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24 June, 2021

CQUni alum and Families Australia CEO recognised with major award

FAMILIES Australia Chief Executive Dr Brian Babington has acknowledged the “key lessons” he learned as a CQUniversity student after he was recently appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.


The CQUniversity alumnus was recognised for his significant service to children through safety and well-being initiatives as CEO of Families Australia, a position he has proudly served in since 2005.

Families Australia is a national, peak, not-for-profit organisation that works to improve policies for children and families experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation.

“The award is a great honour and one that I owe entirely to my wonderful family, friends and colleagues,” he said.

“A particular campaign goal over my 16 years as CEO has been to tackle the problem of child abuse and neglect in Australia. I am proud to say that Families Australia has played a leading role in advocating for, and helping to design, Australia’s first-ever governmentally-endorsed plan to improve child safety and wellbeing—the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

“In that context, I see my award as recognition of the efforts of numerous community members and advocates around Australia who tirelessly stand up against child abuse and champion a society in which all children and young people can grow up safe and well.”

Dr Babington completed a Graduate Diploma of Management (online) with CQUniversity in 1988.

“I am very grateful to CQU for supporting me to undertake distance learning while I served overseas as a young Australian diplomat in the 1980s,” he said.

“Many of the key lessons from that study, for example in financial management and organisational psychology, are ones I still employ today at Families Australia as I lead and manage people, processes and finances to achieve external policy outcomes.

“As CEO, I have the great fortune of working on nationally-important issues with people of immense generosity, creativity, and driving ambition to make our society fairer and more inclusive. The opportunity to ‘think together’ with others, and to be challenged to listen and keep learning, on fundamental human questions—such as the sort of community we want our children to live in—is a life-changing privilege.”

He said CQUniversity was recognised as an institution that is “on the move”.

“(CQUniversity is) deeply attuned to the needs of its students and the broader society,” he said.

“When I look back on CQU’s journey over several decades I see an inspiring story of achievement, growth and commitment to community in all its diversity.

“I admire deeply CQU’s outreach to rural and remote communities, its commitment to distance education, its leading-edge research, and its great employment outcomes. With its commitment to access and participation, CQU is now recognised as Australia’s most inclusive university and as one of the world’s top ‘young’ universities.

“These things do not arise by accident. Rather, they derive from a deep commitment to values, leadership and educational excellence. I look at CQU and see that the future for its students and their communities is bright.”

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Prof Nick Klomp congratulated Dr Babington on the recognition.

“Dr Babington is a leader in every sense of the word and CQUniversity is proud to see his vitally important work with Families Australia recognised in this way,” Prof Klomp said.

“We’re honoured to have him in our alumni community and we look forward to following and supporting his continued achievements into the future.”


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