Alumni Awards

Alumni Award Winners 2017 

Winners of the 2017 Western Sydney University Alumni Awards, announced at the new Peter Shergold building in the heart of the Parramatta CBD.

The Winners of the 2017 Western Sydney University Alumni Awards are…

Ms Sarah-Grace Williams, Chancellor's Leadership Alumni Award

Mr Matthew Batten, Business and Professional Leadership Alumni Award

Mr Luke Martin, Young Alumni Award

Dr Sameer Dixit, International Alumni of the Year Award

Dr Trung Qui Ly, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alumni Award

Dr Anita Heiss, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Impact Alumni Award

Mrs Ruth Morrison, Community Champion Alumni Award

Ms Carmel Hourigan, Hawkesbury Alumni Award

Alumni Award Finalists and Winners 2017 

Business and Professional Leadership Alumni Award

Mr Matthew Batten, Winner 


Bachelor, Visual Arts, 1993
National Executive Creative Director, Edge

Following graduation, Matthew enrolled in computer design courses and became a Graphic Designer at the in-house marketing department of Harvey Norman. He then joined internationally renowned ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi promoted him to the role of Art Director. Within four months he won his first advertising awards for his work on Toyota and NRMA.

In 2008, Matthew moved to the role of Creative Director at the Sydney office of international ad agency Wunderman. While the Wunderman network boasted 6000 employees across 150 offices around the world, and global revenue of US$1 billion, the Sydney office was losing money and had just 13 staff.
His creative leadership grew the business such that it became the 8th fastest growing office in the world, and his creative work made the office the No.1 most awarded in the network – winning more awards than the network's three largest offices combined (London, New York and São Paulo). The agency was awarded Agency of the Year, ranked No.4 agency in Australia, and his work for Coca-Cola named them Brand of the Year. His global recognition earned him a spot on the prestigious Cannes Lions jury in 2011. During this time, Matthew was promoted to National Executive Creative Director, awarded Creative of the Year in the APAC region at the Digital Media Awards in Beijing, and listed in Creative Magazine's 'Power 20'. He also twice appeared on ABC's show about advertising Gruen Transfer and established himself as an award-winning photographer.

In 2012, Matthew was promoted and relocated to the role of Chief Creative Officer for Wunderman UK, making him one of the network's five highest ranked creative leaders in the world. Within one year, he helped turn the London office from £1.2m annual loss to a financial success for the first time in 5 years with +95% YOY growth; be independently ranked 7th in the top 100 UK ad agencies, and win more creative awards in 2014 than in the previous four years combined.

In 2015, Matthew took a break from advertising to explore his passion for screenwriting and filmmaking.
He founded Mr Chicken Films and won Official Selection and First Place prizes at screenwriting and film festivals around the world. He also co-founded start-up tech company MakeMineCount, developing two digital applications.'Bownd' launched at international tech conference WebSummit in Dublin, and 'Cuplin' has been invited onto the exclusive Seeds investment platform. In 2016, Matthew returned to Sydney and joined independent creative agency Edge as National Executive Creative Director.

Mr Martyn McCarthy, Finalist


Bachelor of Business, Land Economics, 1993
Managing Director, Arrow Property Investments

Martyn McCarthy undertook a Bachelor of Business, Land Economics from 1991 to 1993. After this, he immediately went into a role as a Sales and Leasing Agent with Colliers International Australia.

Martyn's next move really changed the trajectory of his career, joining Valad Property Group as the Fund Manager and CEO of Real Estate Investment in 2003. He held this role for close to five years, making a distinct mark on the Australian property investment landscape. During this time, Martyn and his brother Alan also founded Alpenglow – a radiology service specialising in regional, rural and remote areas, utilising the latest technology to provide a metropolitan level service to rural communities. Since commencing operations in 2005, Alpenglow has established interests in New Zealand and Australia with 17 sites now in operation. Alpenglow was founded on the premise of ensuring that rural, regional and remote communities have access to high levels of health care, as provided in metro areas, as well as providing a fast and effective service – with the potential to turn around reports in under 2 hours rather than the traditional weeks.

Upon relocating to London in 2007 Martyn became "one of the best-known figures in the European and Australian fund management sectors" and held a number of roles including DUKE entities, Valad Europe Ltd, Teesland iOG and Value Adding Funds. Martyn owned and managed a $5billion plus business across 24 mandates in 13 European countries with an integrated pan-European real estate investment management platform.

In 2015 Martyn sold Valad Europe (owned in conjunction with Blackstone) to Cromwell Property Group for over $200million and decided to return home to Sydney, with his wife Sarah and daughter. Since returning to Sydney, Martyn has taken on the role of Managing Partner at Arrow Property Investments.

Over the past 22 years, Martyn has contributed significantly to the Australian and European property investment industry. He is a leader in the field and brings a wealth of expertise back to Sydney. Alongside his significant work commitments, Martyn has taken an active interest in supporting the local community through Foundation advisory and scholarship efforts.

Young Alumni Award

Mr Luke Martin, Winner 


Bachelor of Design, Visual Communications, 2007
Creative Director, Facebook, Silicon Valley

Luke Martin's love of BMX bike racing was the unlikely genesis of his current career as a globe-trotting creative director. At school, he excelled at art, and he's loved drawing and design for as long as he can remember.
Luke's Mum is a costume designer and that's probably where he got his creativity bent. He'd never thought much about making a career out of it, however, until he met the Penrith designer commissioned to create a new logo and jersey for his BMX club, and immediately knew what he wanted to do with his life.

