The Strathcona Medal

The Strathcona Medal is awarded at Presentation Night each year to an Old Strathconian. The Medal is given in recognition of excellence in a profession and exceptional service to the wider community in the spirit of the School motto, ‘Bravely, Faithfully, Happily’. All Old Strathconians are eligible for nomination.

Nominations – Strathcona Medal 2018

Download the nomination form and return by email, post or in person. Full details can be found on the form.

For further information please email Community Relations or write to: The Chair of the Strathcona Medal Committee, Strathcona BGGS, 34 Scott Street, Canterbury, VIC, 3126.

Recipients of the Strathcona Medal

Year Recipient Field
2016 Professor Robyn Sloggett Cultural Heritage
2015 Joanne Knight Law and Advocacy
2014 Professor Kerry Landman Medicine, Biology, Environment and Industrial
2013 Nicole Hahn Engineering
2012 Natalie Smith Public Health
2011 Dr Barbara Martin Medicine
2010 Dr Ainsley Newson Biomedical Ethics
2009 Dr Heather Cleland Medicine / Plastic Surgery
2008 Penelope Foley Reconciliation
2007 Professor Winifred G Nayler Cardiac Physiology
2006 Jenika Graze Nursing / Humanitarian
2005 Val Johnston Education / Humanitarian
2004 Margaret Waterhouse, OAM Reconciliation

2016, Professor Robyn Sloggett – Cultural Heritage: Services to the arts, conservation and heritage management

Professor Robyn Sloggett completed her education at Strathcona in 1972. She is strongly committed to the preservation and conservation of Australia’s cultural heritage, and to supporting the people who care for this heritage.

Robyn has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is the Director of The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include attribution and authentication of Australian paintings, the development of the Australian art market, collection development and history, the investigation of the materials and techniques of artists in Australia and Southeast Asia, and the preservation of cultural material held in Australian Indigenous communities. Robyn holds qualifications in art history, philosophy and cultural materials conservation (applied science).

In 2004 Robyn was honoured with the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) Conservator of the Year Award for Services to the Conservation Profession. In 2012 she received the AICCM Award for Outstanding Research in the Field of Material Conservation for the leadership of the Australian Research Council 20th Century in Paint project. In 2013 she received the International Council of Museums Australia Award for International Relations fostering museum, conservation practice and professional development between Southeast Asia and Australia. In 2015 Robyn was made a Member, General Division of the Order of Australia ‘for significant service to the arts in the field of cultural heritage management and preservation as an academic, conservator and adviser.’ In May 2016 she was presented with the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal.

2015, Joanne Knight – Lawyer and Advocate

Joanne completed her education at Strathcona in 1996, followed by honours degrees in Arts and Law at Monash University.

She is an experienced lawyer who has sought justice for refugees and disadvantaged migrants, and has led lawyers in seeking law reform for human rights and fairness. As a lawyer and then Associate, Jo worked with Erskine Rodan & Associates leading test cases and a successful High Court challenge in migration and domestic violence law. In seeking law reform, Jo led teams of voluntary lawyers as Section Chair of the Administrative Law and Human Rights area of the Law Institute of Victoria, proposing legal reforms and appearing before Parliamentary Inquiries.

Joanne has also managed the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Ecumenical Migration Centre, and governed on a number of not for profit boards, including as the founding Chairperson of Oaktree for its first six years – a youth led movement to end poverty – as Deputy Chair of the Hotham Mission Asylum Seekers Project, and as an advisory member to the Board of Mission Australia.

She is currently TEAR Australia’s National Advocacy Coordinator, campaigning on aid and climate justice. Her passion is for positive change for those facing injustice or poverty.

2014, Professor Kerry Landman – BSc (Hons), PhD, Mathematician working in cross-disciplinary research: Medicine, Biology, Environment and Industrial

Kerry finished her secondary education at Strathcona in 1970 and was appointed Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne in 2007 (the first female professor in the history of the department). She obtained her PhD in mathematics from the University of Melbourne and then spent six years working as an applied mathematician in the USA, at MIT, the Environmental Protection Agency and Southern Methodist University. She returned to Melbourne to join Siromath, a mathematical sciences consulting firm, before joining the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne.

She is an applied mathematician committed to cross-disciplinary research. Her research interests are in mathematical modelling with application to industrial, environmental, biological, and medical areas. She has used mathematical modelling to gain an understanding of a diverse range of topics, including shape changes of red blood cells, indoor pollution by radon gas, heat loss in houses, consolidation and filtration of minerals waste, cooking of wheat grains for breakfast cereal manufacture and the design of windscreen wipers. Currently she is collaborating with experimentalists on several projects in the areas of developmental biology and tissue engineering. She also works with several experimental laboratories, one of which is the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, where she is focusing on the development of the nervous system of the intestine. Most of her time is spent interacting with people from different fields and assisting them to solve problems as well as investigating how mathematics can be used in the wider community.

