WA's first female maths professor receives highest Australia Day honours

27/01/2021 | 5 mins

The University of Western Australia’s Professor Cheryl Praeger has been recognised with the highest honour in the Australia Day 2021 Honours List – one of just four people Australia-wide to be awarded a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Cheryl Praeger

WA’s first female mathematics professor, Professor Praeger was acknowledged for her eminent service to mathematics; to tertiary education; to international organisations; as a leading academic and researcher and as a champion of women in STEM careers.

She joins five UWA staff members and 11 graduates who were recognised in the Australia Day 2021 Honours List.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma commended the Australia Day Honours recipients.

"Recipients from UWA recognised in this year’s Honours are inspiring leaders who have made a tremendous difference in their fields, ranging from research breakthroughs to advancements in education and making a difference in the community,” Professor Chakma said.

"To be recognised in the prestigious Honours List is testament to their remarkable work and we are very proud of their achievements.”

A full list of UWA graduate and staff recipients in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List is below:

Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

For distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large. 

  • UWA Professor Peter Leedman (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) DSc '89
  • UWA Adjunct Professor Kenneth Fitch (Faculty of Science) MD '75, DSc '07
  • UWA Professor the Hon. Trevor Riley (UWA graduate) LLB '70
  • Emeritus Professor Mark Randolph (UWA Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems)
  • Former Adjunct Professor the late Brian O’Brien (Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences)


Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

For service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group. 

  • UWA Professor Jan Dickinson (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences)
  • Ms Fiona Harris (UWA Graduate) BCom '81
  • Mr Gerald King (UWA Graduate) LLB '63
  • Dr George Lefroy (UWA Graduate) BE '63, MEngSc '65
  • Mrs Frances Lefroy (UWA Graduate) BA '64
  • Emeritus Professor John Melville-Jones (UWA Graduate) BA '57, PhD '63


Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
For service worthy of particular recognition. 

  • Dr Robert Braham (UWA Graduate) BMusEd '83, BA '88, PhD '98
  • Mrs Wanda Horky (UWA Graduate) BA '72, GradDipEd '73
  • Mr Roy Kelley (UWA Graduate) BA '78, MEdMan '99
  • Dr David Nelson (UWA Graduate) MBBS '69
  • Adjunct Associate Professor John Barrett-Lennard (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education)
  • Associate Professor Richard Loh (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences)

Media references

Jess Reid, UWA Media & PR Adviser, 08 6488 6876

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