William Hugh Sawyer AM

The late William Hugh Sawyer is being remembered for his scientific efforts with a AM. (Supplied)

Point Lonsdale’s late William Hugh Sawyer has been honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) during the 2024 Australia Day Honours.

The emeritus professor died on August 27 and was recognised for his service to tertiary education and biochemistry on Thursday, January 25.

Wife Diana Sawyer said her husband “would have been very honoured” to receive the AM and that his family was “so proud of him”.

“It (AM) was all confirmed just two weeks after he died, so he never knew that he received it, but my sons and I are terribly proud,” she said.

“He contributed greatly to science, biochemistry and pharmacology at Melbourne University; he had a personal chair and was a professor.

“He instituted early career researchers programme for the university, a founding member and convener, and he won an honorary medal, which was named after him.”

Diana said William’s knowledge of biochemistry and biology helped the couple start a vineyard on the Bellarine Peninsula in their retirement.

“We made lots of friends, connected with the wine industry and we’ve seen it grow in the Geelong region,” she said.

“He had great knowledge about winemaking, and we loved this area, and we certainly got great joy from establishing a vineyard which received awards.”

Diana said her husband’s academic colleagues and students remembered his gentle nature, quiet determination and mentoring skills combined with his innovative and creative scientific skills.

William was also the president of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 1990 to 1992 and the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists from 1999 to 2001.