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OPs acknowledged for distinguished service

Two Old Paradians, both final year students of the class of 1967, have been recognised in the most recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

John Wegner was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts as a world-renowned operatic bass-baritone, and as an ambassador for the cultural reputation of Australia.

John was born in Germany but spent his formative years in Australia. He attended Parade College, completing his final year in 1967 and as a 19 year-old in ’68 represented the Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club in its Premiership-winning A-section team.

John completed an Associate Diploma in Opera and Music Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts. He performed with the Australian Opera as a Bass for eleven years (1981-1992), before moving to Europe to study the Helden Baritone repertoire at the Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe where he made his European debut as Jochanaan in Salome.

John’s impressive Helden Baritone voice thrilled audiences in opera houses across Europe with performances in major cities including Milan, London, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Oslo, Munich, Hamburg and Vienna, and in Australia and Japan.

John’s performances have attracted many award nominations. He has won four National “Best Male Performer in an Opera” Awards in Australia - at the 1999 Australian Entertainment Industry Mo Awards and the 2005, 2009, 2011 Australian Helpmann Awards.

He has won two Best Male Opera Performer Green Room awards in the State of Victoria. At the 2009 Helpmann Awards he was also adjudged won the “Best Male in a Supporting Role in an Opera” and in 2007 he was awarded the National Theatre Prague “Singer of the Year” Award.

Professor Joseph Proietto was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his significant service to medicine in the field of endocrinology, particularly obesity and diabetes research, and as a clinician, educator and mentor.

Professor Proietto is world-renowned for his investigations into the management of obesity. He established Victoria’s first public obesity clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and now heads the Weight Control Clinic at Austin Health.

He makes significant contributions to the life and work of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences as an honorary member of staff to the Department of Medicine at the Austin Hospital.

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