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New Leader to build on success Shaping Singapore

2010 Alumni Awards

Back to campus

Engineering the magic in movies

Network News


NEW LEADER TO BUILD ON SUCCESS public policy; leadership and organisational development; philosophy of education and curriculum reform. He is a Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Education, the University of London (2010/11), working with senior professors in a number of projects around policy enactments, higher education reform and global change.

MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRESIDENT Hearing the stories of our talented graduates in their chosen fields is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role. We are proud of all our graduates, many of whom maintain ongoing links with the University and enhance its reputation and its engagement with the wider community. It was a privilege to be a part of the acknowledgement of the outstanding achievements of our graduates at the 35th Annual Alumni Awards in October. Their influence reaches beyond the Hunter Region to all corners of Australia, and the globe. From health and education to business and the arts, this year’s finalists stand tall. Congratulations to all award recipients.

Professor Stephen Crump Creating new ways for the University to engage with the community will be high on the agenda of the new Pro ViceChancellor, External Relations, Professor Stephen Crump. Professor Crump joined the University in 2006 and his expertise is in education and

The University’s strategic relationships will continue to be strengthened under the guidance of incoming Pro Vice-Chancellor, External Relations, Professor Stephen Crump, who will also continue in his role at our Central Coast and Port Macquarie campuses. Stephen has inherited a dedicated team and I know he is looking forward to making connections with our alumni community. Professor Nicholas Saunders Vice-Chancellor and President

“I look forward to forging more links between the alumni, community, industry, business and the University,” said Professor Crump.

From My Desk to Yours 2011 will see the departure of our leader of the past few years, Associate Professor Martin Fitzgerald, who returns to the University’s Faculty of Business and Law to pursue his love of teaching and research. Martin has enjoyed meeting our alumni at various forums in the past five years and is looking forward to catching up with our graduates in Hong Kong and Singapore when he is teaching business courses there.

I commend the President of Alumni and the Executive Committee for their successful partnership with Alumni Relations at the University. Their combined efforts to unite alumni and recognise their dedication and innovation builds on a proud University tradition. As we look ahead to 2011, I want to acknowledge the work of Associate Professor Martin Fitzgerald who has decided to return to his academic career after five years as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Office of Corporate Development and Community Partnerships where Alumni Relations resides. This Office will be renamed External Relations. Since 2005, Martin and his team have built an extensive network of support for University engagement initiatives with alumni as well as the local community, business and government sectors. The University is now positioned as a national leader in community engagement.

Professor Crump, also continues as Pro ViceChancellor and Director of the Central Coast and Port Macquarie Campuses, and will now be responsible for External Relations (formerly CD&CP). In the coming months this will include an Office of Engaged Learning, which will be established to encourage student engagement with the community through work placement and experience, as well as volunteering and leadership roles.

“I am thankful to our alumni for embracing engagement with the University,” he said.

Civil rights activist and the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, Marian Wright Edelman, said: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” This edition, which profiles the finalists in the 2010 Alumni Awards, shows that Edelman’s concept of education is alive and well among University of Newcastle graduates! It has been a great year with so many of our graduates engaging with the University in a range of ways, and we were so pleased to welcome so many alumni “back to campus”, some of whom are mentioned in this edition.

We acknowledge Martin’s contribution to building community engagement and are excited by the possibility of new and expanding activity working with Stephen. Finally, I thank all the Chapter Committees and Regional Coordinators, the President and Executive Committee of Alumni for helping to build our global alumni network this year. Outstanding! Every good wish to you and yours as we prepare to welcome a new year. 2011 is going to be great. Rosemary Thomson Associate Director, External Relations (Leading University Alumni)


Shaping Singapore: Visionary leadership can make good music Article by alumnus CHEONG-CHUA Koon Hean – recipient of the 2010 Convocation Medal for Professional Excellence. Singapore is a small island with big needs. It is a city state of only 700 square kilometres with a population of five million. Within this small island, all the needs of a country have to be provided for – housing, social and recreational, infrastructure, airports, and utilities. At the same time, Singapore aspires to be a distinctive global city providing quality of life for all who live, work and play here. As the CEO of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in charge of national land use planning, these are indeed huge challenges. To meet these challenges, I believe that strong leadership is critical, especially in today’s complex and fast-changing environment. While a manager would generally focus on completing the task at hand, a leader must also have vision and inspire and motivate others. I liken the process of “creating plans and then executing the plan” to that of a symphony orchestra playing a beautiful piece of music. Creating an exciting and visionary plan is similar to composing a beautiful music score. It has been said that the very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion”. As the national planning authority, URA takes the lead in proposing visionary plans to shape Singapore. For example, the plan for Marina Bay, the new city extension, is a major urban transformation initiative that has given Singapore a new image. The conductor needs his musicians to understand the spirit of the score and to play in unison and with rhythm. Similarly, we need not only our own staff, but also many partners in the public and private sectors, to help implement our plans. They are all our musicians. Therefore, it is important to communicate and share the organisation’s vision and mission. Externally, we have to “sell” the vision to both the public and private sector stakeholders who have to implement the plans. For example, we work closely with the Land Transport Authority to develop a comprehensive transportation

network and the National Parks Board to create a lush green city. We provide a friendly business environment for our stakeholders, including developers, who buy our land to build the planned developments. Next, the conductor ensures that all musicians play in rhythm. I am a strong believer in developing a shared culture and teamwork as important organisational values. Teamwork must start with management. With the increasing complexity of our work, large organisations can no longer work along functional lines that may result in “silo thinking”. Today, effective organisations work within a matrix structure, with many departments working together to solve problems. For example, building a new city at Marina Bay requires planners to develop a long-term master plan. The architects shape the city through urban design guidelines and the engineers build the supporting infrastructure. The real estate professionals have to market the land to developers and bring in investors. It is all about teamwork. To play quality music, we need to hone our musicians. Therefore, an organisation must provide continuous training for its staff to upgrade skills. We build staff loyalty when we provide challenging and meaningful careers and are closely engaged with our staff. Finally, we come to the end of the concert. Hopefully, the music has touched the hearts and minds of the audience and they applaud not just the conductor, but also the entire orchestra. Certainly, there is much truth in the saying that “success has many fathers”. When a project is successfully implemented, a good leader invests time in acknowledging and celebrating the success of everyone – our staff as well as our external partners. Shaping a city is a complex exercise involving many stakeholders. Like the analogy of the orchestra, our work is never a one-man show but the concerted efforts of everyone in the team. And when everyone plays the score well together, we enjoy a great symphony... and in the same vein, we hope to build a beautiful city.

