THE SEAHORSE A magazine for alumni and friends of the University
ALUMNI AWARDS SPECIAL
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EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR Katie Porritt CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Tenille Bleechmore Gina Cranson
DESIGN Leah Kiem PHOTOGRAPHY Photos from the Alumni Awards courtesy of Murray McKean and Thérèse Maher PRODUCTION Katie Porritt
The Seahorse is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the University of Newcastle, and is produced by the University of Newcastle’s Office of External Relations.
SUBSCRIPTIONS If you wish to be added to the subscription list please contact email@example.com WRITE TO US Send your comments or contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org ON THE COVER Painted on location by Bob Gammage of Theatre of Life Artistry, this live event artscape captures the atmosphere and award recipients of the 2013 Alumni Awards. The artwork was photographed by Keegan Cronin Photography.
HANDING OVER THE REINS
Brian Kennaugh reflects on his term as President of Alumni
Celebrations from the October graduation ceremonies
CATHERINE AND PETER TAY SCHOLARSHIP
Keep up-to-date with what’s happening around the University
Graduate Peter Tay gives back to the University
2013 ALUMNI AWARDS
Meet the award recipients and finalists and see pictures from the night
Updates from our international network
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FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR
FROM MY DESK TO YOURS
I was delighted to celebrate our graduates’ achievements once again at the recent 2013 Alumni Awards. The Awards recognised a remarkable breadth of talent in our alumni across so many fields of endeavour.
If our lives are a masterpiece, then there have recently been some wonderful brush strokes added as we celebrated the journeys of our graduates at the 2013 Alumni Awards. Once again we filled Newcastle City Hall with more than 300 people to recognise ‘our masterpiece’ – the theme for this year’s event – and presented 10 awards across eight categories.
Whether our graduates have experienced the University of Newcastle online, at one of our campuses in Australia, or through one of our international locations, they have a strong sense of pride in the University and they carry our reputation with them across the world. This reputation is paramount to the University’s global standing. One year ago we launched the University’s NeW Directions Strategic Plan 2013-2015, setting a bold and ambitious target to be ranked in the top two per cent of the world’s universities by 2015. Just 12 months later I am delighted to see us moving towards our goal. The 2013 QS World University Rankings placed the University of Newcastle at 26 in the world (up from 33) on the list of the world’s highest achieving universities under the age of 50, and ranked 10 University of Newcastle disciplines in the top 200 universities across the globe. The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings rated Newcastle in the top 251-275 group of universities, up from 276-300 in 2012. Nationally, the University has moved up two places in these rankings to rank ninth in the country, and the University is now the highest ranked by the THE outside a capital city in Australia. These rankings reflect what we already know – that our students, staff, graduates and alumni are contributing to the infrastructure and development of their professions, communities, regions and nations and, in doing so, are contributing to our University’s future. Thank you for your contribution. I look forward to sharing more successes with you in 2014 and wish you and your families a happy and peaceful holiday season.
Emeritus Professor Ross Watts – a globally-recognised academic based at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States – was awarded the Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence. Ross is also co-founder of one of the world’s leading accounting journals. You can read his story on page 10. For the first time, the Newton-John Award was presented to two recipients – international photographer Karin Catt and executive music supervisor Anton Monsted. You can read more about their busy lives working with the entertainment industry’s elite on pages 11 and 12. The Alumni Awards are hosted by the Alumni Advisory Committee, which comprises elected representatives of the University alumni. At the Committee’s recent Annual General Meeting UoN graduate Belinda Smith was elected as President. Belinda steps into the role following Brian Kennaugh’s five years of leadership, and Brian reflects on his term on page two. My personal thanks go to Brian for his remarkable stewardship of the Committee – it has been an absolute pleasure working with him to support alumni development. Over the past three months the University has hosted graduation ceremonies in Newcastle, Singapore and Hong Kong. At each ceremony, our global alumni network grows. It now comprises 115,000 dynamic and diverse achievers across 121 countries. As the year draws to a close, I offer my sincere thanks to the Presidents, Committees, Regional Coordinators and Alumni Relations team for their work and support during 2013. Until next time,
Caroline McMillen Vice-Chancellor and President
Rosemary Thomson Acting Director, External Relations
YOU ARE THE MASTERPIECE OF YOUR OWN LIFE ~ JOE VITALE
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A JOB WELL DONE Brian Kennaugh can look back on his five years as President of Alumni with pride, and look forward to the Alumni Advisory Committee’s (AAC) future with confidence. “I didn’t stand [for President] again, partly to have a rest but partly to give the Committee some new impetus that will take it to another level,” he said. Brian said he had gained great satisfaction from working with fellow Committee members to build the annual Alumni Awards into a prestigious event. “We have introduced more awards, including the Indigenous Alumni Award and numerous other leadership awards,” he said. “Not only do we now have a broader range of categories, we have sought greater input from the alumni community around the globe, resulting in a larger number of nominations of a very high standard.”
Brian also values the relationships forged through his tenure – with The Wollotuka Institute, with fellow Committee members and with overseas-based alumni, specifically Colombo Plan scholars throughout Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. “It has been a privilege to help build those connections,” said Brian, who – along with the Acting Director of External Relations Rose Thomson – established firm and valued friendships with alumni across the globe. Brian studied a Bachelor of Business at Newcastle as a matureage student in the early 1990s, before moving to Queensland then settling back in the Hunter 12 years ago. He said when Rose, a family friend, found out he was a Newcastle graduate, she urged him to become involved with alumni activities. “I explained to Rose that I didn’t do committees,” he laughed.
TOTALLY DEVOTED The outgoing Vice President of the Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC), Dr Bernie Curran, had been considering nominating for President this term. Instead, the University stalwart has stepped down as Vice President, “thrilled” at the prospect of some “new blood” with the nomination of Belinda Smith, and supremely confident that the AAC is in safe hands. “The beauty of this situation is that I am happy some new blood has arrived but I will still be here as a loyal friend,” said Bernie, who has held the Vice President position, on and off, for the past 15 years. Bernie and the University of Newcastle go way back to 1963 when he began his studies at Newcastle University College. He graduated with First Class Honours and a PhD in Classics, and after a three-year stint in Canberra in the 1970s, returned to UoN’s Classics department alongside Professor Godfrey Tanner. Much-loved across the institution, Bernie has remained a steadfast, amiable and industrious cog in the UoN wheel to this day, across not only academia but through fostering student involvement and wellbeing, through sport particularly. Bernie is the Executive Officer of the University of Newcastle Foundation.
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Apparently that fell on deaf ears, as Brian somehow found himself at a subsequent AAC meeting and decided to “help out”. A five-year term as President soon followed. Brian said his AAC involvement had “opened the door” to the University Council, on which he is now Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. He said the privilege of serving the University and the broader community “could never be adequately measured” and he was honoured to have served his term as President. The CEO and director of Hunter Financial Planning said stepping down as AAC president would allow him to focus more on his University Council responsibilities and, of course, his golf game.
ONWARD AND UPWARD The new President of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC), Belinda Smith, means business. The Business Development and Relationship Manager at Hunter TAFE says she is honoured to take on the role of AAC President and has big plans. “I will be focused on working with my AAC peers to build the voice and presence of alumni, via a strong and vibrant Hunter chapter, deeper engagement with the business community and continuing to strengthen our relationship with the University Council,” Belinda outlined. And she is looking forward to strong representation of local alumni at events such as free public lectures and the annual Alumni Awards. “These events are a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the University, learn from new professors and industry experts and to celebrate and recognise the region’s shining stars,” she said. Belinda, who completed a Master of Business Administration in 2008, is a proud Novocastrian who has enjoyed several community volunteer roles including as a committee member of the Newcastle and Hunter Junior Chamber of Commerce. In addition to a career encompassing management, sales and marketing, 37-year-old Belinda’s passion for food and travel, dance, yoga, and her two energetic young sons round out a rich and rewarding life.
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CAMPUS NEWS HOLLYWOOD A-LISTER JOINS UNIVERSITY
UON SLINGSHOT ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
Jeff Julian (pictured) has worked at the cutting edge of the global and creative design industries and will bring this expertise to his new role of Creative Director for Research and Innovation Clusters at the University. The Clusters will act as a one-stop shop for business and the community to access the University’s world-leading expertise across a spectrum of new creative industries.
The University is partnering with Newcastle-based company Slingshot to provide support for students, staff and alumni to turn their business ideas into reality.
Jeff is a California-born and worldclass futurist who made his name as a freelance designer for clients such as BMW Designworks, Gucci, Rover, RollsRoyce, Siemens and Oakley. He went on to develop intellectual property for global consumer brands as diverse as Apple, American Express, Adidas, Nike, BMW, Rolls Royce, Audi and Ford, and holds more than 20 patents for his innovations. Jeff has an outstanding reputation in the film industry, built from his success as part of Steven Spielberg’s team of futurists for the film Minority Report. He has collaborated with Hollywood A-List names Ridley Scott, the Wachowski siblings, David Fincher, Brian Singer, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks SKG, Digital Domain, Paramount Studios, Universal, Sony, and Industrial Light and Magic.
Slingshot – a high-tech accelerator initiative that provides seed funding, working space and a mentoring program – was co-created by UoN graduate Trent Bagnall. Slingshot recently graduated eight companies from its first intake and aims to accelerate 100 companies over the next five years. The partnership with the University is promoting entrepreneurialism, giving budding entrepreneurs a pathway to develop and grow their ideas into real businesses. The program will support a maximum of 10 start-ups exclusive to the UoN community, running from January to March 2014.
