Meet our most recent Alumni Achievement Award and Graduate Medal winners, along with past recipients.
Colin remembers when the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank and the UN Population Division used different statistics for child mortality rates. Knowing the power of statistics to enlighten, it was appropriate that Colin had the task of changing this. His PhD was in theoretical physics, but his career has seen him working to improve international health outcomes. For 15 years he has led the WHO on global health statistics helping international agencies work together by having access to the same information.
Eighteen year old Penelope Evatt was inspired to study architecture by the man who would become her husband, influential architect, Harry Seidler. Together they pioneered the integration of modernist art and architecture in Australia. Today, Penelope is a prominent and leading architect, but also an advocate and patron for music, architecture, art and performance. With an interest in nurturing the careers of countless artists, she is also a willing subject, with Fiona Lowry’s 2014 portrait of Penelope winning the 2014 Archibald Prize.
Vaughan is a pioneering mathematical theorist and a real-world problem solver who was an early driving force behind computer company, Sun Microsystems, for which he also designed the iconic logo. Some key computer concepts like the Knuth-Morris-Pratt algorithm bear his name and in 1976 he developed Dynamic Logic originally for software but which is now applied in other disciplines. He is now an Emeritus Professor at Stanford University and working on ideas for low carbon energy and improved climate change forecasting.
Antony was just 12 when his music teacher predicted he would be a conductor. As a University student, he conducted the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and by 22, he was the Musical Director of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Antony has now conducted across Europe and the US including choral, symphonic and chamber works and over 100 operas, with regular returns to Australia to stay engaged with local companies that he helped create; Pinchgut Opera, Orchestra of the Antipodes, and Cantillation.
Patricia is a decorated subantarctic researcher who has spent much of her career on Macquarie Island (1500km south of Tasmania) and Heard Island (4000km southwest of Fremantle). In 1983, she was the first woman to conduct research at Antarctica’s Casey station. Her specialisation is mosses and liverworts and her book, Subantarctic Macquarie Island: Environment and Biology, published in 1990, is still a key work in the field. She is seen as a trail blazer and role model for women scientists everywhere.
Annabelle’s idea for the School for Life came from a simple observation – a couple of years schooling can change a child’s life. She was in Uganda at the time and wanted to help. So in 2011, Annabelle and a fellow University student established Katuuso Primary and Vocational School. The first students had never seen a book. Many weren’t getting enough to eat. From nothing, the school now has buildings and nearly 560 students. Annabelle’s vision is creating a sustainable model for replicating across the developing world.
The Sydney Morning Herald said Eddie is “arguably the country’s most famous maths teacher”, and it all started with an act of kindness. One of his students was sick so Eddie filmed his maths lesson on a phone and posted it online. Now his YouTube channel, Wootube, has had more than 3 million views and Eddie was awarded the 2015 Premier’s Prize for Innovation in Science and Mathematics. He also works with the University’s Compass program helping disadvantaged communities participate in higher education.
A member of the Faculty of Science’s Talented Student Program (requiring a high-distinction average), Philippa’s research focused on the psychological impact of sexism and how this relates to gender inequality more broadly. Throughout her academic career, Philippa was elected to a range of extracurricular positions, including a two-year term on the Science Faculty Board in 2015 and an appointment to the University’s Academic Board in 2016.
Demonstrating community spirit, Philippa served as a welfare officer on the Students’ Representative Council. She is a tireless advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugees, and the LGBTIQ community. She was awarded the Helen Beh Citizenship award in 2015, and achieved first class honours the following year.
Rhys has had an impressive postgraduate career while carrying out research for his Master of Human Rights. Beyond the classroom, he has engaged with the NSW Parliament, informing and progressing law reform to overhaul the legal and social ramifications of sexting and revenge porn. This reform will leave a lasting legacy for future generations, and he is now continuing this work in Canberra. During his studies, Rhys demonstrated leadership qualities, taking on a mentorship role in his class of culturally and linguistically diverse students. He generously provided advice to students and volunteered an information session on the process of writing submissions to government in Australia.
