Meet our most recent Alumni Achievement Award and Graduate Medal winners, along with past recipients.
Ben Quilty is an artist and activist in equal measure. His more public achievements, like his Archibald Prize winning portrait of artist, Margaret Olley, and being shortlisted for an Australian of the Year Award, happen alongside more personal projects. He uses his art to illuminate the experiences of the world’s refugees and has travelled to Afghanistan as the Australian War Memorial’s official war artist. Ben has also committed himself to honouring the true history of Aboriginal Australians.
Craig Barratt is Senior Vice-President and head of Google’s Access division. He believes technology can improve lives and he is currently working to provide free wi-fi at up to 400 railway stations across India. His career started at a Silicon Valley start-up and led to high-profile leadership roles across the technology industry. The Wall Street Journal once called him “a geek’s geek” and he became known as one of the business pioneers of wi-fi technology.
Dr Tom Beer is president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), fostering research and collaboration between Earth scientists from 68 countries. Joining the CSIRO in 1986 as the head of bushfire meteorology gave his research a greater focus on climate change. His work as the lead author for an expert panel advising the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) led to a joint Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 to the IPCC, with former US presidential candidate Al Gore.
Professor Roberta Shepherd is a world leader in physiotherapy education, research and practice, and has contributed to the field for more than 50 years. She was the Foundation Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney and in 1974 published the first textbook on physiotherapy in paediatrics. Her collaborations with students and colleagues have led to scholarly publications in many languages, including the pioneering work with Dr Janet Carr, Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimizing Motor Performance.
Dr Haydn Perndt AM is an anaesthetist who has dedicated himself to improving standards of surgery and anaesthesia in developing countries. He has worked in conflict zones with the International Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières, and taught in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. His key role in establishing a training program in Fiji has seen anaesthesia specialists from every Pacific island receive training. The program has now been self sufficient for 10 years.
Just 18 months after graduating with an MA in Oboe Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Toby Thatcher became assistant conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Pursuing his ambition to conduct, he was a joint recipient of the inaugural Neema Järvi Prize, and won third at the 2015 Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. The Ensemble Eroica, which he began, is now a leading orchestra for young classical musicians in the UK.
Nina has had an impressive undergraduate career winning several academic prizes and scholarships including an International Exchange Scholarship 2015 and the Walter Reid Memorial Prize for Arts and Law in 2009 and 2012. Her original, thoughtful thesis on the politics surrounding Italian dialects earned her the University Medal in Government and International Relations in 2012. As a debater, Nina won three major tournaments, including the Australasian Debating Championship. She also volunteered as the Chief Adjudicator of the Women’s Debating Tournament, and ran training days for school students.
The first in his family to undertake tertiary education, Adam achieved high distinction averages in both the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and the Juris Doctor. Though faced with a significant medical diagnosis during his time at university, with ongoing related obstacles, he has been recognised with a range of academic prizes and scholarships from the faculties of Science, Medicine and Law. He served as a student representative on the University’s Disability Action Plan Consultative Committee, and completed a student placement at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. In Cambodia, he has conducted fundraising campaigns for NGOs, and volunteered at an orphanage for children living with HIV, and with a grassroots NGO combating the causes of human trafficking.
Ramanan was the recipient of the inaugural Business Dean’s Academic Excellence scholarship in 2014, achieving a high distinction average across all subjects. He was a facilitator of the PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions) mentoring program at the University of Sydney Business School from 2014 to 2015 and managed the learning program for nearly 60 students. He also served on the Graduate Studies Board, representing nearly 4000 international students.
A long-standing member of the Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) Elite Athlete Program, and a snow sports athlete in alpine events, Lavinia has achieved numerous national titles, competed in world cups and qualified for, and competed in, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. In 2014 and 2015 she was a student member of the SUSF Management Committee and still assists the Elite Athlete Program with promotional endeavours, volunteering her time to speak to high school students about her experiences. In summer she patrols Sydney’s beaches as a surf lifesaver. Despite her rigorous training and competition schedule, she maintained a distinction average in her master’s program.
