Business and community leaders honoured in UQ Alumni Awards

19 Sep 2016


Image: Celebrity Chef and alumnus, Ben Milbourne was awarded a distinguished young alumni award.

The head of Uniting Care Queensland and a Reserve Bank of Australia board member are among a distinguished line-up celebrated in The University of Queensland’s 2016 Alumni Awards.

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

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

There are five Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards and 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 19 October.

In addition to The University of Queensland Alumni Awards, the UQ Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year will also be presented at the Courting the Greats ceremony. This year’s recipients include race walker Dane Bird-Smith who won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards will be presented to:

  • Ms Anne Cross – Leader in community services, CEO of Uniting Care Queensland. Advisor to the State Government for projects including the Smart State Council and the Premier’s Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce
  • Emeritus Professor Ian Harper – Eminent economist working with governments, banks and business, Reserve Bank of Australia board member
  • Mr Greg Minton – Private equity specialist and an enthusiastic mentor, formerly a Managing Partner with leading private equity firm Archer Capital
  • Ms Marie Myers – Expert in global information technology, finance and business development, Senior Vice-President of Finance for Hewlett Packard, overseeing the company’s financial operations in the US, Canada and Latin America
  • Mr Greg Vickery AO - Special Counsel at legal firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Former president of the Queensland Law Society and generous humanitarian with more than 40 years of service to the Red Cross

Professor Høj said the recipients 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 encompasses the actions and accomplishments of our 236,000 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 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards recipients have included:

  • Leading melanoma researcher Professor Adéle Green AC
  • Wotif.com founders Graeme Wood AM and Andrew Brice AM
  • Current Governor of Queensland and former Supreme Court of Queensland Chief Justice His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC QC 
  • Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Julieanne Alroe
  • Managing Director of EnergyAustralia, and Reserve Bank of Australia board member Catherine Tanna
  • International agricultural research and food security leader Dr Gabrielle Persley AM

This Years’ Distinguished Young Alumni Awards recipients are:

  • Dr Jackie Campbell – Founder of the Sunset Home Veterinary Care - one of Australia’s first mobile palliative care services for pets
  • Mr Michael Fox – Co-founder and CEO of the award-winning Shoes of Prey, an online shoe retailer that allows customers to design their own shoes
  • Mr Mike Knapp – Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Shoes of Prey
  • Mr Benjamin Milbourne – Celebrity chef and entrepreneur who began his career in secondary teaching and became a successful media figure after competing in the Masterchef television program
  • Ms Selena Uibo – Indigenous community leader and secondary school teacher in her mother’s homeland of Numbulwar in the Northern Territory. Candidate for Division of Arnhem in the upcoming Northern Territory elections

International Alumnus of the Year

  • Professor Tadimety Chakrapani Rao (T.C.) – The first international PhD student of mining engineering at UQ, now a prominent figure in the field of mineral engineering, described as “the Father of Indian Mineral Processing”

Indigenous Community Impact Award

  • Associate Professor Gregory Phillips – Indigenous health, education and social justice advocate, Associate Professor and Research Fellow in Aboriginal Health at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award

  • Dr Heather Smith PSM – Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Australia’s Sherpa for the G20 summit in Brisbane and former resident at Emmanuel College

Click here to register your attendance for Courting the Greats.

Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc Awards

The UQ Alumnus of the Year and UQ Graduate of the Year Awards – both founded and supported by the Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. – will also be presented at the Courting the Greats ceremony.

UQ Alumnus of the Year

  • Emeritus Professor Dr Mary Mahoney AO – Distinguished medical practitioner and educator with an honorary Doctor of Medicine. Former member of the UQ Senate and elected Deputy Chancellor of UQ for two terms

UQ Graduate of the Year

  • Mr Gabriel Perry – Bachelor of Arts (Honours) ‘15, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) ’15. University medal recipient and volunteer at the UQ Pro Bono Centre

Previous UQ Alumnus of the Year recipients have included:

  • Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush AC
  • Author David Malouf AO
  • Dow Chemical Company Chairman Andrew Liveris AO
  • Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
  • Former Governor of Queensland Dr Penelope Wensley AC

UQ Sport, Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards

UQ Sportswoman of the Year and Sportsman of the Year will be celebrated for their excellence in sport and their contributions to University life.

Sportswoman of the Year

  • Ms Gabrielle Simpson – National and international netballer playing for the Queensland Firebirds and the Australian Diamonds

Sportsman of the Year

  • Mr Dane Bird-Smith – Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist in the men's 20km Walk. Gold medal winner in race walking at the World University Games and the Australian Athletics Championships

Full details of The University of Queensland 2016 Alumni Award recipients can be seen here.

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