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$30 MILLION FUNDING FOR UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PROJECTS
CEO TO TAKE ON NEW CHALLENGE
The University’s outstanding record of world-class research has been recognised with $21.7 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and $8.8 million from the Australian Research Council (ARC).
Having successfully guided Newcastle Innovation through a period of strong growth, UoN graduate Dr Brent Jenkins has left his post as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Newcastle Innovation to take on the role of CEO at the Hunter Valley Research Foundation – Australia’s longestserving independent not-for-profit regional research program. Brent joined Newcastle Innovation, the University’s commercial arm, in 2007. As CEO his key achievements included playing a leading role in the development of the Hunter Innovation Scorecard, establishing a presence in Singapore and South Africa, the growth of Newcastle Innovation’s medical and biotechnology profile and creating a new brand from The University of Newcastle Research Associates to Newcastle Innovation.
The NHMRC funding is the largest allocation ever awarded to the University and will support 31 research projects including nine research fellowships and a collaborative project between Associate Professor Prudence Frances and Professor John Forbes (pictured) worth $2.2 million. Their research will test a new treatment for breast cancer that involves combining chemotherapy with oestrogen-lowering treatment before surgery, with the aim of shrinking the cancer to improve surgery options. The NHMRC funding places the University eighth in Australia for University-based health and medical research and reflects the talent and energy of UoN’s world-class researchers in this field.
The ARC funding will extend across 19 projects, including one to be led by NSW Scientist of the Year and inventor of the Jameson Cell, Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO. The grant will progress his research on a Fluidised Bed Flotation Device to halve mining industry energy requirements. Research fellow Dr Mark Lock attracted the largest Discovery Indigenous grant awarded by the ARC for research into Indigenous health. Mark, who is descended from the Ngiyaampaa tribe, will spend three years and three-quarters of a million dollars investigating the integration of Aboriginal voices in the governance of public health services. “It is a common assumption that improving Aboriginal access to health services will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people, but there is no rigorous scientific evidence that the current integration reforms are effective. My research will use innovative mathematical, visual and vocal methods to model the most effective ways to integrate Aboriginal voices,” Mark said.
UON – HOME TO NSW SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR A world-leader in chemical engineering who researches at the University of Newcastle has been named the 2013 NSW Scientist of the Year. Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO is a UoN Bachelor of Science graduate (1960) and researches with the Priority Research Centre for Advanced Particle Processing and Transport, and the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources at the University. In 1989, Professor Jameson invented the Jameson Cell – a revolutionary mineral processing technology that has contributed more than $26 billion to Australian exports. The technology has been revised four times so far and the Cell is now being extended to broader applications such as tar sand oil extraction and the removal of blue-green algae from waterways. Professor Jameson’s next aim is to make a “significant change” in the mining industry’s energy consumption. His current project, the Fluidised Bed Flotation Device, has the potential to halve the mining industry’s energy output. This is the second consecutive year that a University of Newcastle researcher has been presented with the State’s most prestigious science and engineering award. The 2012 NSW Scientist of the Year was the University’s Laureate Professor John Aitken, a world-leader in reproductive biology.
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INTERNATIONAL FAREWELL More than 120 international students from 40 countries were recently farewelled from the University at a colourful and musical ceremony on the Callaghan campus. The International Student Farewell recognises the achievements and contributions of our international students across all levels of study.
HIGH TEA WITH THE QUEEN The Universityâ€™s Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) Mrs Winnie Eley recently enjoyed the rare opportunity to shake hands with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace in London. Winnie was one of 350 guests from academic institutions around the world invited to the Reception for Youth, Education and the Commonwealth in October. Sixteen-year-old education campaigner Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban last year, spoke to the Queen about the importance of education. Princess Beatrice and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also attended the event.
Photo by British Ceremonial Arts Limited
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The University of Newcastle is proud of its graduates and the annual Alumni Awards are one of the ways we recognise innovation, creativity, exceptional leadership and those who inspire others through their local, national and international achievements.
The 2013 awards, held on Tuesday 22 October at Newcastle City Hall, celebrated our masterpiece â€“ our world-class researchers, teachers and graduates, each and every one a unique brushstroke on the canvas that is our global alumni network.
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FROM NEWCASTLE TO MIT: MY JOURNEY BY EMERITUS PROFESSOR ROSS L. WATTS ALUMNI MEDAL RECIPIENT When I completed my University of Chicago PhD in May 1971 I was uncertain what line of research I should pursue. My Newcastle undergraduate honours degree was in Accounting and I had worked full-time as an accountant and auditor from January 1960 to July 1966 while I studied. The degree also included a significant amount of economics and law. At Chicago I found I could combine all these areas. My thesis was in financial economics with Gene Fama (chairman), Merton Miller and Charles Nelson on my committee. Gene and Mert were financial economists and Charles was an econometrician. Myron Scholes, a financial economist, had the job of asking hard questions at my thesis defense. I took economics classes from Milton Friedman and George Stigler. George’s industry regulation lectures proved valuable when I wrote on the regulation of companies and accounting and audit firms. Later, I interacted with Ronald Coase, a Chicago Law School economist famous for his property rights theorem. All of the above individuals, other than Charles Nelson, won the Nobel Prize. George Stigler’s corporate lobbying studies led me to investigate auditor lobbying on accounting standards on behalf of their clients. Gene Fama and Mert Miller taught me to examine all plausible alternative explanations for my empirical results. Knowledge of economics, finance, law and regulation and six years of practical experience in accounting and auditing gave me an advantage in writing on those subjects and their intersections. Economics and law helped me explain the evolution of accounting, auditing, finance, corporate governance, dividend policy, etc. I decided to be an economist working in those related fields with an emphasis on accounting, corporate governance and finance.
My first academic position was as an Assistant Professor of Finance and Accounting in University of Rochester’s business school in upstate New York. Bill Meckling was Dean at the school and Mike Jensen was a Professor of Finance. Jensen and Meckling went on to write some very important economic theory of the firm papers and Jensen was a Nobel Prize finalist. At Rochester I took full advantage of my Chicago training, producing articles in accounting, auditing, finance and corporate governance. My research focuses on the relations between accounting’s roles in corporate governance, corporate law and finance, all of which evolved jointly, not separately. The genesis of the recent financial sub-prime crisis lay not only in the USA government (with both political parties pushing subprime mortgages), but also in the regulators’ ignorance of the interconnections and limits of accounting, financial economics and corporate governance. I made the right decision in choosing a career in economics at Rochester. It became my Camelot. I moved from Rochester to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) over eight years ago and this year became an Emeritus Professor at MIT. I still go into school every day and work hard because I am still trying to get it right. I may not become a Nobel Prize winner but the Alumni Medal means more than that to me because I invested so much in it. I worked full-time, played rugby for the University and for Newcastle, and studied at night. I had an enormous start, and I am so proud to come from the University of Newcastle.
EMERITUS PROFESSOR ROSS WATTS Bachelor of Commerce 1966 Emeritus Professor Ross Watts is an esteemed academic who holds concurrent positions at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is the Erwin H. Schell Professor Emeritus of Management and Professor Emeritus of Accounting, and has enjoyed a rich international academic career working across Australia, New Zealand and the USA. In 1978, Ross co-founded the Journal of Accounting & Economics with Jerry Zimmerman. The journal frequently ranks number one worldwide in the citation counts for accounting journals. Ross’s research focuses on the relationship between accounting’s roles in auditing, contracting, firm governance, financing, and financial reporting. He is a source in global academic and policy circles for predictions of likely effects of proposed financial reporting standards. Revered worldwide for his body of work, Ross has influenced the way many accounting, economics, finance, and legal academics think about accounting and its relation to economics, finance and law. His extensive list of honours and recognitions includes the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award of the Financial Accounting Branch of the American Accounting Association in 2013. Ross lends his considerable expertise and knowledge to advisory boards and committees; he supervises PhD students; and has presented his research to conferences, public lectures, and universities across the globe.
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NEVER GIVE UP
BY KARIN CATT NEWTON-JOHN AWARD JOINT RECIPIENT Never give up. I don’t believe in the word “can’t”. You only live once and you have to do and experience as much as possible. I want to live a really interesting life and I believe that’s something everyone should aim for. I returned to Newcastle recently for the Alumni Awards. The University put on a fantastic event and it was an honour to be surrounded by so many amazing graduates who are achieving great things on national and international levels. Newcastle was a fabulous place in which to grow up and it wasn’t until I started travelling the world that I truly began to appreciate what I took for granted on a daily basis. I started travelling with my parents, Cyril and Sonja, when I was a child. My parents showed me an amazing childhood, encouraging me to explore all sorts of things. My father’s library was a huge resource and his camera collection an endless fascination. I took my first Polaroid when I was five years old and even before I was a teenager I would sneak out of my bedroom window late at night to shoot bands. I was 12 when I shot my first celebrity portrait of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. This was my first foray into celebrity portraiture. I still have a strong connection to my home city. I wanted to acknowledge Newcastle as the seeding ground for my work so it was wonderful to come full circle in 2006 and bring my National Portrait Gallery exhibition Famous to the Newcastle Art Gallery. The exhibition attracted so many primary, secondary and tertiary education students and I was thrilled to inspire younger audiences. I remember one teenager who told me he had never been to an art gallery and attended only because he saw my portrait of Eminem on the advertising material. He was so inspired by all of the photos and I was so pleased that my work could have such an impact on him. I try to get back to Newcastle as often as I can. At the moment I keep a place in both New York and LA because of work. Sometimes I have to look in my diary to remember what I did three days ago and there are periods where I live out of a suitcase and survive on coffee and chocolate when my schedule is hectic, but I love my life. I never wanted to get to 80 years old and think “I should have done more”. I found it humbling to be surrounded by others with a similar mindset at the Alumni Awards. It was exciting to see the scope of students the University has produced, how far they have travelled around the world and the areas in which they have succeeded. Achievements come from perseverance and hard work. If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to never take “no” as an answer. If anybody tells you “no”, there is always another way to do something. Don’t accept “no”. Ever.