A dynamic and energetic researcher with a strong record of achievements, Tomonori has presented talks at international conferences, published papers, and won several awards. His research has resulted in novel technologies and patents. After submitting his PhD, he established a company through the Incubate program with the University of Sydney Union, Miriad Technologies Pty Ltd, to commercialise and secure seed funding for prototype development of the Miriad Spectrometer. Tomonori has been active in student affairs and has shown outstanding leadership as Chapter Secretary, Vice President and President of the Sydney OSA/SPIE Student Chapter Committee, President of the University Kendo Club, 2012 to 2014 and Team Leader for the CUDOS High Schools Outreach Program, 2011 to 2015.
Awarded the Margaret Ida Howie Scholarship for Indigenous Women in 2012, Mykaela studied by mixed mode in an Indigenous enclave program. After graduating, she taught in the University’s Koori Centre as a casual lecturer in Indigenous Studies, receiving formal commendations. Mykaela has been active in Indigenous politics on campus. In 2014, she was invited to represent the University on the judging panels for the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards and the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards. Since 2013, Mykaela has written a blog, Defender of the Faith. Her article, ‘But you don’t look Aboriginal’ was shared 5700 times and published by The Stringer.
Alumni Award International Achievement: Professor Martin Silink AO (MMBS ’65 MD ’74)
Alumni Award Professional Achievement: Professor Mohamed Khadra (MEd ’94 PhD(Medicine) ’99)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Jordan O’Reilly (BAppSc(OccThpy) ’13)
Convocation Medal: Alistair Kitchen (BA(Hons) ’15)
Edmund Barton Medal: Kerry Chen (BA(Adv)(Hons) ’12 MHPol ’15)
John C Harsanyi Medal: Linsong (Steven) Bai (BDesComp(Hons) ’14)
Nigel C Barker Medal: Hannah Matheson Buckling (BSc ’15)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Michael Bowen (BA ’08 BA(Hons) ’10 PhD(Research) ’14)
Sister Alison Bush Medal: Chloe Jade Wighton (BA ’15)
Alumni Award for Community Achievement: Dr Peter Farrell AM (BE(Chem) ’64)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Adjunct Professor Barry McCleary (BScAgr ’72 PhD ’76 DAgr ’89)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Dr Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipulotu (PhD(Nursing) ’12)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Dr Lachlan Blackhall (BE(Aerospace) ’07 BSc(AdvMaths) ’07)
Convocation Medal: HY William Chan (BDesArch(DigitalArch) ’11 BDesArch(Hons) ’13)
Edmund Barton Medal: Dr Benjamin Veness (MPH ’14 MBBS '14)
Nigel C Barker Medal: Angela Ballard (BSc ’11 BSc(Hons) ’14)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Peter Hobbins (MMedHum ’09 PhD ’14)
Sister Alison Bush Medal: Dr John Gilroy (PhD ’13)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Emeritus Professor Jeremy Davis AM (BEc ’64)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Julie McKay (EMBA ’11)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Majok Tulba (MSW ’09)
Convocation Medal: Daniel Ward (BA(Adv) ’09 BA(Hons) '10 LLB ’13)
Edmund Barton Medal: Eloise Howse (BA(Hons) ’12 MPHlth ’13)
John C Harsanyi Medal: Yun Liu (BIGS(Hons) ’13)
Nigel C Barker Medal: Dr Kiernan Dorney (BA ’08 MBBS ’13)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Gregory Fox (MIntPHlth ’07 PhD(Medicine) ’13)
Sister Alison Bush Medal: Aaron Ellis (MIL ’13)
Alumni Award for Community Achievement: Mary Kostakidis (BA '77)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Dr David Hunter (MBBS ’82)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Belinda Hutchinson AM (BEc ’76)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Dr Eric Knight (BA ’06 LLB ’07 )
Convocation Medal: Andrew Thomas (BEc(Hons) ’11 LLB '13)
Convocation Medal: Patrick Bateman (BEcSocSc(Hons) ’10 LLB ’12)
Edmund Barton Medal: Joanna Whitney (BScVet ’02 BVSc ’04 MVSc(Honoris Causa) ’11)
John C Harsanyi Medal: Christian Sautter (MIntBusLaw ’11)
Nigel C Barker Medal: Alexandra Croak (BAppSc(OT) ’10) MHlthSc(SexHlth) ’12)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Jodie Ingles (PhD(Medicine) ’11 MPHlth ‘15)
