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Tuesday, Tuesday,xx 28xxxxxxxx,xxxx January, 2020



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AM for trailblazer By Danielle Kutchel




Dr Anne Astin received an AM on Australia Day for her service to the dairy industry and food safety regulations. 203663 many ways, from calling for female forensic scientists to be given overalls while collecting evidence at crime scenes rather than being forced to wear skirts, to bringing her threemonth-old daughter to the Supreme Court of Victoria while she gave evidence in a case, and being involved in decision making on interview panels in the public service - something that was rare at the time. Throughout her career, Dr Astin’s desire to make a difference continued to drive her - whether it be simply creating a better workplace for her staff, or as board member at Wellsprings for Women in Dandenong.



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Ever the trailblazer, she says she is now “redefining” retirement, and while she no longer has a regular 9-5 job, she still fills her days with pro bono community work. Dr Astin is currently chair of the board of Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand, a Trustee of Kildare Ministries and sits on the Council of Catholic Social Services Victoria. “While I’m fit and healthy and ... as long as I can provide value, I’m happy to remain involved,” she says. “For me what drives me is making a difference and influencing change but not for change’s sake; it’s about change for good and

change to make people’s lives better.“ Rounding out Dandenong’s success in the Australia Day honours, former mayor and councillor of Greater Dandenong, Naim Melhem, received an OAM for his service to the community in a number of roles (see story page 5). Dandenong-Cranbourne RSL Sub-Branch board member Simon Bloomer also received an OAM, for his service to veterans and their families (see story page 4). For Sunday's Australia Day coverage, turn to page 2



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Respected dairy industry figurehead Dr Anne Astin can now add another accolade to her list of achievements after being made a Member of the Order of Australia, for her significant service to the dairy industry and to food safety regulations. The honour comes after she was presented with a Public Service Medal in the Victorian Division of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2011, for her services to the dairy industry, national food regulations and rural women. In 2010, she was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll and received the Outstanding Service Award from the Australian Dairy Industry Council - the first woman to receive the honour. A familiar face and name to many in the dairy industry, Dr Astin’s highly decorated and respected career has spanned a range of organisations and industries, allowing her to pursue multiple different passions. After studying biochemistry at university, the Endeavour Hills resident tutored at Monash University for a few years before joining the Victorian public service as a forensic scientist. She subsequently moved into public health, where she became more familiar with food standards. Dr Astin worked in mining regulation too for a time and was a registrar of land titles at one point - even getting to hold Robert Hoddle’s notes from his survey of Melbourne - but the thread of food safety policy ran through it all. The opportunity to set up a new dairy regulatory authority brought her to the dairy industry, where she has largely remained. She is proud as well of her role in telling the story of Australia’s strong reputation in dairy food safety to the rest of the world, including Asia and New Zealand. While receiving guidance from mentors herself, Dr Astin built a strong network of professional women, in line with her passion for empowering women from all walks of life. She has broken through the glass ceiling in

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Dandenong Star Journal - 28th January 2020  

Dandenong Star Journal - 28th January 2020