Locals recognised in King’s Birthday honours

Locals recognised in King’s Birthday honours
Brendan Rees

Six residents and workers in the inner city have been recognised in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List, one of which was awarded posthumously for their contributions to health and the community.

Carlton resident Libby Saunders, who is the coordinator of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers’ Project, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her “service to community health, particularly asylum seekers”.

“I was surprised and humbled to be nominated as I already feel fortunate to work in such a flexible and supportive organisation, with such capable people – staff and volunteers – an ideal environment for anyone to flourish,” Ms Saunders said.



“I’m a long-time social worker, committed to seeking social justice for disadvantaged people. The asylum seekers with whom we work are some of the most disadvantaged people in the community. Many have been waiting for more than 10 years for their visa outcome, some without the right to work or access to any income support.”



Another East Melbourne resident Sue Henderson, who is president of the East Melbourne Neighbours Network (EMNN) and an East Melbourne Group committee member, was awarded an OAM for “service to the community of East Melbourne” –which the EMNN has celebrated in their column in this month’s edition.   

The late Professor Emeritus Bill Louis, also of East Melbourne, was posthumously awarded an OAM “for service to medicine as a clinical pharmacologist”. Prof. Louis was the Honorary Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and the former head of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit.

In a statement, Prof. Louis’s family said they were thrilled with the news that he had received a King’s Birthday award and “only wish he was alive to receive it in person”.

“Bill would have been proud to be recognised for his lifelong devotion to clinical work in hypertension and cardiovascular disease, drug research, development and regulation and to medical education,” the family said. “Bill was a devoted husband, family man and friend who always available in times of need. Bill’s family would also like to sincerely thank everyone involved in putting his name forward for his award.”

The Honours List also saw East Melbourne resident Greg Munt awarded an OAM “for service to the community through social welfare organisations”. Mr Munt, who is profiled in this edition’s Inner City Local, has been a volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul soup van for 50 years.

Clinical Professor Daryl Williams (pictured main), who has been the director of anaesthesia and pain management at the Royal Melbourne Hospital since 2003, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to anaesthesiology and pain medicine”.

Prof. Williams said he was “humbled and honoured” to receive the award, noting “individual awards can only be achieved through the collaborative work of others, and I would like to thank my family, friends and work colleagues for their tremendous support”.

Prof. Williams played a leading role during the COVID-19 pandemic supporting staff safety and education around personal protective equipment and creating the respiratory protection program for ongoing staff mask fit-testing and support.

“The passion, kindness, caring and flexibility demonstrated by Royal Melbourne Hospital staff during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated and I am immensely proud to have been part of the Victorian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prof. David Russell, who has been the director of general medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital since 2001, was also appointed an AM “for significant service to general medicine, to clinical education, and as a mentor”. •

Like us on Facebook