Sister Alison Bush Medal: Scott Wilson (GradDipIndigH(SubUse) ’10 MIndigH(SubUse) ’12)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Associate Professor Robyn Alders AO (BSc(Vet) ’83 BVetSc ’84 DipVetClinStud ’86)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: David Anstice (BEc '70 HonFellow '09)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Dr Wirginia Maixner (MBBS ’86)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Corey Payne (BCom ’07 MCom ‘14)
Convocation Medal: Naomi Hart (BA(Hons) ’09 LLB ’11)
Convocation Medal: Nathaniel Ware (BEc(Hons) ’11)
Edmund Barton Medal: Erin Law (MN ’11)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Kirsten Harley (BSc ’92 PhD ’10)
*Five Graduate Medal categories were introduced in 2011
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Baroness Rachel Gardner of Parkes AM (BDS '54 Hon Fellow '07)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Dr John Laker AO (BEc '72)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Ross Langdon (BSc(Arch) '02 BArch '05)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Jack Manning Bancroft (BA(Media & Comm) '07)
Convocation Medal: Stephanie Mawson (BA(Hons) ’10 MPh(Research) '15)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Sir Michael Hintze AM (BS ’75 BE(Elec) ’77)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Paul Dyer AO (DipMusEd ’81 BMus ’83)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Anna Rose (BA ’05 LLB ’08)
Convocation Medal: Dr Jack Clegg (BLibStud(Hons) '04 PhD '08 LLB '09)
Convocation Medal: Anna Garsia (BSc(Adv)(Hons) '06 LLB '09)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Professor Charles MacKenzie AO (BSc(Vet) '69 BVetSc '71 PhD '76)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Professor Creswell Eastman (MBBS '65 MD '80)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Andrew Tanner (BCom ‘04 BE(Mech) '04 EMBA ‘14)
Convocation Medal: Andrew McLeod (BSc(Adv)(Hons) '08 LLB ‘10)
*Three Alumni Achievement Award categories were introduced in 2008
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Adjunct Associate Professor John Gullotta AM (BPharm '86)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Professor John Wong (BSc(Med) '66 PhD(Medicine) '72 MD(Honoris Causa) '95)
Convocation Medal: Nikolas Kirby (BA(Hons) '07 LLB ‘09)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Professor Jocelyn Chey AM (BA '61 PhD '71)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Professor Kim Oates AM (MBBS '67 MD '85 DSc '06)
Convocation Medal: Fiona Roughley (BA(Hons) '06 LLB ‘08)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Louise Cox AM (BArch '63 DipTCPlan ‘71)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Dr Malcolm Deall OAM (BDS '76)
Convocation Medal: Jonathan Bonnitcha (BEc(SocSc) '04 LLB ‘06)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Associate Professor Mabel Lee (BA '62 PhD '66)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Phillip J Tuckerman AM (BEc '76)
Convocation Medal: Sam Williams (BSc '03 BA(Hons) '03)
Convocation Medal: Louise Pounder (BA '00 LLB '03)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Iain A Macdonald (Materia Medica '60)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Dr Timothy McManus (BVSc '58)
Convocation Medal: Dr Sarah Kummerfeld (BSc(Adv)(Hons) '02)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Dr Sandra Meihubers (BDS '77 Grad Dip H. Dent '82)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Dr Rowan Nicks AO OBE (MD(Honoris Causa) '85)
Convocation Medal: Dr Annaleise Howard-Jones (BSc(Adv)(Hons) '01 MSc '02 MBBS ‘12)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Andrew W Gullotta OAM (Materia Medica '62)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Dr Donald James Weatherburn (BA '74 PhD '81)
Convocation Medal: Dr Stuart Prescott (BSc(Adv) '00 PhD '04)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Anne Edgeworth (BSc '42)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Hugh H Ralston AM (BE(Aeronautical) '57)
Convocation Medal: Dr Malcolm Kennett (BSc '98 MSc '00)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: James M Gosper AM OBE (BE(Civil) '32)
Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service: Sydney Saville (BSc(Agr) '51 Dip Ed '52)
Convocation Medal: Dominique Hogan-Doran (BEc(SocSc) '91 LLB ’93 LLM ‘04
Artists are a mad bunch, but "we’re all thinkers", said noted artist and activist Ben Quilty (BVA '96) as he accepted his award for Cultural Contribution at the 2016 Alumni Awards last week.