RECIPIENT OF THE 2010 CONVOCATION MEDAL FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE MRS CHEONG-CHUA Koon Hean CEO, Housing Development Board of Singapore and Deputy Secretary (Special Duties), Ministry of National Development, Singapore Bachelor of Architecture (University Medal) 1981 Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Mrs Cheong-Chua was the Chief Executive Officer of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) from April 2004 until August 2010 where she distinguished herself as a global leader in urban renewal, driving Singapore’s urban renewal plan. She was in charge of the national land use planning of Singapore, the conservation of built heritage and the real estate market. Under her leadership, Singapore has been recognised for many of its planning initiatives, winning numerous international awards. She set up the URA International Group in 2009 in response to the growing demand from overseas countries for access to URA’s expertise. She shared her planning experience with numerous countries around the globe, publishing in her field and serving on a significant number of national and international bodies. Mrs CheongChua has received several Singapore National Day Awards over the years, culminating in the Meritorious Service Award from the President of the Republic of Singapore this year.


UNIVERSITY’S BRIGHTEST STARS SHINE AT AWARDS NIGHT The biggest challenge facing organisers of this year’s prestigious University of Newcastle Alumni Awards was selecting finalists from more than 70 outstanding nominations. The theme of Honouring Distinction could not have been more appropriate as the selection panel narrowed down nominees from a vast array of fields who are all, in their own way, making a difference. “The quality of the candidates across all eight awards was fantastic,” said the President of Alumni, Brian Kennaugh. “The University is proud of its graduates and this was a perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some of our most successful alumni.” Held at Newcastle City Hall on 13 October, the ‘sold out’ Gala Dinner brought together 300 people including the Chancellor, Professor Trevor Waring, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Saunders, faculty staff, Hunter business and community leaders, as well as alumni from near and far. With the addition of two new awards honouring Indigenous and young alumni, competition was fierce. “For the first time, there were a number of nominations from graduates who are on staff at the University,” said Vice President of Alumni,

Bernie Curran. “So, not only did we celebrate alumni who have achieved great things on the national and international stage, but it was wonderful to acknowledge those graduates who have furthered their area of expertise here at the University.” Guests at the Gala Dinner, which was organised by the Executive Committee of Alumni in partnership with the University’s Alumni Relations office, were entertained by another group of high achievers, the award-winning University of Newcastle Chamber Choir, who were fresh from their success at the 2010 World Choir Games in China. But the highlight of the night was the recognition for the first time of finalists, who were all profiled before the winner of each award was announced. Many alumni travelled long distances to attend and they savoured the opportunity to catch up with fellow graduates and University staff. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who attended and who are already wanting to nominate for the 2011 Awards, and we’d encourage those who missed out this year to renominate,” said Mr Kennaugh. “We want to continue the momentum and make sure our finest achievers continue to be recognised.”

A number of Alumni were at the table sponsored by Hunter Water Corporation

A group of business and law alumni at the table sponsored by Hunter Financial Planning

Ziada (left) and Saada Malsowa came up from Sydney to support their brother Dr Anthony Diallo, finalist in the Alumni Award for International Leadership who had flown in from Tanzania for the event

Four members of the Executive Committee of Alumni; (L to R) Tracey Irving (of Ousha Event Design who created the wonderful ambience in the room), Donna McLean, Debbie Bradbery and Dr Julie McLeod




Awards Gala Dinner

City Hall transformed for the 2010 Alumni Awards

The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir captivated the guests

The Convocation Medallist gives her speech

In 2011, the Executive Committee of Alumni plan to launch the Newcastle Alumni Chapter for all alumni. To remain informed of the launch or to be involved please email the President of Alumni:


ENGINEERING THE MAGIC IN MOVIES An article by alumnus Mr Yasser Hamed – recipient of the 2010 Newton-John Award. An increased demand for special effects in feature films in the past decade has commanded more attention to detail and fuelled a hunger for realism. Traditional methods of using miniatures, cloud tanks, or even “paint by frame” are now regarded as obsolete and no longer applicable to highend feature films.

Yasser Hamed (right) pictured with Toby and Valerie Newton-John

RECIPIENT OF THE 2010 NEWTON-JOHN AWARD Yasser Hamed Senior Technical Director – Walt Disney Feature Animation, Los Angeles, USA. Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) 2002 Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Yasser has been granted permanent residence in the US based on the category of ‘Alien of extraordinary ability in the arts or sciences’ reserved for the likes of Nobel Prize winners and the few who have reached the top of their field and international acclaim. He was responsible for the research and development behind producing high-end digital effects and animation for the feature films Beowulf, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled (Rapunzel). Yasser also developed the animation software tools for use in Happy Feet. He has worked directly with Academy Award-winning directors, producers and artists and is part of the awardwinning team that has entertained millions around the globe with a series of hit animated films under Mr Ken Ralston, the five-time Academy Award winner in visual effects. Yasser was responsible for ‘look development’ and new techniques to make digital effects more realistic.

For centuries, engineers have used complex and accurate mathematical equations to determine the behavior of structures under certain loads and conditions. These equations are utilised to determine whether a structure will be able to stand on its own, withstand an impact, or survive extreme natural forces such as high winds and earthquakes. Recent advancements in computing power and graphics have enabled engineers to solve problems quickly and run graphic simulations. Some examples of these include finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics and light ray-tracing. These methods can give a relatively accurate portrayal of how a structure might behave or look in certain conditions. It is these same

building blocks that are used to simulate the impact of collapsing buildings, storms, explosions and the behavior of cloth and hair on characters. In the past few years, production studios have seen the potential to apply this technology to feature films and have started hiring specialised engineers. These engineers not only have the technical know-how but are capable of interpreting film scripts, taking artistic direction, determining the technologies that need to be developed and reporting to digital effects supervisors, producers, and directors. I have been fortunate enough to build upon the skills I acquired during my years as an engineering undergraduate and put them to use in feature films such as Happy Feet, Beowulf, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Alice in Wonderland, and the soon-to-be released Tangled (Rapunzel). I hope to continue advancing the role of engineering in the film industry and push the envelope to create the seemingly impossible.


THE 35th ANNUAL NEWTON-JOHN AWARD The Newton-John Award was first presented in 1975 and honours Professor Brin Newton-John, Foundation Professor of German and former Deputy Warden and Deputy Vice-Chancellor during the University’s pre-autonomy days. Professor Newton-John is remembered for his support of academic, collegial, cultural, social and political aspects of the University in its early days, and in particular, his love of music, art, photography and the theatre.

Presenting the award to this year’s winner, Yasser Hamed, were Professor Newton-John’s widow Valerie and their son Dr Toby Newton-John. Dr Hamed, Yasser’s father, said the Award served to bring the Hamad family together in the same place for the first time in 10 years. Yasser’s siblings Dena and Ahmed are also graduates of the University.

The award is presented to a graduate displaying innovation and creativity in any field who has improved life for the community. To mark the 35th anniversary of the hotlycontested award, finalists were joined by the first recipient, Mr Allan Morris, and former winners Brian Suters (1977), Mary Calcott (1978), Colin Anderson (1980), Trevor Waring (1982) and Geoffrey Leonard (1999) at the Alumni Awards Gala Dinner.