Luke completed a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communications) at Western in 2006. After graduating he got a job as a graphic designer in the advertising department at News Limited.
Luke's career has now taken him from Western Sydney's Emu Plains to California's Silicon Valley, and high-flying roles with some of the world's best-known brands, including Facebook, where today he is an Associate Creative Director and driving creative force behind the world's most influential social media platform. A year ago Luke was the fourth creative on board at Facebook's new in-house creative agency, The Factory. Twelve months later he's a senior figure and role model in a team of 30+. And he's still only 32.
In 2009 Luke co-created Find Your Yang, as a place for young and/or aspiring creatives to meet like-minded people. The group now has nearly 1,000 members from around the world, with numerous success stories of group members collaborating on projects and landing jobs in the industry via group-based networking efforts.
For most design students, working at a global company like Facebook is a dream job, and in this way, Luke is an inspiration to the next generation of graduates. Reflecting on his career, Luke nominates passion and dedication as key traits for young professionals looking to make their mark. "Working with a range of agencies in Australia and America has taught me how to embrace every brief you're given, no matter how small or ordinary it may first appear," he says. "I try to complete every job I receive with complete passion, to make the most of every situation and opportunity, as you never know where it will lead. A lot of people don't give their all if they disagree with the direction or the size of the project, but that kind of attitude only means you miss out on opportunities to impress".

Mr Balendran Thavarajah, Finalist 


Bachelor of Computer Science 2003
Chief Technology Officer, Bluedot Innovation

As the founding Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Bluedot Innovation, Balendran truly believes in and lives by innovation. Balendran is driven by his curiosity about the world and his passion for innovation. Prior to joining Bluedot Innovation, Balendran founded multiple startups in the technology sector to provide retail solutions to mid-level retail operators in Australia; a notable success was Softech Solutions. He identified a market gap in the retail store technology, largely created by the high cost associated with the acquisition of such technology. The Softech retail management software solution enabled small to medium size retail stores to experience the same technology and benefits that were used by Woolworths and Coles at a very low cost. Balendran arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2001 and succeeded in getting a university education and graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science in 2003, for which he thanks, Western Sydney University for the opportunity to turn his life around. His life experiences have given him a unique set of perspectives and skills to persevere through business and economic challenges.

Balendran's focus on educating and promoting technology at primary and secondary schools is evident through the work he does with Code the Future, a not for profit initiative, where Balendran regularly volunteers to teach next generation of youth of the importance of technology in the world economy as well as entrepreneurship. Balendran currently runs innovative projects using Raspberry Pi and Mobile app development tools at Xavier College in Kew Victoria.

Balendran is currently also a guest lecturer at Western Sydney University presenting IT innovation ideas to the computer science students regularly. He also serves as an external advisory committee member for the IT programs of the School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics of Western Sydney University. Some of his greatest achievements that he counts are not just in the field of Technology but his ability to develop and grow people and he prides in the fact that he has nurtured and grown several leaders throughout his Technology career spanning over 13 years.

Ms Taylor Macdonald, Finalist


Bachelor Business, Laws (First Class Honours); (Advanced Business Leadership/Finance) 2016
Solicitor, King and Wood Mallesons

At 24, Taylor Macdonald's award-winning academic record are impressive, to say the least. Equally, as a volunteer, advocate and youth leader, Taylor has shone. As of April 2016, Taylor Macdonald holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), adding to her Bachelor of Business and Commerce, with major studies in Advanced Business Leadership/Finance. Taylor has just been appointed as a Solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons – one of Australia's largest and most globally prominent law firms.

Taylor is a high achiever of the highest order, an exemplar whose early accomplishments have positioned her as a young leader and legal star on the rise. Her scholastic achievements have earned her the note of her academic lecturers and supervisors, and the legal community, who have recognised her talents and rewarded them with honorary and paid positions. In 2017 she will be an Associate to the Honourable Virginia Bell AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia. She's a Mooting competition champion, representing Western on many occasions and earning consistently high praise and honours for her University.

Completing High School she was a volunteer at Legal Aid Blacktown and undertook a cadetship at Coleman Greig Lawyers throughout her university studies, where she participated in Women in Business Program.
Already, Taylor has achieved a significant youth leadership profile and will undoubtedly achieve great things in her professional career at King & Wood Mallesons.

Taylor's early accomplishments are undoubtedly an inspiration to students and fellow graduates – she is a testament to what talent, determination and hard work can achieve. She has seized every opportunity that has come her way and extracted maximum benefit from each. As a 'first in family university graduate', she is a role model for other young people in Western Sydney, and an outstanding representative of her University and the legal profession.

International Alumni of the Year Award

Dr Sameer Dixit, Winner


PhD Science and Health, 2005
Founding Director of Research, Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal

Dr Sameer Dixit's professional field is human health. His speciality is biotechnology and his mission is to discover and design more effective responses to infectious diseases, particularly those that extract a heavy toll on the population of Nepal, Sameer's country of origin. Sameer is literally saving lives – using business savvy, smart science, and a PhD in Probiotics he earned at The Western Sydney University School of Medicine (2005).

The research institute of which Sameer is the Founding Director of Research – the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) – is 10 years old in 2017. From ground zero in 2007. CMDN is Nepal's first medical research institute. Such is its success, Nepal is now carving out a reputation as the region's leading provider of biomedical research and testing, drawing students and researchers from across
South Asia.
Sameer is a pioneer, building Nepal's biomedical research capacity from scratch. In this, he has founded an important industry that is becoming something for which Nepal is known, in South Asia and internationally, CMDN is now the Nepali Government's 'go to' organisation – the experts it consults for health planning and in emergency settings, such as serious outbreaks of infectious diseases, including those which accompanied the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal that killed almost 9,000 people. Sameer is now widely recognised as a national leader and authority in biomedical research. Today, In practical terms, it's a role that sees Sameer delivering briefings to government health officials about how best to prepare for a possible Zika outbreak in Nepal, or influencing national health policy with regard to Hepatitis and HIV treatments. The earthquakes of April and May 2015 are a salient example. The earthquakes destroyed infrastructure, including sanitation and water resources. In Kathmandu Valley, they displaced thousands upon thousands of Nepali people. In the camps where they congregated, containing the threat of infectious diseases – especially Cholera – was an urgent priority. In Haiti, the Cholera outbreak that followed its 2010 earthquake killed 750,000 people. Yet in Kathmandu Valley, less than 100 infections were confirmed. With limited access to the Cholera vaccine, the most 'at risk' were prioritised, with obvious success.

