The University of Queensland’s 2017 Alumni Awards have recognised a diverse range of leaders who have created change by advancing knowledge, powering economies and advocating for human rights and dignity.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the awards recognised alumni who had accomplished outstanding success and made exemplary contributions to their fields and communities within Australia and globally.

“This year’s recipients range from an award-winning journalist to humanitarians, visionary philanthropists and business leaders,” he said.

The UQ Alumni Awards will be presented at the annual Courting the Greats ceremony on 11 October, where the UQ Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year will also be acknowledged.

The 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards will be presented to:

  • Mr Andrew Cameron OAM - A highly decorated nurse and humanitarian aid worker who has provided emergency relief, health care and training in some of the world’s most volatile conflicts and crises.
  • Mr Malcolm Broomhead - a business leader and philanthropist who has driven change in the education and resource sectors through hard work and generosity.
  • Ms Marian Wilkinson - a multi-award winning investigative journalist whose contributions have included some of Australia’s most significant reportage.
  • Professor Melissa Little - an internationally recognised researcher whose work includes the breakthrough of growing ‘mini kidneys’ in a laboratory.
  • Ms Susan Buckley - an industry leader and pioneer of women in finance.

The award recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee led by Professor Høj.

“The recipients exemplify the immense change individuals can create by taking action and giving back through research, volunteering, public service or philanthropy,” he said.

 “The 2017 Alumni Awards recipients are leaders and innovators in their fields and have shown the powerful ways people can create change through applying their passion and dedication to a cause.

“We continue to equip our graduates with the critical-thinking skills and acumen that prepare them for a multitude of career opportunities and the ability to tackle the world’s biggest problems.”

This years’ Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipients are:

  • Mr Carl Hartmann - a multi-award winning Australian entrepreneur best known for his work as co-founder and chief executive officer of Temando. 
  • Dr Andrew Barnes - an entrepreneur, Rhodes Scholar and the founder of two successful start-ups focused on educational tools and resources.
  • Dr Retnagowri Rajandram - a researcher and academic who is pioneering collaborative approaches between surgeons and researchers to provide excellent outcomes for patients.
  • Ms Michelle Grant - a food systems specialist and educator who runs a world-leading research centre tackling the world’s most profound global food system challenges.

International Alumnus of the Year

  • Ms Shandana Aurangzeb Durrani - an advocate for social justice and girls’ empowerment in her home country of Pakistan, through her work in the development sector.

Indigenous Community Impact Award

Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award

  • Mr Maxwell Gaylard - a diplomat, human rights advocate and humanitarian who has had a profound impact on communities around the world through his work with the United Nations and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The UQ Alumnus of the Year and UQ Graduate of the Year Awards – both created 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

UQ Graduate of the Year                                                                 

  • Ms Kaela Armitage - Bachelor of Pharmacy (First Class Honours) ’16, Valedictorian, University medallist and former Co-Chair of the UQ Young Scholars Program.

UQ Sport, Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards

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

Sportswoman of the Year:

  • Ms Jacinta Carroll - a world number-one water-skier and the reigning champion of water ski jumping.

Sportsman of the Year:

  • Mr Dane Bird-Smith - an Olympic medalist who won bronze representing Australia in the Rio 2016 Olympics in the men's 20km walk.

Full details of The University of Queensland 2017 Alumni Award recipients can be seen here.

Media: Advancement Marketing and Communications Manager Mark Schroder,, 0403 481 758.