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Behind the News

A Confrontational Truth

Woman of Steel

2011 Australia Day Recognition

Focus on Faculties

Network News


Engaging our Communities Alumni in January while I was there as a Visiting Fellow with the University of London. I look forward to meeting many more of our alumni as the year progresses. To aid the University in its strategic efforts, 2011 saw the establishment of an Office for the Advancement of Engaged Learning (also situated within External Relations). This new office provides a whole of institution focus on engaged learning to drive convergence between the different types of engaged learning activity across faculties and to support better links between academic and business partnerships through linking theory to practice.

Steeped in tradition, graduation ceremonies are an important milestone. Our biggest program of ceremonies happens each April at the Callaghan campus.

External Relations at the University of Newcastle seeks to enrich our communities by connecting people and creating opportunities. We do this in a number of mutually beneficial ways which include the University’s Public Lecture Series and a varied and productive range of connections with business, government, industry and community partners. External Relations now has an “engagement” team that has been very active this year within the University, outside in the community and more broadly through professional associations like the Australian University Community Engagement Alliance.

As an alumnus myself, I am sure you will join me in congratulating all 2011 graduates and welcoming them into our alumni community. In celebrating their achievements I offer the words of American Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

The Alumni Relations Office within the Office of External Relations is always available to help our graduates connect with other alumni and with the University, and has a strong and full program of events for 2011. I have only been in this role a few months, but I was pleased to be able to meet with some of our London

During my seven years as Chancellor I have proudly seen the University go from strength to strength. Many of you would be aware that Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nicholas Saunders, is retiring later this year. The University has grown significantly under his leadership.

From My Desk to Yours

Message from the Chancellor

Since 2004, student enrolments have grown from 23,000 to 35,500. Over this time we have expanded our physical presence at Callaghan, the Newcastle city precinct and Ourimbah; launched a successful partnership to co-locate a campus in Port Macquarie with TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute; and have established a presence in Singapore and in Sydney. The number of international students enrolled at the University has more than doubled to over 7,800 and the alumni community now numbers over 105,000. Newcastle has maintained a ranking in Australia’s top 10 universities for research and research income has increased significantly over the past decade. Internationally, the University has greatly increased its profile having forged valuable research and teaching partnerships with leading overseas institutions. This is also my last full year as Chancellor and I hope to catch up with as many of you as possible at alumni events both in Australia and abroad ahead of stepping down from the position in early 2012. Professor Trevor Waring AM Chancellor

Recently, the University introduced innovative programs around leadership, service learning, volunteering, mentoring, and community engagement. These student engagement activities, along with the expansion of the work integrated learning program, feature as key components for generating a positive student experience and work ready graduates in the new 2011 – 2015 Strategic Plan. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any suggestions for, or feedback about, the work of External Relations. Professor Stephen Crump Pro Vice-Chancellor External Relations

April commences the graduations which see thousands of students transition to the global University of Newcastle Alumni Network, affectionately referred to as the ‘alumni family’. Welcome to all our 2011 graduates!

Last year we said goodbye to a dear alumna Dr Marlene Norst – a colourful and charismatic member of our alumni family who was a great supporter of the University, and the Sydney Chapter. A 1991 Convocation Medal winner, Marlene passed away last December.

Our alumni continue to show distinction and uniqueness – you will read some of these stories in this edition. The 2010 Alumni Awards (featured in edition 3, 2010 now online) also showcased some outstanding graduates – and these annual Awards open again for nominations in May. Please nominate your peers and we hope to see you at the gala event where the winners will be announced at Newcastle City Hall on 14 September 2011.

We also farewell Dr Sammy Poone BBS MBE JP, Patron of the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter and friend of the University who passed away in March 2011. We will miss his warm hospitality – he was a great ambassador for the University.

Also of interest, is the UoNTowards 50 – Heritage and History project which is underway in preparation for the University’s 50th celebration in 2015. Be part of the fun and identify early pictures online at www. This project is also looking at the ‘dynasties’ of Newcastle graduates and students – if you have a generational family group from this University and its earlier institutions (e.g. grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins etc), I invite you to email the details to me at

Thank you to all those alumni who completed the online survey – we look forward to sharing the feedback with you in a future edition or on the website. I look forward to seeing you throughout the year. Please continue to share your stories with me and do contact me if you are coming back to campus. Rosemary Thomson Associate Director External Relations (Leading University Alumni Relations)


BEHIND THE NEWS Interviewing politicians and celebrities is all in a day’s work for SBS World News Australia newsreader, and University of Newcastle graduate Janice Petersen, Bachelor of Arts (Communications) 1999. But Janice says it is stories such as that of Malalai Joya, the ‘bravest woman in Afghanistan’ that truly resonate and inspire.

Janice interviewed Malalai – Afghanistan’s youngest MP – when she was on a recent trip to Australia. Malalai has dedicated her life to improving the lives of Afghans and eradicating the warlords and drug industry which is crippling her country. “Interviewing her was a reality check. Here was a woman of about the same vintage as me who was on a mission. She’s been attacked, ostracised, expelled and reinstated into parliament. People like that who have vision and are fearless warriors for the greater good are inspiring,” said Janice. Hailing from Woy Woy on the Central Coast, Janice’s career trajectory is the stuff communications undergraduates dream of. After missing out on a photography cadetship with a major newspaper organisation, she turned her attention to writing rather than photography. A casual position rolling autocue at SBS was exactly the entry point she needed. Working in a busy newsroom, with on-air presenters such as Mary Kostakidis and Indira Naidoo as inspiration, Janice learned a lot

about broadcast journalism. She was also in a position to ‘pester’ the producers into giving her the odd story to write every now and then. A cadetship with the ABC in 2000 saw her move into news reading. She returned to SBS in 2006 as a sports presenter and eventually made her way to her current role. Using her own university experience as an example, Janice tells of ‘extra-curricular’ activities in which she was involved, such as writing for campus newspaper, Opus. Janice’s work with Opus taught her a lot about deadlines, arranging interviews and writing up a story. “It’s all the things you do in your own time – even if you don’t get paid for them – that make a difference to your future success once you leave university.” Proving the diverse nature of her work, Janice recalls another recent interview. “I was lucky enough to sit in on one of Geoffrey Rush’s rehearsals for Diary of a Madman at the Belvoir St Theatre. It’s those times when you

really shouldn’t be paid for doing this job. The interview was a blast and he was incredibly charming. “He talked about finding the script for the film on his doorstep like a lost orphan, and of how he grew to love it. I prodded him to perform any tongue twisters he’d picked up for his role as an elocution teacher. He did and was gobsmackingly good. But then he put me on the spot to perform it. I managed to get something like “pickled thistle picker” out then failed miserably. Made for great TV, albeit at my expense.” Now mum to ten-month-old daughter, Odessa, Janice says, “I feel blessed that I have been able to land this gig, and have now been able to work it into my family life. I feel like I have a nice family-work balance, I guess I just hope it keeps on keeping on.”



