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Amid joyous laughter and applause, Professor Peter Hodgson was presented with a specially made laurel wreath on his return from Canberra the day he was awarded his Australian Laureate Fellowship.
"I was trying to think of something appropriate," said Professor Lee Astheimer, Deakin University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research.
"Particularly as Peter told me he kept losing his Federation Fellow badge because it was so small. Though I did notice he had found the badge for the presentation today in Canberra.
"Anyway, we had this laurel wreath made for him and I am sure he will, on appropriate occasions, wear it with pride."
Before a huge crowd in the Geelong Technology Precinct that had turned out to welcome him home, Professor Astheimer paid glowing tribute to Professor Hodgson, especially for the way he was always willing to help young researchers.
His close friend and colleague, Professor Xungai Wang, also spoke highly of Professor Hodgson.
"Peter said getting the award was a surprise," Professor Wang said.
"Well it might have been a surprise to him, but it wasn't to us."
Professor Wang than read out the list of demands required of a successful ALF and said Professor Hodgson met every one of those criteria – and then some.
Professor Hodgson thanked everyone at the gathering and reiterated his genuine belief that his success was a team effort.
He was reluctant to hand out individual thanks, but noted the contribution of his executive assistant, Marilyn Fisher, and the Director of Research Services, Alison Hadfield.
He then expressed his relief that he was presented with the laurel.
"When I saw the box coming towards me, I thought oh no, they're going to try and make me get into a Superman suit," Professor Hodgson said.
That comment harks back to the time when he won his Federation Fellow and a newspaper headline dubbed him Deakin's Man of Steel.
Shortly after that moment, a mocked up jpeg did the rounds of the University.
Certainly, Deakin's Man of Steel won't be resting on his laurels.