ANU academic receives honour named after King Leopold II

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Emeritus Professor Patrick De Deckker has received the Officer of the Order of Leopold II.

The award was bestowed for Patrick's high achievements in science, for his links with several Belgian academic institutions, his recent work on the Belgica expedition and his long-term involvement with the Belgian community of Canberra.

"When I found out that I was awarded this Belgian distinction, I was extremely excited," Professor De Deckker said.

"Equally, I was astonished as the title of Officer is above that of Chevalier, a high award that was instituted over a century ago."

Professor De Deckker joins an elite group of scientists, musicians, artists and army commanders who have received this award - all of them having a connection to Belgium.

Widely known within the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, Professor De Deckker led the informal Australian Marine Quaternary Program (when he was in the former Geology Department in the Faculties) that brought together people working on many aspects of marine science and deep-sea cores.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt congratulated Professor De Deckker on this achievement.

"This latest achievement, which recognises Patrick's close ties with Belgium, adds to what is an impressive armoury of awards and recognition," Professor Schmidt said.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick for all of his work at ANU for the past three decades. The fact that he has mentored numerous PhD students, Postdoctoral Fellows and supervised numerous Honours theses across campus at ANU as well as continue his research is outstanding."

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