Emeritius Professor Ken Dutton OAM AM

Dr June Heinrich AM

Mr Tom Kirsop OAM – Picture: Clare Alcock

Mr Geoffrey Kells AM

Four exceptional members of the University of Newcastle Alumni community have been acknowledged in the 2011 Australia Day Honours list.

interesting people and I count that time as a privilege…I also think the new and increasing engagement of alumni in the past couple of years is terrific.”

Emeritus Professor Ken Dutton is known to many as a researcher and writer, teacher and colleague, former Deputy Chancellor of the University of Newcastle and a past Warden of Convocation (1974-1976) and again under the renamed role as President of Alumni (2002-2005). He received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2004 for services to education and has been further recognised in 2011 as an administrator and academic for his contribution to the development of international engagement in Australian higher education with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Dr June Heinrich (Doctor of Education Honorary Degree 2002) received the Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Baptist Ministries, in particular, her services to aged and community care and to a range of health sector organisations. Some of the achievements by the Baptist Community Services during Dr Heinrich’s period as CEO included an expansion of its work in non-aged care areas including MayCare at Newcastle; Food4Life Shops and the No Interest Loans Program funded by NAB which assists people on low incomes purchase essential household items.

This year’s honour marks Emeritus Professor Dutton’s role in forging ties between the University and former students living and working in Asia. Reluctant to reflect on his contributions which resulted in the awards, he spoke instead of his time as President of Alumni. As a former Professor of French, his academic research had exposed him to much of the European community and culture. However, his time as President and the concurrent role as Deputy Chancellor had allowed him to visit Asia and interact with the University’s international alumni in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Mr Tom Kirsop (Bachelor of Science 1960) received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to conservation and the environment through his work for the Surfrider Foundation Australia. Now 81, Tom came to surfing at the age of 45, and soon discovered that harnessing surfers’ enthusiasm for the ocean was the perfect way to work towards conserving the coastal environment.

“I met graduates not only doing amazing things, but they were such charming and

Mr Geoffrey Kells (Bachelor of Commerce 1964) received a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to international relations through Opportunity International China and his service to aged care, charitable and church organisations. Mr Kells has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations in China and Hong Kong.


A Confrontational Truth An article written by alumnus Matthew Thompson submitted from Kamareddy city, Andhra Pradesh State, South Central India. When I find myself running from Iranian riot police or descending into the mind-shredding horrors of shamanic ceremonies in Colombia, I wish I had a desk job. I could still be a writer: after all, nobody seems to mind that novelists just sit in front of computers making stuff up. But when the crisis has passed and I’m still free, intact and relatively sane, I know why I write true tales instead of fiction. The raw truth of the world is generally more compelling, more surprising, and more enriching than what we imagine. The only limits lie in what can be endured and what can be revealed. The first book I wrote is My Colombian Death: a journey into the heart of South America’s most dangerous country. It was first published by Picador in 2008 and is in its fourth print run. My Colombian Death is about the pursuit of wisdom through risk and gives an account of five months I spent in Colombia in 2006, when I met the national chief of the right-wing death squads, negotiated what might have been my own kidnapping, joined in drunken amateur bullfights, boxed with armed gangs, visited crack-houses and was torn apart by overwhelmingly powerful shamanic potions on a ridge in the Andes. Now I am working on a new book about the global urge to live more free lives than society will allow. That’s how I found myself sprinting from riot police in Tehran one month and hiking into mountains in the Philippines to meet armed rebels the next. As I write this I am in central India meeting Dalit (Untouchable) women and men who face violence from upper

caste groups and Hindu nationalists should they assert themselves. Before I started writing books, I spent almost four years as a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). I started there as a graduate trainee after finishing my undergraduate studies at Newcastle, where my majors had been English and modern history. Never having studied journalism was not much of a handicap, however, because the newspaper trained its recruits in writing and editing news and feature stories, shorthand and avoiding lawsuits. Working at the SMH was an excellent experience but I grew intensely frustrated with the conventions and limitations of newspaper reporting, so I started using the annual holidays to write long magazine stories from the conflicts of the southern Philippines, where day-to-day life goes on amidst rebellions, terrorism, espionage, kidnapping, private armies, banditry, and death squads. Hanging out beside the door gunner of a Huey helicopter while shooting photos on most of these trips was Renae Carlson, my 2000 co-editor at the University of Newcastle’s student magazine Opus. Renae and I took an uninhibited editorial approach to Opus, a policy that saw us fielding probing conference calls from the Office of Film and Literature Classification, facing demands from student groups that Opus be banned, and publishing the first ever edition that required students to show photo-ID proving they were 18 before they could pick up a copy. Given that it is not so long between our first and last breaths, I never could see the attraction of hiding from life.

Matthew Thompson Bachelor of Arts with Honours (First Class) 2001 Bachelor of Arts 1999 University Medallist, Dean’s Medallist Faculty of Education and Arts Matthew Thompson is a writer and adventurer who has run from Iranian riot police in Tehran, rumbled with Colombian gangs in Medellin, eaten sardines with Maoist rebels in the mountains of Luzon in the northern Philippines, explored the Muslim insurgencies of the southern Philippines, and drunk coffee with Abu Sayyaf bomb-makers. He writes for a range of magazines and newspapers and his book My Colombian Death is published in Australia and New Zealand by Picador (2008).

View from a fraught poor barrio overlooking Medellin in the Colombian Andes. A significant part of My Colombian Death takes place in the flamboyant, glittering, violent, wonderful and terrible city of Medellin.

The Australian Review declared “adventure writing has a new frontier” when reviewing Matthew’s book, calling it “a wonderful work of nonfiction that demonstrates writing and risk and writing in all their raging glory.” When he is not roaming the world to tell some of its more confrontational stories, Matthew lives in Dungog NSW.

Taken at the Carnaval de Barranquilla (Carnival of Barranquilla), in the industrial city of Barranquiila – Shakira’s hometown.


