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Ben Long
27/01/2017
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Bill Lovegrove and John Borghetti honoured

Emeritus Professor and business figure recognised for their leadership

University of Wollongong (UOW) Emeritus Professor Bill Lovegrove and honorary doctorate recipient John Borghetti were among those honoured in the 2017 Australia Day awards, with both appointed Officers in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO).

Professor Lovegrove received his AO for service to leadership in tertiary education, developing academia in regional areas and to cooperative research in various fields. He served as UOW’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and International) from 1992 to 1998, and prior to that was a Professor of Psychology from 1986 to 1992. He has been Emeritus Professor at UOW’s School of Psychology since 2004.

He was also Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Southern Queensland from 2003-2011, and is currently Acting President of the Nan Tien Institute.

Professor Lovegrove told the Illawarra Mercury that one of his greatest achievements as a tertiary education leader was to change the research policy so that research teams could use state-of-the-art equipment and so that researchers could work together more productively.

“You’re not going to progress in research if everybody does their own little thing … you need to get critical mass in certain areas,” he said.

“You can’t buy equipment for 200 different researchers but you can buy good equipment for 10 research groups. And there’s much greater intellectual power by combining different strengths.”

John Borghetti, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Virgin Australia Airlines, received his AO for distinguished service to the Australian aviation industry, to the development of national and international tourism opportunities, and as a supporter of the arts and sport.

Mr Borghetti was seven years old when he immigrated to Australia from Italy with his family. In 1973, at age 17, he joined Qantas Airways as a junior mailroom boy eventually working his way up to the role of Executive General Manager. In 2010, Mr Borghetti joined Virgin Australia Airlines as CEO and Managing Director.

He has also served on the boards of a number of community, arts and sporting organisations, including Australian Chamber Orchestra, CARE Australia, Australian Ballet and Sydney Football Club.

Mr Borghetti said he was honoured to receive the Order of Australia award, and was grateful for the opportunities the country had given him.

“Australia has provided me with enormous opportunity and it has been a great privilege for me to be able to contribute to the greater good of the country,” he said.

“If you work hard, stay focused and are lucky enough to work with passionate, talented people, you really can achieve anything.“ T

he University of Wollongong presented Mr Borghetti with an Honorary Doctor of Laws in July 2014 in recognition of his contribution to business leadership over a four-decade career.

In presenting him for the award of Doctor of Laws, the Executive Dean of UOW’s Faculty of Business Professor John Glynn, said it was Mr Borghetti’s leadership attributes that brought him to the University’s attention.

“His commitment to collegial leadership, to ongoing staff development and talent recognition is well known and admired,” Professor Glynn said.

“John sees his role as CEO is to provide inspiration and hope for his employees, to lead by example and to remember that the fundamental focus for any business should be on people.

“John‘s vision and ability to successfully guide an organisation mirrors the University of Wollongong’s aim to build professional excellence and enhance responsible business leadership, through its Faculty of Business.”

Mr Borghetti was named UOW Sydney Business School’s Entrepreneur of the year in 2015.

UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, congratulated both recipients for their well-deserved honours.

“Although they work in different fields, Emeritus Professor Lovegrove and John Borghetti share many of the same leadership attributes. They are both inspirational leaders who share an ability to recognise and develop the talents of those who work with them,” Professor Wellings said.

“They have both made significant contributions, not just to the organisations they have worked for, but also to the University of Wollongong and the wider community.”

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