Yasser Hamed with siblings Dena (Bachelor of Design –Architecture 2008) who nominated her brother for the award, and Ahmed (graduate of the English Language Foundation Studies Centre)


THE SCIENCE OF SUCCESS An article by alumnus Mr Robert Nelson – recipient of the 2010 Alumni Award for Exceptional Community Service.

In the past 10 years I have been privileged to be one of the key people associated with the development of the Science and Engineering Challenge or “The Challenge” as it is much better known. The Challenge aims to inspire and motivate young people to continue their science studies by highlighting the elements of teamwork, creativity and ingenuity that are part of a scientific and technology-related career. The number of young people studying the enabling sciences such as physics and chemistry has been waning for almost 30 years. This worrying decline could compromise our economic prosperity. Our economic system places high monetary value on a number of career paths, but it is the fields of science, engineering and technology that boost our nation’s wealth and underpin our standard of living. We can all remember companies opting to avoid training apprentices and taking on cadets in the name of economic rationalism. Today, I perceive a resurgence of interest and commitment to trade and technical training and I hope corporate Australia has learnt that training must be a shared responsibility. The Challenge is like a sport carnival for budding scientists and engineers. A school team is split into eight groups and these compete in a series of events with scores for each event being tallied at the end of the day to determine a winner. This winner then represents their region in a zone final known as a Super Challenge. The winners of that event go on to compete in the National Grand Challenge.

Some of the activities include building and operating machines such as an airship, hovercraft or Mars buggy. Others require the production of objects such as a bridge, chair or miniature house. Others are cerebral in nature and require students to develop a communication system using optic fibres or cracking secret codes. The Challenge has gone from strength to strength, growing from 16 participating schools in 2000 to more than 800 in 2010 and now involves more than 21,000 students. I have been asked on many occasions why the Challenge has been so successful and I think it has to be attributed to the initial planning and scoping driven by the Dean of Science, Professor David Finlay, and the Dean of Engineering, Professor Adrian Page. They were looking for a replacement for their summer science schools that would reach a greater number of students. They decided to join forces with Rotary International and a format was developed that has stood the test of time. Rotary remains a supportive partner in the Challenge. The Challenge is successful due to the dedication, enthusiasm and devotion of the 2,500 volunteers who are the life blood of the program, as well as the support of 300 sponsors from throughout Australia. I take great pride in the Challenge because it touches many young lives and continues to provide a positive influence and inspiration.

Bob Nelson (centre) with friends, family and some of the Science and Engineering Challenge team

Dr Bernie Curran, Vice President of Alumni (left) presents the award to Bob Nelson

RECIPIENT 2010 ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE Robert (Bob) Nelson Founder of the University of Newcastle Science and Engineering Challenge, Newcastle, Australia Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment In 2000, Bob developed the Science and Engineering Challenge to change student perception about what a career in science or engineering entails. The only science program of its scale in Australia, the program received a $3M investment from the government for expansion across Australia and now involves more than 21,000 students from more than 700 schools. He has supervised its expansion into Singapore, and in 2010 to England. Bob has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to produce an outreach program of the highest quality and the resulting statistics regarding retention rates of students in physics, chemistry and mathematics have been exceptional. Early success of the Challenge was recognised in 2002 when he was awarded jointly the Institute of Physics (UK) award for the Public Awareness of Physics, and in 2003 the Institution of Engineers’ highest engineering excellence tribute, the Sir William Hudson Award. Bob’s personal contribution has also been recognised by Rotary who have made him a Paul Harris Fellow, which is their highest award.


SETTING THE STANDARD An article by alumnus Dr Andrew Hedges – recipient of the 2010 Alumni Award for Regional Leadership The seemingly endless choices facing a new graduate are both exciting and daunting. It was the blend of surgery and medicine that attracted me to the specialty of obstetrics and gynaecology. My career path changed in 2002 with my decision to cease obstetrics and concentrate on gynaecological surgery, reproductive endocrinology and IVF. I completed my Masters of Reproductive Medicine and became the co-founder of Hunter IVF.

RECIPIENT OF THE 2010 ALUMNI AWARD FOR REGIONAL LEADERSHIP Dr Andrew Hedges (FRANZCOG) – Medical Director, Hunter IVF, Newcastle, Australia Bachelor of Medicine 1987 Faculty of Health Dr Hedges is a specialist in reproductive medicine, reproductive endocrinology, infertility and gynaecology. He has worked in IVF since 1990, becoming a founding Director of Hunter IVF in 2003, which has since performed more than 500 stimulated cycles in 2009, and now employs more than 14 staff in the region.

In establishing Hunter IVF, the overarching theme was to create a service that would cater specifically for the needs of our patients, provide scientific and technological excellence, truly personal care and support in an affordable manner. We were very fortunate to bring together a team of highly-skilled, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals who all share the same vision to provide the highest quality service with an absolute customer focus. Hunter IVF has grown from about 100 cycles in our first year to 500 cycles in 2009. We were successful in gaining Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee and International Organization for Standardization accreditation in our first year.

Dr Hedges has been fostering collaborative research into sperm DNA damage with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development at the University of Newcastle and believes that this association is directly beneficial to patients of Hunter IVF, changing the lives of many Hunter families.

In addition, we have formed valuable relationships with organisations locally, nationally and internationally. There is an ever-present challenge to translate world-class research into clinical applications that directly benefit patients. The University’s Centre for Reproductive Sciences, under Laureate Professor John Aitken, provides world-leading research into sperm DNA damage. Hunter IVF has collaborated on a number of projects providing a direct clinical interface between researchers and patients to the benefit of both. We have welcomed undergraduate and honours student placements and are proud that some have gone on to become members of staff. I am also proud that Hunter IVF was one of the first clinics in Australia to offer vitrification (snap freezing) of day five embryos. I was fortunate to work with the Scientific Director of Monash IVF to establish IVF services in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and recently Hunter IVF assisted with the establishment of a new clinic in Singapore. No one really knows where the path after leaving university will lead, but it has been an enjoyable and exciting ride and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Diploma of Education 1994 Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art 1992; B. Fine Art 1991 Faculty of Education and Arts In 2001, Nick was appointed the Director, Newcastle Region Art Gallery – one of the youngest ever to lead a major gallery in this capacity in Australia. Responsible for expanding the gallery’s profile within the region and nationally, his work attracted significant funding from the government and business sectors. His drive and vision have been emulated in the galleries and museums sector, and his work helped cement Newcastle’s reputation as a city with an important and valued cultural history.

He has been published both nationally and internationally in his field and has won many awards and prizes. He provides international consultancy in IVF and together with the Scientific Director of Monash IVF, has worked to establish IVF services in Sri Lanka.