Uncovering the past for the future Spending days in the midst of ancient ruins is just another day at the office for alumnus Bernadette Drabsch. Bernadette is an archaeological illustrator and divides her time studying for her PhD, raising two children and drawing at archaeological digs. She has recently returned from drawing ancient artefacts from Pella in Jordan. “I worked on illustrating some stunning glass mosaics. We also found some jugs and pots and lots of coins. Some of them were 125,000 years old. The road to becoming an archaeological illustrator has been a winding path for Bernadette. “I used to work as a secretary. I dropped out of school and I didn’t think university was an option for me. But I enrolled in Open Foundation and things went from there.” It was during her Bachelor of Arts degree (2008) she developing a love of the Classics. She then went on to do her Honours in Natural History Illustration. Bernadette has been able to combine her two loves – drawing and ancient history. She has won a number of scholarships along the way to help her pursue her dreams, including the Williams Scholarship in Classics. “The scholarships have helped removed the financial strain, especially living on one wage with children.” Alumnus Bernadette Drabsch divides her time between her PhD studies, her family and visiting archaeological digs around the world.

Bernadette has more trips planned and an exhibition at the Nicholson Museum in Sydney. Her illustrations will also be used in Dr Stephen Bourke’s publications on his archaeological digs.

ALUMNI SHAPING FUTURES Helping disadvantaged and gifted students is the aim of the first ever Annual Appeal by the University of Newcastle. Mr Brian Kennaugh, President of Alumni urges all alumni to support the first ever University Annual Appeal. “It is great to have an opportunity to give – whether small or large donations – we can make a difference as an alumni community to those who follow us,” he said. The appeal will support the new Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund, which will fund scholarships of $4,000 per student for a one year period. Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Saunders has launched the appeal, with the support of the Executive Committee of Alumni. “Many students were working long hours to pay for their university courses and living expenses. “Through the Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund, we want to increase the number of student scholarships we can provide,” said Professor Saunders.

“We know there is a great need out there. Last year we had 180 applications for the single Godfrey Tanner Scholarship, which assists students facing financial hardship. 179 students, who also needed help, missed out. “Your support as an alumnus will help make a difference to the lives of students and to the future of our community.” Scholarships support students with expenses such as fees, text books, computer equipment, living expenses and accommodation costs. Alumnus Mrs Jennie Thomas has made the first donation to the new scholarship fund.

Student Chloe Britts said she was extremely grateful to win a scholarship. “Having a scholarship means I’m not so worried about finances and how I’m going to pay for my textbooks. I can concentrate on my studies to become a psychologist and my volunteer work.” The number of scholarships awarded will be dependent on the amount raised. The scholarships will be available to full time undergraduate students from all faculties and campuses and will include both domestic and international students.

She encourages all alumni to join her and support the students of today by making a donation. “We just don’t have enough scholarships to assist so many excellent students who really need help. If we alumni pool our donations together, we can make a big difference. “Every dollar contributed will be used to help our needy students to get an education that can change their lives forever.”

Left to right – Scholarship winner Nerida Ackland, alumnus Jennie Thomas, ViceChancellor Professor Nick Saunders and scholarship recipient Chloe Britts.

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

Get on board!

Alumni are invited to review the new Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund on the website. Donations can be made online


Denise Goldsworthy (Bachelor of Metallurgy [Honours] 1998), now Managing Director of Dampier Salt and HIsmelt ®.

Woman of Steel Metallurgy and steelmaking have traditionally been male-dominated fields but 2010 ‘Telstra Businesswoman of the Year’ Denise Goldsworthy is effectively putting paid to any lingering stereotypes about the position of women in this domain. Currently Managing Director of two Rio Tinto businesses – Dampier Salt Limited and HIsmelt® – Denise Goldsworthy graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1988 with a Bachelor of Metallurgy (Honours) and a University Medal. “As a 12 year old I was destined for a career in a veterinarian’s surgery – a far cry from a solar salt field, but even further from a hot bustling steelworks. My family was supportive of my aspirations to go to uni but we couldn’t afford it. A relative suggested another option. I could join the BHP Newcastle Steelworks as a trainee, and the company would pay me while I worked my way through uni. That’s how I ended up as a 17-year-old walking through the gates of my first workplace along with 11,000 men. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!”

Being in a minority in any environment could be considered either a disadvantage or a challenge. “If you want to know what it feels like to be the odd one out – join a workplace where your age and your gender count against you from the outset. The work was hot, it was mentally and physically demanding and there was no place for weakness. There are lots of stories I could tell about those years. It is not that long ago, but a couple of years after I started at the Newcastle Steelworks, I was transferred into a department that had no women’s toilet facilities. I had to walk twenty-five minutes to the nearest toilet.” Denise is quick to point out that she had more supporters than detractors in that workplace. “People recognised that I was motivated and willing to work. Even when I was still attending University part time, I chased opportunities, and worked to be the best I could be in every role. This allowed me to gain experience in a range of technical and line management roles, and move through the supervisory ranks.”

Denise says the most valuable lesson she learnt at university was to be confident and follow through with independence of thought. “I completed my degree part-time and, as a relatively small school within the University, there was always competition, especially with the Engineering faculty about who was the best and why. “The small faculty also allowed us the luxury of a relatively small number of students per course, so we had plenty of time to individually ask questions and be challenged by our lecturers on what things could mean. They took the time to make sure we understood theories and we were respectfully treated as individuals. That respect and patience to help every individual become the best that they can be, is something that has stayed with me into my business leadership roles.” But perhaps the real motivating force behind Denise’s success is revealed when she says, “Never tell a woman she can’t do something, because she will prove you wrong!”



THE RISK FACTOR Much has been written about the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) which, while it had been brewing for some time, began to shake the foundations of the world financial systems as we knew them from mid-2006. Affecting different countries in different ways, many governments are still managing the aftermath of those early days of the GFC. As large institutions crumbled, the interconnected world in which we live meant that then, and now, people everywhere remain concerned about the resulting effects on their livelihood and their retirement funds.

Paul Docherty Graduate Certificate Practice of Tertiary Teaching 2009 Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) 2006 Bachelor of Commerce 2005

For University of Newcastle graduate and early career academic Paul Docherty, who lectures in Finance at the Newcastle Business School, it meant delving into research around the factors affecting stock returns. Working with Professor Steve Easton, a Professor of Finance at the Newcastle Business School, the pair coauthored a series of papers. As part of the research Paul argues that since the advent of compulsory superannuation and tax concessions on superannuation contributions, most Australians have a large amount of wealth tied up in big investment funds. Many Australian superannuation funds suffered significant losses as a result of the GFC. Paul says that one of the major causes of the GFC was a failure to adequately monitor and measure risk exposures. This highlighted the need for investors to be able to identify risk factors in investment portfolios. Risk and return was a significant focus in the research. “For some investors, it is optimal to invest in risky stocks where the expected return is higher over the long run as they are able to sustain losses during economic slow downs. Other investors require their portfolios to be less risky as capital stability is their primary investment goal.” A handful of firm characteristics have previously been shown to proxy for risk factors that affect stock returns in the US, most importantly the size and book-to-market ratio of a firm.