MS KARIN CATT Bachelor of Arts 1991 Ms Karin Catt has achieved international success as a fashion and portrait photographer, is highly sought after by global celebrities and published across the world. Russell Crowe, Bill Clinton, Eminem, Sting, Nicole Kidman, the Dalai Lama and Jack Nicholson are just some of Karin’s subjects. Karin is the youngest photographer to hold a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Famous, in 2006, included 99 photographs of statesmen, sporting heroes, musicians, and celebrities. The exhibition’s curator Simon Elliot said Karin would “go down in history as one of the greatest photographers of our times”. Named in the same class of photographer as Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon, Karin’s portfolio includes letters of recommendation from leading industrial designer Marc Newson, VicePresident of Apple Jonathon Ive and Walt Disney Studios. In 2001 Karin won the Magazine Publishers of Australia Award for Best Use of Photography/Photographic Feature and this year her work was featured in the First Ladies exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.
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ADAPTING TO CHANGE
BY ANTON MONSTED NEWTON-JOHN AWARD JOINT RECIPIENT Change is a confronting thing. I recently submitted myself to the process of interviewing for a new job, and was forced to tell my life story over and over to a variety of people to establish my credentials for the role. Taking on the new job involved moving from New York to Los Angeles (LA), finding a new school for my children, a new home, and coming to terms with an unfamiliar environment. Not that LA is so very different from New York or Newcastle for that matter: people speak English, there is a general air of civility, and in particular I have found myself thinking back to my days on the Callaghan campus fondly, as there is a similarly collegiate feel to a film studio. A studio operates in many ways like a university – several thousand people coming to work every day, each within a different department, responsible for the gathering and sharing of knowledge, albeit to less lofty intellectual ends than academia aspires to. Especially when you consider that as much as we in the film world love unbridled works of cinematic genius, the truth is that the success of films like Alvin and The Chipmunks pays our wages. For most of my adult life I have worked with Baz Luhrmann’s production entity Bazmark. The year after finishing my degree I was a handyman, painting the walls of a small office where Baz and co-writer Craig Pearce were writing the first draft of a screenplay based on William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. I found that an English Major could (to my own surprise) be put to good use when I finished painting and started working as a research assistant. I took obscure questions to my former lecturer Professor David Frost, who was forthcoming and collaborative in helping advance the cause of this unlikely-to-ever-be-made modern adaptation. Despite every kind of obstacle, including a competing project of the same name (at the same studio, no less) the film made it into production.
I have been forced, recently, to tell others what I do for a living, and why I do it. It has reminded me, powerfully, how lucky I am to work every day doing something I love. I began to be involved in the music. Although I have no formal training in music, I felt very much at home working with music, musicians and the combination of music and story. So began a musical collaboration with Baz that spanned four films: Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, Australia, and most recently The Great Gatsby. I’m often asked what a music supervisor does and the simple answer is they work as a conduit between the director and all things musical to achieve the best use of music – songs, underscore, or silence – to tell the story. Many elements of filmmaking tell us what to think. The music in a film helps us to feel. Something happens when you marry music to moving image. It’s a form of creative synthesis I find profoundly satisfying and creates something that triggers meaning in the viewer. A two-hour film might have 100 minutes of music in it, every note of which has been placed there very deliberately to heighten the dramatic effect of the storytelling. I am enjoying my new job. As much as I have had to adapt to change – working as part of a new team, moving from a boutique filmmaking business to a large corporation, going from working on one film every four years to several at a time – I am grateful that in the process I have been forced to tell others what I do for a living and why I do it. It has reminded me, powerfully, how lucky I am to work every day doing something I love.
MR ANTON MONSTED
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1995 Bachelor of Arts 1994 After graduating at 21, Mr Anton Monsted began work as an office assistant with Baz Luhrmann’s Bazmark production company. The job soon evolved into a research role for Luhrmann’s adaptation of Romeo + Juliet (1996). Anton went on to co-found Luhrmann’s music company, Bazmark Music, and served as Music Supervisor and Executive Music Producer on Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge! (2001). From 2002-07, Anton worked as a freelance producer and music consultant on films, television, and live events including the Sydney Harbour Bridge 75th birthday (2007); and as a producer of the Come Walkabout global advertising campaign for Tourism Australia (2008). Anton was Co-Producer and Executive Music Supervisor for Luhrmann’s latest movie The Great Gatsby (2013), and Executive Music Supervisor for the film and soundtrack for Australia (2008), which earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Original Song for By The Boab Tree. Anton recently left his post as Bazmark’s general manager to be Senior Vice President of Music at Twentieth Century Fox.
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LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE
BY DR WILLIAM LILLEY ALUMNI AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP RECIPIENT While living in Medowie and driving to the big smoke of Newcastle, I often stared at the plumes billowing from the city’s chimneys and wondered, “where is all that smoke going?” At the University of Newcastle I was delighted to find a professor who could help me answer that question. At the time it seemed like such a simple question, but like all good questions finding the answer was hard and led to even more questions. Later I would ask myself, “what is the right balance of industrial development, jobs creation and emissions to the environment?” It’s a question that led me to my current position in Saudi Arabia. An honours project with Associate Professor Howard Bridgman took me to the CSIRO in Sydney to borrow equipment needed to measure emissions from diesel locomotives. Little did I know that I would be building much of that equipment and six months later I would finally be ready to get into the field. During that time I asked the CSIRO if I could hang around for work experience – 17 years later I left as a Principal Research Scientist with a PhD, worldleading research in two different fields and a wonderful collection of exceptionally talented friends, many having graduated from the University of Newcastle. As I grew as a researcher, my curiosity and need for the big picture led to multidisciplinary research that helped me understand and ultimately influence the future of energy and the economy. I was given the opportunity to run CSIRO’s Intelligent Grid and Future Grid projects and work with some brilliant minds to examine the economic, social, technical and environmental outcomes of potential energy futures.
DR WILLIAM LILLEY PhD (Mathematics) 2008, Bachelor of Science (Honours) 1997 Bachelor of Science 1995 Dr William Lilley has enjoyed a rapid rise to a leadership role with the world’s foremost hydrocarbon supplier, Saudi Aramco, since accepting the position of Renewable and Distributed Energy Developer with the company in 2011. After just three months William was promoted to Energy Policy and Modelling Specialist. He soon became Head of the Policy Analysis division and is now Head of the Energy to Kingdom Implementation division in the Kingdom Energy and Economic Analysis Department. In 2007, while working in Newcastle for Australia’s national science agency the CSIRO, he developed its multi-million dollar Intelligent Grid research program, which investigated the value of distributed energy for Australia. On secondment to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, William was a Principal Advisor on the Smart Grid Smart City initiative before returning to Newcastle as Program Leader of the Future Grid project, which focused on nationally significant savings from optimal energy network design. His groundbreaking work in distributed energy and smart grid led to his appointment with Saudi Aramco.
I was humbled to be nominated for and receive the University of Newcastle’s 2013 Alumni Award for International Leadership and would like to dedicate it to the colleagues who contributed to the success of those teams. I used the knowledge I gained on those two projects to assist the design of Australia’s first commercial Smart Grid program. I was thrilled to see the program awarded to the City of Newcastle, a city I had watched transform from one dominated by primary industry when I was child, to a more diverse economy that attracts worldleading activities. Recognition of my work led to offers of employment across the world. To the surprise of many, I accepted a role in Saudi Arabia over positions in a number of top academic institutions. I was attracted to the Kingdom by its ambitious long-term targets in renewable energy and the opportunity for personal growth by living within a different culture. It’s been a wonderful experience that has allowed me to implement the skills I developed, expand my knowledge and capability and mature as a person. And to think it all started by asking myself, “where is all that smoke going?” I am grateful to the University of Newcastle with providing me the education that allowed me to take that journey.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
BY THE HON. PATRICIA FORSYTHE ALUMNI AWARD FOR REGIONAL LEADERSHIP RECIPIENT The citation on the certificate for the regional leadership award states, ‘For a significant contribution as a leader in regional business, commerce, industry or public service’. I want to reflect on the last area, that of public service. What has struck me is that public service is rarely acknowledged and if that public service included a time in parliament – as was part of my career – it is rarely ever celebrated. Yet almost everything depends on good public policy: to underpin service delivery, to create the climate for business and people to flourish and to create a stable and just society. When I was 19 and in second year at University, the Newcastle Herald wrote an article about me entitled ‘Student Aspires to Politics’ that, on reflection, given the paucity of women in any leadership roles at that time but especially in politics, seems a bold ambition. In the 40 or so years since that article was written the public attitude to politics has shifted dramatically from one of respect to one almost of derision. Few people admire parliamentarians despite the fact that it is one of the most important roles to which one can aspire. In many countries people die for the right to elect a parliament.
“Making a difference” is the reason virtually everyone gives for why they are in parliament. Fighting for the needs of an individual or a community is at the heart of what MPs do every day. A doctor making a difference is lauded; a charity worker similarly. Rarely today is the work of parliamentarians accorded such respect. I wonder if there are any 19-year-olds setting goals to enter parliament. I hope so. To be a member of parliament is an extraordinary honour and a privilege accorded to only a few people. Clearly not every MP lives up to the standard the community has a right to expect, but most MPs are there to change lives and shape communities. Good public policy depends on more than wise parliamentarians but without them nothing is achievable. I often reflect on my good fortune to have been a student at the University of Newcastle during the politically-charged early 1970s where issues were debated and ideas challenged over lunch in the Union Courtyard. I reflect too that having the courage to speak up as I did was really the door that opened for me, in terms of having the confidence to want to be a politician. Democracy succeeds when good people put up their hand to participate.
