Recognition for outstanding Australians

26 JANUARY 2013

Although they were born in different countries, two senior members of the CSU community have been recognised with top honours in the 2013 Australia Day honours list.

Although they were born in different countries, two senior members of the Charles Sturt University (CSU) community have been recognised with top honours in the 2013 Australia Day honours list.
 
Leading Australian theologian and humanitarian, the Reverend Professor James Haire, who was born in Northern Ireland, has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia, while former CSU Vice-Chancellor, New Zealand born Emeritus Professor Ian Goulter, has been awarded the Member of the Order of Australia.
 
“I am delighted that these outstanding Australians have received such high honours from the Australian community,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann.
 
“We are proud to claim these outstanding individuals as part of the CSU community and we think it is a fitting recognition of their work,” he said.
 
The Reverend Professor James Haire, AC
Professor James Haire is Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Professor of Theology, and Director of the Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre, based in Canberra. He took up his CSU appointments in 2003.
 
Professor Haire has believed in and negotiated for peace and reconciliation for much of his working life, an endeavour which comes from deep personal experience. Born during ‘the trouble’ in Northern Ireland, he served from 1972 to 1985 as a senior theologian and educator in Indonesia before serving his church in Darwin. Because of his experience, he was involved in peace and reconciliation negotiations involving Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas, Indonesia from 2001 until 2005.
 
The professor has actively sought cooperation between denominations, and from 1992 to 2004 was co-chair of the National Dialogue between the Uniting Church and Catholic Church in Australia. Since 2002 he has been a member of the Joint International Commission between the Vatican and the World Methodist Council. Since 2005 he has been on the Executive of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).
 
Professor Haire has worked at the highest levels of interdenominational cooperation in Australia, serving for four years as chair of the National Heads of Churches and for four years as president of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
 
He came to CSU after holding senior positions in various educational institutions in Brisbane.
 
Professor Haire said he wants to devote the rest of his life to building a multi-faith centre on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. 
 
“It will be a place where the deepest spiritual aspirations of Australians can be expressed and celebrated, and a symbol of our nation’s commitment to social harmony and religious diversity,” he said. 
 
“That is the goal, but to achieve it we need to gather a broad coalition of supporters.” 
 
Professor Haire has Honours and Master degrees from the University of Oxford (where he also rowed), and a PhD in Theology from the University of Birmingham. He has been recognised for his achievements with honorary awards from universities in Northern Ireland and Australia, as well as becoming a Knight of St John in 2000, and a Rotary Honorary Peace Ambassador in 2001. He was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006. A theological research centre was named in honour of Professor James Haire in Indonesia in 2012.
 
Emeritus Professor Ian Goulter, AM
Professor Goulter was CSU Vice-Chancellor from 2001 to 2011 and made a significant contribution to strengthening the University and expanding opportunities in rural and regional Australia.
His strategic focus and leadership laid the foundations for much of CSU’s growth in this time. In 2001, CSU had total revenues of $194 million and a full-time staff of 1 460. By 2009 this had grown to $330 million in total revenue and more than 1 760 full-time staff.
 
CSU’s campuses grew during this time. Professor Goulter implemented the new greenfield campus in Albury-Wodonga which was officially opened in 2009. There was a major refurbishment of teaching and learning facilities, and expansion of student residential accommodation, in Bathurst. New theology teaching and research facilities were constructed in Canberra. A new clinical teaching facility was built in Dubbo. The new Orange Campus was integrated into CSU and expanded. There was a major expansion of science and student residential infrastructure in Wagga Wagga. A highly successful offshore campus was established in Ontario, Canada.
 
Some special achievements which will help sustain regional and rural Australia include the new $60 million Veterinary Science program in Wagga Wagga, which graduated its first students in 2010. Every single graduate of the program was employed in rural practice within a day of completing their course.
 
Professor Goulter led the successful campaign to establish CSU’s dental and oral health program based in Orange and Wagga Wagga with dental clinics in five locations serving rural NSW and Victoria.
 
Research for regional Australia grew substantially during Professor Goulter’s time with CSU. The University consolidated its research strengths in agriculture and wine science, and expanded into hydrology, food security and environment. The University established a new research centre to address critical issues in inland health, and has a growing reputation in research into early years education and veterinary science. To support research in biological and animal sciences, he commenced construction of a state-of-the-art $50 million National Life Science research laboratory complex in Wagga Wagga which opened in 2012. 
 
Charles Sturt University is now the largest University in non-metropolitan Australia and has the largest geographic reach of any University in the country.  More importantly, it has reached into the lives of more than 120 000 students to give them opportunities they might not otherwise have had. 

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