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Australia Day Honours 2007

The Scotch Family congratulates the following Old Scotch Collegians and members of the Scotch Family who received Australia Day honours in 2007.

Words: David Ashton

Old Scotch Collegians and members of the Scotch Family who received Australia Day honours in 2007:

  • The Honourable Anthony Allan Staley AO
  • Brigadier Paul Bruce Symon AO
  • Professor Murray David Esler AM
  • David Kelman Evans OAM
  • Merron Jean Kirby OAM
  • Lieutenant John Brendon Taylor – Commendation for Distinguished Service – Australian Army

Australia Day awards are made to people who have served their profession, their community or their country with distinction – and without the thought that one day they might receive this kind of recognition for their efforts. From the list on the left of worthy award recipients, we have selected four examples of exemplary service.

1. Tony Staley (’57)

Tony Staley

When as a schoolboy, Tony Staley asked Scotch Chaplain Rev. Alec Fraser whether he should go into theology or become a parliamentarian, Alec retorted: ‘Oh, go into Parliament – we need you there!’ So he did. After studying law and a period as a senior lecturer at Melbourne University, Tony successfully stood for the federal seat of Chisholm and was its member for 10 years. He became Minister for the Capital Territory and Communications Minister under Malcolm Fraser. Retiring from politics, Tony took on roles in the corporate world and the arts. A serious accident in 1990 kept him in and out of hospital for more than two years, but he recovered, and in 1993 he was elected national president of the Liberal Party, helping John Howard to electoral success in 1996. Tony now chairs two ombudsman schemes – energy and water and Australian domain (website). He is also chair of the National Museum, the Cooperative Research Centres Association and the board of advice of Partners in Performance International, and is a director of RAMS Home Loans.

2. Paul Symon (’78)

Paul Symon

Paul graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1982. His many army appointments have included commanding the 1st Field Regiment, for which he was named a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was promoted to Brigadier in 2005. Paul has served overseas on four occasions, including as a military observer in South Lebanon, in East Timor, and as a military adviser to the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands (RAMSI). From November 2005 until May 2006 he was Commander, Middle East Area of Operations, incorporating national command of Australian troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Sword of Honour at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College, Queenscliff, and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra. Paul is married with two children.

3. David Evans (’60)

David Evans

David earned his OAM for his dedicated work as the originator and chairman of the memorial to the Australian Light Horse (the Tamworth Waler Memorial); for work with the Australian Light Horse reenactment riding movement; for services to the New England North-West Rescue Helicopter Service; and for service to radio and television over more than 30 years. At Scotch, David was an excellent athlete, and only injury prevented him from selection in Australia’s Olympic team in 1964. He relocated to country NSW to take up a career in radio and TV, and joined a Light Horse reenactment troop in Tamworth. In 2000 he launched an appeal to create a memorial to the horses which died in war, and this was unveiled in 2005. David participates in an annual mountain bike ride to raise funds for the Westpac rescue helicopter at Tamworth. He is also a well-known broadcaster on ABC local radio.

4. Professor Murray Esler

Murray Esler

Based at the Baker Heart Research Institute and the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Murray is a cardiologist and medical scientist. His research interests are the causes and treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure; the human sympathetic nervous system; stress, and its effects on the heart and blood pressure; and neurotransmitters of the human brain. He is the author of more than 300 medical papers on these topics. Among Murray’s awards are the Wellcome (Australia) Medal (1989), awarded annually for ‘the most outstanding biomedical research in Australia’, the Merck Sharpe & Dohme Award of the International Society of Hypertension (2000), the Monash University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Postgraduate Student Supervision (2000), the Hartnett Medal of the Royal Society of the Arts (2002), the Centenary Medal of the Government of Australia (2003), and the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, awarded by the United Arab Emirates (2006).

Updated: Monday 24 June 2013