2015 UQ Alumni Award Recipients

15 Aug 2015

Community and business leaders celebrated in UQ alumni awards

Queensland’s Governor features in a distinguished line-up of community and business leaders celebrated in The University of Queensland’s 2015 Alumni Awards.

The awards recognise the achievements of alumni who have accomplished outstanding success in their fields and made exemplary contributions to their communities.

The award winners were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee led by UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC.

There are six Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards, five Distinguished Young Alumni Awards, an International Alumnus of the Year, an Indigenous Community Impact Award and a Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award.

The recipients will be celebrated at UQ’s annual Courting the Greats ceremony on Wednesday 21 October.

The 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards will be presented to:

  • His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC – Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the current Governor of Queensland;
  • Ms Catherine Tanna – Managing Director of EnergyAustralia, and a Member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia;
  • Dr Jeffrey Dawes – President and CEO of major construction and mining equipment sales and service company Komatsu Latin America;
  • Professor Peter Donnelly – Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and a Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford;
  • Dr James Morton AM – Medical Director of Haematology-Oncology Clinics of Australasia and Chairman and founder of the AEIOU Foundation, a non-profit organisation for children with autism;
  • Mr Mark Sowerby – Founder and Managing Director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited.

Professor Høj said the winners were proven leaders who had taken on major challenges and responsibilities and created positive change.

“The impact UQ has in communities around the world is not limited to cutting-edge research, but very importantly through the actions and accomplishments of our 225,000 alumni,” he said. 

“Our UQ alumni family is a constant source of inspiration.”

The alumni awards were introduced in 1992, and the first Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards were presented in 2013.

Previous winners have included Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush AC, author David Malouf AO, Dow Chemical Company Chairman Andrew Liveris AO, leading melanoma researcher Professor Adéle Green AC, Wotif.com founders Graeme Wood AM and Andrew Brice AM, former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, former Governor of Queensland Dr Penelope Wensley AC, Head of Global Value for First Eagle Investment Management in New York Mr Matthew McLennan, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Julieanne Alroe and leader in international agricultural research and food security Dr Gabrielle Persley AM.

The Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. have also selected their Alumnus of the Year separately to UQ, and will present the Graduates of the Year at the Courting the Greats ceremony.

Click here to register for Courting the Greats.

Full details of The University of Queensland 2015 Alumni Award-winners can be seen here.

Distinguished Young Alumni Awards

  • Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied - mechanical engineer, writer, social commentator, and two-time Queensland Young Australian of the Year;
  • Mr Mike Boyd - entrepreneur and CEO of car rental comparison business ‘VroomVroomVroom’, that has an annual turnover of over $70 million;
  • Mr Nicholas Veltjens – physiotherapist who volunteers for Mercy Ships, which operates hospital ships in developing nations;
  • Ms Kathryn Zealand – Manager of Enterprise Development in Africa for the Clinton Foundation, and an awardee of the Fulbright-Anne Wexler Masters Scholarship in Public Policy;
  • Mr Jeromy Moore – performance engineer at Porsche in the World Endurance Championship and former chief designer for Triple Eight Race Engineering Australia.

International Alumnus of the Year

Indigenous Community Impact Award

  • Mr Michael Aird - Publisher, anthropologist and curator promoting the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians.

Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award

  • Mr Steven Skala AO –Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank AG (Australia & New Zealand) and holds many non-executive directorship positions including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Alumni Friends of the University of Queensland Inc. Awards

Alumnus of the Year

  • Dr W.R.B. (Russ) Morrison AM – Co-founder and a current Director of engineering consultancy BMT WBM and is recognised as an innovator, entrepreneur, mentor and leader.

Graduates of the Year
(Each Graduate of the Year finished with a perfect 7 GPA, First-Class Honours and the University Medal)

UQ Sport Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
UQ Sportswoman of the Year and Sportsman of the Year will also be celebrated at Courting the Greats for their excellence in sport and contribution to University life.

  • Mr Brenden Hall OAM – elite swimmer and multiple gold medal Paralympian;
  • Ms Holly Ferling – International cricketer representing Australia in the 2015 Women's Ashes team. 

Watch out for the Summer edition of Contact magazine which will feature additional stories on our award winners.

View the previous UQ Alumni Awards winners.