Paul proved the existence of these factors in Australia and also identified a new factor that had not previously been studied – asset tangibility. Paul created a model that incorporated size, book-to-market ratio and asset tangibility and was able to explain 80% of all variation in stock returns over the past 35 years. “By considering these risk factors, individuals can invest in superannuation funds that are appropriate for their personal financial situation and degree of aversion to risk.” A large managed fund based in the US read his research into factors that determine share prices and began implementing it into their trading strategies. “I have since had meetings with international representatives from this fund and consulted to them regarding the implementation of my research.” A good result for this emerging researcher. Paul has now been lecturing for four years at the Newcastle Business School including teaching courses at the School’s programs in Singapore and Hong Kong. “My research has given me the opportunity to work with brilliant academics from around the world and travel, as well as consult to the finance industry. I enjoy that I am now working in a multi-dimensional role that includes academic pursuits and the practical application of that knowledge through my collaboration with the finance industry”. Paul says the friendships he made during his own time as a student at the University have been especially enduring. “We enjoyed many good times both on campus and outside of University. Those great friendships are now an invaluable resource, as I am able to use my peers as a sounding board for ideas. They have also provided me with connections throughout the business world.”

If you would like to access the research papers, please email


It is with candour that Liz Wilson admits that her proudest achievements are not academic ones. “Surviving pregnancy and labour and creating a beautiful baby girl are pretty hard to top. Competing in sports, hiking and running make me feel better about myself than any pay cheque.”

Liz Wilson Bachelor of Business 2001

But, despite her modesty, Liz has a multitude of professional achievements to complement the other passions in her life. Now the Managing Director of Wilson Financial, a mortgage and finance broking firm, Liz has gone from being part of the Commonwealth Bank’s graduate program for bank managers to launching her own broking business

“People working in the fields of investment banking and debt capital markets seldom go for the ultimate doctorate degree as they focus primarily on making money.” These thoughts from Dr Kate Kwan explain why, with her Doctor of Business Administration 2006, she considers herself an exception to the rule.

Dr Kate Kwan Doctor of Business Administration 2006

Kate is the Director, Loan Syndicate and Sales, at Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd. She is also the Chairperson of the Economics and Finance Postgraduates Association of the University of Hong Kong, and a Board Director of the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association. She was the Founding President

Completing an MBA, while juggling full-time work and two babies, makes Belinda Smith an instant inspiration for women across the country. Being named as 2005 ‘Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year’ merely adds to her impressive list of achievements.

Belinda Smith Master of Business Administration 2008 Graduate Certificate in Business Administration 2005

And in December 2010 Belinda was named ‘Newcastle Woman of the Year’ and has recently been named as one of the ten finalists in the ‘NSW Woman of the Year’ Award. Such accomplishments are no small feat for a woman who began as a receptionist for a plumbing and electrical maintenance business and went on to become the first female manager ever appointed in the company’s history. As the General Manager of Mullane Maintenance, Belinda has built the company from less than $400k annual income and no full-time employees, to a company with a $4million turnover and 45 employees.

at the age of 23. After working in Far North Queensland and gradually building a successful client base, Liz is now in the Southern Highlands with clients from as far afield as Switzerland and Scotland as well as across Australia. As the recipient of the Australian Mortgage Awards Young Gun of the Year Gold Award in 2008, Liz is a true business success story. But perhaps her greatest success is that by complementing her professional pursuits with the passion she has for the other components of her life, she may have the key to that elusive work-life balance so many of us seek to attain.

of the Bachelor of Business Administration Alumni Association of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kate is most passionate about her role as Chairperson of the Women of the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association. In this work Kate hopes to make a difference in assisting female members in coping with both work and family lives. “The gender difference is still a problem in most parts of Asian countries” she says. It is for this reason that exceptional women such as Dr Kate Kwan are crucial advocates for fairness and equality in the workplace.

But Belinda is more than a business woman. With philanthropic connections to organisations such as Commstrength – a Newcastle based and operated community charity with the aim of preventing youth suicide in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley – as well as The Hunter Medical Research Institute, Belinda balances her career with a true sense of ‘giving back’. Perhaps the key to Belinda’s success is what she considers one of the best lessons she learned during her time at the University of Newcastle. “Leadership is about people; success is about people; getting the best out of everyday living is about getting the best out of people.” With such finely tuned people-skills coupled with a sense of purpose and integrity, it’s no surprise that Belinda Smith has become a local business person to watch.



Judy Delbridge (left) and Richard Delbridge (far right) pictured with Monthiwa (centre) and his family.

Home Advantage Leaving behind a young family to travel to a foreign country in order to complete a PhD is a tall order, but one which can undoubtedly be made easier by good support received from your host nation. For Thai student Dr Monthiwa Chaikaew (Doctor of Philosophy 2009, Master of Special Education 2005) five years of study in Australia away from his wife and children posed a monumental challenge. Little did he realise he was about to receive ‘an alumni advantage’ though his placement with Homestay host family in Newcastle, Richard and Judy Delbridge. The Delbridge family has a long and strong connection to the University of Newcastle. Richard commenced a part time degree in Chemical Engineering at the Tighes Hill Campus of the Newcastle University College, and received a Bachelor of Science (Chemical Engineering) from UNSW in 1960 which makes him a Newcastle alumnus and eldest son Michael graduated from the University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Surveying. Second son Andrew completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) at Sydney University in 1988 and is currently a casual academic at the University of Newcastle. It was when the Delbridge offspring moved out that Richard and Judy decided to open their home to an international student as part

of the Homestay program. School teacher Monthiwa was an ideal houseguest. He lived with the Delbridges from 2004 to 2009. In October 2007 Monthiwa’s wife Noi who is also a teacher, and his two daughters Care and Coon (aged five and three at the time), stayed with the Delbridges for a period of four weeks. While they couldn’t speak English, by the time they left the two little ones could say ‘strawberries’ and ‘ice-cream’ and had begun referring to the Delbridges as ‘Grandma Judy’ and ‘Grandpa Richard’. Being a member of the Delbridge extended family was definitely a wonderful part of Monthiwa’s Homestay experience. He attended many family functions, including birthday parties and Christmas celebrations. He also partook of the local cuisine as prepared by his host family, soon becoming a fan of dishes including roast lamb, beef stroganoff and vegemite on toast. In return he treated the Delbridges to his own repertoire of Thai food – the legacy of his Master of Education days in Bangkok where he shared a unit with an excellent chef. Along with the sharing of gastronomic experiences this Homestay partnership also saw the exchange of other cultural knowledge.