HON. DATO PADUKA AR. H. IDRIS ABAS Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) 1980 The Honourable Dato Paduka Ar. H. Idris Abas is a successful entrepreneur impacting the advancement of architecture, IT and communications in Brunei. After completing his architecture degree, Idris returned to Brunei as Head of the Architects section at the Public Works Department, before establishing his architecture firm, Arkitek Idris. It has since won several architectural project competitions and was a finalist in the 1996 Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) International Architectural Awards and the 2001 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Idris is in great demand across Brunei for his expertise and holds numerous official positions with industry-affiliated bodies and community groups. He is a Fellow of the RAIA and a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Idris was named Asia Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and won Brunei’s Small, Medium Entrepreneur National Award in 2012. He was appointed a Member of the Brunei Legislative Council in 2004 and was bestowed the title of the Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Brunei (2nd Class) in 2006.
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HON. PATRICIA FORSYTHE Bachelor of Arts 1973
The Honourable Patricia Forsythe was a member of NSW Parliament from 1991-2006. She spent 10 years on the Opposition frontbench in a variety of shadow portfolios including Community Services and Education and Training, and influenced policy across the State. The highly sought-after speaker and panellist started her career as a high school teacher before moving into politics. Since late 2006, as Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia has worked to enhance Sydney’s competitiveness as a global city. Through her advocacy the Chamber has become the leading voice of business in Sydney. Patricia represents the Chamber on a wide cross-section of key government committees and boards, particularly those focused on lifting Sydney’s positioning in transport, planning, tourism, and major events. She is also an active member of boards in the government and not-for-profit sectors, giving her time to Destination NSW, the Council of Macquarie University, the Hunter Development Corporation, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network Board, Business Events Sydney and Cricket NSW. Patricia is a former member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute Board and the Anglican Board of Mission.
SERVING MY COUNTRY
BY THE HON. DATO PADUKA AR. H. IDRIS ABAS ALUMNI AWARD FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP RECIPIENT After graduating from the University of Newcastle with my Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), I returned home and was excited to serve my country Brunei Darussalam as one of its pioneer architects. I was so grateful to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan Dan Yang DiPertuan for granting me the scholarship to study in Australia and obviously I was bonded to work for the Government of His Majesty. Being a pioneer, I am also one of the founding members of our professional body, the Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects, which we formed together with engineers and quantity surveyors. I was elected and re-elected several times as Chairman of the Architect Division for over 20 years and eventually became the President of the Institution. I developed my skills as the leader in that profession by being the Chairman and the President. Being an architect, we always play the role as the main coordinator for the project and this provided me the training and experience as team leader. My leadership skills gave me the confidence to establish my own practice, Arkitek Idris, in 1985. Working in a non-government organisation, I was determined to be a leader in my profession and the business world at the same time. I joined the local Chamber of Commerce to get myself associated with the business community. As I proved my deliverables successfully in my professional practices and my leadership in the professional Institution, I was also elected President of the Chamber. By then, I had led the country as a representative in global business forums and conferences including the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce activities. I was officially appointed
by the Government to represent the country as Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council. At the same time, I was also entrusted to be a member of various Government Authority bodies such as the Board for Municipality and the University Brunei Darussalam Council, where I was able to contribute in an advisory capacity. Besides developing and advancing my own profession and business activities, I am looking into how to make a more sustainable future for the next generations. My passion in developing youth to be better citizens encourages me to help the Scouts movement where we can train young children to be involved in Scouts activities. After being elected as the President of our National Scouts Association, I am even more committed to provide them with good leadership. The training and knowledge I acquired from the University of Newcastle, which I highly appreciated, has helped me to achieve what I have and be who I am today.
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THE LIGHT ON THE HILL
BY DR WEJ PARADICE AM ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE JOINT RECIPIENT I recently retired after 31 years service to the Hunter Valley Research Foundation (HVRF), including 28 years as Chief Executive. The Foundation is an independent not-for-profit research organisation conducting economic and social monitoring and analysis in the Hunter region since 1956. The guiding force that motivated me to pursue the sometimes difficult task of maintaining and expanding the work of the Foundation through more than three decades is my belief in the necessity of an educated community. Without an informed and educated populace able to effectively critique government policy and decisionmaking, we risk the rise of demagogues and democracy is not effective. By freely providing data and analysis based on rigorously conducted research, the Foundation empowers community members to question authority and to hold their leaders accountable for the decisions that affect their lives and their environment. The ability to discern sound and reliable sources of information from a mass of misinformation or poorly researched findings is fostered by education. I learned by personal experience the value of education, particularly tertiary education. Born and raised in Scone in the Upper Hunter, I benefited enormously from having my horizon lifted beyond regional and national borders after completing my Masters and PhD in the USA. When I returned to the Hunter it was with a new perspective and an expanded mind. The HVRF was originally established in the aftermath of the disastrous 1955 Maitland floods. The first CEO and Director of Research, the late Cyril Renwick, was an economics professor at Newcastle University College at Tighes Hill. Professor Renwick responded to community calls for information when the floodwaters receded by establishing a research organisation to direct applied research into the physical characteristics of the Hunter Valley.
DR WEJ PARADICE AM (WILLIAM EDWARD JOHN) Hon DLitt 2009 Dr Wej Paradice joined the Hunter Valley Research Foundation in 1982 following undergraduate and postgraduate training in Australia and the USA. From 1985-2013 he was CEO of the Foundation as well as Director of Research from 1985-2004. Wej is passionate about intelligent natural resource management and in 1997 was appointed the Independent Chairman of the Hunter River Management Committee. In 2003 he was named inaugural Chairman of the HunterCentral Rivers Catchment Management Authority. Wej is also a Director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle and has served on numerous natural resource management committees around the country. He is a member of a range of professional organisations including the Economic Society of Australia, the Australian Regional Science Association, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2008 Wej was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2009 the University of Newcastle presented Wej with an honorary Doctor of Letters.
I joined the Foundation as a researcher in 1982 with a background in natural resource management. While running the HVRF, I was privileged to be involved in protecting and managing the region’s natural resources through roles in river management and the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority. While some may think such a role only deals with physical resources, the major issue is the interface between people and resources. Having a welleducated and aware population is critical to being able to make informed decisions about the future of our communities. Consequently I have been a strong advocate for an increase in the proportion of Hunter residents with tertiary qualifications. The University of Newcastle is the key institution to achieve this objective. The breadth and depth of professional experiences that were showcased at this year’s Alumni Awards emphasised to me how the University of Newcastle’s alumni network now extends to some of the world’s highest achievers and most influential thinkers. The University of Newcastle has indeed become the light on the hill for our community.
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GIVING IS PERSONAL
BY EMERITUS PROFESSOR MAREE GLEESON OAM ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE JOINT RECIPIENT When you support your community it is personal. It can be giving of time, money, effort or just inspiration. Your community can be as small as your immediate family and friends, the street you live in, or as a large as your workplace, your city, nation or the whole world we all live in.
In our professional careers the opportunities to support our communities are varied and the impacts diverse. It is important to occasionally stop and consider, “what will be my legacy?”
I will be forever grateful to my parents for the gift of education that allowed my sister Robyn and I to both be alumni of the University and empowered us to have successful professional careers. Being an alumni of a university is a privilege, but that privilege comes with the responsibility to ensure we use the knowledge we gain to also empower and support our community.
Some of our contributions have a lasting legacy. While I had the privilege to lead the design and construction of the new HMRI building, the lasting legacy is not the steel and concrete building. It is the researchers who will benefit from an environment that facilitates interactions between multidisciplinary researchers and clinicians and the outcome of their research collaborations that will ultimately benefit our community locally and globally.
When you start the journey of an undergraduate degree at university straight out of high school you don’t always know where you will end up. For me the journey has been an exciting adventure with many unexpected turns. Like many I was the first generation in my family to undertake university education. This is a challenge when there are no family role models but also liberating as you can chart your own course. The challenges I faced made me aware of the importance of mentoring others along the same pathway. This led to supporting science students through the Smith Family and Aboriginal medical students through the Rotary Indigenous Health scholarship program. They are now all successful alumni of the University undertaking professional careers. The impact of mentoring cannot be underestimated and I encourage all alumni to engage in supporting our future generations. In my role as Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) it was a delight to mentor the Insight group of mid-career researchers who I believe will be the next generation of leaders in medical research. It has been rewarding to see eight of this group already attain the title of professor and many receive national and international awards.
EMERITUS PROFESSOR MAREE GLEESON OAM PhD (Medicine) 1988
Emeritus Professor Maree Gleeson is a health, education, science and medical research professional. As Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute from 2006-11, Maree attracted more than $45 million in funding to support growth in research capacity and capabilities in the Hunter region, and $90 million for the new research building. Maree has 35 years experience in corporate leadership. She served as inaugural Director of Medical Research in NSW and Director of Immunology for Hunter Area Pathology Service. As a non-executive director she holds a strong background in corporate governance, strategic planning, capital developments and risk management. Maree is currently a Director of Hunter Valley Research Foundation, Hunter Water Corporation, and the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games; a Board member of the Central Coast Local Health District; and a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Advisory Committee on Preventative and Community Health. In 2011 Maree was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia and was named the Hunter Business Person of the Year.
