12/06/2017 - 12:22

Queen honours 36 Western Australians

12/06/2017 - 12:22

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Chief scientist Peter Klinken, oil and gas veteran David Agostini and public sector commissioner Mal Wauchope are among the 36 Western Australians to join the alumni of recipients of the Queen’s birthday honours.

Peter Klinken was recogised in this year's Queen's birthday honours. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Chief scientist Peter Klinken, oil and gas veteran David Agostini and public sector commissioner Mal Wauchope are among the 36 Western Australians to join the alumni of recipients of the Queen’s birthday honours.

Professor Klinken, the state’s chief scientist and former head of the then WA Institute of Medical Research (now the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research), was recognised as a companion in the general division for his service to medical research and biochemistry through seminal contributions to understanding the genetics of major diseases, and for promoting the importance of science and innovation.

He is regarded for advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia. His research achievements also include the discovery of a gene that suppresses the growth of tumours.

Mr Agostini, who chairs the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance after serving in numerous managerial roles with Woodside Petroleum and Shell, was made a member in the general division for his significant service to the oil and gas industry as an engineer and through a range of advisory roles.

Mr Agostini’s career began in 1963 when he worked for Chevron subsidiary Texaco as an engineer, before beginning what would become a lengthy tenure at Woodside in 1972.

He has served in a number of roles at Woodside including as general manager gas, general manager operations and general manger of North West Shelf Interests, and also held a two-year managerial role at Shell in-between his Woodside tenure in the late 1980’s.

The inaugural commissioner of the Public Sector Commission, Mr Wauchope, was made an officer in the general division for his distinguished service to public administration in WA through leadership and advisory roles, to improved governance, public sector management and policy reform.

Considered one of the state’s most powerful and influential public servants, Mr Wauchope first joined the state public service as a trainee graduate in Treasury in 1973.

In 1997, Liberal premier Richard Court appointed Mr Wauchope as director general of the Ministry of the Premier and Cabinet, a position he held until 2008.

Other notable WA recipients in this year’s birthday honours included South Metropolitan TAFE chair and St Mary’s Anglican Girls School vice chair Elizabeth Carr for significant service to the community through voluntary contributions to the health, aged care and social services sectors, and Fremantle Press editor Wendy Jenkins for significant service to literature as an author, editor and publisher.

MercyCare chief executive Chris Hall was also recognised for his service to the community through support for sustainable social welfare outcomes and to the not-for-profit sector, while MSWA chief executive Marcus Stafford was honoured for significant service to people with disabilities.

“As someone who grew up in north-east London, I never thought I’d travel half-way around the world and then get recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list,” Mr Stafford said.

“It’s a great honour to receive such a prestigious award. Having said that, it is a team effort and I’d like to thank the board of directors, management, staff and of course the people with neurological conditions who we are here to serve.”

Among those honoured who no longer call WA home were former Bankwest chair Ross Garnaut for eminent service to the community as a leading international economist in the area of energy efficiency and climate change policy, and former Edith Cowan University professor Linda Kristjanson for service to tertiary education through leadership and governance roles, as well as contributions to cancer research and palliative care.

The latest WA recipients of the Queen’s birthday honours came about a week after Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest was named Western Australian of the Year for 2017.

Mr Forrest received the accolade a fortnight after he and his wife Nicola made a historic $400 million philanthropic donation, which will be directed to six main areas including cancer research, arts, community and the environment, and early childhood.

The donation was heralded by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as the largest single philanthropic gift in the country’s history and the largest donation by living Australians.

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