“Monthiwa provided us with an understanding of the cultural differences between our two countries highlighting such practices as placing lighted candles in rivers and lakes during particular phases of the moon, and the rites and rituals associated with his Buddhist religion. He also told us about the role of the King and his family in the life of the Thai people, including the importance of the celebrations associated with the King’s birthday,” said Richard. As a culmination of the years shared together, the Delbridges were fortunate enough to be able to attend Monthiwa’s graduation ceremony in Singapore last November and went on to stay with the family at their home in Thailand. “After five years of involvement with Monthiwa and his family Judy and I were so pleased to be with them to witness him receiving his Doctorate from the Chancellor.” Respect, admiration and gratitude are things mutually felt by Monthiwa. “At the beginning it was hard for me, to change environments. I overcame those problems with the assistance of this family. I feel like I am their fourth son.” It is this type of relationship that adds a new depth of meaning to the term ‘alumni family’.


With tourism a growth industry in Newcastle and surrounding regions graduate David Brown, has leveraged both his qualifications and his local pride to attain a position that he finds immensely enjoyable. As Cruise Hunter Project Manager for the Newcastle Port Corporation David is responsible for developing the local cruise and navy shipping industries. “Marketing the Hunter Region to domestic and international cruise lines, enticing them to visit is a challenging and exciting role.” David Brown Bachelor of Social Science (Recreation and Tourism) 2004

In 2009 David was named the ‘Australian Transport and Logistics Industry Young Achiever of the Year’. As part of this award

How many teaching graduates look to the African Republic of Rwanda as a possible location to begin their career? In doing so, Pamela Connell has taken a markedly different journey than many of her colleagues. On completion of her degree in 2010 Pamela entered into negotiations with Sonrise School in Musanze, Rwanda. Having volunteered as a teacher with the school for three months in 2009 it was thrilling for Pamela to be offered the position as Head of School. Pamela Connell Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts 2010

Sonrise School is a boarding school with almost 1200 students, 70% of whom are orphaned. “To have cause to return to Rwanda was my greatest heart’s desire, but to return with such a level of responsibility could only be described as a dream come true,” Pamela says.

he represented Australia at the International Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Convention held in Malta in 2010. One of David’s strengths is his obvious work ethic. “The most valuable thing I learnt at University was the importance of working hard to make things happen. Thankfully, it was a compulsory requirement of my degree to complete work-integrated learning as part of my studies. This meant that when I graduated I had already developed great industry networks and practical experience to combine with my university studies. This proved to be critical when it came to seeking employment straight out of university.”

“We are global citizens; all accountable for our contribution to make change, not just be consumers of change. For me, coming to Rwanda in 2006 during my first year of study, I could not return to Australia and not take responsibility to do something about what I had seen. Six years on and I am now in a position where I can change what I have seen for a generation of 1200 students, carrying the future of a war-torn nation like Rwanda.” Pamela’s passion for being an agent for social change is evident. This graduate is determined to make a difference!

Read more about Pam Connell in the University of Newcastle’s 2010 Teaching and Learning publication, available on the University’s website.


FACULTY OF engineering and builT environment

Professor Mark Jones

A Solid Performance

Head, School of Engineering

“The School of Engineering is proud to be recognised as one of the top Engineering Schools in Australia and is keen to continue and enhance its enviable research track record for the benefit of all of its stakeholders including our students, industry and the community,” says the School’s Head, Professor Mark Jones.

Director, TUNRA Bulk Solids Deputy President (Research), Academic Senate Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Professor Mark Jones immigrated to Newcastle with his family in 1999 from Scotland. “What attracted me to Newcastle was the research. I always knew the work of the Bulk Solids Handling Group and so when an opportunity arose it was very attractive to me. It’s been a tremendous move for us. We really like Newcastle and it’s been great for our children. They’ve had marvellous opportunities that I’m not sure they would have had where we were previously.” He has worked with many multi-national companies in the US, Europe, South America, India, China, Russia and South Africa. Throughout his career he has been active on several boards and councils; as a Member of the Council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), London; Chairman of the UK National Bulk Material Handling Committee; and Member of the Board of the CRC for Integrated Engineering Asset Management. He is currently Honorary Secretary of the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling, and Vice-President of the International Federation of Measurement and Control of Granular Materials. His expertise has also given him the opportunity to be a Guest Professor of Central South University, Changsha, China.

Professor Jones is also the Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research Associates, where he has held the position of Chair in Bulk Solids Handling at the University of Newcastle since 1999. His research interests span the broad area of Bulk Materials Handling, specialising in pipeline transport. “The thing I’m most proud of is the way TUNRA Bulk Solids has been able to commercialise its research outputs for the benefit of the resource and process industries. We provide a very high level of service to industry and many of the major companies in the mining sector use our services extensively.” What the school offers to students is exposure to cutting edge worldclass thinking via those who teach and support them. “Many of our staff are internationally recognised for their contributions to science and engineering, and play an active role in the development of their research areas by taking on leadership roles in the promotion of information exchange

as editors of some of the most prestigious academic journals, organisers of conferences and membership of international standards organisations.” The School’s three disciplines are Chemical Engineering; Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering; and Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering. With a range of scholarships, collaborative research, professional consulting and involvement with national and international professional bodies, the school has strong ties to industry. Professor Jones says that a number of pioneering inventions developed within the School have been patented and commercialised The School has a very strong track record in attracting prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) funding. Commencing in 2011, the School was successful in being awarded an ARC Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Science and Engineering under the leadership of Laureate Professor Scott Sloan. This award scheme is the most prestigious of the ARC funding schemes and, in this case, provides $14.4 million over 7 years. When asked about the strength of alumni connections Professor Jones says that there are a number of ways alumni connect to the School. “All of our professional disciplines hold functions each year that encourage both alumni, graduating students and industry to join together. Quite a few of our alumni already work with us on conjoint appointments, either directly in research or as part-time lecturers.”


CREATIVITY BY DESIGN The concept of creativity has long held a certain intangibility. What does it mean to be creative and can creativity be assessed? What do such questions – and their answers mean for those involved in creative pursuits, as well as for educators in those fields? These questions, broadly speaking, provide the premise for a research project and new book by Associate Professor Tony Williams, Professor Michael Ostwald and Dr Hedda Haugen Askland, University of Newcastle academics and alumni. Dr Askland, originally from Norway, has been in Newcastle for eight years. “I first came here as an exchange student but transferred my studies and did my Masters and later my PhD under the supervision of the inspiring Professor Linda Connor at the School of Humanities and Social Science.” Prior to her time at the University of Newcastle Dr Askland had studied at both the University of Copenhagen and the University of Bergen. “Studying at The University of Newcastle has been a great experience. After finishing my PhD, I was lucky to get this position as a research associate with the School of Architecture and Built Environment. The (creativity) project is very interesting and it is exciting to be part of a project that may potentially help contribute to, and change, educational practices that future students may benefit from.”

