The ANU School of Demography would like to congratulate Emeritus Professor Peter McDonald on receiving the award of Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2024 Australia Day Honours List for distinguished service to demographic research, to policy development, and to professional associations.
Peter is one of the world’s leading demographers, and is well known to past and present ANU staff, students and visitors, as the previous Head of Demography at ANU (from 1996 to 2013). He achieved a prodigious academic output throughout his career, and contributed greatly to the reinvigoration of Australian Demography at the ANU.
Academically, he is best known for a series of highly cited articles of gender equity theory applied to fertility. Beyond these academic achievements, he contributed considerable service to governments relating demographic theory and research to policy and planning issues. Further contributions to the scientific discipline of demography were through his roles with the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, including contributing to the structure and work of the IUSSP as Chair of the Council’s Scientific Committee (2002-2005), Vice President (2006-2009) and President (2010-2013).
Peter was awarded the Laureate Award of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population in 2022, and the Irene B. Taeuber Award from the Population Association of America in 2015.
Professor Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Head of the School of Demography said, “In Demography when we say that our current research stands on the shoulders of giants, we are talking about Peter’s giant contribution to the science of populations. He set the foundation of the demography of Australia and its region that we currently use, and his legacy is seen everywhere. This award was long-overdue!”