Top alumni honoured at the 2013 Alumni Awards Presentation

30 September 2013

A former refugee from Southern Sudan, who arrived in Australia with little formal schooling and no knowledge of English, has taken out one of the University of Sydney's top Alumni honours at the 2013 Alumni Awards Presentation, which took place on Friday 27 September in the Great Hall.

Critically acclaimed author and filmmaker Majok Tulba (MSW '09) shared the spotlight with Western Sydney based veteran wildlife conservationist and local government representative Dr Russell Dickens OAM (BVSc '54 MVSc '75); international business thought leader and inaugural Dean of the AGSM Emeritus Professor Jeremy Davis AM (BEc '64) and non profit sector advocate and activist Julie McKay (EMBA '11), who is currently the Executive Director for UN Women Australia.

The University's Annual Alumni Awards program also recognises our national and international leaders of the future, with 30 short-listed finalists for six graduate medal categories honouring those who combine academic excellence with a passion and dedication to service within local and global communities.

Our medallists for the evening were:

  • Daniel Ward (BA (Adv) (Hons) '09, LLB '13) - Convocation Medal for Undergraduate Achievement
  • Eloise Howse (BA (Hons) '12, MPHlth '13) - Sir Edmund Barton Medal for Masters Achievement
  • Dr Gregory Fox (MInternatPHlth '07 PhD (Medicine) '13) - Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD Achievement
  • Kiernan Dorney (BA '08 MBBS '13) - Nigel C. Barker Medal for Sporting Achievement
  • Aaron Ellis, (MIL '13) - Sister Alison Bush Medal for Indigenous Achievement
  • Yun Liu (B.I.G.S. (Hons) '13) - John C. Harsanyi Medal for International Student Achievement

The University of Sydney's deep and historic commitment to achievement and service were the major themes for the evening as recognised by host Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence (BA '85, LLB '87) who spoke of this core part of the Sydney 'DNA'.

In a speech which honoured the contributions and commitment of all winners and finalists, past and present, Dr Spence lead the 600 strong crowd in standing and observing a minute's silence for the joint winner of the 2010 Young Alumni Award for Achievement the late Ross Langdon (BSc (Arch) '02 BArch '05) and his partner Elif Yavuz and their unborn child, who were amongst 68 victims in the recent 21 September Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi.

For more information on the University's annual Alumni Awards Program and our 2013 Winners and Finalists, please visit our website at