Over the summer, Adjunct Faculty member Dr. Paul Hemsworth was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia and the Universities Federations for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Medal for significant services to agricultural and animal welfare. Hemsworth was one of 319 Australians honored with the Member of the Order award as part of the Queen's Birthday celebrations on June 8, 2019. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise achievements and service of their fellow citizens.
In the Australian honors system, appointments to and awards in the Order of Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement and service. The UFAW Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Welfare Science is a prize award to recognize the exceptional achievements of an individual scientist who has made fundamental contributions to the advancement of animal welfare over a number of years. The award is open to individuals whose research, teaching, service and advocacy has significantly benefited the welfare of animals.
Hemsworth is internationally recognized for his contribution to animal welfare science and his pioneering research with Professor Grahame Coleman on the role of human-animal interactions on farm animal productivity and welfare has had a global impact. This unique and innovative multidisciplinary research program identified the major human characteristics, such as attitude and behavior, affecting fear responses in farm animals which through acute and chronic stress can seriously limit farm animal productivity and welfare. By understanding the influence of human attitudes and behavior on animal fear, stress, productivity and welfare, this research has shown the applicability of training programs in the dairy, pig and poultry industries targeting the key influential human characteristics to improve farm animal welfare and productivity. More recently this research has included studying the effects of human-animal interactions in zoos and domestic settings