Dr Askland says that one of the misconceptions about creativity is assuming that there is no sense of consensus and that there is no possibility of arriving at a disciplinary agreement when indeed there is.

Associate Professor Tony Williams Head of School School of Architecture and the Built Environment

One of Dr Askland’s hopes is that this project can bring the topic of creativity to the educational agenda. “I think a better understanding of some of the issues of creativity can help not only design students, but also the greater student body, to develop an understanding of their role and agency in learning.”

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

Associate Professor Tony Williams says the trio have thoroughly enjoyed working together. The project demonstrates a touch of creativity itself by bringing together a social science academic with two leading architectural academics to produce the book; Creativity, Design and Education: Theories, Positions and Challenges.

Professor Michael Ostwald Doctor of Science 2007 Doctor of Philosophy 1998





Bachelor of Design (Architecture) 1988

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This book is an exploration of the concept of creativity, its relationship to design and to various forms of practice. The work asks whether it is possible to assess creativity and if so, how? Drawing on the opinions of 40 experts, the book provides an inclusive background to dominant theories of creativity and associated educational practices.

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the co nc neously ept of crea tivity one of is sim confus the m ultaost ce ing an lebrate d the co d, ntempo contested ideas rary wo in rld. Regard less of wheth tion is er th art, is typic literature or e field in qu esally ve design, ne other materia rated abov creativity e almos l prospe t cts. Ye properties or perso all t, comm on de as a society nal fin we rarely articul ition of cre have no ate ativity, and th just ho ere we w impo teach or is even less rtant it clarity in how is that cre assess it. Th is is no we ativity t there the concept of creativity is simultais a su is poorly un to suggest bstantia derstoo ship neously one of the most celebrated, d— l bo wh dimen ich explore dy of schola confusing and contested ideas in sio s alm ost ev rthat de n of creati the contemporary world. vit er sp creativit ite this level y—but rath y of cri er, y remain s a divis tical review, Regardless of whether the field in quesive topic This . book tion is art, literature or design, creativity is concep is typically venerated above almost all t of cre an exploratio ativity, design n of its relat the and to other material properties or personal va ionship The wo prospects. Yet, as a society we have no rk asks rious forms to of assess creativit whether it is practice. common definition of creativity, we po y and if on the ssible op so to rarely articulate just how important it is provid inions of 40 , how? Drawi es an ex ng and there is even less clarity in how we inclusiv perts, the bo domin an e ok teach or assess it. This is not to suggest sociated t theories of background cre to educati that creativity is poorly understood— onal pr ativity and as actices there is a substantial body of scholar. ship which explores almost every dimension of creativity—but rather, that despite this level of critical review, creativity remains a divisive topic.

“Creativity is a highly complex concept with a lot of confusion surrounding it.

When it comes to creativity and education Dr Askland says it has been found that the ambiguity and vagueness surrounding the term often causes heightened frustration and stress, and students find it hard to know exactly what is expected of them.

theo ries

The book which has been published as part of the project explores the concept of creativity, its relationship to design and to various forms of practice, and asks whether it is possible to assess creativity and, if so, how? The project aims to create a framework for understanding creativity in the context of design and design education.

One of the issues at stake is that everybody has a personal experience of creativity and an, often subconscious, idea of what creativity means.”

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Dr Hedda Haugen Askland Doctor of Philosophy 2010 Master of Social Science 2005


FACULTY OF engineering and builT environment As a female surveyor Rebecca Manners is in the minority in a male-dominated field. After graduating with a University Medal, the Dean’s Medal and a great deal of determination, she has managed to secure continued employment within the construction industry.

Rebecca Manners Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) 2003

Rebecca is currently a Senior Quantity Surveyor with WT Partnership in Brisbane. Prior to this she was located at the WT Partnership office in Melbourne where she was based on-site at Melbourne International Airport for their major redevelopment program. It seems that air travel is a familiar motif in Rebecca’s personal life as well as her

Climate change is a hot issue around the globe today. University of Newcastle graduate Yash Divekar has become part of a grassroots movement aiming to focus and reinvigorate the Asia Pacific’s response to the issue.

Yash Divekar Master of Engineering Management 2009

Yash has just returned from The Climate Project – Asia Pacific Summit in Jakarta, a Summit he has tried to gain selection to on two previous occasions. This year, a successful application saw Yash attend the three-day Summit where Al Gore and a panel of experts led a dialogue with 350 trainees from industry, advocacy and social groups representing 21 different countries within the Asia Pacific region.

professional one. After graduating from the University of Newcastle she obtained a student’s pilot licence, and hopes to receive her private pilot’s licence in the near future. While her professional qualifications from the University are noteworthy, Rebecca also recalls the lessons learned from living on campus in Edwards Hall. It was here that she believes she gained invaluable life skills including that of independent living . Rebecca also made what she considers to be lifelong friendships – friends with whom she now shares other milestones such as weddings and the birth of their children. This is testament to that ‘other’ university prize – the relationships forged by the shared experience of campus life.

“The climate science update at the Summit from Dr Henry Pollack, member of the IPCC, made it clear that 2011 is set to deliver unprecedented concentrations of CO2. And there is no question that the long-term trend of the increase in human CO2 emissions is of warming,” Yash says. As part of his Master of Engineering Management degree Yash completed a Green Engineering course. He says this course helped him to understand how green technologies can be designed. Continuing his crusade, Yash was recently guest speaker on climate change at the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is now poised to take his message further afield using the invaluable lessons learned at the Summit.

The Climate Project, Asia-Pacific Summit. Yash, second row, third from right, pictured with Al Gore, centre back.


