Our alumni shine in 2012

30 October 2012

University of Sydney alumni shine in almost every conceivable area, with an impressive range of prime ministers, chief justices, astronauts, surgeons, artists, scientists and Nobel laureates graduating in the University's 162-year history.

Each year, the University recognises its outstanding graduates with the Alumni Awards, which recognise innovation, stimulation of new ideas and services, dedication, creativity, leadership and community spirit.

Now in their 20th year, the awards are divided into two categories: alumni achievement awards for graduates already established in their careers, and graduate medals, announced on the night, which recognise younger achievers who graduated or completed their degree requirements in the previous year.

This year the Faculty of Health Sciences was extremely well represented in the awards with an award winner and two finalists in the medal categories.

Congratulations to Alexandra Croak, BAppSc(OT) (2010) MHlthSc(Sexual Hlth) (2012) on winning The Nigel C Barker Medal for Sporting Achievement award. The Nigel C Barker Medal was established in 2012 to honour graduates who have achieved academic excellence and enriched the diverse life of the University and the broader community through sporting achievement.

Alex Croak receiving her award
Alex Croak receiving her award

A gymnast turned diver, Alexandra is the fifth Australian female to become a dual Olympian in two different sports, competing in artistic gymnastics at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and diving at the Beijing 2008 games. She is also the first-ever Commonwealth Games athlete to achieve gold medals in two different sports, with gymnastics in Manchester in 2002 and diving in Delhi in 2010. While training and competing at an elite level as an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, she also achieved academic success, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) and a Master of Health Science (Sexual Health). Outside University she has dedicated her time as an ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Education program, the Australia Day Committee and Camp Quality.

The faculty also congratulates the following alumni who were recognised as finalists in their categories.

Melanie Nguyen - PhD (Health Sceinces)(2011), finalist in The Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD Achievement. Melanie's innovative doctoral research focused on online mental health communications and in addition she has demonstrated a commitment to improving the student learning experience.

Dr Reuben Bolt - BHlthSc(AboriginalHlth&CommDev) (2002) PhD(Health Services)(2010), finalist in The Sister Alison Bush Medal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Achievement. Reuben was the first person of Aboriginal heritage to receive a PhD from the Faculty of Health Sciences. His doctoral work on identify formation for Aboriginal Australians has deepened the way Indigenous people are understood in Australia and internationally.

Nominations for the Faculty of Health Sciences Alumni Awards are now open.
For more information and to nominate visit