The 2020 Australia Day honours list recognises dedicated Australians who have excelled in their fields. Congratulations to CSIRO's Australia Day honours recipients.

The 2020 Australia Day honours list recognises dedicated Australians who have excelled in their fields. Congratulations to all CSIRO’s Australia Day honours recipients.


Dr Matthew Hill, materials scientist

Dr Matthew Hill, from Manufacturing, received a Public Service Medal for his outstanding public service to materials development for industry and the Australian Defence Force.

Matthew is an internationally recognised expert in design, synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials. He leads a multi-disciplinary team that has been instrumental in both the discovery and development of materials known as Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs).

Matthew has collaborated with national and international stakeholders to build his research program at CSIRO and Monash University, which delivers commercial production scale materials for practical use. Specifically, he led a project developing MOFs to deliver broad spectrum protection for Defence personnel against toxic gases.

Matthew’s research places Australia at the forefront of technologies for toxic industrial chemicals respiratory protection. To-date he has attracted $24.5M of investment across 43 separate projects. He has also received a number of awards for innovation in science, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2014. His dedication to training others in STEM forms a pivotal aspect of his service to the scientific community nationally and internationally, and to the improvement of Australia’s Defence capability.

Matthew’s work uses cutting edge materials science to protect Australian soldiers.

Professor Matthew Hill recognised on the Australia Day honours list

Professor Matthew Hill

Dr Brian Walker, CSIRO Fellow

Dr Brian Walker, a CSIRO Fellow with Land and Water, received an Order of Australia. He was recognised for his distinguished service to science, particularly to ecosystem ecology and research, and to professional scientific bodies.

Brian is an ecologist at the forefront of the inter-disciplinary area of resilience in complex adaptive systems. As an Honorary Research Fellow at CSIRO and an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University, he is a leading contributor to the world’s understanding of the dynamics and resilience of ecosystems and linked social-ecological systems. He has an outstanding record in  national and international science leadership.

As a pioneer of resilience science, Brian has inspired and influenced the development of studies on sustainability and resilience. He has impacted many fields through his involvement with various groups of scholars, resource managers and policy makers. These fields include environmental conservation, economics, sustainable development, infrastructure development and disaster preparedness policy.

Dr Brian Walker, CSIRO Fellow recognised on the Australia Day honours list

Dr Brian Walker, CSIRO Fellow

Dr Peter Riddles, CSIRO Board

CSIRO Board member, Dr Peter Riddles, received an Order of Australia for his significant service to science, to biotechnology, and to innovation.

Peter has been a member of the CSIRO Board since 2014 and Chair of the Board Science Excellence Committee since 2016. As a Queensland-based biotechnologist, Peter has substantial experience developed through a broad range of executive roles in the biotechnology industry. He is the founder and Director of ViciBio Pty Ltd, and former General Manager of IMBcom Pty Ltd and Executive Director of CSIRO’s Bioactive Molecules Initiative.

Peter’s career began as a research scientist in molecular biology in the public sector, holding positions at the University of Queensland, Stanford University and CSIRO. Since then, he has accumulated decades of experience in the life sciences industry in Australia and internationally. He has provided leadership to diverse organisations including biotechnology start-up companies, industry organisations, and University Commercial Offices. Peter’s current priorities include working with clinical entrepreneurs in enterprise creation and maintaining an interest in innovation policy and practice.

Dr Peter Riddles, CSIRO Board recognised on the Australia Day honours list

Dr Peter Riddles, CSIRO Board

Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, climate scientist

Our climate scientist, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, was in the running for the top honour – Australian of the Year 2020.

Jess is a pioneer in science and a champion for women in STEM. Following her Australian of the Year Tasmania award, she was up for the national gong. She was honoured just to be nominated and we’re so proud of her.

Her work is in understanding and predicting the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems – from the tropics to the poles. Her role is to connect the science with policy for better decision-making.

We recently spoke to Jess about her nomination and her work.

CSIRO researcher Jess Melbourne-Thomas receives her Australian of the Year Tasmania award

Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas

Congratulations to CSIRO staff, past and present

We would also like to acknowledge former CSIRO team members who were also recognised on the Australia Day honours list:

  • Raymond Specht
  • Graham Faichney
  • Grant Hunt
  • Gael Jennings
  • John O’Callaghan
  • George Savvides
  • Cindy Shannon
  • Robert Sward
  • Dedee Woodside
  • Peter George Williams.


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  2. Good post, I will come back for the next post

  3. I really love Science. I believe it has made our lives so much better. I support what our dedicated scientists are doing from medicine to the environment. I am not a scientist, I am just an artist (music and art) but without science the world cannot go on. What more can I say. I am very interested in our environment and paint the native plants. I have a great love of our Australian plants and I love the much malighned Eucalypts of this amazing land. The poor old Eucalypts get blamed for a lot of things especially for bush fires. We totally do not understand this country. We have to learn how to live in Australia. I reach out to the scientists to tell us. I want to learn more. The country is trying to tell us and we seem to be ignoring what it wants to say. So our scientists are very important.

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