Each of us can find our own passion for community support. Along the turns in my own career I have had opportunities to influence government policies in medical research and improve conditions for the marginalised. Being involved in the establishment of the Hunter Dementia Resource Centre and the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games gave me as much joy as those who benefit from them. As I continue on my journey, I will continue to find opportunities to give to our community.
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LEARNING THROUGH KNOWLEDGE BY CRAIG RITCHIE INDIGENOUS ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT I grew up in rural NSW and was the first in my family to attend university. From 1984-88 I studied classics, history and English with education and drama thrown in! I believe my time at the University of Newcastle gave me a solid foundation of conceptual and analytical skills that I continue to draw on every day, along with the larger frame of reference that can only come from the kind of work that universities do, as well as a clearer sense of vision and focus. Iâ€™m absolutely convinced that the education I received at Newcastle gave me the skills and capabilities I needed to succeed in particular roles and to manage the transition from one field of endeavour to another.
Knowledge is not the possession of clever individuals but something that is held within the community of scholars.
Iâ€™ve enjoyed quite a varied career path since graduation, ranging from secondary school teaching to community organising and leadership of a national advocacy non-government organisation, and now a senior role in the Australian Government. Immediately after graduation I taught English and History in a K-12 school in Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW. I did this for seven years during which time I oversaw the development of the history curriculum in the school and particularly its introduction to Years 11 and 12. I love the humanities and one of the most vital skills the study of humanities gives you is the ability to develop and sustain a coherent argument. I was a debater in school and during my time at Gosford I established an interschool debating competition. This competition grew and became part of the statewide annual landscape for our independent school group. I moved from teaching in 1996 into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and took on a role in the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Cooperative where I worked on policy development. Again I drew on the abilities I developed as an Arts student both in use of language and ability to write but also the ability to think clearly and thoroughly and perhaps most critically, understand people and how they work. I am now the Branch Manager responsible for policy and programs aimed at increasing the number of people from Indigenous and disadvantaged backgrounds who are able to succeed at university. My work involves managing funding programs, building evidence to inform policy advice to government and working with stakeholders from across the university sector on collaborative solutions to tricky problems. There are a number of valuable things I took from my time at university but the most valuable is that knowledge is not the possession of clever individuals but something that is held within the community of scholars. Collaboration and learning in community brings it out. Awareness of the fact that the university is first and foremost a community of people who learn together remains the cornerstone of my professional practice to this day.
MR CRAIG RITCHIE
Bachelor of Arts 1988 Mr Craig Ritchie is General Manager of the Access and Participation Branch in the Higher Education Division of the Department of Education. He leads two major systemic reform initiatives in higher education including reframing the national approach to student equity policy and programs, and implementing the findings of the landmark Review of Access and Outcomes in Higher Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Craig is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunghutti/Biripi nations and was the first in his family to attend university. He taught secondary English and history in Gosford for seven years before joining Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative in 1996. There he managed the Awabakal Aboriginal Medical Service that provided comprehensive primary health care to Aboriginal communities in Newcastle, the Hunter and the Central Coast. Craig was CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation from 1999-2002 before taking the role of Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Policy for ACT Health.
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EDUCATION + AWARENESS = EMPOWERMENT AND SOLUTIONS BY CHANDRA CLEMENTS YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT Come with me on a journey. A journey through the barren countryside of Gresford, a wander through the hills of Dungog, and a dual study period at the University of Newcastle. We then progress to a period in the Hunter Valley coal mines, a relocation to Brisbane triggered by a merger, a stint in the global construction industry, and on to the perils of the Australian and New Zealand hospitality industry. The bus then leaves you at the door of a global neuroscience business and reclaims you at the commencement of your own business, One Legacy Pty Ltd. This is a bizarre journey. An invigorating journey. A journey painted with bright colours, dark patches and the occasional paint spill. This is my journey. So what has this journey taught me? 2013 has been a year of discovery. Along with the birth of my own company, it has taught me why so many women, so many entrepreneurs, so many young people, so many not-so-young people, fail to achieve their potential. The secret lies in your mind; that place where self-talk and fear can be put to good use or undermine your ability to innovate, apply and deliver.
I hear the words “I wish I could”, “I am not innovative”, “I don’t have the ability”, “I am not like you” again and again as I travel the world, presenting across 40 stages globally. Yet the truth lies in the reality that all people have the potential to innovate, create and exceed their own expectations. All people are like me. All young people bear the fears I did at their age. All business women face the hierarchy that I myself have confronted and succeeded within. All employees will invariably confront the question “what do I want from this endeavour and what matters most to me at this point?” All university students will, at some point, question whether what they read in journals actually applies to the real world and whether they have done enough to set themselves up for success after study. In an era of technology beyond belief, a time of great progress and information sharing, a moment of clarity, and following on from my work across 26 countries, I began to ponder what business was all about. Why do Australians spend so much time in pursuit of budgets and meeting others’ expectations?
MS CHANDRA CLEMENTS Bachelor of Business 2001 Bachelor of Science 2000 Ms Chandra Clements rapidly climbed the ranks of the corporate world to lead the global psychology-based workplace safety consultancy firm Sentis in 2010. Turning entrepreneur in 2013 she established One Legacy Pty Ltd, which consults to companies on ethical business, human capital improvement, innovation and women’s empowerment. Chandra built her professional career in organisational development and management roles at Rio Tinto, Fluor, Campbell Brothers and Reward Distribution. In 2009 she led 380 employees at Reward Distribution to achieve a Lost Time Injury rate of zero, down from 19 two years earlier, and managed 26 sites and 50,000 product lines across Australia and New Zealand. As Sentis CEO, Chandra delivered a 33 per cent growth in revenue and a 230 per cent growth in earnings before tax. In 2012 Chandra won the Gold Stevie Award for Best Female Executive (Asia, Australia and New Zealand); Bronze Stevie Award for Best Management Team; and the Marie Claire National Young Business Woman of the Year Award.
What do employees and students really need to succeed at a holistic level? I am not talking about success defined by awards or remuneration or titles. I am talking about Maslow’s concept of self-actualisation. Is it achievable, truly achievable, in a time and place when there is not enough time and too many places to get to? Indeed it is. It was this moment of clarity that dawned upon me in July of this year. July 2013 was when One Legacy was born. Business. Life. Self-actualisation. They occur at the point where the question in your mind shifts from “why can’t I” to “how can I?”. I write this article in hope that today is the day you ask yourself why you do what you do and what your legacy will be, and ultimately identify your true and full potential.
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A 2013 Alumni Award recipients, L-R: Hon. Patricia Forsythe, Ms Chandra Clements, Mr Craig Ritchie, Dr William Lilley, Ms Karin Catt, Hon. Dato Paduka AR.H. Idris Abas, Dr Wej Paradice AM, Emeritus Professor Ross Watts, Emeritus Professor Maree Gleeson OAM (Absent: Anton Monsted) B Bob Gammage, Theatre of Life Artistry C Steel City Collective D Back row L-R: Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen, Rebecca Cone, UoN Council member Dianne Allen. Front row L-R: Elizabeth Price, Deputy Chancellor the Hon. John Price AM, Leda Turner, HMRI Board Chair Glenn Turner
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E Back row L-R: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) Professor Richard Dunford, National Leadership finalist Dr Li Zhidong (David), Professor Jim Psaros, Nuo Si, alumnus Trent Bagnall, 2012 Regional Leadership finalist Justin Doyle. Front row L-R: Alumni Medal recipient Emeritus Professor Ross Watts and wife Nancy Lamb with guests Carolyn Watts, Trudy Robinson and Peter Robinson F Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen G L-R: Shakuntala Chockalingam, Irene Okello, Alumni Award for International Leadership finalist Dr David Okello, Professor Arun Chockalingam, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health and Medicine) Laureate Professor John Aitken, Professor Prasuna Reddy H L-R: Alumni Award for Regional Leadership finalist Don Magin, Friends of the University President Vic Levi, inaugural Newton-John Award winner Allan Morris, Anne Morris, Meg Levi, Sharon Magin, President of Alumni Brian Kennaugh I R-L: Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon with Exceptional Community Service finalist Esther Kalenga and her daughters J Back row L-R: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Andrew Parfitt, Regional Development Australia Hunter CEO Todd Williams, 2004 Newton-John Award winner Samantha Martin-Williams, UoN Council member Dr Geoff Leonard AM. Front row L-R: Inaugural Newton-John Award winner Allan Morris, Anne Morris, Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy, Tracey McCloy
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ALUMNI MEDAL FINALISTS
EMERITUS PROFESSOR KENNETH ELTIS AM PROFESSOR MOHAMED KHADRA
PROFESSOR MARALYN FOUREUR
Hon DEd 2004, Diploma in Education 1960, Bachelor of Arts 1959
PhD (Medicine) 1998, Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology 1990
Emeritus Professor Kenneth Eltis trained as a French and German teacher and began his career as a teacher before coestablishing and later directing the Teacher Education Program at Macquarie University. Kenneth is a respected researcher with a special interest in curriculum. His leadership in the field has driven change in NSW and Australian teaching curricula and reformed the Higher School Certificate in NSW. In 1995 Kenneth prepared a major report, Focusing on Learning, for the NSW Government, examining curriculum and reporting practices from Kindergarten to Year 10. He was a member of the Taskforce on Implementation for the Ramsey Review of Teacher Education in NSW in 2001, and in 2003 completed a review of reporting and assessment practices in Time to Teach, Time to Learn. Its recommendations are now being implemented in NSW schools. Kenneth completed his career in Australiaâ€™s higher education sector as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney. His many notable honours include the 1997 Sir Harold Wyndham Medal, presented by the Australian College of Educators, for services to education; and honorary Doctorates of Education from the University of Newcastle in 2004 and the University of Sydney in 2011. In 2010 Kenneth was made a Member of the Order of Australia.