RECIPIENT OF THE 2010 ALUMNI AWARD FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP Nick Mitzevich Director, Art Gallery of South Australia

In 2007, Nick was appointed Director, Queensland University Art Gallery, and in July of this year he was appointed as the Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia – the youngest gallery director in its 129year history. In these roles across Australia, he has been a leading light in engaging communities with the galleries and is having a significant influence as a leader in the national art sector.



PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE An article by alumnus Associate Professor Wang Shuguang – recipient of the 2010 Alumni Award for International Leadership. The main focus of my work as a sociopsychologist has been HIV/AIDS prevention in China and most recently I have been assisting the ethnic Qiang community affected by the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake. I have been working with my research team at the University of Newcastle as well as local institutes to devise strategies to assist in the rehabilitation of Qiang children who have endured terrible hardship on a number of levels and are vulnerable to disease and ongoing psychological trauma. It is a very challenging setting in the mountainous region worst affected by the earthquake and I am working with a very impoverished community that doesn’t have access to healthcare infrastructure. I am developing evidence-based, sociopsychological-cultural approaches to curb HIV/AIDS infection. We have been working closely with the Qiang people to ensure that the program is culturally

appropriate and acceptable. To be effective, the Children’s Support Program to reduce vulnerability to the disease must be tailored to meet the children’s various needs. The day-to-day activities that we provide the children include traditional dance and song, as well as sport, story-telling and gardening – all with the aim of fostering their social, physical and educational development. We also work with the local Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to extend HIV screening and monitoring, as well as completing situational analysis for those children affected. We have developed a gender-focused support group program for mothers dealing with HIV issues with their children. It is also important that my work helps this devastated community take pride in its ethnicity and assists them to rebuild their lives.

Associate Professor WANG Shuguang Conjoint Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Cross Cultural Studies, Sichuan University and Centre for HIV Socio-Cultural Study, Institute of Sociology, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences; Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia / China PhD 1998 Faculty of Science and Information Technology Dr Wang is a leading sociopsychologist and internationally recognised researcher and policy adviser in the field of HIV/AIDS in China. He has played a significant leadership role in maintaining positive international cooperation through undertaking more than 30 bilateral and multilateral programs in HIV/ AIDS prevention. Some of these include: Australia NHMRC Project (2001); Australia AFAO HIV Project (2005); AusAID & ARC Tibet HIV program (2007); UNICEF China project (2007-present); and Keats Research Fund Projects (University of Newcastle 2001-2010). Most recently, Dr Wang has coordinated research on the psycho-cultural rehabilitation of ethnic Qiang children affected by the Sichuan Earthquake, supported by the Keats Research Fund and the China-Australia Centre for Cross Cultural Studies, and has implemented a local program to assist their recovery.


A COMMITTED ADVOCATE FOR HEALTH REFORM An article by alumnus Dr Jaquelyne Hughes – inaugural recipient of the 2010 Indigenous Alumni Award.

Dr Jaqui Hughes with Professor John Maynard, Director of the University’s Wollotuka Institute who presented the award

RECIPIENT INAUGURAL 2010 INDIGENOUS ALUMNI AWARD Dr Jaquelyne Hughes PhD Student, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia Bachelor of Medicine 2000 Faculty of Health / The Wollotuka Institute In 2007, Dr Hughes was one of two Indigenous doctors awarded the Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) for the first time. Now undertaking PhD studies, titled “The Relationship of Obesity, Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Diabetes Mellitus and Renal Impairment” she believes the preliminary findings of her research are of great clinical relevance to both clinicians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander people needs a multi-dimensional approach. In addition to undertaking clinical research, Dr Hughes has also developed and mentored professional and clinical capacity among colleagues, study participants and the wider community.

As a physician, a commitment to patient advocacy is essential. Advocacy involves a determined search for the most effective treatments and lobbying for equal access for all. Advocacy is at the heart of formal training programs and helps boost our professional capacity. It also assists in the development of health promotion tools aimed at raising awareness among patients and the wider community. I am a nephrologist, a specialist kidney physician. Kidneys are vitally important for our health and survival. In simple terms, they regulate fluid, blood pressure, and hormones that are important for healthy blood and bones. They are the body’s filters and are essential for removing waste. While there are many ways kidneys can be injured, the increasing rate of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease are contributing to a rise in the number of people developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The severe consequences of the disease include an increased risk of heart disease, the need for dialysis and a kidney transplant, and death. Australians with CKD need doctors to unite and advocate strongly for their health outcomes. Prevention should be the focus of public health initiatives. Building health improvements requires an investment of resources. Indigenous Australians suffer a disproportionately high risk of developing severe kidney disease compared to other Australians. They are also affected at a much younger age. My PhD research shows that young, healthy adult Aborigines develop a very high risk pattern of intra-abdominal fat while only modestly overweight, which is not seen in people with a European background.

Dr Jaquelyne Hughes with family and friends

Controlling weight gain in this age group should be a priority because it just may save people from developing diabetes and kidney disease, or prevent a heart attack before they are 40. Population-specific recommendations are necessary; not only is this good medicine, it is the logical approach. At the recent Australian and New Zealand Society of Obesity meeting, the message was clear: We live in an “obesogenic” environment, which means that systematic changes to reduce disease stemming from being overweight must be implemented with a whole-of-government approach. Rigorous research has shown that there are a host of evidence-based strategies to prevent future disease that are relevant to all Australians. These include minimising tobacco use, improving opportunities for physical activity, preventing unhealthy weight gain having safe and practical housing and improving access to high-quality and affordable nutrition. These are simple recommendations that all Australians should demand. Advocating for improvement to Indigenous health must also include ways to build professional capacity in the Indigenous health workforce so that initiatives are sustainable. Meaningful investment in Indigenous health research is also vital as we search for the most efficient and effective treatments to curb the high rate of chronic disease. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have different advocacy needs to other Australian population groups. It would be grossly inappropriate to assume that health initiatives targeting those with European backgrounds will have a similar level of efficacy in the Indigenous population.


CHANGING OUR THINKING An article by alumnus Ms Sarah Kemp – inaugural recipient of the 2010 Young Alumni Award Sustainable development has been practiced by many cultures throughout history, but the industrialised world first become interested in this concept in the 1960s and 70s. In the 50 years since, we have reached a critical point due to the explosive pace of the depletion of our natural resources, the everincreasing levels of pollution and waste, the immense scale of our ecological disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and Hungary tailings dam failure, and the widening social divide. So why is it that despite decades of warnings and increased knowledge about the need to achieve ecologically sustainable development, it seems we are sitting on a ticking time-bomb? Perhaps it is the lack of a united vision on what our future should look like? In the words of Albert Einstein, “the world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation”. Young people have the opportunity to bring a new way of thinking to the table, to shape what our future will look like. The path to a united vision needs three key elements: Reconciliation – This needs to be more than just acknowledging the injustices forced upon Australia’s Indigenous people. It is about recognising that the traditional Australian Aboriginal model for a sustainable society has the longest proven track record on earth. There are huge opportunities for modern society in embracing the wisdom of our Indigenous community.

