Leaders feature on Women's Honour Roll

La Trobe University has welcomed the recognition of two leading academics on the 2014 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

State Minister for Women’s Affairs, Heidi Victoria, today announced former La Trobe Chancellor Dr Sylvia Walton AO and Professor Marilyn Anderson as two of 20 women to be inducted into the honour roll in 2014. 

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar congratulated both women on behalf of the La Trobe community.

‘This is a great recognition of the contribution of women in La Trobe University and the community more broadly,’ Professor Dewar said.   

‘Dr Walton is an outstanding educational leader with a reputation as one of Australia’s foremost educators and she strongly deserves this honour. 

‘Dr Walton’s involvement with La Trobe University spans many years. She completed her Bachelor of Education in the 1970s, joined the Council in 1993, was elected the deputy chancellor in 1997 and then Chancellor from 2006 to 2011,’ he said.

Professor Dewar said Professor Anderson had dedicated her career to scientific research in the areas of plant biochemistry and genetics, and was the embodiment of the passion of La Trobe staff to make a difference on issues that matter.

‘The discoveries made by Professor Anderson and her team over many years are having an impact on communities across the world. Her work has led to the development of new and improved crops such as corn, soya, cotton and canola that are resistant to disease and insects.

‘She has also played a part closer to home as a founding scientist and Director of the Australian research and agribusiness research and development company Hexima Limited, which employs more than 30 scientists here at La Trobe. In addition, she has served on local water boards and the University Council,’ he said.

Professor Anderson was elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2010 and the Australian Academy of Science in 2011 in recognition of her success and international standing in the scientific community.

Professor Dewar said Dr Walton also has a distinguished career as a teacher of History and Geography. She was Principal of Tintern Schools, and more recently St Catherine’s School, a member of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board and an executive member of the Victorian Institute of Teaching Accreditation Committee.

‘For many years she has remained deeply dedicated to addressing issues of access to - and participation in - higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She was chair of the Equity, Access and Personal Welfare Committee of La Trobe University over a long period.’

‘She was also awarded the Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of her leadership and education at secondary and tertiary levels,’ he said.    

Throughout her career, Dr Walton has spoken of the privilege of playing a role in the education of young people, from pre-school through to university and the enormous responsibility that comes with it. 

‘Apart from parenting I cannot conceive of a more important role in life than having the opportunity of influencing our greatest asset – our young people, our future leaders – and providing opportunities through which they can succeed in life,’ she said.

The University recently named a new building for international students on the Bundoora campus in honour of Dr Walton.

The Victorian Honour Roll of Women acknowledges the contribution, leadership and achievements of exceptional women and celebrates the positive impact of their work in diverse areas of expertise, fields and sectors within the Victorian community.

Media contact

Tim Mitchell, Director, Media and Communication (Acting)  

T (03) 9479 5246 | M 0437 457 780 | E t.mitchell@latrobe.edu.au