Bachelor of Medicine 1987 Professor Mohamed Khadra has established a highly successful career as a urological surgeon, author, researcher and academic leader in Australia and overseas. A Professor and Head of Surgery at the University of Sydney and consultant urologist at the Nepean Hospital, his roles have included Inaugural Chair of Surgery at the Australian National University; Pro ViceChancellor for Health, Design and Science at the University of Canberra; and Professor of Surgery and Head of the School of Rural Health at the University of NSW. Mohamed has won several research prizes for his work in the fields of urology, including the 1995 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Noel Newton Medal; the 1993 Alban Gee Prize in urology from the Urological Society of Australasia and New Zealand; and the 1996 inaugural Bruce Pearson Fellowship from the Australasian Urological Foundation. Passionate about access to education, Mohamed co-founded the accredited higher education provider The Institute of Technology Australia in 2003, to deliver affordable education for students in developing countries. Mohamed is also a talented writer and has authored several books on the patient journey and compassion, and co-authored the play At any cost? with playwright David Williamson, focusing on Australiaâ€™s health care system and the right to refuse treatment.
Professor Maralyn Foureur is a Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a national and international reputation for her research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care, and midwifery practice and education. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of models of care that improve maternity services and childbirth outcomes for women and babies. She is particularly interested in how the birth unit design impacts women and staff stress, communication, and ultimately birth outcomes. From 2007-11 Maralyn was Professor of Midwifery for the Central Coast and Northern Sydney Local Health Networks, leading a number of projects including establishing a model of care for obese pregnant women. She co-leads the consortium called Birth After Caesarean Interventions, which is undertaking research to promote normal birth and increase the rate of vaginal birth after caesarean section. A highly-regarded researcher in her field, Maralyn has been awarded around $3 million in nationally competitive research grants from the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council. Maralyn is a Fellow of the Australian College of Midwives and has a wellestablished publication track record with a co-edited book and book chapters, and more than 80 articles appearing in peer reviewed journals.
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ALUMNI AWARD FOR REGIONAL LEADERSHIP FINALISTS
MRS JUDI GEGGIE
DR RALPH GOURLAY
Master of Educational Studies 1982
Bachelor of Medicine 1986
In her 12 years as Director of the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre (FAC), Mrs Judi Geggie advocated strongly for community-engaged research to inform policy and practice in family services and community development. She brought millions of dollars in research income to the FAC for research into family strengths; men, boys and fatherhood; and community development.
Dr Ralph Gourlay is a general and oncological surgeon specialising in breast cancer and melanoma, and a Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle.
The discipline of family studies is now part of the University’s academic program, building on the practice, wisdom and research findings of the FAC. Newcastle is the only Australian university to focus curriculum in this area. Prior to her involvement with the FAC, Judi worked on the Playgym Program for Parents and their Pre-schoolers and co-developed the curriculum for the Australian Gymnastics Association program now known as KinderGym. A key interest for Judi for many years was the safety of children from preventable injury. This led to her tenure as Chair of the Regional Kidsafe Committee for 16 years and membership of the NSW Kidsafe Committee.
Ralph works extensively across Newcastle and the Hunter region and is a member of various medical associations and institutions including the Australian and New Zealand Gastric and Oesophageal Surgery Association, Breast Surgeons ANZ, Melanoma Network, Hunter Surgical Society, Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute, General Surgery Australia, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (Breast Section and Upper GI Section), and the Australian Medical Association. He volunteered in West Timor as part of the Overseas Specialist Surgical Association of Australia’s visit in 2011. Ralph is committed to improving community wellbeing. He has worked with Project Futures, an organisation working to eradicate sex trafficking worldwide and personally raised several thousand dollars by participating in a charity bike ride. He is also involved with ongoing fundraising projects for Watoto Child Care Ministries, which builds homes for orphans in Uganda.
MR DON MAGIN Graduate Diploma in Management 1995 Bachelor of Mathematics 1975 Mr Don Magin’s appointment in 1986 as IT Manager at the Greater Building Society began a 27-year history with the organisation. Don was made the Greater’s CEO in 2008 and since then has led it to maintain profitability and success throughout the global financial crisis; completed a merger with Armidale Building Society; and launched an advertising campaign featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which lifted the Greater’s profile and generated a significant increase in customers. Don has strong links with his industry as Chairman and Director of the Customer Owned Banking Association and a Director of Australian Settlements Ltd. Don is committed to improving the welfare of those “doing it tough” and is Director of the Heal for Life Foundation, a national charity supporting survivors of childhood abuse and trauma; and Zone Chair for the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. Past community associations include membership of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Executive Committee, Chairman of Wesley Mission (Newcastle) Advisory Board, and Secretary of the Hunter Prostate Survival Alliance.
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ALUMNI AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP FINALISTS
DR DAVID OKELLO
MR MARK VASSELLA
DR WAYNE IBLE
Master of Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology) 1994
Bachelor of Commerce 1985
PhD (Education) 2007
Mr Mark Vassella is CEO of BlueScope Steel Australia and New Zealand, overseeing businesses with revenues of approximately AUD $5.5 billion at more than 100 sites with over 7,500 employees.
Dr Wayne Ible’s 35-year education career began as a NSW science teacher in 1978. Wayne is currently leading GEMS Education Solutions across SE Asia in the role of Regional Director/Chief Academic Officer, based in Singapore. His achievements in this role include assisting the Asia Development Bank in Manila to identify innovative Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for education and find solutions for capacity issues in the Philippines education sector, opening new international schools in China and Singapore, and reviewing Myanmar’s education system and developing decentralisation reform proposals for government on behalf of UNESCO.
Dr David Okello is a leading health specialist and diplomat in the World Health Organisation (WHO) working across Africa. The Ugandan national is currently serving as Head of Mission and Representative of WHO to Zimbabwe, acting as a diplomatic liaison and providing policy advice and technical support to health programs. During a 13-year career with WHO, David has served as the representative in Nigeria, Kenya and Swaziland; the Regional Advisor on Health Research and Promotion; and oversaw the WHO country office in South Africa during 2006. In 2010-11 David was Director of WHO Cluster on AIDS, TB and Malaria in the African region, supervising WHO’s work in contributing to the reduction of burden due to these diseases. Earlier in his career, David worked as a medical officer and an academic in the Faculty of Medicine at Makerere University, Uganda. David is widely published in journals, books and research reports, and is sought after to share his knowledge through international consultancies and national board appointments across Africa.
Mark began his career as a commerce trainee in finance at BHP Steelworks in Newcastle. He worked his way from accountant to General Manager at Palmer Tube Mills before relocating to the UK as General Manager Europe for ANI Structural Steel Products Group. Following the takeover of ANI by Smorgon Steel Group Mark spent almost seven years as CEO of Smorgon Steel Distribution, which was later acquired by BlueScope Steel. During his career Mark has worked and lived in the UK and USA, and has managed joint ventures in countries including the USA, India and Saudi Arabia, and completed an MBA and other postgraduate qualifications in Australia and Switzerland. Mark sits on the Board of Family Life, an organisation that assists at-risk youth and families. He has also worked as Chairman of the Australian Steel Institute.
Prior to holding this position, Wayne was Director of PPPs with GEMS in Abu Dhabi, where he led a company of 160 international education consultants to deliver a PPP contract with Abu Dhabi Education Council to improve public schools. Wayne has also worked as a School Principal in Papua New Guinea and NSW, and spent four years as School Education Director/Superintendent for the Hunter and Central Coast regions of the NSW Department of Education and Training.
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NEWTON JOHN AWARD FINALISTS
DR MURRAY HEIGHT Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Mathematics 1998 After achieving outstanding academic results in his undergraduate studies – including first class honours and the University Medal – Dr Murray Height accepted a Fulbright Scholarship in 1999 to pursue graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. His 2003 PhD thesis work on a novel manufacturing process for high value carbon materials has subsequently been commercialised by an MIT spin-off company in the USA, and Murray has been granted four patents from his work. In 2004, Murray moved to Switzerland to take up a postdoctoral research position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 2005, he co-founded spin-off company HeiQ Materials. HeiQ employs 25 people across three continents and is recognised internationally for innovative technologies in the global textile and clothing sector. HeiQ has received numerous awards for entrepreneurship and innovation and honours to Murray’s name include the Swiss Technology Award 2010, the W.A. de Vigier Foundation entrepreneurship prize 2006, the Swiss Venture Leaders Award 2006, and the MIT Martin Fellow for sustainable development 2001-02.
MS ANNABELLE SANDES
MS VANESSA BATES
Ms Annabelle Sandes is a photojournalist and partner in Kimberley Media, a media studio based in Broome specialising in assignment and stock photography and documentary films, focusing on the Kimberley’s natural environment, tourism, social history and events.
Ms Vanessa Bates is an award-winning theatre, television, film and radio writer, and has published a non-fiction narrative of her experience with assisted fertility, Legs Up & Laughing, in 2007.
Graduate Diploma in Art 1995
Annabelle also runs a whale watching business that hosts guided research trips along the Kimberley coast. She has spent the last seven years recording whale behaviour and developed a comprehensive photographic and film record of marine life along the coast, which has been used by government departments and research institutes. A passionate campaigner for the Kimberley’s whales, Annabelle has lobbied heavily for marine parks off the coast, consulting with both government bodies and non-government organisations in determining boundaries for sanctuary zones and marine parks. Annabelle is committed to educating the community in the importance of the Kimberley’s humpback whales and environmental issues affecting their survival, and served as co-organiser of the Kimberley Whale Festival in 2009 and 2010.