Mr Joseph Catanzaro, Finalist 


Bachelor of Arts, 2005
Reporter, CCTV China Insight

Alumnus Joseph (Joey) Catanzaro is a multi-award winning journalist and today, one of China's most high profile English-language reporters. His roving brief as a reporter for CCTV's China Insight sees him covering China's biggest issues for what is the country's highest rated English-current affairs program, with more than a billion viewers globally.

After completing his BA in 2005, Joey landed a job at the Bulletin Magazine, before joining The West Australia then as a General News Reporter, where he rose through the ranks to become the Sunday Chief-of-Staff and a senior news reporter, with a special interest in defence. It was here that Joey broke his first major story – WA's Fairbridge Farm School child abuse cover up, and the fact of over 200 ex gratia payments to the unaccompanied child migrants that had been sent there from the UK until the early 1960s. This became national news and resulted in belated justice for many of the boys involved.

Over the course of the next decade, Joey reported from more than 10 countries, including war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan – where he managed to get himself embedded with the Australian forces. Here, he broke stories with far-reaching ramifications, and that attest to his credentials as an old-school newshound – getting close to the action; winning people's confidence; reporting for the public good; telling the stories that need to be told.
The series of investigative stories that exposed the full toll of contemporary theatres of war on Australian soldiers won Joey Australia's most prestigious journalism prize, a Walkley Award in print news category, aged just 31.
Establishing a permanent base in China from 2013, Joey became a senior writer for China Daily, where he spent two years reporting from all over China and beyond. His articles, on everything from the end of the one child policy, the bullish Chinese economy, and lives of ordinary Chinese people, have been cited and reposted all over the world by academics, readers, and publications including The Wall Street Journal. In 2016, he was awarded second prize in China's most prestigious news awards. Joey has been a strong advocate for education and has delivered lectures, group training sessions and one-on-one mentoring to university students and recent graduates looking to pursue a media career. Joey's trademark style is to apply Australian reporting sensibilities to the Chinese context and China's big issues.

Dr Mansour Esfandiari-Baiat, Finalist


PhD Science and Health, 1998
Assistant Professor, Islamic Azad University Firouzabad Branch

Mansour joined for his PhD at Western Sydney University. His topic of research was related to surface irrigation modelling and water management.
As part of his PhD work, Mansour used laser land levelling technology to prepare his field sites for experimental work and using one of the components (i.e., laser land levelling) of his PhD work he significantly influenced his future contributions in water management and food production in Iran.

After Mansour returned to Iran at the end of 1997, he was looking for ways to conserve water and improve food security in Iran. In 2002, he submitted a successful proposal to the Head of Agriculture Department of Fars Province, to introduce the laser land levelling technology to Iranian farmers.

After convinced of the merits of the laser land levelling campaign led by Mansour, the National Government of Iran made a policy that provided subsidy and low interest rate loans to farmers and private operators to achieve large-scale land levelling in the country. This was a major influence on Mansour's work on Iranian Government policy that resulted in no use of laser land levelling in 2004 to over 500,000-hectare farmland laser levelled by 2016 by a large number of farmers and 350 farm cooperatives.

Mansour ran numerous workshops all over Iran during 2004 – 2011 for agricultural experts, policymakers, private companies, farmers, farm cooperatives, university staff and students to train and popularise laser land levelling. By 2012, over 800 laser levelling units have been owned by individuals and private companies to provide laser land levelling services to farmers.

Mansour was research team leader of the international research project 'Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD-Phase 2), Case study in I.R. of Iran, Fasa, Ahmad Abad, Gareh Bygone Plain' supported by the UNESCO and the United Nation University (US$100,000 from the UNESCO and $250,000 from the Iranian Government). He was also an advisor to the Head of Agriculture Department of the Fars Province on laser land levelling and sustainable food production aspects.
Mansour's achievement in water management through his work initially at the level of Fars Province and later at the national level is commendable and greatly assisted the water and food security in Iran. For this reason, he is sometimes called by newspapers and TV media as 'the Father of Laser Land Levelling in Iran'. This achievement and recognition of Mansour in his own country are a great pride for Western Sydney University, emerging directly out of his PhD work. Mansour has worked tirelessly for the farming communities and industry over the last 20 years to achieve sustainable food production and has been a role model of development and proven as a man to be admired and respected by his government at the provincial and national levels.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alumni Award

Dr Trung Qui Ly, Winner


Bachelor of Business, Hospitality, 1994
Founder and Managing Director, Nam An Group

Trung is something of a rock star in Vietnam these days, the local answer to the Colonel Sanders or the McDonald's brothers, with a notable point of difference in that his food is actually nutritious. Trung is the mastermind behind Pho24, a business he founded in 2003. In seven years, Pho24 grew from an inspired idea and educated risk to a restaurant empire with 60 outlets across Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. Pho24 is already Vietnam's second largest fast food chain, only lagging behind KFC, which has been in the country for three decades – more than four times the length of Pho24. Today, it sells 20,000 bowls of noodles per day and counting. It's the success story everyone's talking about. Not only as a business enterprise that took off like a rocket but as an exemplar of a take on hospitality that holds true to Vietnamese culture as it embraces Westernisation, globalisation and modernity.

Trung created a brand that has become Vietnam's first home-grown fast food chain. Unlike the imported offers that proceeded it (KFC, McDonald's, Subway) Pho24 is about traditional Vietnamese food that isn't excessively calorific or bereft of nutritional value. With an obesity crisis across the Western world that's becoming more of an issue in developing nations as they adopt Western diets and get a taste for its fast food. By promoting the health-conscious, fresh fare of his childhood, Trung is a pioneer. His contribution is profound via both the economic benefits his restaurants deliver, and the bullet dodged in terms of wider-spread intake of Western-style fast food.