Redefined values – What exactly is important to us? Currently our culture seems to value convenience – gadgets that are redundant before they even arrive and consuming at whatever cost. However, the more convenient goods and services become, the more disconnected we seem to be from the true cost. Leadership – It is critical that young people continue to challenge the status quo and be fearless in efforts to increase knowledge, finding innovative ways to achieve a positive vision for our future. Recognition as the inaugural Young Alumni Award winner is an amazing honour and I hope that other young people are inspired to take a stand for our future.

RECIPIENT INAUGURAL 2010 YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD Sarah Kemp Managing Director, Smart Future Consulting, Newcastle, Australia Master of Business Administration 2009 Faculty of Business and Law Sarah started her own company in 2007 called Smart Future Consulting Pty Ltd, which aims to meet the growing demand for professionals who specialise in creating change for a sustainable future. She was the winner of the 2008 Hunter Business Chamber’s Young Achiever of the Year, and in 2009 was selected to represent Australia on a delegation to South Korea as part of the Australia-Korea Next Generation Leaders Program. The program is run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, largely to explore “Low Carbon Green Growth”. In 2009, as part of the Australian Institute of Energy she co-founded the Hunter Young Energy Professionals, to help young energy professionals move forward in their career and as leaders. She also raises funds through a clothing and equipment collection project to support a youth centre at a remote Aboriginal community where youth health and wellbeing are at great risk.

Sarah Kemp (far right) with her family


Honouring Distinction Convocation Medal Finalist

Convocation Medal Finalist

Newton John Award Finalist

Professor Julie BYLES Director, Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing; co-Director, Newcastle Institute of Public Health

Professor ZHANG Fengming Department of Physics, Nanjing University; Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co Ltd

Mark Arkinstall Australasian Regional Leader of the Advanced Technology + Research group at Arup, currently in London, United Kingdom

PhD (Physics) 1996 Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons 1) 1994 Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Bachelor of Medicine 1985; PhD 1994 Faculty of Health Professor Byles is one of the Australian and international leaders in multi-disciplinary gerontology, making contributions in: cutting-edge research in ageing, gender, and health; as the incoming President of the national Australian Association of Gerontology; advisor to the Commonwealth department of Health and Ageing; working with international organisations notably the World Health Organisation and the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Her recent work has focused on health assessment, medications used by older people, sleep disturbance, health effects of alcohol for older women, nutrition screening and interventions, health and retirement, and prevention of falls in residential care. She is widely acknowledged as a leading international authority on longitudinal research on ageing women’s health and for her expert leadership in establishing her own Centre at Newcastle. Her leadership includes public health policy and mentorship of the graduate students and junior staff who will be the leaders of her field in the future.

Professor Zhang is an active researcher in the field of nanomagnetism and solar energy. In 2004, he was co-founder of China Sunergy. While he was Executive Director, China Sunergy took its place as a world class PV company, with a 2007 revenue exceeding AU $600 million. It also successfully listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange that year. He has trained a number of engineers, many of whom are now respected experts in the field. Joining Tianwei New Energy Holdings in December 2009, he led the technology and management team to significantly improve the solar cell product – increasing efficiency from 15.6% to 16.2%, considered the best in the industry, and equating to a net benefit of AUD $20 million. In 2005, he was awarded Talent Cultivation Plan of the New Century by the Education Ministry of China and in 2008, one of the Top-Ten talents for Achievement in Innovation and Enterprise Set-up awarded by the Nanjing Municipal Government.

Mark has built an outstanding career and international reputation for structural design, project management, innovation and research in his many roles at Arup – a global firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists. Mark was part of the design team for the Chep Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong and the Sydney Olympic venues; the RAS Exhibition Halls and the Dunc Gray Velodrome. He was Arup’s lead engineer for the structural design of the Beijing National Aquatic Centre, The Watercube, viewed by millions around the world. In 2008, Mark accepted numerous top awards for the design and in 2009 received the highest award of the Royal Academy of Engineers, The MacRobert Award, for the innovative design of The Watercube. He has published many articles, presented at global conferences and has been featured in National Geographic and Discovery documentaries.

Alumni Award for Exceptional Community Service Finalist

Kerrell Bourne Team Leader, The University of Newcastle – Family Action Centre, Newcastle, Australia Family Action Centre, Callaghan Campus Kerrell’s work equips those in danger of marginalisation to take a more equitable place in society. She leads a team of staff and volunteers to deliver community programs including; Home Start, SNUG and the Caravan Project. In her role she has supported others to build successful relationships between the University and the community. Through her research, conference papers and teaching she has shared her knowledge and expertise on best practice in strengthening families and communities with colleagues, government organisations and many levels of the community. Kerrell encourages and supports families and other members of the community to recognise and build on their strengths. She leads a strong team of staff and engages community volunteers. Kerrell is making a significant contribution to the region’s development, prosperity and social capital.


2010 Alumni Award Finalists Alumni Award for International Leadership Finalist

Alumni Award for International Leadership Finalist

Alumni Award for National Leadership Finalist

Alumni Award for National Leadership Finalist

Dr Anthony DIALLO Consultant, Chairman and CEO of Sahara Media Group, Tanzania, Africa

Associate Professor ZHOU Yun Director of International Cooperation Centre, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China

Gerry Collins Executive Producer, ABC Radio Sport, Queensland, Australia

Dr Richard Sheldrake (MScAgr PhD FASM FAICD) – Director-General, NSW Department of Industry and Investment, Australia

Master of Aviation Management 2009 (Faculty of Science and IT) Doctor of Business Admin 2008; MBA 2005; Grad. Cert Bus 2004 Faculty of Business and Law Dr Diallo has had 12 continuous years in public service and 20 years in management in manufacturing and industrial production and has been the CEO of successful companies. He has been a member of parliament for Mwanza rural and Ilemela constituencies for five and 10 years respectively. As a Government Minister, he has served as: Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industries and Trade (2000-2001); Deputy Minister, Water and Livestock Development (2001-2005); Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism (Jan 2006-Nov 2006); and the Minister, Livestock Development (Nov 2006 – Feb 2008). He has participated (and on more than five occasions chaired) the Group of 77 Council of Trade Ministers for the WTO Doha round of preparatory negotiations, coordinating the African forum under the auspices of the South African Development Countries and the Group of 77. Photo: Dr Anthony Diallo with President of Alumni, Brian Kennaugh

Master of Environmental Studies 2003 Faculty of Science and Information and Technology Associate Professor Zhou has led various national programs and participated at international forums for the environment. Involved as a project director in a number of international environmental projects funded by; World Bank, ADB and AusAID, Canadian International Development Agency, Swedish International Development Agency, her interests are climate change and energy, environmental impact assessment, and promoting public participation in environmental protection. She has been very active in Sino-Australian environmental cooperation, especially in the Australia-China Environment Development Program. She was a lead volunteer in the hugely successful “Trees for Life – Grow a Tree” project promoting environmental education to school children across China through planting trees from seeds.

