Honours flow to SVI community

Posted: 29th January 2021

Many congratulations to members of the SVI family who were officially recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List – Brenda Shanahan, Christine Tarascio and Claire O'Callaghan – while SVI alumna, Dr Kirby White, was named Australian of the Year Local Hero for Victoria. SVI supporter, Michael Buxton, was also recognised in the awards with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Brenda Shanahan has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), in recognition of her distinguished service to medical research, to the business and finance sectors, to corporate governance and to philanthropy. Brenda was Chair of the SVI Board for 14 years and has been a philanthropic supporter of SVI over many years.

Christine Tarascio has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for significant service to medical research and charitable organisations. Chair and founder of the SVI Discovery Fund, Christine is a long-standing member of the Foundation Board.

Claire O'Callaghan has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community through charitable organisations. She has served on the Foundation Board and is founder and Chair of SVI's Support Group, still going strong after more than 30 years.

Dr Kirby White, who formerly worked in the Stem Cell Regulation Unit with Professor Louise Purton, was named Victoria’s 2021 Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards. Kirby co-founded the Gowns for Doctors initiative, which has created more than 5,000 re-usable gowns for more than 750 Victorian GP clinics to address shortages in personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.