Geelong’s new OAM inductees

New Member of the Order of Australia Jan Watson. (Louisa Jones) 209681_10

By Luke Voogt

A radio presenter, a legal educator, a couple of historians and scuba-diving marine biologist were among Geelong’s most recent Order of Australia inductees this week.

Clifton Springs’ Jan Watson became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) after a lifetime of scuba diving and marine biology.

The 93-year-old only recently gave up diving, after a career spanning several dozen published papers and the discovery more than 100 new species.

“I stopped two years ago because my legs were giving out on me,” Dr Watson told the Independent.

Her love of “finding new things” drove her to study marine biology, she said.

Queenscliff’s Helen and William Brown both earned Order of Australia Medals (OAM) for almost a century combined of volunteering, and preserving and teaching history.

The couple have served for decades at Queenscliffe Historical Museum and earlier at Werribee Community Centre.

Newtown radio announcer Paula Kontelj earned an OAM for her service to the Geelong community, which including appearing as MC for several charity events.

Ms Kontelj has also held pivotal roles at Geelong Arts Centre and Geelong Football Club, and was a patron of mental health organisations Headspace and Scope.

Newtown’s Professor Adrian Evans received an OAM for his work in law, teaching and the community, including co-founding the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault in 1993.