From 1993-1997, she was the Director of the Mathematics-in-Industry Study Group (MISG). Much of her time was spent marketing and communicating the power and versatility of mathematics to business and industry and the wider community. Each year she arranged problem-solving workshops where students were invited to join with mathematicians and business representatives in brainstorming industrial projects.

Kerry has been awarded the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) medal in recognition of her significant contribution to the field. This is ANZIAM’s premier medal and Kerry is the first female recipient. The 2014 Medal is the 10th awarded since its inception in 1995.

2013, Nicole Hahn – B.Eng (Honours)

Nicole graduated with Honours from Monash University as a Dean’s Scholar in the Faculty of Engineering. After graduating, Nicole worked with indigenous communities in the Northern Territory for five years, managing programs to improve welfare, education and health.

After providing volunteer aid work beyond Australian shores, it was a natural progression for Nicole to embark on a full-time career in Emergency Engineer Relief work through RedR, Unicef and Red Cross. She has been involved in many of the immediate aid responses to natural disasters or man-made crises in the last decade. This work has taken her to East Timor, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Liberia, Phillipines, Samoa, Fiji and, most recently, Syria to work as a water and sanitation officer.

Nicole is currently working for RedR as the UNHCR Site Planner and Technical Officer for the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Syria. She is responsible for site planning, engineering services and coordination of infrastructure delivery within the refugee camp housing over 120,000 refugees.

Nicole works in challenging and often extreme conditions, bringing water to those without, providing a safe haven to desperate refugees, reconnecting fragmented and lost families, and creating sanitation for masses of displaced people.

2012, Natalie Smith – B.Ap.Sc. (OT), MPH

Natalie Smith graduated from Strathcona in 1986 and went on to study Occupational Therapy at the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, which later became Latrobe University. While working as a community and later pediatric OT in Northern Tasmania, Natalie narrowly escaped being one of Martin Bryant’s victims during the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre. The experience led to a new direction, and she has since spent her life working with and serving others in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Melbourne and Timor Leste.

Natalie served with World Vision in Sierra Leone in 1997, helping rehabilitate and re-train amputee war victims in local farming and livelihoods. In 1998, she joined The Leprosy Mission in Nigeria. During the 8 years that followed, Natalie participated in leprosy training in Ethiopia and in evaluations of projects in Sudan, Ethiopia and Laos.

Returning to Melbourne in 2006, Natalie commenced a Masters degree in International Public Health at The University of Melbourne. After graduating in 2008, Natalie re-commenced work with The Leprosy Mission, coordinating their work in Timor Leste, and saw the country achieve elimination of leprosy as a public health problem in 2010. Natalie continues to support the National Disabled People’s Organisation to raise awareness about the rights and needs of people affected by disability and leprosy in Timor Leste.

2011, Dr Barbara Martin MB BS, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, FAChPM

Dr Martin attended Strathcona from 1946 – 1951. She then completed a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at The University of Melbourne, graduating in 1957. In 1963 she obtained specialty qualifications in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
With a strong desire to work in the mission field, Dr Martin served the people of South Korea at the Il Sin (‘Daily New’) Christian Hospital in Pusan from 1964 – 1995.

Her main role was the training of doctors in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and also the training of nurse midwives. During her time in South Korea, Dr Martin became particularly interested in patients with Trophoblastic Disease, a complication of pregnancy that can become cancerous, requiring a lot of follow-up support for patients and families. Dr Martin set up a special clinic, which soon became the leading centre for the treatment of Trophoblastic Disease in Pusan and Kyung Nam province.

Dr Martin became the Assistant Medical Superintendent of the Il Sin Christian Hospital from 1978 – 1994. During 1994 she went to Britain for 6 months to study palliative care. On her return to Korea, she commenced a Palliative Care service at the hospital, that being her main role until her retirement in November 1995. She says, ‘I have had a special privilege of being involved with people at the beginning of life and also at the end of life.’

Although now mainly retired, Dr Martin still does some on-call work in the palliative care department of the Northern Hospital.

2010, Dr Ainsley Newson

Dr Ainsley Newson graduated from Strathcona in 1993. She then proceeded to gain degree qualifications in Medical Ethics, Law and Science from The University of Melbourne. She was working as a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Ethics at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine, when she won the Strathcona Medal. She is currently Associate Professor of Bioethics at the University of Sydney.