Trung believes he has a responsibility to give back to the younger generation and is doing so in any number of ways. As a speaker, he is known as an inspirational motivator and deep thinker. Trung lectures in hospitality in Australia at Western, and at universities the length of Vietnam. At Western, he's helping to design a new hospitality unit that will be introduced in 2017. In this way, he is sharing the knowledge he has acquired and advocating for the professionalised approach to hospitality he understands to be the key to success.
He is also a bestseller author, with five books published. His latest, Only the Passion, about seeding successful start-ups was an immediate best seller in Vietnam. The first edition sold out in a week. He has young fans in Vietnam, who look upon Trung as a role model; a beacon of what's possible.

Mr Haijun (Curt) Shi, Finalist


Graduate Diploma in Interpreting and Translation, 2004
Founding Director, Imprint Capital Partners

The 21st century has seen the rise and rise of the 'slashies' – young professionals and creatives with multiple strings to their professional bow. Haijun (Curt) Shi is an early adopter of this model in his native China.
As the Founding Partner of Imprint Capital Partners, he is an international wheeler and dealer, with Australian and Chinese residency, and using the business connections he's established in both countries to secure financing for start-ups he believes are worth backing.

Flying back and forth between China and Australia around six times a year, he's using these skills in the boardroom and other business settings, along with his manifest talent for picking business winners.
With the ability to open doors to lucrative Chinese markets, where Curt is well connected among circles "rainmaker" of his business bio. The ability of the start-ups' particular innovation to be applied to the China market is a key investment criterion. The other is the team– the people involved. As much as he's the rainmaker with vast private equity at his disposal, he's also a talent spotter.

Curt is involved in numerous technology-enabled, future focussed start-up ventures, from virtual pets to next generation cosmetics, internet games, and of course, skate parks. The ASX-listed Catapult Sports Group is one of his most notable successes so far. Catapult is an athlete analytics company that engineers wearable technology for elite sports – it's touted as the "most used secret in sport".
The company is headquartered in Melbourne, with offices in Leeds and Chicago. Catapult is a major global supplier of athlete tracking monitors for elite sport, with over 500 elite teams worldwide using the technology to assess athlete risk, readiness and return to play. Catapult is now represented in over 35 countries, in 35 different sports and has over 500 clients. It recently became the official technology partner for the Brazilian Football Confederation and been adopted by Newcastle United FC.

Curt has contributed significantly to growth, reach or impact of his organisation or profession – it's a niche market he has created himself, that's grown exponentially under his leadership. He's orchestrated major improvement in the performance of his organisation– Imprint Capital now has access to billions of dollars in investment funds. It was established in 2007 and thus has enjoyed early and accelerated success. Curt demonstrates a sustained contribution to his profession at local, national and/or international level – he is a prominent advocate and spokesperson for venture capitalism (and skateboarding) and nowadays mentors young people from China and Australia both.

Mr Peter Moller, Finalist


Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture), 1986
General Manager- FarmConnect, Rubicon Water

Peter Moller's journey to global irrigation expert, innovator and Agtech entrepreneur is a somewhat accidental one. A talented student, at the end of primary school Peter earned himself a place in the selective James Ruse Agricultural High School. Science and agriculture were compulsory subjects, and from there Hawkesbury seemed a natural choice.

Peter's successful career as an agronomist and Agtech pioneer spans the United States and Australia, and his technology-based smart irrigation systems have been adopted everywhere from Mexico to Southern Europe; across Latin and North America and Australia. He is responsible for establishing commercial soil moisture and weather sensor communication networks in the States for viticulture, cotton, citrus, fruit trees and tropical crops. In Australia, he's supported farming businesses as diverse as Pink Lady apple specialists (where his techniques increased yield per tree from four boxes fetching $10 at market, to five boxes at $20) and WA wildflower exporters (where he established that they were using five to eight times more water than was necessary).

Peter has founded and co-founded entrepreneurial start-ups in California and Australia, achieving commercial success with innovative smart water solutions that have been adopted globally, and are today underwriting the more sustainable production of food, fibre and beverage, using less water to grow more crop. Peter's impact extends well beyond his salaried roles and entrepreneurship. Today, he is a generous and effective industry leader, giving talks, designing learning modules, and contributing to academic and industry publications. He's widely published and recognised as a global authority. He's consulting to government, often on a pro bono basis, providing expertise in irrigation agronomy and agriculture technology. At present, he's working with Regional Development Victoria, providing expertise on irrigation markets and agriculture technology. He also consults to Victoria's Department of Trade and Investment, again on a pro bono basis. He speaks to international study groups from around the world, and mentors young up-and-comers in the Agtech industry. Peter is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Impact Alumni Award

Dr Anita Heiss, Winner


PhD Communication and Media, 2001
Director, Curringa Communications

Anita is a successful media commentator and personality, a respected academic, the bestseller author of twenty books, editor of much more, features in 17 anthologies, is also a poet, film director and scriptwriter, and has recently added heading up the Epic Good Foundation to her jam-packed agenda. She was named as one of Bulletin Magazine's Smart 100 Australians and was a member of the Brains Trust on ABC TV's The Einstein Factor. She's won Premier's Awards in both NSW and Victoria; for history and literature respectively. She was shortlisted for a Human Rights Award for her book 'Am I Black Enough for You?'

Anita is also the winner of five Deadly Awards, Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and has ongoing associations with the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and Worawa Aboriginal College. She has been awarded prestigious fellowships, secured several Australia Council grants, Popular culture – books, television, film, social media, etc. – is a key part of our contemporary national identity. Anita's work shines a light on the realities of contemporary life for Aboriginal Australians. Equally, they serve to normalise Aboriginal lives and stories as part and parcel of contemporary Australian culture and in this way advance reconciliation goals.

Managing the Epic Good Foundation which invests in charities and causes working to make the world a better place. It goes beyond a purely philanthropic role, brokering partnerships with corporates and government to maximise its impact. It has awarded grants to numerous Indigenous causes.

