as Regional Vice President and as Australian Founding President of UNESCO".

Story by Candy Gibson

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From left:
Professor Stephen Lincoln, Dr Rob Amery, Adelaide Lord Mayor, Michael Harbison, Heather Southcott and Joy de Leo
Photo by Candy Gibson

From left:
Professor Stephen Lincoln, Dr Rob Amery, Adelaide Lord Mayor, Michael Harbison, Heather Southcott and Joy de Leo
Photo by Candy Gibson

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