Dr Newson has been described as a ‘brilliant researcher’ and an ‘inspiring teacher’ by the organisers of the ‘Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK’ award which she received in January 2010.
Dr Newson’s research focuses on the ethical aspects of clinical genetics, reproductive decision-making, and the emerging technology of synthetic biology. She has published on these and other topics in a range of bioethics and medical journals and books.

2009, Dr Heather Cleland, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.S

Dr Heather Cleland is a Visiting Plastic Surgeon and Director of the Victorian Adult Burns Service and Director of the Skin Tissue Culture Laboratory at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. She is also Head of the Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

She is adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of Surgery at Monash University, and a member of the Court of Examiners of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Dr Cleland graduated from Strathcona in 1973 and was one of the first group of students through Tay Creggan.

Dr Cleland is involved with Interplast, an organisation that delivers plastic surgery care to people in the Pacific Islands and South East Asia, as well as training local surgeons and nursing staff.

Most notably, Dr Cleland was instrumental in the recovery of many Bali bombing victims, including the ex-AFL player Jason McCartney. More recently, she led the Alfred Hospital burns team as they dealt with victims of the Victorian bushfires in February, 2009.

2008, Penelope Foley B. A., Dip. R.E., M. I. C. D. [1984]

In 1987 Penelope attended a Uniting Church Youth Convention and was inspired by the keynote speaker, anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke on the relationship between God’s justice and the struggles in his homeland of South Africa.

This led her to work with the South African Council of Churches in the Justice and Reconciliation Department in Johannesburg. All her efforts have been towards the uplifting of the youth in this country.

Penelope is also part of a church movement that provides assistance and accommodation to thousands of refugees, as well as a church for AIDS orphans without adult support.

Her colleagues see her as giving tireless and selfless service, dedicated to uplifting others for the well being of the community at large, a dedication which goes far beyond that which one would expect of even the most committed of South Africa’s humanitarians.

A fellow worker has said, “Our country is the better for her choice to focus her energies here.”

2007, Professor Winifred G Nayler, MSc Dsc

Professor Winifred G Nayler MSc DSc (Millott, 1947) began her career as a research assistant with the Baker Medical Research Institute, Melbourne and went on to become the Associate Director in 1966.

From 1972 to 1980 she worked in London in cardiac physiology at the National Heart Hospital and later as Professor in cardiac metabolism at the University of London. In 1980 she returned to Melbourne’s Austin Hospital as Principal Research Investigator for the Department of Medicine.

Professor Nayler is renowned for her work in relation to the ‘calcium overload’ phenomenon in the cardiac function and has written books on the topic. Her first book, titled Calcium Antagonists was published in 1988 and achieved international acclaim. Her lasting contribution to medicine will be the lives she has saved through her research into cardiovascular medication.

2006, Jenika Graze

Ms Jenika Graze, a 1981 leaver, works with the United Mission to Nepal, an agency that recruits professionals who are willing and qualified to contribute to the physical and spiritual welfare of the people of Nepal. Through her nursing she became passionately involved in women’s issues of crisis accommodation, literacy classes, AIDS, empowerment of women, girl trafficking and maternity and breast feeding health issues. However, her most outstanding work has been in the area of palliative care nursing. Jenika has been instrumental in setting up the first hospice in Nepal and training its nurses in the principles of palliative care. She has coordinated and assisted teaching in workshops for health carers from all over Nepal, who then return to their institutions to teach their own staff in palliative care. She has also helped set up a home-based palliative care service that is being used as a model throughout Nepal.

Jenika has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the people of Nepal.

2005, Val Johnston

Mrs Val Johnston (Hutchison, 1947) has devoted most of her adult life to the field of education with the majority of her work being in India. From the early 1950s she worked as a teacher in the Mount Hermon Co-educational Boarding School, eventually running and refining the 600 student hostel. In the late 1970s and 1980s, she was key in running and developing the Mt Hermon Teacher Training College and it is to the credit of this establishment that many of its students are now principals and senior staff in schools all around India. In the 1990s, on her return to Victoria, Australia, she contributed to the development of the Flinders Christian Community College.

After retiring in 1993, Mrs Johnston has returned to India on a number of occasions. One of her projects was the setting up of the boarding infrastructure and infirmary at a struggling school in the south of India. Her outstanding contributions to the many communities in India are marked by selfless giving and set a standard that places her at the forefront of those working in education in India.

2004, Margaret Waterhouse, OAM

Mrs Margaret Waterhouse OAM (MacKnight, 1957) was the inaugural recipient of the Strathcona Medal. She has devoted most of her adult life to working actively and determinedly towards peace and reconciliation. Her extensive involvement with Amnesty International, her many years of voluntary parish service in the Anglican Church and her outstanding contribution to reconciliation with indigenous people have set a standard that places her at the forefront of those working for such causes. She has not only served the community, but has helped build communities which promote understanding and justice.