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RMIT goldsmith named Australian of the Year in the UK

Goldsmith Dr Stuart Devlin studied at RMIT in the 50s and went on to create Australia's first decimal currency before being appointed as the official jeweller and goldsmith to Queen Elizabeth II.  

Dr Stuart Devlin AO CRM, who holds a diploma and an honorary doctorate from RMIT, was described as "the greatest living goldsmith of his generation" by the Australia Day Foundation Chairman as he was named Australian of the Year in the UK in London recently.

Dr Devlin was born in Geelong and completed a Diploma of Art (Gold and Silversmithing) at RMIT in 1957. He was then awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London, followed by a Fellowship by the Harkness Foundation of New York.

His career took off when he won a competition to design Australia’s first decimal coins in 1964. He is now one of the world’s most prominent goldsmiths, and has designed coins for 36 countries around the world, and recently designed four new one pound coins in the UK. 

In 1982 he was appointed as goldsmith and jeweller to Queen Elizabeth II. In 2000 he designed 25 coins for the Sydney Olympic Games including the Silver Kilo Olympic Masterpiece, the largest Olympic coin ever made, and the first to show all Olympic sports. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from RMIT in 2000.

His work is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum and he was awarded a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the UK in 1980, and an Order of Australia in 1988.

Australian of the Year in the UK honours Australians who have risen to prominence through their work in the UK.

RMIT alumni and staff were also recognised in this year’s Australia Day honours:

Ronald Fallaw, (Graduate Diploma Landscape Design), AM, for service to the community of Mornington Peninsula, to the arts, and to local government.

Andrew Graystone, (Diploma of Business Management), Australian Fire Service Medal.

Jacqui De Gelder, (Certificate IV Nursing), Commendation for Distinguished Service, for distinguished performance of duty in warlike operations in the application of medical knowledge and for skill, courage and selflessness while in Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force 2, on Operation SLIPPER in Afghanistan in 2009.

Adjunct Professor Peter Burch, (School of Art) AM, for service to the performing arts, particularly chamber music as an administrator, a teacher, and through support for emerging musicians.

Riad Galil, (Student Services) OAM, for service to the Islamic community, and to the promotion of interfaith relationships.

Adjunct Professor Hayden Raysmith, (former staff member, Faculty of Built Environment) AM, for service to the community through leadership roles in philanthropic, social policy and not-for-profit organisations.