Nate defines his life goal as helping those in need. As a team leader of the Australian-Thai Ambassadors Program, he has taught English to more than 1000 students in northeast Thailand. While President (Acting) and Vice-President of the University of Sydney’s Thai Students’ Association, Nate helped to raised more than $10,000 for children in Thailand. Nate served as an International Student Ambassador for the City of Sydney in 2013-2014. He volunteered more than 100 hours helping international students settle into new surroundings, contributing to public events, and project managing the Sydney Chinese New Year Parade.
Kane’s uncompromising focus has seen him excel in both studies and sport. He is currently the number three male table tennis player in Australia and he considers competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games as one of his greatest accomplishments. He won the 2013 national under 21 table tennis men’s singles championship and the 2016 national men’s singles open championship. Keen to share his enthusiasm for table tennis with the wider community, Kane has served as both captain and vice-president of the University’s Table Tennis Club. He is an active participant in the Bennelong Cup, a friendly match between teams from Australia, China, Japan, Korea and more.
Lukasz’s research was inspired by a scholarly article discussing a worrying research finding: awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize often causes conflict and backlash, especially when the recipient comes from a country ruled by an authoritarian regime. This prompted Lukasz to examine the Nobel’s media and communications in an effort to help us understand this phenomenon better. An avid mentor and thought-leader, Lukasz has had three journal articles, four book chapters and three academic book reviews published, with more due in 2017. He has presented 12 conference and symposium papers arising from his work, given guest lectures and shared his insights in local and national media. As an undergraduate student, he volunteered as the chief copy editor for The Sydney Globalist magazine, co edited the University of Sydney Union’s magazine, The Bull, and the literary journal Hermes.
Geoffrey is passionate about social justice. Graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 2016, he continued working with Sydney firm Chalk & Behrendt where he is now a director specialising in Aboriginal land rights, native title and economic development. As president of the Sydney University Law Society, Geoffrey organised the highly successful Social Inclusion Road Trips: 40 law students travelled to country NSW to talk with students about their options after high school. Several have since applied and been admitted to university as a result.
At 26, Geoffrey became the youngest ever council member for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and, in 2016, ran as the Liberal Party candidate in the seat of Sydney.
Alumni Award for Community Achievement: Ben Quilty (BVA ’96)
Alumni Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Craig Barratt (BSc ’83 BE (Electrical) ’85)
Alumni Award for International Achievement: Tom Beer (BSc ’67)
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement: Roberta Shepherd (DipPhty ’56 DHlthSc (honoris causa) ’16)
Alumni Award for Service to Humanity: Haydn Perndt AM (MBBS ’77)
Young Alumni Achievement Award: Toby Thatcher (BMus(Perf) ’12)
Convocation Medal: Nina Ubaldi (BA (Hons) ’13 LLB ’15)
Edmund Barton Medal: Adam Bruce Fovent (BSc (Adv) ’11 JD ’16)
John C Harsanyi Medal: Ramanan S Arampamoorthy (MCom ’15)
Nigel C Barker Medal: Lavinia Chrystal (BEc (SocSc) ’13 MMgmt (CEMS) ’15)
Rita and John Cornforth Medal: Dr Tomonori Hu (BSc (Adv) ’10 MPhoOpSc ’11 PhD ’15)
Sister Alison Bush Medal: Mykaela Saunders (BEd (AboriginalStud) ’10 MEd (Research) ’15)
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
Every year the Alumni Awards event is held in the historic Great Hall to honour outstanding recent graduates and more established alumni who have been leaders and innovators in their work in Australia and internationally.
While many of us find it hard to decide what to eat for breakfast, some people seem to know exactly how they want their career to unfold. So how do you make big life decisions on what to study and where it will take you?