Her work as an ambassador, role model, and exemplar of her people Anita is a charismatic and compelling spokeswoman for Indigenous Australians. She speaks at schools, conferences and book clubs, on television and radio, and contributes her time, expertise and profile to any number of Aboriginal causes.

Mr Brook Andrew, Finalist


Bachelor, Visual Arts, 1993

Brook Andrew is among Australia's most important contemporary artists. With his wake up call regarding our 'hidden histories' and treatment of the past trauma of Australia's First Nation peoples – in stark contrast to other countries around the world – his work is of critical national significance.
Brook has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas, and is best known for his neon work, public art, printmaking and photography. From his prize-winning first major work 'Sexy and Dangerous 1' (1996) to the present day, Brook has called out Australia's collective amnesia and naïve clichés about its Aboriginal history.
At the same time, his powerful, evocative art practice begins the long-overdue work of placing this history on the public record. Brook's strength as a researcher and archivist have given him knowledge and perspective that is uniquely his own. Of this shameful chapter of Australia's past, he is the story master and keeper of its secrets.

Critically, Brook is a fellow traveller on this journey – an inquisitive rather than admonishing voice. As his Grandmother reminded him years ago, Brook is also of Scottish descent, and lots of good men married and protected Aboriginal women. She wanted him to understand that not all white people were the same, that history is complex and complicated and never just one story or one truth.
As Professor Marcia Langton writes in a recent essay for the National Gallery of Victoria:
"Brook Andrew is incomparable in his mission of upending our perceptions of the world, all the more because there is no intended insult or blame, but rather, an eclectic and humanist reading of the world and astonishing virtuosity in his manner of execution". Today, Brook is just back from Cambodia's Choeung Ek, where he's been on a study tour with Professor Langton, supported by the Australian Research Council. He is the first-ever artist to be named as a Chief Investigator.

Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek, Finalist


PhD Media and Communications, 2013
Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Swinburne University of Technology

Taken at face value, Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek's career path looks somewhat idiosyncratic – traversing fields as diverse as design and archaeology, place-making, Indigenous knowledge systems and academic research. Her research enquiry seeks to advance the role design plays in community belonging and societal well-being. Its significance lies in its transdisciplinary orientation and real-world impacts. Samantha combines this with cutting-edge thinking around the possibilities of new and emerging technologies to explore notions of cultural identity and civic engagement, especially via place-making. It is part of Samantha's ongoing passion for design for the public good, and the outstanding contribution she is making to her profession is this regard.

Samantha's guiding passion is the transformative agency of the design – its social impact. It's a niche area in design that fosters greater civic participation, and as a neat adjunct is supporting the development of Indigenous-led creative enterprises. Here, 'design' is about making sense of things and 'participation' means collaboration; caring, attending to and listening, and co-creation to negotiate ill-defined and complex problems and promote healing and emancipation. This work is considerably aided by the fact that the projects build on Indigenous Australia's rich artistic traditions and technological innovations (a design that's some 60,000 years old!), catapulting it into contemporary realm via the use of video, projection, digital imagery and sound installations. She's helping young Indigenous people connect to culture in a way that has meaning to them and can benefit their own lives and communities. She works with government agencies, schools and community bodies to create place-making projects that that are focused on capacity building and the development of young Indigenous people – enabled by connections Samantha formed earlier in her career, and where, because of her current position, she is now able to rally enabling support and funding.

Samantha – as a PhD and respected academic – has become the "rainmaker", with an enviable skill in winning grants to promote and enable Indigenous design and innovation across Australia. She's the first to admit that her PhD has been a huge door-opener. In Warmun, Western Australia, Samantha has worked with the Gija community to extend its art practice to the walls and footpaths of the town. Her research here explores the processes for intergenerational collaboration — in this case youth, artsworkers and elders — to develop public art that builds pride, resilience and speaks of and to the local community. She has also recently produced a collaborative digital art installation as part of a local cultural celebration in the Yolngu community of Ramingining, NE Arnhem land.

Samantha is the founder of Marngo Designing Futures, a culturally responsive education preparation program that seeks to connect young Indigenous Australians with University and the world of design. Marngo Designing Futures has been developed in partnership with Indigenous artists, industry bodies and organisations, schools and pathways providers. The program is underpinned by a 'two-way' learning framework which prioritises self-determination, Indigenous leadership and cultural connectedness.

Samantha's lifework is about harnessing the creative strengths of Australia's Indigenous peoples, tethering it to contemporary media, and thereby appealing to its young people, future cultural leaders and changemakers. To its end, Samantha's work supports the growth of an Australian creative industry that is holistic and provides opportunities for Indigenous design and place-making to be better understood and applied in terms of how it supports the environment and contributes positively to the health and social wellbeing of its peoples.

Community Champion Alumni Award

Mrs Ruth Morrison, Winner 


Master of Education, 1991
Rotary Club of Narellan, Secretary

After graduating she undertook her first position as a teacher at Cringila Public School where she worked between 1975 and 1981. In her first class of kindergarten students, only two students spoke English – the rest were from various southern European migrant backgrounds with a mix of children from Serbian, Macedonian, Greek, Italian and Maltese heritage, whose parents mostly worked at the Port Kembla Steelworks.
Alongside her role in the community as an educator, Ruth has also always been active in other aspects of community life. She was the President of Illawarra Women's Business and Professional Association in 1986 and then Secretary in 1984. Ruth was the Secretary of the Camden Country Quilters Guild in 2006/8 and has been the Treasurer since 2009 to present.

The majority of Ruth's important community work has been through her membership of the Rotary Club of Narellan. Over the years she has held many roles including Vocational Chair, Foundation Chair and Membership Chair. She was the President in 2001/02 and currently serves as the Secretary. As part of her commitment to the Rotary Club of Narellan, Ruth is often spotted taking her turn on Rotary Wheel on Saturday morning to raise money for local projects and attend BBQs at Bunnings and for Christmas in Narellan. Ruth was awarded the internationally recognised and highly prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International for spending 14 years sending all the certificates to the other Paul Harris Fellow recipients across Australia. She has also served as Secretary of the Rotary Club of Narellan Ball for the past 10 years, which over the past 16 years has conservatively donated approximately $10M plus to community organisations around research and education.