FACULTY OF Health The Changing Face of Rural Medicine With chronic GP shortages in rural and remote Australia, the dedication of 2004 University of Newcastle Bachelor of Medicine graduate Sarah McEwan (nee Gibbons) in providing healthcare for such regions is both admirable and crucial. It is this dedication which last year saw her presented with the prestigious Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) 2010 Rural Registrar of the Year Award. A Wiradjuri woman, Sarah grew up in Mudgee, New South Wales. It was this country upbringing which instilled in Sarah both a passion and understanding for the medical needs of people in remote areas. In particular, the needs of women and Indigenous communities. One of Sarah’s earliest formative medical experiences came in the shape of the Mudgee husband and wife GP team. They had delivered her as a newborn and tended to her healthcare needs and that of her seven siblings throughout her childhood. She also cites her father’s role as a St John’s Ambulance Service volunteer as having a profound impact on her as a child, awakening a fascination for the world of medicine. As a shy 17 year old Sarah met some Indigenous university graduates who inspired her to take on the challenge of tertiary education. She was the recipient of a special entry as an Indigenous student into the University of Newcastle’s Medical School in 2000. “I had the choice between the University of New South Wales and the University of Newcastle. Newcastle won out as it had a great reputation for support to Aboriginal students. Newcastle’s Aboriginal community (the Awabakal people) were very accepting and welcoming of new students to the area. I found that a lot of my strength came from local elders in the community who were super proud of us striving ahead to pursue a career in medicine.” While completing her degree Sarah became interested in the field of obstetrics, an interest which has ultimately led her to her current role as District Medical Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Emergency at Port Hedland Hospital Western Australia, via placements in other regional areas including Tamworth, Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah. The award from ACRRM last year was recognition of her continued work in rural and remote healthcare. It was also an acknowledgement of Sarah’s passionate advocacy for the communities in which she has worked. Sarah cites her Aboriginal heritage as being an advantage for what she seeks to achieve in her chosen profession. “It helps me to be able to more effectively advocate on the patient’s behalf and to educate others in our field about the realities of being an Aboriginal person. I also find that I have an advantage in being able to challenge people’s attitudes and beliefs about Aboriginal culture, and possibly even be able to alter their opinions in a small way which may, in effect, improve their overall practice when dealing with Aboriginal patients.”

It’s hard to go past Sarah’s passion for her profession. She says that she is energised by the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. She confers similar enthusiasm to the University of Newcastle. “I often encourage others who are considering a career in medicine not to look further than Newcastle for its exceptional reputation and excellent clinicians that it produces.” You need look no further than Dr Sarah McEwan for proof of that.


FACULTY OF science and information technology The representation of non-human animals in popular media is a fascinating topic, and one in which Marie-France Boissonneault continues to immerse herself following the submission of her doctoral dissertation.

Marie-France Boissonneault Doctor of Philosophy 2008

Marie-France studied at the University of Newcastle as an international student. Back in her native Canada, she is now an Adjunct Professor in the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. MarieFrance continues her research in the field of anthrozoology. A large portion of her work involves studying the influence of popular media in shaping societal beliefs and values about nonhuman animals; ecological conservation; and the ways in which animalassisted therapy may enhance or ameliorate human suffering from the standpoint of physical, social, psychological and existential well-being.

Just four years out from graduating with a Bachelor of Communication Kylie Cooper has managed to travel to more than 30 cities around the globe without sacrificing her career trajectory. Kylie says that the most valuable thing she learned at university was to apply herself through voluntary work placement. This resulted in the establishment of good professional networks which led to her first two jobs. Kylie Cooper Bachelor Of Communication 2007 Open Foundation Certificate Program 2004

The first of these was with local wedding magazine WHITE published then by art studio Mezzanine Media. This placement soon became paid part-time work with the firm as an account manager and sub-editor of WHITE while she studied. On graduating it became a full-time role.


Get connected and stay connected. Have you recently moved, or got a new job? Let us know! Update your details online any time with GRADLINK

“The collaborative learning environment during my studies at Newcastle offered a wonderful atmosphere of confidence, stability, and rigorous multi-faceted research. The latter was invaluable as it helped form the bedrock that has led me to comfortably present at various international conference events and publish peer-reviewed books and journal articles on a regular basis.” She is the author of Nurse or Nemesis? – a book about Australia’s endangered Grey Nurse Shark (Equilibrium Books, 2009/2011). Her second book Every Living Being explores the historical bonds between nonhuman animals and human lived experiences (Inkwater Press, 2010).

See Marie-France’s website for further information

In February 2009 Kylie commenced employment with strategic communication consultancy FordComm where she worked for two years as a consultant for a range of clients throughout New South Wales including Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, Hunter Water and Moolarben Coal. After taking breaks in the years since graduating to travel to both the US and Europe, Kylie has once again returned to Newcastle where in January this year she commenced employment with Newcastle Airport as their Marketing Communication Officer. Combining her love of travel with her chosen career definitely sees Kylie ‘going places’.


A Smart Life He has been called “one of the best magazine photographers in Australia”, “the master of light and lens” and “the creative eye behind some of the most evocative editorial, portrait and advertising photography globally.” This is all rather interesting praise for a University of Newcastle Bachelor of Science (Aviation) graduate, who completed his studies in 1993. Anson Smart is the man behind some of the world’s most beautiful lifestyle photographic images and is widely lauded within his field. But Anson started out headed in quite a different direction. “I had plans of flying charter flights until I had built enough flying hours to apply for a position with Qantas. But, as much as this sounded exciting and glamorous, my heart wasn’t in it.” After studying at San Francisco’s College of Arts, Anson returned to Australia to start his photographic career. Anson primarily shoots portraits, food, interiors and travel images, and has worked for some of the biggest names in these fields including the Australian Tourism Commission; magazines such as Marie Claire, Vogue Living and Elle; and actress Cate Blanchett.

“I like to give a mood or emotion to my photographs – the aim is to make the images modern and relaxed, yet timeless.” For this reason he is one of Australia’s most indemand commercial photographers. Anson’s portfolio is eclectic and diverse, and reflects a certain ‘joi de vivre’ that the man himself seems to possess. This is evident in some of his University memories. “I was lucky that both my parents were academics at Newcastle University so my initiation was early on. From a young age I was always excited to run through the halls filled with young people learning and not having to wear a uniform. “I remember my mum’s lab (Dr Cheng Smart) filled with things such as live rats and my dad’s office (Dr John Smart) filled with all his world wide collections as an anthropologist. When I eventually went there as a student my best memories are of the social interactions with a wide range of people from many different subjects, the great feeling of excitement the first day I arrived as a student and the day I graduated and the smile on my mum’s face.”

These days Anson’s infectious enthusiasm is directed towards those things he is passionate about. “I’m fortunate to be kept busy shooting things I love, I travel the world shooting for Australian and international magazines and global advertising clients, while at the same time trying to allow myself the time to focus on personal projects.” Although he is incredibly successful in a socalled ‘glamorous’ industry, Anson maintains a refreshing humility. “My proudest achievements so far have been wide ranging, from academic success to starting a family of my own. I guess I’m proudest of being passionate about what I do and working hard, being good to others and following my instincts.” As it was those instincts which took him from aviation to life through a lens, it’s easy to see why following them was such a smart idea.

