Prof. Katherine Daniell honoured by the French Republic

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Written by: ANU School of Cybernetics
3 Jun 2022

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Prof. Daniell is one of only a few Australians who have been honoured in the Ordre National du Mérite since its founding in 1963. Photo by Andrew Meares
Prof. Daniell is one of only a few Australians who have been honoured in the Ordre National du Mérite since its founding in 1963. Photo by Andrew Meares

28 May, Canberra—Cybernetics Professor Katherine Daniell was awarded the insignia of Knight in the Ordre National du Mérite, conferred through a decree by the President of the French Republic.

The French Embassy in Canberra held a ceremony on 26 May, led by French Ambassador, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébault.

Prof. Daniell was given the highly prestigious award for the years she has dedicated to strengthening the scientific and university cooperation between France and Australia, and for her extremely valuable contribution to research and innovation in water management.

In her speech during the awarding ceremony, Prof. Daniell thanked the Republic of France and its citizens for their generosity in supporting subsidised educational experiences and global cooperation in research and innovation – something she has benefitted from through her study and research career.

Prof. Daniell pursued her PhD in France and was a John Monash Scholar. Upon her return to Australia, she continued working with colleagues in France and the French Embassy and played a pivotal role in establishing the French Australian Water and Land Management initiative and then the Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN).

Through her leadership roles, Prof. Daniell paved way for impactful research collaborations between, and educational opportunities for, students and researchers in France and Australia.

As she remarked in her speech: “It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to open up opportunities for others in their own education and research journeys. And to identify and build French-Australian connections with so many colleagues and communities in many fields around the world.”

The Ordre National du Merite is a French order of merit founded in 1963 and given to both French and foreign nationals for exemplary civil or military achievements.

Katherine
Prof. Daniell receives the insignia of Knight in the Ordre National du Mérite from French Ambassador, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébault. Photo by Andrew Meares
Katherine
The French Embassy in Canberra held an awarding ceremony on May 26. Prof. Daniell’s family and some friends, co-workers, and collaborators were also present. Photo by Andrew Meares
Katherine
In her speech, Prof. Daniell had a fun sharing of her French experience—from learning French in primary school in Adelaide, to her PhD studies in Montpellier at what is now AgroParisTech and INRAE, meeting her husband and settling back in Australia, developing communities like AFRAN and the future of Cybernetics incorporating French perspectives. Photo by Andrew Meares
Katherine
All smiles. Fresh from her fieldwork in the outback in South Australia, School of Cybernetics Director, Distinguished Prof. Genevieve Bell AO FTSE FAHA travelled back to Canberra to celebrate with Prof. Daniell. Photo by Andrew Meares
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