Bachelor of Arts 1990
Vanessa began her career writing for University of Newcastle revues and coediting the student campus newspaper Opus in 1988. After graduation, Vanessa worked as a Writer in Residence and actor with theatre company Freewheels. Critics have described Vanessa as one of Australia’s most original contemporary playwrights. Noted for her comedic sense, Vanessa’s writing is also heralded for its compassion, reflected in her scripts for East West 101, a critically-acclaimed SBS drama series that examines contemporary Muslim Australia and multicultural issues. Vanessa has won multiple accolades including two Newcastle Drama Awards (CONDA) for her plays Here is the Beehive (1994) and Match (2007); an Australian Writers Guild award for Checklist For An Armed Robber (2005); and the 2012 inaugural Nick Enright Prize and NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Drama, for her play Porn.Cake.
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ALUMNI AWARD FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP FINALISTS
MR BENJAMIN WATERS
DR MICHAEL McCLUSKEY
Graduate Diploma in Computer Science 1997
PhD (Communication and Media Arts) 2010
Mr Benjamin Waters is Director of GE’s ecomagination initiative for Australia and New Zealand, a sustainable business strategy under which GE has invested $10 billion globally in clean technology research and development. Benjamin also leads GE’s five-year, $20 million strategic technology alliance with Australia’s CSIRO.
Dr Michael McCluskey is an independent international media and broadcast consultant focusing on media impact and responsibility, international broadcasting, broadcast journalism and radio. He began his career with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as a Regional Rural Reporter in 1982 and spent 30 years with the broadcaster, completing his time as CEO of Radio Australia and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Following 11 years with the Royal Australian Air Force as an engineering officer, Benjamin joined GE in 1997 as a field service engineer, later becoming Sales Director, Australia for GE Aviation. He became GE’s Commercial Director for Australia and New Zealand in 2008, leading local partnerships, major customer engagement and cross-business projects. Benjamin was named Executive Leader of the Year in the 2011 Climate Alliance Business Leadership Awards for outstanding achievements in climate response within the business community. He is Chairman of Sustainable Business Australia Limited, and a member of the Strategic Council of The Climate Institute, the CSIRO Manufacturing Sector Advisory Council, and the Academic Advisory Panel of Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture.
As CEO of Radio Australia, Michael led transformational change that greatly improved the way the ABC connected with international audiences and how it presented international content to domestic Australian radio audiences. This included new multilingual web, social media and mobile digital interactive content. In 2007, Michael and his team at radio station 1233 ABC Newcastle won a Walkley Award for Best Use of the Medium and a NSW Government Service Medal for their coverage of the June long weekend storms. Michael has served on numerous boards and committees related to broadcasting nationally and internationally, and to the arts, education and disability sectors, particularly in the Hunter region.
DR LI ZHIDONG (DAVID) Doctor of Business Administration 2005 Master of Business Administration 1999 Dr Li Zhidong (David) was the first person to be awarded a Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Newcastle. Throughout his 18-year career, David has developed and implemented groundbreaking business strategies in the global business and finance sectors, yielding significant corporate development and financial outcomes. As the Executive Director and Assistant President of Vanion Group, a leading Chinese property and new energy investment group, David and his team are currently building an environmental friendly yacht harbour in Ningbo, on China’s east coast. David’s previous roles include CEO of China Organic Agriculture, Vice President of Pilot Investment Holdings and President of Heter Electronics Group – a leading lithium green battery manufacturer in China. In January 2011, as Chairman of Corun Group Investment and Risk Management Committee – a new energy group in China – David led his team to acquire a Japanesebased nickel-hydride battery plant that produces electric vehicle batteries for Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The acquisition almost tripled the market cap of Corun New Energy.
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ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE FINALISTS
MR ROBERT HENDERSON
MS ESTHER KALENGA
Master of Public Health 2010
MR TIM SILVERWOOD
Bachelor of Commerce 1975 Mr Robert Henderson is Chief Economist, Markets at the National Australia Bank (NAB), where his key responsibilities are to advise NAB’s dealing floors and customers on the outlook for the economy and markets. He moved to NAB in 2001 following at 10-year period as Director and Chief Economist for investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.
Ms Esther Kalenga completed her high school education and undergraduate qualifications in the Congo before moving to Australia in 2007. Esther and her three children fled to Zimbabwe in 2000 just a day before the war reached their home. In Zimbabwe she sought political asylum and over the following seven years learnt English and worked as a physiotherapist.
Mr Tim Silverwood is an environmentalist specialising in the field of ocean conservation and plastic pollution. He is Vice President and co-founder of the not-for-profit organisation Take 3, a Clean Beach Initiative established in 2009.
Robert’s impressive 37-year career as a professional economist spans both the public and private sectors. In 1989-90 Robert was Branch Head – Economic Assessments in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC), leading a team of 25 analysts providing policy advice and briefing for then Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Prior to his PMC role, Robert worked as Head of Industries Branch in the Department of Finance where he managed the work of 35 analysts on industry budgeting issues and oversaw a budget of $538 million. After earlier serving as Chairman of the Australian Business Economists Association, in 2009 Robert was made an Honorary Life Member of the Association for his contribution to the economics profession.
Since arriving in Newcastle, Esther has dedicated herself to helping immigrants integrate into the community. She speaks four languages and is currently an interpreter for Health Care Interpreters within the Multicultural Health Unit, Hunter New England Local Health Network, and the Department of Human Services. She is a case worker for Navitas English’s Humanitarian Settlement Services program and a settlement facilitator for the Families in Cultural Transition Program with the Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Trauma and Torture Survivors. Esther is also a Congolese community leader in Newcastle and has recently been appointed to represent African communities on the Hunter’s Multicultural Health Advisory Committee.
Bachelor of Science 2006
Tim is a passionate advocate for a zero waste future for Australia with advanced waste management systems including better waste avoidance, litter reduction and resource recovery. In 2011 Tim studied the infamous North Pacific Gyre, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Expanding his knowledge, networks and generating a portfolio of documentary materials, Tim used this experience as a catalyst to educate the broader Australian community on the wider implications of plastic pollution on the planet. Tim has invested countless volunteer hours furthering the plastic pollution cause. He has travelled across Australia to educate school and tertiary students and the wider community about plastic pollution; advised the NSW government on policy decisions relating to plastic pollution; and worked with community groups, environmental organisations and recreational groups to progress solutions to reducing marine debris.
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YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD FINALISTS
DR AMANDA COX
MR ANDREW KAVANAGH
DR DANIEL JOHNSTONE
Graduate Certificate Practice of Tertiary Teaching 2009, PhD (Immunology and Microbiology) 2008, Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) 2002 Bachelor of Biomedical Science 2001
Bachelor of Communication 2007
PhD (Medical Genetics) 2011, Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Honours) 2004 Bachelor of Biomedical Science 2002
Dr Amanda Cox’s PhD research on the inflammatory aspects of respiratory tract illness in elite athletes has changed the way these athletes are assessed clinically for sore throats and enabled effective interventions to prevent elite athletes developing airway inflammation. After completing her PhD in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport, Amanda worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Hunter Medical Research Institute. There, she further developed her skill in molecular genetics and bioinformatics with research projects in the areas of molecular genetics and immunogenetics. In 2010, Amanda took a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position with Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA. She has pursued a successful research career in the genetics of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. During her PhD program Amanda published 14 papers, including nine as lead author. Over the past year in the USA she has been named an author on 13 publications, seven as the lead author.
Mr Andrew Kavanagh is a Melbournebased writer, director and composer and has achieved national and international recognition for his filmmaking. His projects have screened at more than 70 film festivals in Australia and throughout the world. Premiering at the Locarno International Film Festival, his film At The Formal won numerous awards, including the Transmission Films Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award at the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival and Best Short Film Award at the 2011 Gijon International Film Festival. In 2012 Andrew won the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award for Filmmaking and began a mentorship with Hollywood director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Monster in Law, 21). Andrew’s latest film Men on Earth has screened at prestigious festivals including Clermont Ferrand, Rotterdam and AFI Fest, and has won awards nationally and internationally. Extending his talent outside short filmmaking, Andrew recently directed a film clip for recording artist Bertie Blackman and is currently directing TV commercials and developing his first feature film. He is represented by The Mosaic Media Group in Hollywood, CA.
Dr Daniel Johnstone is a neuroscientist at the University of Sydney who holds a prestigious Early Career Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council. He is studying degenerative conditions of the brain and visual system. Daniel’s PhD investigated the effects of iron loading disorders on the brain and other organs. Through his studies he became involved in educating and supporting patients with the iron loading disorder haemochromatosis, with which he, ironically, was later diagnosed. To further support people with iron disorders, Daniel co-founded a Newcastle group affiliated with Haemochromatosis Australia, and is now a member of the Haemochromatosis Australia Management Committee. In 2009 Daniel’s research was recognised with the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Domestic Research Award. In 2011 Daniel became a member of the ASMR NSW State Committee and established the first ASMR branch outside of a capital city, in Newcastle. At the request of the ASMR President, Daniel nominated for the national board, on which he now serves.
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INDIGENOUS ALUMNI AWARD FINALISTS
DR SHARNA JAMADAR PhD (Psychology – Science) 2010 Bachelor of Psychology 2004 Dr Sharna Jamadar is a cognitive neuroscientist who uses functional neuroimaging to understand illnesses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and to characterise the healthy ageing process. She is currently a Research Fellow at Monash Biomedical Imaging and School of Psychology and Psychiatry at Monash University. In her short career Sharna has published in leading scientific journals, presented at international conferences, and established productive collaborations with national and international leaders in her field. Her many honours include the University of Newcastle Medal, Faculty Outstanding Postgraduate Research Student Achievement, and Schizophrenia Research Institute Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award. She has prestigious awards from international societies including the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Allen Brain Institute and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, USA. Sharna has taken an active role in community and professional outreach, coordinating neuroimaging workshops for secondary school students, undergraduate students, and international researchers.