B. Primary Teaching (Newcastle Teachers College) 1969 Faculty of Education and Arts After a few years of teaching, Gerry moved into journalism and is now recognised as one of ABC’s most experienced sport journalists. Broadcasting nationally for the ABC, he has called races for Australia from the past six Olympic Games, all Commonwealth Games since 1986 and all Rugby World Cups since 1999, winning a number of media awards over the years. He has been a Master of Ceremonies for a range of community events supporting health, sport, and philanthropic organisations, and has mentored a number of young journalists. He has provided media training for athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport, the Queensland Academy of Sport, the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland Rugby Union. He has also provided his service as a keynote speaker for NUsport at the University of Newcastle Blues Awards.

PhD – Immunology 1986 Faculty of Health Dr Sheldrake’s position as the Director-General is integral to driving investment and promoting economic development throughout NSW. It embraces the key industry sectors of mining, energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, and film and television, and is responsible for state and regional development, small business promotion, food safety, mine safety, mine subsidence and rural assistance. He has played a role in developing and guiding State and National policy in areas such as clean coal, carbon offsets, plant and animal bio-security and agricultural research and development. Dr Sheldrake has held positions as Commissioner of the Murray Darling Basin Commission (2003-2009); NSW Commissioner for Soil Conservation (2005-2007); Director of the Pig Research and Development Corporation (19931996); Director of Animal Health Australia Ltd (2004-2005); Chair of the Primary Industries Health Committee (2004-2005); and Board Member of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (2002-2006).


Honouring Distinction Alumni Award for Regional Leadership Finalist

Alumni Award for Regional Leadership Finalist

Alumni Award for Regional Leadership Finalist

Sandra Brown Director, Pepper Tree Wines, Hunter Valley, Australia

Professor Anne Rees Head of School, School of Law, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Professor Aaron Quigley Chair of Human Computer Interaction, School of Computer Science, St Andrews University, Scotland, United Kingdom

Bachelor of Commerce 2002 Faculty of Business and Law Sandra has worked through the hierarchy to become a Director of a medium-size company that has a strong brand presence within the wine industry. Along the way she has demonstrated entrepreneurial abilities in a range of operational initiatives and business strategies which have made it a more profitable business. Using her experience, she has consulted to two small to medium size wineries which included revitalising a small winery and nurturing it to become an iconic destination within the Hunter area. She has contributed much to the wine industry in the region, is an active member of the Hunter Valley business community and Hunter Business Chambers, and has helped position the Hunter Valley as a regional tourist destination.

Bachelor of Arts 1974 Faculty of Business and Law Professor Rees has held senior management roles at the University of Newcastle (culminating in the role of Dean of Law from 2000-2001) and at Deakin University where she has transformed the School of Law into one of the highest performing schools at that University. For three years she was a full-time commissioner with the Australian Law Reform Commission and was lead commissioner on three enquiries. In 2001, she was Secretary to the Judicial Conference of Australia and Secretary to the Council of Australian Law Deans. She was a member of; the Mental Health Tribunal of NSW from 1996-2007; the Products Safety Committee – NSW Dept of Fair Trading; Board of Governors of the Law Foundation of NSW; Boards of the Centre for Legal Education and the Communications Law Centre; Steering Committee Gender Bias and the Law Project – NSW Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women. Appointed to the Council of Legal Education in Victoria, she makes a significant contribution to law education and practice in the region.

PhD (Computer Science) 2002 Faculty of Science and Information Technology Professor Quigley has worked in NSW and Tasmania in a number of academic roles prior to receiving his Chair at St Andrew’s University in July this year. As the Director of Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia (HITLab) at the University of Tasmania, he led research partnerships with HITLabs at the University of Washington, and the University of Canterbury – sharing the goal of developing revolutionary interfaces that transform how people interact with computers and improve the human experience. In addition to holding three patents, he has also published more than 100 internationally peer-reviewed publications including edited volumes, journals, and conference and workshop papers. He has made a significant contribution to research and development in the region which is now being recognised internationally.

Indigenous Alumni Award Finalist

David Williams Teacher, Utopia School, Utopia, Australia Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts 2002 Diploma in Aboriginal Studies 1998 Faculty of Education and Arts / The Wollotuka Institute In 2002, David starting teaching at Utopia, a remote indigenous community located 360km from Alice Springs. He enlisted the help of an English-speaking local to interpret in the classroom, as English is typically the third or fourth language after the traditional languages. In his first year, he worked with Community Health to introduce a program that saw middle ear infections drop dramatically within 12 months, personally funding most of the needed supplies. With the support of Elders, David has been instrumental in funding and providing transport for students to make and sell handmade items at Market Night in Alice Springs, using the activity to implement experiential learning tasks. He has made an extraordinary commitment and is making a difference in this small community.


2010 Alumni Award Finalists Young Alumni Award Finalist

Young Alumni Award Finalist

Young Alumni Award Finalist

Ross Abbs Currently studying a Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Holly McHattan Corporate Communications Co-ordinator, Hunter Water Corporation, Newcastle, Australia

Stephen Priestley Financial Planner, Godfrey Pembroke, Newcastle, Australia

Bachelor of Laws (Hons 1) University Medal 2006; Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) (Ancient History) University Medal 2004 Faculty of Business and Law

Master of Marketing 2008; Bachelor of Communication 2004 Faculty of Business and Law

In 2007/2008 Ross was the first Newcastle graduate to gain a place as an associate to the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG at the High Court of Australia. During 2007, Ross spent six months at the Victorian Law Reform Commission as part of a small team working on the Commission’s Civil Justice Review, which culminated in a report published in March 2008. In 2009, Ross won the prestigious James Fairfax Oxford Australia Scholarship for a place in the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) program at the University of Oxford. In 2008 and 2009, Ross participated in the team-based 100 kilometres endurance walk to raise funds for Oxfam Australia.

In addition to forging a successful career in marketing and public relations since graduating, Holly makes a very significant contribution to the Newcastle community through her voluntary work with the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF) and Newcastle Business Club (NBC). In raising the profile of HBCF, one of her key achievements was developing a partnership with Newcastle Knights, thereby increasing both the profile and the revenue of HBCF. As a board member with NBC, Holly has organised charity fundraisers, supported young business people to build networks in the city, and strengthened NBC’s relationship with Pulse, a group of young people who fundraise to support young researchers within the Hunter Medical Research Institute.

