A former National President of Engineers Australia is one of the engineers who have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Chartered engineer Dr Marlene Kanga AO CPEng, Engineers Australia’s National President from 2013 to 2014, was awarded an Order of Australia for “distinguished service to engineering, particularly as a global leader and role model to women, to professional organisations, and to business”.
Kanga, who was President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations from 2017 to 2019, said she was extremely proud to receive the prestigious award.
“This is an extraordinary recognition of my leadership of some of the largest organisations involved in engineering and technology in the government, private and non-profit sectors,” she told create.
“This recognition is just the beginning. I am driven by my vision to communicate the importance of engineering to community, policy makers, leaders, parents and youth.”
Also recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours were Chartered Northern Territory Airports Aerodrome Safety and Standards Manager Robert Calaby for his service to aviation, and Chartered engineer Shayne Kessey CPEng, who was Engineering Associate of the Year for the Northern Division of Engineers Australia in 2006.
Chartered engineer Paul Bellas CPEng, who boasts decades of experience in Defence, was awarded a Bar to the Conspicuous Service Medal for “meritorious achievement in the reform of organisation management in the Australian Army”, while Chartered engineer Keith Bell CPEng, International Advisor to the Advisory Committee of the Dept of Infrastructure Engineering’s Center for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration at the University of Melbourne, received an AM.
Engineers Australia National President Nick Fleming congratulated the awardees, saying the honours reflected the broad influence of engineering in the community.
“I commend these engineers for their exceptional contributions to Australia’s success,” he said. “Engineers Australia is proud that its members and their achievements are receiving recognition fitting the importance of their work.”
“A career for a better world”
Kanga said the honours were a reflection of the growing appreciation of Australian engineers from diverse cultural and social backgrounds.
“Less than 40 per cent of Australian honours are made to women, and an even smaller percentage are Asian Australians,” she said. “Our economic future and wellbeing depends on making the best use of all of Australia’s talents and intellect, to enable an environment where everyone can be the best they can be.
“This award is a significant recognition of the important contributions that Australians born overseas are making.”
The second Australian and the second woman to lead the World Federation of Engineering Organisations has spoken before about the importance of diversity and innovation in the profession.
“Engineering is all about innovation,” she told create in 2017. “I always say to young people, ‘If you want to change the world, become an engineer’.”
Kanga made the announcement in her opening address at the 2019 World Engineers Convention in Melbourne that 4 March would be celebrated as World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.
“World Engineering Day is an opportunity to celebrate engineering and encourage young people to consider engineering as a career for a better world,” Kanga tweeted after the announcement.
Among Kanga’s many professional achievements is her work in process safety engineering for hazardous industries.
“I drafted the first Land Use Safety Criteria for hazardous industries, which has been adopted in legislation in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, keeping millions safe,” she said.
View the full 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
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