Colin Steele gets an ANU gong

From left,  Prof Amin Saikal with ANU chancellor Prof Gareth Evans, and emeritus fellow Colin Steele. Photos by Stuart Hay, ANU COLIN Steele, who served as ANU chief librarian (1980 to 2002) and director of Scholarly Information Strategies from 2003 until his retirement in late 2003, has been awarded the ANU’s Outstanding Service to the Campus Community award.

The award citation notes Colin’s “distinguished contribution to librarianship in Australia” including the introduction of automation, and the arrival of the internet, by helping the ANU create Australia’s first university library website.

Colin, author and editor of seven books on history, libraries and scholarly communication, was also instrumental in founding ANU E-Press in 2002, now ANU Press. This month, the publisher announced it had exceeded two million downloads of its titles. In 1986, Colin established the “Meet the Author” series and, since his retirement in 2003, has worked tirelessly on them, negotiating with publishers to bring some of the best writers in Australia and the world to Canberra.

Over more than 30 years, the series has held about 600 events – most on the ANU campus – and attracted more than 120,000 people.

MEANWHILE Distinguished Professor Amin Saikal has received the Peter Baume Award, the ANU’s highest academic award.

Director and Founder of the ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAIS), Prof Saikal, was honoured for his role in improving Australia’s understanding of the Middle East and Central Asia.

“Prof Saikal’s advice and public commentary are regularly sought by governmental, non-governmental organisations and media, and he was also an adviser to former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser,” the ANU citation said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Prof Saikal and CAIS have provided high-quality work to inform debate on the Middle East for more than 20 years.

She also said collaboration between CAIS and the Australian Government on the challenging and contentious issues of the region was highly regarded.


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