Since 2007, Ruth has been the driving force in securing the support for Western Sydney University's School of Medicine from the Rotary Club of Narellan. Over the past ten years, the Club has supported crucial research into Multiple Sclerosis as well as 10 undergraduate students for the duration of their degrees, with donations totalling over $476,000. Ruth is not only the main instigator of this funding for the University but also sits on the selection panel for the student scholarships and is in charge of maintaining contact with their scholarship students for support, encouragement and to engage the with the club. She also ensures that additional support is given where it is needed- like recently securing support from the Rotary Club of $2000 to assist with research into alumni movements post-graduation.

Ms Mariam Veiszadeh, Finalist 


Graduate Diploma Legal Practice, 2008
Senior Manager Inclusion & Diversity (former lawyer), Westpac Banking Corporation

Having graduated from Western Sydney University in 2006, Mariam went on to practise law for just under a decade, climbing the ranks of the corporate world and working most recently as a respected corporate lawyer for Westpac Banking Corporation.
Mariam recently pursued a career more aligned to her passions by taking up a role as a Senior Manager in Inclusion & Diversity for Westpac.

Today Mariam is an Ambassador to Welcome to Australia, a Centenary Ambassador to Taronga Zoo, and a highly sought after Opinion Writer and Keynote Speaker.
Topping the list of '12 Muslim Australians Who Crushed It In 2014', by US news media website Buzzfeed, Mariam Veiszadeh was acknowledged for "leading the charge against Islamophobia" and classified as being part of "Australia's best and brightest". Mariam's strong advocacy against Islamophobia made global headlines as she endured months of cyberbullying for simply speaking out against bigotry.
Australians responded by rallying behind Mariam and showing their support on social media using the hashtag #IstandwithMariam.

Mariam's strong social media following landed her on the 100 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts on Muslim Affairs List. For International Women's Day celebrations in 2015, Mariam was selected by Elle Magazine Malaysia as one of 12 women who was helping "change the world", alongside the likes of Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie.
Mariam was also featured in Elle Magazine Australia for their #WeAreWomen campaign and was a finalist in the 'Daily Life Women of the Year' Awards as well as being awarded Westpac's 'Woman of Influence' Award for 2015. In December 2015, Mariam was also awarded the prestigious 'Role Model of the Year' and 'Woman of the Year' at the 9th Australian Muslim Achievement Awards. Her most recent accolade was being awarded the 'Fairfax Daily Life 2016 Woman of the Year'. The Daily Life's annual 'Women of the Year' Awards recognise women who have inspired and actively worked for positive change, often in the face of resistance. Other finalists in this year's awards include Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Moana Hope, AFL star; and Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Mariam is also the founder of the Islamophobia Register Australia, which allows members of the public to report real-life hate incidents they've faced.

Ms Tracy Howe, Finalist


Bachelor of Law, 2000
Chief Executive Officer, NCOSS – NSW Council of Social Service

Glaswegian by birth, Tracy Howe moved to Western Sydney with her family at 17. Her background is working class Scots – smart but poor; staunchly unionist. She's a "first in family learner" in fact, holding double degrees from Western Sydney University – a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social Sciences; majoring in Gender Studies. Her life's work and passion is standing up for society's disadvantaged. Her achievements as a social justice and human rights advocate demand formal recognition, including as a Western Sydney University Community Champion Alumna.

In her unassuming way, Tracy is making a huge contribution to "enrich and benefit society's development, prosperity and social capital", through as well as over and above, her paid work. Her capacity as a change maker means that Tracy is not only changing lives, but also saving them. Particularly via her contributions in the area of domestic violence – Australia's "epidemic" as Tracy (accurately) calls it – her effectiveness as an advocate and negotiator has allowed women and children across the State to flee potentially life-threatening circumstances.

Today, Tracy is the still-relatively-new head of NCOSS, where she's proved her mettle as its star recruit by transforming what had become an increasingly irrelevant organisation into a key government influence, champion of social justice and defender of human rights – in just her first nine months! as part of her, then role as CEO of Domestic Violence NSW, Tracy worked with high profile ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson to successfully pitch and produce a major series "Hitting Home" to raise awareness about violence against women.
Tracy is also a community leader through her work on high-powered boards and committees, as a recipient of numerous awards. What marks Tracy Howe out as a community champion of unique merit and effectiveness is her lifelong passion for community, certainly, but also the experience, intellect and people skills she brings to this pursuit. While many NFPs are still struggling with the concept of engaging with corporates, circles of wealth, and politicians (beyond their traditional allies), Tracy understands how the world has changed – that corporates, increasingly, are embracing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, that governments of every persuasion must be engaged and can be influenced, and that nowadays, a level of gloss and professionalism is needed to be taken seriously, even in the 'for good' space.

Hawkesbury Alumni Award

Ms Carmel Hourigan, Winner


Bachelor of Business, Land Economics, 1992
Head of Property, AMP Capital Investors Ltd

Carmel completed her Bachelor of Business in Land Economics in 1992. She was one of just ten women in a class of 140.
Today she's considered one of Australia's best. In her current role as AMP Capital's Global Head of Property, in less than two years she has led the development of a portfolio of property assets that's worth more than $23B; recently turning her attention to building an international list.
The industry is watching closely. Carmel's exit from her previous role at GPT Group had media commentators speculating about the prospect of a client exodus in her wake. That her departure made business news is a testament to Carmel's profile and reputation in an industry where she has achieved outstanding success. And as a woman in a male-dominated field, she's not only modelling the heights to which women can ascend, but reaching out to other women following in her footsteps.

As well as AMP and GPT, Carmel's professional experience includes senior positions at Lendlease and Challenger Financial Services Group, and roles at Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA), Stockland Group, Colonial First State, JLL and Raine&Horne Commercial. In every case, she has achieved spectacular results.

