Tall Poppy Science Award for Vice-Chancellor

Wednesday, 2 May 2001

Adelaide University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary O'Kane has been selected as one of Queensland's Tall Poppies in Science in recognition of her outstanding research achievements.

The Award, announced by the Australian Institute of Political Science (AIPS), was presented to Professor O'Kane at a Tall Poppy Dinner in Brisbane last night (1 May). The three other scientists to be honoured as Tall Poppies were Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Doherty; gastroenterologist Professor Lawrie Powell, and pathologist Professor John Kerr.

The Queensland awards are part of a national campaign by the AIPS to celebrate Australian scientific and intellectual excellence.

Queensland-born Professor O'Kane is a leading Australian specialist in her primary research field of spoken language understanding/automatic speech recognition. She was awarded the Australian Telecommunications and Electronics Research Medal in 1990 for her research in this field.

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. She is also a director of leading Australian pharmaceuticals company FH Faulding and a member of the board of CSIRO. She has served on numerous government committees advising on research, innovation and science and is a former Chair of the Australian Research Council's Research Grants Committee.

Professor O'Kane, who was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University in 1996, said she was honoured to receive the Tall Poppy award.

"As a scientist, it's pleasing to have your work recognised," she said. "Awards of this type also help to lift the profile of science in the community, and this is important if we are to ensure continued investment in science research at Australian universities.

"Adelaide is one of Australia's great science universities, and the creation of the new Faculty of Sciences (merging the Faculty of Science with the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences) is a key step in securing our future as an international leader in scientific research and education."


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