Class notes


Miriam-Rose Ash (BSc '06 PhD '12)
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Miriam-Rose Ash has been awarded the 2012 Australian Synchrotron Thesis Medal for her study into the essential roles that iron and copper play in living organisms. Miriam’s research work produced new insights into two important bacterial proteins that help regulate intracellular levels of iron and copper, metals that are essential for life but also potentially toxic.

After graduating in 2006, Miriam missed her graduation ceremony as she had moved to Berlin to start work in a lab over there for two years. She returned to Sydney to undertake a doctorate in the Faculty of Science but missed that graduation ceremony too because she had moved to Denmark to start her postdoctorate studies.

Miriam is currently an EMBO postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Structural Biology at Aarhus University in Denmark, where she is conducting research into membrane proteins from eukaryotes, a classification that includes animals, plants, fungi and other organisms. She plans to pursue an academic career that involves both research and teaching.

Andrew and Gabriel Watts
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Andrew and Gabriel Watts

Brothers Andrew and Gabriel Watts both received the University medals for their honours studies in 2012.

Andrew, 22, completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) with the Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems in the School of Physics. His project involved shining a green laser on chalcogenide glass optical fibres to trap light in a cavity in the fibre. These cavities have applications in fields as diverse as nonlinear optics and biomolecular sensing. He intends to start a PhD on the same project.

Gabriel, 27, completed a Diploma of Arts (Philosophy). His thesis examined David Hume’s (1711–1776) engagement with the philosophy of Nicholas Malebranche, a French philosopher from the previous century. This year he begins a Master of Philosophy (Research) at Sydney.


Leonard Cox (BA '06)
Image of helping out in Angkor

Helping in Angkor

Leonard Cox is currently a clinical nurse specialist with the University of Sydney’s Medical Foundation Transplantation Unit. He majored in archaeology during his degree, which led to him volunteering for five dig seasons with the Greater Angkor Project in Cambodia.

Leonard was recently awarded the National Development Medal of Cambodia for his work with a small NGO in the country. In October he returned, just back from another month in Cambodia, where he has taken on feeding between 16 and 22 children of seasonal workers who stay on site as their parents work the salt pans.

David Wickham (GradCertMgmt '04)
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David Wickham

David Wickham has been appointed as a non-resident Fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. The Brookings Institution is a non-profit public policy organisation ranked as one of the most influential in the world.

David is also a Director at HSBC Global Asset Management and Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University.


Les Wicks (DipLabRel & Law '85)
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Les Wicks

Les Wicks, poet and author, has been selected as Australia’s representative at this year’s Medellin Poetry Festival in Colombia, the largest poetry festival in the world.

Wicks, the author of 10 books of poetry and guest at festivals from the Ukraine to Quebec, as well as Australia, is being sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts. Wicks has also been an official judge in the NSW Premier’s Poetry Prize and the Blake Poetry Prize. His first competition success was in the 1984 University of Sydney Union Literary Competition.

Paul Kraus (DipEd '74 MEd '76 MA '80)

Paul Kraus has written many books since 1982. At first they were HSC Modern History and English Language books. Later they were books on health and healing in the light of the fact that he suffered the asbestos cancer of mesothelioma, which is almost universally fatal.

His most recent book is Prayers, Promises & Prescriptions for Healing (Ark House Press), which addresses the universal need for healing. He is just finishing another book, a detailed biography of his late mother, Clara Kraus, a Holocaust survivor. Paul himself was actually born in one of the camps and had a traumatic younger life.


Stuart Westgarth (BA '71 LLB '75)
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Stuart Westgarth

Stuart Westgarth has been appointed Chairperson of the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT). Mr Westgarth is an expert in corporate commercial and banking litigation, and has worked in the law for almost four decades. He is a former president of the Law Society of NSW and a current director of the Law Council of Australia.

He was appointed to the Fair Trading Advisory Council in 2011. He is a Partner at HWL Ebsworth and a former Managing Partner of Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Peter Campbell (BscAgr '74)

Peter Campbell has been named, along with his wife Alison, NSW Farmer of the Year for 2012. Peter and Alison manage their farm at Henty between Albury and Wagga Wagga in south-western NSW, with a view to maximising financial performance while managing natural resources.

They crop about two-thirds of their 1550 hectare property as well as run a merino self-replacing flock. NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson presented the Campbells with the Award at a Farm Writers’ Association Christmas lunch attended by 140 people at Parliament House in January in Sydney.

1940s and '50s

The Hort Family

The Hort Family has something worth celebrating: the four children of May and Henry Hort of Arncliffe, who all graduated from Sydney in the 1940s and 1950s, are alive and well and enjoying their 80s.

The three brothers and one sister present a formidable lineup. Harold (BA ’46 MA ’48 MPhil ’94 and MA ’79) retired from the ABC in 1985 as Director of Music. Merle (BA ’50 Dip Ed ’66) retired from Jannali High School as their library teacher in 1979.

Leon (BA LLB ’54) worked for the Federal Attorney-General’s Department and the NSW Department of Public Planning, and the baby, Doug (BA ’51) worked for the Commonwealth Public Service for 30 years, before retiring as Director, Financial and General Services in the Department of Defence in 1982.