12 June 2018
Queen's Birthday Honours 2018: Michael Barkl and Michael Atherton
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and Professor Emeritus at Western Sydney University, Michael Atherton was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the performing arts, particularly through music composition, performance and education. Atherton has composed music for the concert hall, screen and radio, with numerous CDs, film scores and television themes to his name. He has performed internationally and nationally in numerous contexts, from early music performance to contemporary electroacoustic works (as a member the duo SynC). His academic career includes appointment, in 1993, as the Foundation Chair in Music at Western Sydney University, where his teaching and research focused on current Australian music expression. He has published several books, including co-editing Music of the Spirit: Asian-Pacific Musical Identity (AMC, 2009).
Also recognised with an AM was violinist William (Bill) Hennessy, the artistic director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, for significant service to music as a concert violinist, artistic director, mentor and educator.
Composer, performer and music educator Michael Barkl was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the performing arts and music education. Barkl has devoted a significant part of his career to furthering music education through the TAFE system, currently working as Head Teacher of Digital Media and Music at TAFE Illawarra. He used this opportunity to underline the importance of TAFE education:
'All you need to do is talk to someone and they or people they know have had their life transformed by TAFE', Barkl said in an interview in the Illawarra Mercury on 11 June.
Other members of our music community recognised with an OAM this year were Sheena Boughen (for service to the performing arts through administrative and executive role), London-based pianist Antony Gray (for service to the performing arts), and Leigh Vaughan (for service to the arts and music education, to local government, and to the community).
> Queen's Birthday Honours list on the Governor-General's website
© Australian Music Centre (2018) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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