Alumni honoured at achievement awards

21 October 2014

Chief Nursing Officer of Tonga, Amelia Afuha'amano Tu'ipultou, was one of five inspiring winners of this year's Alumni Achievement Awards honoured at a presentation ceremony on Friday 17 October.

Amelia was awarded the Alumni Award for Professional Achievement, in recognition of her contribution to the enrichment of society through improving health care standards in Tonga.

At the ceremony in a packed Great Hall she shared her inspiring professional journey and spoke of the transformative power of education.

"My PhD work at the University of Sydney has helped me, and will continue to assist me in rethinking and redesigning innovative visionary strategies to assist nursing practice in Tonga to enhance standards of care so we can make a positive impact."

Now in its 22nd year, the awards recognise innovation, stimulation of new ideas and services, dedication, creativity, leadership and community spirit.

Dr Lachlan Blackhall, winner of the Young Alumni Award for Achievement, spoke of his childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his mother, a fellow electrical engineering aluma and thanked the opportunities provided to him during his studies.

"There is a general perception that universities are a place for education, and they are to an extent. But universities, and the University of Sydney in particular, are truly places of opportunity creation," he reflected.

This theme was echoed by Adjunct Professor Barry McCleary, winner of the Alumni Award for International Achievement in recognition of his commitment to improving food quality throughout the world.

"This is truly a high point in my career. Nothing can surpass recognition from your own alma mater"

The joint winners of the Alumni Award for Community Achievement were Mark Fraser LVO OAM, for his role in co-founding Make a Mark Australia, and Dr Peter Farrell AM, for his leadership and vision to improve health outcomes for the international community.

The awards are divided into two categories: alumni achievement awards for graduates already established in their careers, and graduate medals that recognise younger achievers who graduated or completed their degree requirements in the previous year.

The winners of the five graduate medals were:

  • HY William Chan, Convocation Medal for undergraduate achievement
  • Benjamin Veness, Edmund Barton Medal for master's by coursework achievement
  • Angela Ballard, Nigel C Barker Medal for sporting achievement
  • Peter Hobbins, Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD achievement
  • John Gilroy, Sister Alison Bush Medal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement

Find our more information about the University's Alumni Awards Program and our 2014 winners and finalists.