2010 Convocation Lecture

Bachelor of Commerce 2004 Faculty of Business and Law Stephen has been responsible for advising, investing and administering clients with accumulated investments in excess of $100 million. In 2009, Stephen was ranked No.1 in the Top 50 Financial Advisers by Smart Investor Magazine. Each year in June, Stephen conducts a free communitybased program where people can email financial questions without cost or obligation. He has helped numerous people who might not otherwise have sought financial advice. To showcase the achievements of its former students, Dungog High School invited Stephen to be the keynote speaker at its Dux ceremony in 2009.

The Executive Committee of Alumni (formerly called Convocation) has reinstated the past tradition of the Convocation Lecture which presents an incoming Professorial appointment to the University and allows them to share their expertise with the community. The Lecture was hosted at City Hall by the President of Alumni, Mr Brian Kennaugh, who introduced Professor Nick Talley, a graduate of the University, 2007 Convocation Medalist and the incoming Pro ViceChancellor to the University’s Faculty of Health. Professor Talley was formerly the Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, USA. Professor Talley shared his expertise with over two hundred members of the public, and kept them enthralled with a lively presentation called ‘Back to the Future’ exploring the challenges of educating health professionals in the 21st Century.


Back to Campus The Alumni Advantage Breakfast Program Throughout the year, a new program enabling current students to engage with alumni at an informal breakfast setting on campus took place. Graduates return to campus to present on a ‘hot topic’ or to offer students and alumni career insights. The initiative is a partnership between Schools and Faculties, the Executive Committee of Alumni, and the Alumni Relations office.

School of Education Alumni Advantage Breakfast Alumnus and Professor Scott Holmes, Dr Robert Sparkes and Professor James Albright debated the topic “Good School, Bad School?” What will the MySchool site do to the teaching profession? The trio discussed the positives and negatives of Julia Gillard’s venture as Minister for Education in their own unique ways – much to the entertainment of the many students and alumni present. Taking questions from the floor after their debate, the final view was,“it’s here, live with it!” Professor Jim Albright makes his point, much to the amusement of his fellow alumni debaters, Professor Scott Holmes (left) and Dr Robert Parkes (right)

Faculty of Business and Law Alumni Advantage Breakfast “Think Outside the Corporate Box” was the theme for this breakfast held on 3 August 2010. Returning graduates Merridy Elphick, a founder and partner at Burke, Elphick and Mead Lawyers; Todd Williams, CEO of Regional Development Australia – Hunter; and Philip Smith, Financial Advisor at Hunter Financial, told their own unique stories and offered career advice to the assembled students and alumni.

Merridy Elphick (Bachelor of Laws / Diploma of Legal Practice 2001), Todd Williams (MBA 2004) and Phil Smith (Bachelor of Commerce 2002)

Brian Kennaugh, President of Alumni, students and alumni very focussed on the talk

Faculty of Science and IT Alumni Advantage Breakfast

(Left to right) Meredith Young , Dr Frances Kay-Lambkin and Professor Tim Roberts, taking comments from the floor

As biologist Professor Tim Roberts says, “The Faculty of Science and IT is a broad church with 23 undergraduate programs across a broad range of disciplines, and 17 postgraduate degrees!” So it was fitting that graduates from two of these diverse Faculty disciplines joined him to tackle the topic, “The True Cost of Moving to Green Energy – How Much Are You Willing to Pay to Park Your Car on Campus in the Future?” Meredith Young, a communications graduate working in External Relations for Centennial Coal, and Dr Frances Kay-Lambkin a psychologist and academic, joined Tim in a hilarious debate of the topic. Students and

alumni were happy to join the discussion with lively participation and they were asked to prioritise some suggestions for solutions to the parking challenges. Their responses included: better bus services to the campus, a light rail loop around the city connecting the University, hospitals etc, and the most radical idea was to make the campus a test site for solar/electric mass transport, as well as the introduction of a shuttle bus running from the train station around the campus in a loop.


Back to Campus

Professor Arie Feuer Honorary Degree, Doctor of Engineering 2009 Alumnus Arie Feuer, Professor of Electrical Engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was on campus to work on his annual research project with Laureate Professor Graham Godwin. Professor Godwin is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control in the University’s School

Mr Robert Cameron Master Business Administration 1985 Alumnus Bob Cameron has been Managing Director of Centennial Coal since 1989. He holds engineering and business management qualifications and has had a long career as a senior manager in the coal industry. He is a past chairman of the NSW Minerals Council and the Australian Coal Association and is also a director of Port Kembla Coal Terminal Limited.

Professor Dr Wanbil Lee Doctor of Business Administration 2008 Alumnus Professor Wanbil Lee is an expert on Information Security Systems, which is grounded in Mathematics, Operations Research and Management. His experience spans the government, business and academic arenas in Hong Kong, Australia and other countries. He was in Australia recently and travelled to Newcastle specifically to give a seminar to students

Associate Professor ZHOU Yun Master of Environmental Studies 2003 Alumna Associate Professor Zhou, a finalist in the Alumni Award for International Leadership, also gave a seminar while in town for the Awards dinner. The seminar, on “Water Pollution Issues in China and counter measures being instituted by the Government” brought together the Hunter Environmental Institute, Tom Farrell Institute and Hunter Water Corporation who co-hosted the event. Enjoyed by locals, PhD students

of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The two have been research partners for more than 20 years. While on campus, Professor Feuer shared with faculty staff and research higher degree students the focus of his work on efficient ways of digitising certain types of signals, common in communication systems, in order to reduce the amount of generated data to be transmitted or recorded while maintaining quality of the service.

He returned to campus recently to speak with students and alumni at the Newcastle School of Business, sharing his insights and expertise as a Managing Director at a seminar. Bob spent more time answering questions at a networking opportunity that followed the seminar.

and alumni titled “Doing the Right Thing Right in Cyberspace”. The seminar was hosted by the Deputy Head of the School of Electrical Engineering, Associate Professor Frans Henskens. Wanbil received a range of interesting questions from the very engaged students and alumni who were present. Wanbil is the President of the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter and also caught up with the Associate Director of External Relations, Rosemary Thomson, and the President of Alumni, Mr Brian Kennaugh, during his visit.

and the like, it was a great success and will lead to greater cooperation between her unit at the Beijing Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, the University of Newcastle and the Hunter region. Associate Professor ZHOU Yun (Master of Environmental Studies 2003) pictured with Professor Tim Roberts (left), a committee member of the Executive Committee of Alumni and Director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, and Mr Peter Dennis (right), General Manager of System Strategy and Sustainability, Hunter Water Corporation.


Back to Campus A Rewarding Moment Peter Tay, an engineering and economics graduate, returned to campus recently and spent some rewarding time with a couple of students. Peter is one of the nine engineering graduates who studied at the University under the Colombo Plan Scholarship Program who created the 1968 Singapore Colombo Plan Students Scholarship (for an Australian student) to show their gratitude to the Australian government and the University.

