Professor Michael Coper, a former Dean of the ANU College of Law, has been appointed Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2018 Australia Day Honours.
Professor Coper has been recognised for distinguished service to legal education, and to the law, as an academic, author and administrator, through advisory roles, and to transport safety.
“I am very honoured to have received this award, especially because of its implicit recognition of the great work of the ANU College of Law, which I had the privilege to lead as Dean for many years,” he said.
“One does things as part of a team, and I had a great team and great colleagues, whose work has impact and significance.”
“The aspect of this recognition of which I am most proud is my long-standing mission to re-orient the idea of a legal career from one of selfish material reward to the more altruistic idea of using the law to make the world a better place. Hence our focus at ANU on law reform and social justice.
The recognition for his distinguished service to transport safety was a nod to his work assisting in the running of an industry self-regulation scheme for truck operators. According to Professor Coper, this scheme, through self-motivation, was a powerful supplement to on-road enforcement.
“I am honoured that the award recognises my contribution to road safety, through working with highly committed colleagues in the trucking industry dedicated to that goal,” he said.
“Truck safety is a vexed issue, but there are many unsung heroes in the industry who are working hard to improve it, and I have been privileged to have assisted with that.”
Professor Coper also acknowledged the support he has received from his family, including his wife Associate Professor Judith Jones, who is also an ANU Law academic.
“Personal achievement invariably involves family sacrifice. Like many others, I acknowledge the indispensable family support I have had over many years.”