View all news

Southern Cross academics receive Order of Australia honours

A man and woman in a composite photo smiling at the camera


Lee Adendorff
1 June 2023

Two Southern Cross University academics, Emeritus Professor Colleen Cartwright and Dr Gregory Smith, have been appointed to the Order of Australia in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours List.

Emeritus Professor Cartwright, who recently completed her tenure as Chair of the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee, was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to aged care planning, policy and research.

Professor Cartwright has had a long career in teaching and research at Southern Cross with a focus on end-of-life decision making. She designed the Queensland Advance Care Planning documents that became part of the state’s Powers of Attorney Act. Her research into Advance Care Planning, informed consent and capacity, euthanasia, use of telehealth with older people, with a particular focus on the needs of people with dementia and their carers, is internationally recognised.

“I was very surprised and honoured when I received the notice that I would be receiving an AM, because like many of my colleagues at Southern Cross, who also contribute to their communities in a voluntary capacity as well as a professional one, we don’t expect to be honoured for it.  I have also been humbled by the flood of good wishes from family members, friends and colleagues,” said Professor Cartwright.

Dr Gregory Peel Smith was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the community through social welfare organisations. Dr Smith is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, and a former director of Anglicare North Coast. He is currently a director for the End Street Sleeping Collaboration, which evolved from a NSW Premier’s Priority to end street sleeping by 2030.

In addition to his teaching work, Dr Smith is an ambassador for three homeless support service organisations: Fred’s Place (Tweed Heads), Pete’s Place (NSW) and Signal Flare (QLD). His own extraordinary story, which includes a decade of living in a forest, was immortalised in his memoir, ‘Out of the Forest’ and was also featured on Australian Story in 2018. In August this year, his second publication, ‘Better than Happiness: The True Antidote to Discontent’ will be published by Penguin Random House. 

“Receiving the OAM, a few words come to mind – stunned, surprised, humbled, privileged and I think importantly a question, of how I can use this to achieve better outcomes and recognition for the disadvantaged in our communities,” said Dr Smith.

Media contact

Lee Adendorff, Head of Content at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or [email protected]