Left to right: Mark Cowan, Peter Tay, Associate Professor Stephen Fityus from the Faculty of Engineering, and Heath Robertson

The inaugural 2009 scholarship recipient, Mark Cowan, and the 2010 recipient, Heath Robertson, shared how much the scholarship had helped them. The three men also shared a few jokes about their different experiences as students.

Sports Person of the Year Finalists. In the photo from left to right: Michael Johns (Chair, NUsport), Trudy Thompson (Athletics High Jump), Shaun Fletcher (Athletics Long Jump), Ian Rayson (Athletics Race Walking), David and Joan Clark (representing Shelley Clark Open Water Swimming), Nicholas Saunders (Vice-Chancellor)

TOP HONOURS FOR UNIVERSITY ATHLETES The University of Newcastle 2010 Sports Person of the Year had a good reason to miss the award presentation hosted by NUsport in August. Open water swimmer Shelley Clark, a seventime Australian 25-kilometre champion and one of the longest-serving members of the national swimming team, was in the United Kingdom attempting to cross the English Channel. Her proud parents, Joan and David, accepted the honour on her behalf at the annual Sports Awards, which recognise the University’s finest athletes. Coveted University Blues were presented to Shaun Fletcher (Athletics – Long Jump), Ian Rayson (Athletics – Race Walking) and Andrew Moore (Rugby League) for outstanding sporting ability. University Colours, which recognise outstanding contribution to the administration and organisation of University sport, were presented to Stephen Taylor (Cricket), Adrian

Varela (Hockey), James Elliott (Rowing) and Kristy Field (Softball). The award for Sports Club of the Year was presented to the University of Newcastle Mountaineering Club in recognition of their high standard of sports administration. Associate Professor Stephen Fityus, Head of Discipline in the School of Engineering, was made an Honorary Life Member in acknowledgement of more than 20 years of commitment to sport at the University. The University and Friends of the University also presented sport scholarships to Margaret Watson (Rugby Union), Liam Mowbray (Archery), Trudy Thompson (Athletics – High Jump), Nikalus Sharpe (Hockey), Matt Brady (Triathlon) and Ellie Sparke (Ultimate). This year, the Sports Awards event also honoured the University’s great sporting tradition by welcoming back former

representatives as guest presenters. NIB Chairman and University Blue Keith Lynch, Paralympian basketballer and 1990 Sports Person of the Year Liesl Tesch and current education student and high jump champion Trudy Thompson spoke of their University and sporting experiences. NUsport CEO Chris Hicks said the event highlighted the important role the University played in developing the sporting careers of its athletes. “NUsport is proud of the achievements of our athletes and we are delighted to have contributed to their success. They encourage us to pursue higher standards in our own performances.” Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Saunders said the University was proud to see its students match strong academic performance with sporting success.


ALUMNI BUILD FOUNDATIONS FOR FUTURE ARCHITECTS Being an alumnus isn’t just about being a member of a club – for some it is also about helping to pave the way for future students. And that’s exactly what a group of architects are doing by providing architecture students with an opportunity to learn more about their profession. The Architecture Foundation, which is made up of a group of 12 alumni and two undergraduate students, funds the Eric Parker Fellowship through the UON Foundation. The Fellowship provides an architecture student with a round-theworld air ticket and $10,000 for help with their studies. In the past 10 years, this group of architects has raised more than $150,000 to contribute towards the Fellowship award. The Fellowship was named to honour the contribution Eric Parker made to architecture at the University of Newcastle and the profession in general. In 1957, Eric became the first permanent teacher of architecture at the Newcastle University College.

Alumnus Bob Donaldson and Chair of the Architecture Foundation said it was Eric’s passion for travelling and his global view of architecture that inspired the fellowship. “Eric had a very global view. He saw much of the world and travelled across Europe. He brought an open view to parochial Newcastle.” The calibre of students this year was so high that the Architecture Foundation decided to make two awards; The Fellowship and the Parker Fellowship Commendation, which has been generously funded by EJE Architecture and alumnus Brian Suter. “The students were chosen not necessarily because of their academic achievements,” said Mr Donaldson, “but because they were seen to be the students who would gain the greatest benefit from the fellowship, as well as their ability to contribute their experience back into architecture.” Third-year student Rebecca Evans is the Fellowship winner and Sacha Parkinson will receive the Commendation award of $4,000,

as well as a ticket to travel to the USA to study architecture. Rebecca Evans believes the experience will help her better understand people and their culture. “I have the chance to travel and learn about how people live and understand the connection between people and buildings. I will be visiting an architect in Switzerland which will be phenomenal. Receiving this scholarship is just amazing.” Mr Donaldson said he believed it was important for alumni to give back to future generations. “We want to give something back to the institution and the course of study that made us what we are today, and offering a young person the opportunity to travel and experience the world is our means of saying thank you.”

For further information on supporting the University of Newcastle, please contact the UON Foundation on +612 4921 7453 or email:

From left Matthew Hull (Lecturer, School of Architecture and Built Environment), Sacha Parkinson (The Parker Fellowship Commendation), Bob Donaldson (Chair and Trustee, The Architecture Foundation) and Rebecca Evans (The Parker Fellowship Recipient)


Canberra Alumni


Some of the 60-plus Alumni who gathered at the Hotel Realm in Canberra enjoyed catching up with each other and hearing from the Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations).

Alumni Coordinator in Tanzania, Philbert Lutale (Master of Human Resource Management 2009), with his lovely bride Heavenlight on their wedding day on 18 September 2010. Congratulations to you both!

Class of 2000 Medical reunion


The Medical School’s Class of 2000 enjoyed a reunion on the weekend of 30th-31st October. The reunion was organised by the lively trio Dr Jae Spinaze, Dr Andrew Halliday, and Dr Tom Martin, with only a little help from the Alumni Relations office and the School of Medicine. Well done guys!

The Melbourne Room at the Hotel Menzies in Sydney was bursting with Alumni for the annual Sydney Alumni Reception earlier this year. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Saunders, presented a gift to alumnus, the Honorable Justice Kevin Lindgren to acknowledge his service to the Federal Court of Australia. The Chapter awarded their scholarship to current psychology student Megan Perry. Alumnus Michael Attard brought his wife Emma along on their first wedding anniversary – that’s commitment! Emma was presented with flowers for her sacrifice. Zoila Veronica Nassrallah, a Master of Educational Studies graduate, won the “travelled the farthest” title as she was on holiday in Sydney from California where she lives and works teaching Spanish and ESL. It was wonderful to have her and her husband Jamal attend. A great night was had by all!

The reunion included a get-together at Breezes Hotel on the Saturday evening and a picnic at King Edward Park in Newcastle on Sunday so families could join in the fun. Dean of Medicine Professor Michael Hensley and other faculty staff joined the group.

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The Alumni Survey will be open from December 2010 to January 2011. Check your email or the alumni website for your chance to participate and win an iPAD.

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Alumni Magazine Edition 3, 2010  

December Edition