Encouraging students to take responsibility for their educational success and career aspirations are core roles of university academics, according to Professor of Accounting at The University of Notre Dame Australia's School of Business and 2015 Order of Australia Medallist, Derek Parkin OAM.
Professor Parkin was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division on 26 January 2015, for service to accountancy through a range of professional, academic, business and advisory roles.
Migrating from South Africa to Australia 36 years ago, Professor Parkin was a partner at global accounting firm Arthur Andersen for 23 years, and has also worked at Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young.
In between juggling a number of board positions and business and government advisory roles, Professor Parkin regularly spends his Monday mornings at St Patrick's in Fremantle, lending his musical talents to the popular Starlight Hotel Choir.
Professor Parkin says he is honored to feel that his contribution to accounting has made a difference to the country.
"My willingness to be consistently true to the person that I am, particularly my views on personal and professional integrity, have hopefully helped me make a difference to others in some way. In particular, it makes me think of my late dad, who was such a guide and moral compass for me over the years," Professor Parkin said.
"Joining the world of academia in 2003 was a nervous step into the unknown for me, but I feel privileged to have been in the company of such wonderful people, both academic colleagues and students alike.
"It is so important that a tertiary environment strongly encourages young adults to take personal responsibility for their educational success and career aspirations. It is our role, as academics, to be the catalyst."
Professor Chris Doepel, Dean of the School of Business, Fremantle, said the School was thrilled to have a member of its academic staff recognized for their service to the Australian community.
"Derek is widely respected by fellow staff and his students alike, and continues to represent the School and the University with pride, humility and grace through his professional and musical achievements," Professor Doepel said.