Photo (top right) titled ‘Dappled’. You can view Anson’s work at


Network news SINGAPORE

The Singapore Chinese Orchestra Concert Hall was packed to the rafters when the University staged two graduation ceremonies last November for several hundred graduands from all five faculties.

Indonesian students from the University’s Singapore Campus held the audience captive with their colourful national dances at the graduation ceremonies.

Some of the 160 alumni who gathered for a dinner following the graduations in Singapore.

The Australian High Commissioner, the Hon. Doug Chester (far left) witnessed the exchange of documents for the 1968 Singapore Colombo Plan Students (Memorial) Scholarship donated by alumni Mr Peter Tay, Lim Chong Hin and Ng Chong Thong (left to right centre) and accepted for the University by Professor John Carter (far right) Pro ViceChancellor of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.


15 Doctorate of Business Administration and 76 Master of Business students graduated in Hong Kong last November. The Class of 2010 was joined by many of the Hong Kong Alumni at a glittering dinner ceremony.

Mr Chun Loong Chu (centre) the founding President of the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter (1992) accepting the Hong Kong Chapter Medal for his service over many years from the current President Dr Wanbil Lee and the Chancellor, Professor Trevor Waring AM.



The University celebrated its inaugural graduation ceremony at Port Macquarie on the 26 February 2011 for teaching and nursing graduates, including the 100th nursing graduate and a University medallist. The University responded to the Port Macquarie-Hastings community who fought long and hard for local education opportunities and has offered a nursing program since 2004. It now has close to 340 students studying nursing, teaching and a tertiary preparation course and has built a specialist facility on the campus of the TAFE NSW-North Coast Institute.

Singers from the local St Columba Anglican School, “Iintombi Zicula” performing for graduands, staff and guests as part of the graduation ceremony.



Some of the Malaysian Alumni Chapter enjoying an address by the Deputy Chancellor Mr Michael Johns at a reception in Kuala Lumpur last November.


Sydney GP and University of Newcastle graduate Dr John Gullotta (Bachelor of Medicine [Honours] 1991) married his fiancée Mara Giribaldi (a Sydney orthoptist), at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt in the presence of 300 family and friends. John was awarded the inaugural University of Newcastle Sydney Chapter Alumni Medal by the Chapter in recognition of his professional achievements and community services in 2001. He is the past president of the Australian Medical Association NSW and has his own private general practice in Sydney. John met Mara through mutual colleagues and after a brief courtship asked her to be his wife on the family boat during the 2010 New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on Sydney Harbour. We can see the attachment to the bridge – the rest is history!

Alumni have gathered twice in recent months at The Green Man Pub in the centre of London. Pictured left to right are Adam Elhindi, Jason Choy, Jeff Laytham, Mark Arkinstall and Angela Bennett. Mark (Bachelor of Engineering 1995) said, “It was like life-long mates catching up – the shared Newcastle history was enough to bridge the boundaries of not having met before.” Mark now coordinates the London Alumni Connections – his details are on the Alumni website.


Be sure to visit the website and update your contact details on GRADLINK to receive your invitation to Alumni events.



Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Thursday 21 April Australian Trade Commission is hosting a dinner for University of Newcastle graduates 8pm -11pm Email your interest to attend:

Newcastle Wednesday 1 June Convocation Lecture 6pm at City Hall, Newcastle “Mental Health Care: Everyone’s Business” – speaker Professor Louise O’Brien. Free public lecture – email your RSVP to:

Newcastle Thursday 28 April Friday 29 April Saturday 30 April 2011 Graduation Ceremonies, The Great Hall.

MAY 2011 Alumni Awards Nominations open 2 May – close 30 June. Open to all domestic and international graduates of the University. Melbourne Melbourne Alumni Chapter Reception Date to be confirmed Email your interest: Newcastle Friday 6 May Saturday 7 May Callaghan Graduation, The Great Hall. Newcastle Thursday 12 May 6pm - 7.30pm “Social and Corporate Etiquette” workshop Costs $25. Isabella’s Restaurant, Callaghan campus RSVP by Friday 6 May Brisbane Friday 20 May 6pm - onwards Brisbane Annual Alumni Reception, The Strand at Rugby Quay.

External Relations

We welcome your views The University’s Alumni Relations team welcomes your views on this magazine, and invites you to submit articles and/or profiles for consideration for publication in future editions.

Newcastle Thursday 30 June Teachers’ Visit Day

JULY Sydney Friday 29 July 6pm - onwards Sydney Alumni Chapter Reception The Menzies

AUGUST Newcastle Thursday 4 August John Irvine Hunter Lecture 6pm at John Hunter Hospital Speaker - Professor Patrick McGorry AO (2010 Australian of the Year). Free public lecture – email your RSVP to: Newcastle Friday 5 August Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture 5pm at the Conservatorium of Music. Speaker – The Hon. Justice Julie Ward Free public lecture – email your RSVP to:

Newcastle Wednesday 14 September 2011 Alumni Awards Gala Dinner

CHINA GRADUATES based in China are welcome to join the Australia-China Alumni Association (ACAA). Events are held regularly. If you wish to be considered to be nominated for the ACAA Alumni Awards, please send us your CV to

Back to campus Alumni are invited to bring their expertise and knowledge back to campus to share with students through initiatives such as: The Alumni Advantage Program – A breakfast series for current students and alumni to mix. Graduates speak on a topic of interest. If you would like to present please email: Alumni Mentoring Trial 2011 – Are you keen to share your knowledge and mentor a student? Email your interest:

Canberra Wednesday 17 August 6.30pm - onwards Canberra Alumni Chapter Reception, Hotel Realm Newcastle Saturday 27 August 50th Anniversary Dinner at Longworth House. Celebrating 50 years of the Newcastle University Boat Club. The NUBC extends a warm invitation to all current and past members of the Boat Club to attend this event. Check website for details:

See the Event Calendar for further 2011 events

Alumni Relations Email us at or call +61 2 4921 6380

Business and Community T +61 2 4921 8612

Find us on Facebook:

Office for the Advancement of Engaged Learning T +61 2 4921 5589

Follow us on Twitter: Find us on LinkedIn: University of Newcastle Alumni, Australia Pictures of events and chapter details are available on

UON Foundation T +61 2 4921 7453

UoN 2011/1033 I CRICOS Provider 00109J

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Central Coast Monday 23 May Central Coast Lecture 1pm - 4pm at Mingara Recreation Club Tumbi Umbi “Towards a Smarter Central Coast” visiting speaker Professor Stephen Ball Free public lecture – email your RSVP to:

Central Coast Wednesday 29 June Ourimbah Graduation Ceremony

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Alumni Magazine Edition 1, 2011  

Alumni Magazine Edition 1, 2011

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