2023 Australia Day Honour for UQ Education

30 Jan 2023

Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher, an educator specialising in Down syndrome research, was recognised in the 2023 Australia Day Honours and made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to people with Down syndrome through research programs and education initiatives.

Dr Faragher has been the Director of the Down Syndrome Research Program within the School of Education since 2016.

It’s the oldest, most complete study of its kind anywhere in the world.

“I had not thought of a reward, so the email came as a complete surprise,” Dr Faragher said of learning about the honour.

She cited her daughter as her initial motivation but watching other students with Down syndrome succeed at school was extremely rewarding.

“Seeing incremental change, with more students completing secondary mathematics and getting their senior school certificates is a particular highlight,” Professor Faragher said.

“I’m also proud to have led the writing team for Down Syndrome International which produced Education Guidelines that have been acknowledged by the United Nations."

“They are making a real difference around the world.”