Emeritus Professor Larry Sitsky, a distinguished composer, pianist and teacher at the ANU School of Music
, has been appointed an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia in the 2017 Australia Day Honours.
Professor Sitsky was honoured for his distinguished service to the arts as a composer and concert pianist, to music education as a researcher and mentor, and through musical contributions to Australia's contemporary culture.
He said he was surprised at the honour, which came after a lifetime of composing, performing and teaching.
"It is always nice to get a pat on the back," said Professor Sitsky, who moved to Australia as a teenager in 1951.
He is a strong believer in being open to new ideas and areas of music, which carries through to his teaching philosophy. He is currently working on a new virtual opera.
"As a teacher, if you don't learn something from your students, you have failed. It is a two-way thing," he said.
Professor Sitsky was joined by Professor Jon Altman, the founding Director of the ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), who was appointed a Member in the General Division (AM).
Professor Altman is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and completed his PhD in Anthropology at the ANU. He was honoured for his significant service to tertiary education as a researcher and administrator, and to the social sciences and Indigenous economic policy.
"It's just terrific that CAEPR, which I consider a really important research centre looking at the difficult policy issue for Australia of Indigenous development, is still going strong and is proving sustainable," Professor Altman said.
"It is probably needed more now than ever. We have a political swing to populism at the moment, and scholarly research and hard evidence is urgently needed to help shape sensible policy.
"Getting this award is recognition that CAEPR has been and continues to be a valuable ANU project.
"I have championed Indigenous rights for 40 years with this work recognised on Australia Day. This is paradoxical, given the pain this day represents for most Indigenous Australians I know, and given that I believe it is an anachronism that needs to be addressed as soon as possible."
Clinical Associate Professor Stephen Bradshaw from the ANU Medical School, and Associate Professor David Stanton from the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy were also appointed Members in the General Division (AM).
Among the high-profile alumni honoured on Australia Day are High Court Justice Stephen Gageler and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson, who were both appointed Companions (AC). Diplomat Peter Woolcott was appointed an Officer (AO) and public health advocate Dr Michael Moore appointed as a Member (AM).
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Harding congratulated all the winners on their awards.
"To be included in the Australia Day Honours is a magnificent recognition of a lifetime of service to help make Australia a better place for all," Professor Harding said.
"On behalf of the University, I congratulate Larry, Jon, Stephen and David for their contribution to the University, for being leaders in their respective fields and for helping to inspire the next generation of leaders.
"I also congratulate all ANU alumni and friends of the University who have been honoured on Australia Day."