DR ALANNA SANDELL
Bachelor of Medicine 2003 Dr Alanna Sandell is the CEO of Monitor: Health Check Solutions. Founded in 2011, it is Australia’s first Indigenous owned and operated occupational health and safety company. The business works in consultation with employers to design, document and implement a suitable Indigenous health program for the successful management of high risk candidates and employees. Alanna has worked across numerous areas including emergency, psychiatry, cardiac stress testing, surgery, orthopaedics, urology, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynaecology. Prior to her venture with Monitor, Alanna developed her expertise in Indigenous health while working as a general practitioner at the Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Medical Centre on the Central Coast of NSW. There she developed and managed chronic disease programs and oversaw a paediatric unit for new mothers and children up to age five. Alanna and her team are currently working with Leighton Contractors and Broad Construction Services, delivering a pre-employment medical service for the Elizabeth Quay project in Perth.
MR NATHAN TOWNEY
Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Health and Physical Education 2004 Mr Nathan Towney is a proud Aboriginal man from Wiradjuri Country in Wellington, NSW. He has worked in the NSW Department of Education and Communities and with various Aboriginal communities to close the educational gap for Aboriginal students. In his role as a Quality Teaching Consultant (Aboriginal Education and Engagement), Nathan’s leadership of the South Western Sydney Aboriginal Education Portfolio team resulted in significant and sustained progress toward the implementation of key national and state policies for Aboriginal education. His contributions and achievements were recognised with the 2011 South Western Sydney Regional Director’s Award for Excellence. Nathan also assisted in the evaluation of, and made recommendations to, the NSW Aboriginal Education Policy. Nathan’s notable projects include implementing an 83km charity walk for Granville Boys High School to improve community perception and engagement; developing the Aboriginal Numeracy Competition with Sarah Redfern High School; and establishing the Deadly Didjz Performance Group, which is designed to embrace Aboriginal culture and bring together students from different schools.
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OCTOBER GRADUATIONS More than 1,100 graduates from across all faculties donned their black caps and gowns and were welcomed into our alumni network at the Callaghan graduations in October. Graduates were inspired by speeches from UoN alumnus and industrial engineering and manufacturing leader Dr John Blakemore; space and cyber security specialist Adjunct Professor Brett Biddington AM; distinguished researcher Dr John Ainley; former Newcastle Innovation CEO and UoN graduate Dr Brent Jenkins; and former national president of the Royal College of Nursing Australia Associate Professor Stephanie Fox-Young.
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WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY As a boy growing up in Afghanistan Yannis Abraham had a dream. He wanted to work in healthcare and look after people. But in war-torn Afghanistan it looked unlikely his dream would come true. He didn’t even have an opportunity to attend school. Yannis and his family arrived in Australia as refugees in 2009. In just four years Yannis has learnt English, completed his Year 12 education at TAFE and is now studying Oral Health at the University of Newcastle’s Central Coast campus. Yet Yannis has found that moving to a foreign country and restarting his life is not easy. Add to that the costs of studying, and Yannis is facing an uphill battle.
Receiving a Shaping Futures Scholarship has eased his burden a little. The $4,000 scholarship has helped pay for dental equipment and transport to and from his lectures. “I want to make a contribution in Australia – a country that has changed my life. But eventually I would like to return to Afghanistan and help my fellow countrymen,” Yannis said. The Shaping Futures Scholarships are funded by donations from the community as part of the University’s Annual Appeal. Rebecca Hazell, Director of Development at the University, said since the Appeal was launched three years ago 31 students facing hardship had been helped with a scholarship.
“These scholarships have been fully funded by donations from alumni and community members. I cannot emphasise enough how much these scholarships have assisted these students – students like Yannis, who truly need our help. “Almost 27 per cent of our students are from a low socioeconomic background, significantly higher than the national average of 16 per cent.” Alumnus John McLennan and his wife Judy said they gave to the Annual Appeal because they believed in the importance of education. “You don’t have to give a lot. Just give what you can and it will all go towards making a difference to students,” John said.
Shaping Futures Scholarship recipient Yannis Abraham has come to Australia from Afghanistan.
Can you help a uon student who is facing hardship? Donate today to the 2013 annual appeal Donate securely online at: www.newcastle.edu.au/foundation/annual-appeal
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GENEROUS GRADUATE GIVES BACK UoN alumnus Peter Tay hasn’t stopped giving back to the University that offered him a stepping stone to a successful career nearly 40 years ago. Together with his wife Catherine, Peter visited the University in September to launch a personally funded scholarship to the value of $32,000 for undergraduate engineering students. In 2014, the inaugural Catherine and Peter Tay High Achiever Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship will be awarded to the highest-ranked commencing student in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment with an ATAR of more than 99.0. “Catherine and I are proud to help talented local students stay in Newcastle for their engineering studies, and gain their higher education at one of the best engineering faculties in Australia,” Peter said.
Donors Mr Peter Tay and Mrs Catherine Tay
Peter completed a double degree in industrial engineering and economics at the University in the 1970s through a Singapore Colombo Plan Scholarship (CPS) from the Australian Government.
Through garnering the support of fellow Singapore alumni, he has attracted more than $500,000 in donations for these scholarships.
He said that for many of the CPS scholars, the Scholarship represented their only opportunity to study overseas and even to achieve a university education.
Based in Singapore, Peter is a corporate advisor engaged in business development and coaching business leaders, and serves on the boards of companies in the food and education industries.
“The CPS was a stepping stone for me into a successful career, and now it is time for me to give something back to the Australian people and the University,” he said.
Catherine worked for more than 30 years as an executive assistant with the Law Faculty and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the National University of Singapore.
In an enormous display of gratitude to the University, Peter has been instrumental in bringing about the creation of three scholarships at the University, and the revitalisation of a fourth.
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SINGAPORE CHAPTER GOLD CLASS MOVIE NIGHT
BEIJING ALUMNI DINNER
Singapore alumni packed out the Gold Class Cinema at Golden Village in Singapore on Friday 30 August to watch Kick Ass 2 and catch up with new and old university friends.
Seven final-year business and commerce students from UoN spent a month in China earlier this year as part of their Work Integrated Learning placements and caught up with alumni, pictured above.
INDONESIAN ALUMNI The first ever Indonesian alumni get together was held in August over lunch in Jakarta, with UoNâ€™s Dean of Law Professor Sandeep Gopalan, pictured opposite, fifth from right.
Indonesian alumni with Professor Sandeep Gopalan
AUSTRALIA CHINA ALUMNI AWARDS (ACAA)
ACAA finalists and guests
Five UoN graduates were finalists at the annual Australia China Alumni Awards in Beijing in November. The finalists were chosen from 90 nominations across 28 universities in the categories of Young Alumni, Award for Banking and Finance, Corporate Achievement and Women in Leadership.
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SINGAPORE, HONG KONG AND MALAYSIA EVENTS We visited Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia in November to celebrate graduations, attend networking events and welcome our newest graduates into the global alumni network. Singapore alumni event
Malaysia alumni event
Singapore alumni event
Malaysia alumni event
Hong Kong graduation â€“ Doctor of Business Administration cohort 3
Hong Kong graduation
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ALUMNI IN PRINT
2014 ALUMNI EVENT DIARY Weâ€™d love to see you at an event in 2014! Visit newcastle.edu.au/community-andalumni for further event details, or email us at email@example.com
Port Macquarie Alumni Chapter event firstname.lastname@example.org
Morpeth Lecture Celebrating the partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.
Port Macquarie graduation ceremonies www.newcastle.edu.au/service/graduation
APRIL Barton Lecture Honouring Sir Edmund Barton, this lecture explores Australian politics and Constitutional issues. Callaghan graduation ceremonies www.newcastle.edu.au/service/graduation
Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture Reflecting on issues of social justice that challenge Australia. 2014 Alumni Awards
2014 Alumni Award nominations open
Callaghan graduation ceremonies www.newcastle.edu.au/service/graduation
Alumni Lecture Showcases the expertise of a recently appointed professor to the University of Newcastle.
Singapore graduation and alumni reception dinner
John Turner Memorial Lecture In memory of Dr John Turner, a former history lecturer at the University of Newcastle and WEA Hunter. Sydney Alumni Chapter event email@example.com Brisbane Alumni Chapter event firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE Canberra Alumni Chapter event email@example.com Ourimbah graduation ceremonies www.newcastle.edu.au/service/graduation Melbourne Alumni Chapter event firstname.lastname@example.org
Malaysia alumni reception Disruptive Innovation Lecture Showcasing the capabilities, achievements and impact of outstanding disciplinary leaders, commentators, innovators and thinkers. Alumni Advisory Committee Annual General Meeting email@example.com
DECEMBER Hunter Alumni Chapter Christmas drinks firstname.lastname@example.org
REGULAR DATES IN 2014 New Professors Talk Our new professors present to our community, sharing their knowledge and expertise as leading commentators and thinkers. Alumni Advantage Program email@example.com Event dates are subject to change
CONTACT US Alumni Relations T +61 2 4921 5561 (domestic alumni) T +61 2 4985 4029 (international alumni) E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.newcastle.edu.au/alumni
www.linkedin.com University of Newcastle Alumni, Australia
UoN2013/214158 | CRICOS Provider 00109J
Published on Dec 16, 2013