Honoured for heritage work

AUSTRALIAN Jewry is still celebrating the Queen’s Birthday Honours this week, after learning that yet another member of the community was recognised in the annual awards list.

Kristal Buckley was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the area of cultural heritage, and service to education – bringing the total number of Jewish honourees to 14.

A lecturer in cultural heritage at Deakin University, she told the university that she was greatly honoured and humbled by this recognition. “It comes after many wonderful and challenging moments of collaboration with colleagues and communities,” she said.

Buckley has had more than 25 years experience as a cultural heritage practitioner, including roles in government, teaching, consulting, and non-government organisations.

She holds qualifications in archaeology, anthropology and public policy, and her work has included indigenous and non-indigenous cultural heritage assessments, research and management projects.

Buckley has served as the international vice-president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites ­(ICOMOS) since 2005, during which time she has worked with the World Heritage Convention, and with cultural heritage issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

Buckley’s husband Henry Okraglik was quick to praise the “passion and commitment” displayed by his wife, who is currently in Cambodia at the annual session of the World Heritage Committee.

“I think it’s just fantastic that she’s got the recognition for the amount of effort and time she’s put in, without being paid for it,” he told The AJN, adding she is modest and tends to shy away from the limelight.

Alongside her academic work, Okraglik said Buckley is particularly enthusiastic about teaching. “She sees [education] as part of her commitment to pass on what she knows to the next generation,” he said.

PHOEBE ROTH

Member of the Order of Australia Kristal Buckley.