Over a career spanning more than two decades, Carmel has made an exceptional contribution at a local and national level, and increasingly, internationally, as she moves into foreign property markets. In her current role, she manages offices in New Zealand and Singapore. Carmel has knowledge and wisdom borne of lived experience – something she is harnessing for the good of her profession, notably as an advocate for greater diversity within its ranks. Carmel is committed to diversity as a principle, and rationalist approach – lose the contributions of women and CALD communities, and you lose half your talent pool. As part of her role as Vice-President as the Property Council of Australia, she has played an instrumental role in the development of a major new initiative known as 'Property Male Champions of Change', which is about affirmative action to attract more women to the industry.

Carmel is a female leader of the modern era. She doesn't believe women should have to become something they're not. She has said, "Be comfortable being a woman in leadership. Recognise and value your strengths – emotional and technical. Remember that, just because you sit at a boardroom table with 15 similar guys, you don't need to be more like them. You don't have to be aggressive to succeed. Women are at our best when we can actually be ourselves and influence in a positive way".

Dr Neil James Inall, Finalist


HDA Hawkesbury Agricultural College, 1958
GDA Hawkesbury Agricultural College, 1976
Due to graduate PhD April 2017
Founding Director and Principal Consultant, self-employed consultant: Cox Inall

While Neil was a professional 'field' agriculturalist as a research agronomist through his early career, his most positive impact on both the profession and the community has been as a professional communicator.
Across Australia's vast rural regions, he was, for very many years prior to his retirement, without peer as a radio, television and video presenter through his long association with the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, as well as channels Seven and Nine national television networks. It is doubtful if there was anyone of an entire generation in rural Australia starting from the early 60's, who was unfamiliar with the voice and (more latterly) the face of Neil Inall.

Neil's contribution to agricultural and rural communities have not been confined to broadcasting, however, for he has also long been active as a renowned public speaker, academic lecturer, and regular columnist for the Rural Press weekly paper "Country Life" and also for the Fairfax Media's Sun Herald. At Rural Press he held the position of General Manager of Electronic Media Services (1986).
In 1980 Neil was recognised as Man of the Year in Australian Agriculture. Other awards and honours have followed including a Dalgety Farm Writer's Award, a Rotary group Study Exchange, a Fulbright Fellowship (1989), a Centenary Medal from the Western Sydney University Hawkesbury (1991) and a Community Award from the Western Sydney University (2012).

In 2009 he was awarded an Order of Australia for "services to farming and the rural sector particularly in the field of communication". In 1985 he co-founded Cox Inall Communications (1985-2000) and from 2000 was a Director IMW media services. Neil's experience and wisdom have been the source of the numerous invitations to play leadership roles within organisations, institutions, and community groups. He has, for instance, been the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the CSIRO's Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (1994-96), the New South Wales Native Vegetation Advisory Council (1999-2004), of the NSW Division of Greening Australia (1988-90) and the Federal Government's Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council (1993-1998). In 1996/97 He was federal President of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.

Professor Stephen Powles, Finalist


Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture), 1975
Director AHRI, Professor, School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia

Professor Stephen Powles grew up poor, milking cows on his grandparents' struggling dairy farm in coastal Northern NSW. By the time he was 15; he'd dropped out of school and gone to work for a local feed supply company. Stephen had always been an excellent student– he just lacked opportunities. Tocal Agricultural College provided him with this opportunity. Stephen gained entry to Hawkesbury in 1972 – the year it was established.

By 1980, Stephen had his Bachelor of Science from Western Sydney University. Today, Stephen is the leading international authority on all aspects of herbicide resistance in plants – from basic biochemistry to practical on-farm management. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the
Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, and one of the world's most highly-cited plant scientists. He has authored two of the discipline's most widely read and respected academic works and published literally hundreds of major reviews, book chapters and journal articles. His major honours include membership of the Australian Academy of Science, a Centenary of Federation Medal, and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) 'Seed of Light' Award.

Stephen is a member of an elite global club of plant scientists. According to peers such as Ford Baldwin, a former Professor at the University of Arkansas and now an international consultant, Stephen is the "undeniable global leader in herbicide resistance". This quote appeared in SCIENCE, the world's premier science journal in the world, in which, it's worth noting, and feature articles on an individual are rare.
Stephen's work – ably aided by the many research fellows and PhD scholars he supervises – has greatly assisted Australian cropping. The combination of solutions he's designed – it's never one single solution in cases such as this – are today employed across Australia.

Stephen's work continues. As a world leader, he is now in the position to build big research projects and up the ante on his work. He's secured major funding from the Grain Research and Development Corporation and currently has one Discovery and two Linkage grants from the ARC. At 66, he's got no plans to slow down. This year Stephen founded a scholarship at Tocal College, a provider of agricultural training and practical experience for young people interested in pursuing careers in agriculture, situated in NSW's verdant Hunter Valley.
His gift will support disadvantaged students, as he once was himself.

The Chancellor's Leadership Alumni Award

Ms Sarah-Grace Williams, Winner 


Bachelor of Art, Music, major Orchestral and Choral Conducting, First Class Honours, 2000
Founding Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, the Metropolitan Orchestra

Maestra Sarah-Grace Williams graduated in 2000; she took her fresh-minted Western Sydney University Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree and headed to Europe. Sarah-Grace secured plum conducting roles in St Petersburg and Siberia, as well as some great mentors – including the celebrated maestro Alexander Polishchuk – and in Russia, felt she'd found her people and place in the world.

Limelight Magazine recently hailed Sarah-Grace as amongst '10 of the Best Women Conductors – trailblazing talents that are leading the way for women conductors all over the world'.

Over a career, almost two decades long, Sarah-Grace has demonstrated a remarkable dedication to her industry– and country of origin, in choosing Australia to make her mark. Receiving the Churchill Fellowship in 2010, Sarah has also established The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) as the founding Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. She has brought innovative orchestral productions to broadly-based new audiences, at the same time as providing much-needed performance opportunities for up-and-coming musicians.

