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.