On the afternoon of 8 December 2022, the Society was delighted to gather our members and partners to induct our new Fellows, who were appointed in 2021 and 2022 yet remained uncelebrated due to the continuing disruptions of the global pandemic.
All Fellows are appointed “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the public appreciation of science and expertise in the State of Victoria.” The way each Fellow has achieved this impact varies dramatically.
Mrs Nicola Williams FRSV
For her contributions to the teaching of chemistry, to the history of science and mineral exploration in Australia, and to the leadership of the Royal Society of Victoria.
William Birch AM FRSV
For his contributions to the public understanding of the geology of southeastern Australia, to the study of Victorian minerals and gemstones, to the publication of the work of Victorian scientists, and to the leadership of the Royal Society of Victoria.
Professor Rachel Webster AO FRSV
For her leadership of Australian research in the field of astrophysics, her contributions to the advancement of early career researchers, and to the engagement with astronomy by school students in regions experiencing disadvantage.
Dr Peter Baines FRSV
For his contribution to the geophysical sciences, to global scientific societies, to the development of our understanding of stratified fluid dynamics, the oceanography of Australian waters, the complex interactions of the global climate system, and to the leadership of the Royal Society of Victoria.
Our 2022 Fellows were convened from the Government, Community, Industry and Academic sectors to help us to confront and understand the complex scientific, political, social and economic challenges presented by the burgeoning extinction crisis in Victoria, culminating in the publication of our Report for Changemakers: Towards Conservation and Recovery of Victoria’s Biodiversity.
Ms Fern Hames FRSV
For her contributions to the communication and public understanding of environmental science, the leadership of globally significant environmental research efforts conducted within the Victorian government’s Arthur Rylah Institute, and the leadership development of other women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine through the Homeward Bound initiative.
Mr Damein Bell FRSV
For his leadership of the Gunditj Mirring Aboriginal Corporation, his contribution to the UNESCO World Heritage listing of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, his commitment to the health of the lands and waters of Gundijtmara Country through establishing Indigenous Protected Areas, stewarding new governance programs for environmental water, and to the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
Ms Judith Downes FRSV
For her outstanding development of the Maths Olympiad program in Victoria for students with high potential, her commitment to promoting positive environmental and social impact practices in the Australia finance sector through leadership of Bank Australia, her business leadership of clean energy and medical diagnostic device companies, and her global leadership in driving the agenda for the Global Alliance for Banking on Values Governing Board Forum.
Professor Brendan Wintle FRSV
For his intersectoral leadership in defining the nature and scope of biodiversity decline in Australia, developing clear, tractable measures for governments to halt and reverse damage to Australian ecosystems and threatened species, and the historic establishment of an Australian Biodiversity Council to foster better public understanding, collaboration and action on the biodiversity crisis.
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