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Anglicans recognised in Australia Day honours

Melbourne Anglican layman Dr Graeme Blackman appointed AO amongst others recognised for service to the community

By Mark Brolly

January 30 2017A leading Melbourne Anglican layman, Dr Graeme Blackman, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List.

Dr Blackman’s current roles include as inaugural Chancellor of the University of Divinity (formerly the Melbourne College of Divinity), since 2012, a member of the Melbourne Diocesan Council and Victorian Provincial Council, as a Director of the Melbourne Anglican Diocese Corporation and on the finance committee of St Paul’s Cathedral.

He also has served as a member of the management committee of the Trinity College Theological School, a director and chairman of the Trinity College Foundation, Lay Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, director of Benetas Anglican aged care group and chairman of Anglicare Victoria.

Dr Blackman’s wider community roles include chairing the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia and as a director of the Australian Youth Orchestra. He is a former Victorian chairman of the National Trust.

A former Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Dr Blackman founded drug research and development company IDT Australia more than 30 years ago and is a member of key government and pharmaceutical industry policy committees.

He received the honour for “distinguished service to the pharmaceutical industry, to scientific research and development, to theological education and the Anglican Church of Australia, and to aged care”.

Mr Paul Wheelton, who attends St Paul’s Cathedral and St Thomas’ Burwood, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to a range of charitable organisations in Victoria through governance, fundraising and philanthropic contributions”.

Mr Wheelton has been a donor to and office-holder in organisations ranging from Life Education Australia and the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, he is a representative on Victoria’s Ministerial Council for Volunteers and Patron of Les Twentyman’s 20th Man Fund. His philanthropic pursuits have included Camberwell Grammar School and he also supports the Children First Foundation and ten20 Foundation.

A former tutor to Prince Charles when he attended Geelong Grammar School more than 50 years ago is among a number of local Anglicans to be awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Mr Michael Collins Persse MVO, who has had a long association with Geelong Grammar as teacher, historian, curator and archivist, was awarded the OAM for service to secondary education and to history. He was Tutor to the Prince of Wales when Prince Charles spent a year at the school in 1966, mainly at its Timbertop campus.

Mrs Rosemary Brown, a member of the Anglican Parish of Sorrento and Rye, receives an OAM for service to international relations through voluntary education roles, including with Teachers Across Borders in Battambang, Cambodia, since 2014 and as a consultant and coordinator at a school for children with intellectual disabilities in Malaysia. Among her other roles were as Education Officer at St John’s Home for Boys and Girls (now part of Anglicare Victoria) in Canterbury from 1977-88 and as a member of the Chaplaincy Committee at Rosebud Secondary College from 2003-10.

Mrs Thelma Castles
, a parishioner at Christ Church South Yarra with her husband John and their two daughters, receives an OAM for service to the community through charitable organisations.

Mrs Castles was a member of Anglicare Victoria’s research and ethics committee from 2007-10 and has served in various capacities with the Queen’s Fund, including as president.

Two members of All Saints’ Mitcham who are active in the Anglican Men’s Society, Mr Ivan Holt and Mr Warren Cole, also receive OAMs. Mr Holt is national and Victorian secretary of the Society, while Mr Cole has had senior roles with the organisation nationally and is its Victorian Chairman, as well as a church warden at All Saints’ and assistant program coordinator for the parish’s Mainly Music program.

Mrs Elizabeth Pender, who has served the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Eltham Opportunity Shop in roles ranging from volunteer to president, was honoured with an OAM for her service to the community, particularly through social welfare organisations.

A parishioner at St James’ Point Lonsdale and Holy Trinity Port Melbourne, Dr David Holloway, was awarded an OAM for his services to military history and the history of Anglicans involved in the Great War.

Dr Holloway, a volunteer guide at the Shrine of Remembrance since 2007 and the author of several books on military history, has held a number of offices with the Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association and the 4th Light Horse Regiment Memorial Association. In 2011, he received the Shrine of Remembrance Medal for “an outstanding contribution to the advancement of community knowledge and understanding of the service and sacrifices made by Victorians for their country in times of war and peacekeeping”.

Geelong tenor, Mr Henry John Stubbings, has been awarded an OAM for service to music and to the community of Geelong.

Mr Stubbings, Assistant Musical Director of the Geelong Chorale for the past 14 years, was a chorister and soloist with St Paul’s Occasional Choir in Geelong for almost 20 years until 2008 and was active in musical theatre after 32 years’ service as director of music at several state secondary and technical schools in the Geelong area.

Nationally, the Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University, the Revd Dr Michael Spence, was made a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) for services to the tertiary sector and to the Anglican Church and the former Anglican Dean of Perth from 1990-2014, the Very Revd John Shepherd, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia through senior liturgical roles, and to the community.

In Britain, a former Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Revd James Jones, was knighted in the New Year Honours List for services to bereaved families and justice after chairing the Hillsborough Independent Panel. It concluded in 2012 that 41 of the 96 people who had died as a result of the disaster at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, might have survived if there had been better medical care. He served as the Bishop of Liverpool from 1998 until 2013.