Community outreach is central to TMO's mission. It performs in venues across Sydney – including Fairfield and Liverpool, as well as interstate and internationally. It stages family-friendly "cushion concerts" and performs regularly to audiences of newly arrived migrants and refugees. It's known as the most welcoming, emotionally involving and exciting young orchestra in town. As Sarah-Grace says, you can wear what you want and clap when you feel like it. It's designed to be accessible.

Sarah-Grace was Musical Director of the Sydney Opera House Babies Proms productions and has been in high demand as a Guest Conductor with the Queensland, Adelaide, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Bangalow Festival Chamber Orchestra, Australian Concert Orchestra, Queensland Music Festival, Southern Cross Soloists and Artists of Opera Australia, among others. Sarah-Grace has been awarded numerous prizes, including a Symphony Australia Podium Scholarship, and a prestigious Churchill Fellowship.

In 2013 Sarah-Grace was recognised for her outstanding achievements and contribution to the community, being announced on the International Women's Day Honour Roll. She has also been listed in the annual Who's Who of Australian Women since 2011 and was named by Limelight Magazine as 'one of the 50 top power players in the arts' as well as 'one of the top five Australian conductors to watch'. Sarah-Grace Williams is a maestra-on-the-rise, blazing a trail for women conductors, young musicians and the high arts here in Australia.

Award Categories

There are eight award categories in total, seven of which are available for nomination.

The Chancellor's Alumni Leadership Award is the highest honour the Alumni Awards can bestow. This award is not open for application but will be decided at the discretion of the Awards Judging Panel considering nominations for all other award categories. The chosen candidate for this
award will meet the following criteria: 

Chancellor's Alumni Leadership 

Recognises the significant contributions made by alumni in their local communities and beyond. This award is the highest honour the Alumni Awards can bestow. The chosen candidate for this award will meet the following criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee has made a sustained and significant contribution in one or more of the following areas: professional achievement; cultural achievement or leadership; sporting achievement and/or community leadership.
  • Through their professional or voluntary work, the Nominee has made a significant positive
    impact in their community.
  • The Nominee brings credit to Western Sydney University through prominence in their field/profession.
  • The Nominee has achieved sustained success over their career that is noteworthy and exceptional.
  • The Nominee demonstrates leadership qualities in a variety of contexts that could include volunteering, community or professional work.

Business and Professional Alumni Leadership 

This award is designed to recognise outstanding leaders in the business community, who have achieved sustained success throughout their career that is noteworthy and exceptional.
Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of the Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee has contributed significantly to the growth, reach or impact of their organisation or profession.
  • The Nominee has demonstrated outstanding personal achievement to affect a major turnaround or improvement in the performance of their organisation or the contribution of their profession.
  • The Nominee demonstrates a sustained contribution to their profession at local, national and /or international level.

Young Alumni 

Recognises young alumni whose early accomplishments inspire and provide leadership to students and fellow graduates.
Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee is 35 years of age or younger at the time of award nomination closing date.
  • Through their professional or voluntary work, the Nominee has made a significant positive impact in their community.
  • The Nominee's accomplishments raise their profile and standing within their community and/or bring greater recognition to their profession.
  • The Nominee demonstrates leadership qualities in a variety of contexts that could include volunteering, community or professional work.
  • The Nominee's work and/or contribution in their community is likely to be an inspiration to the next generation or graduates and the community at large.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Designed to recognise and celebrate alumni throughout the world who are applying innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to the social, economic, political and environmental challenges facing the world today.

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee works to promote and facilitate innovation, demonstrates dedication to industry
    and community outreach, and the tenacity to persevere through business and economic
  • This award will be granted to outstanding inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs from
    around the world.
  • Through their professional or voluntary work, the Nominee has made a significant positive
    impact to the social, economic, political and environmental challenges facing communities –
    locally, nationally and/or internationally.

International Alumni of the Year 

Recognises and honours international alumni who has excelled in their chosen field and whose accomplishments enhance the prestige of Western Sydney University.
Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University, its antecedent institutions or an approved offshore partner institution.
  • The Nominee must have enrolled to study at Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions as an international student and has been living and working in a country other than Australia for at least 3 consecutive years since graduation.
  • Through their professional or voluntary work, the Nominee has made a significant positive impact in their community.
  • The Nominee's accomplishments raise their profile and standing within their community and/or bring greater recognition to their profession.
  • The Nominee demonstrates leadership qualities in a variety of contexts that could include volunteering, community or professional work.
  • The Nominee demonstrates the ability to influence decisions within a variety of contexts, for example, within government, industry or through advocacy efforts.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Impact 

Recognises alumni whose outstanding contribution to Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities have improved outcomes for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. This award is open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander alumni.
Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee has made an outstanding contribution to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities, and through their professional or voluntary work has improved outcomes for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Community Champion 

Recognises the personal contributions that alumni have made to the enrichment and benefit of society through their community service. Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Western Sydney University or its antecedent institutions.
  • The Nominee has made a significant contribution to enrich and benefit society's development, prosperity and social capital through their community, above and beyond their role in their chosen field of employment.

Hawkesbury Alumni 

Recognises alumni who have excelled in their professional career, community life, international affairs or business.
Nominations must meet all of the following selection criteria:

  • The Nominee is a graduate of Hawkesbury Agricultural College, Hawkesbury College of Advanced Education, or from one of the academic units of the Hawkesbury Campus of Western Sydney University.
  • The Nominee's work, whether professional or voluntary, demonstrates a significant positive impact in their community – locally, nationally and/or internationally.


Can I nominate myself?

Yes, you may nominate yourself, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for the award you plan to enter.

Can I enter as many times as I like?

There is no limit to the number of people you can nominate, as long as they are graduates of Western Sydney University and its antecedent institutions, and meet the criteria of the award, however, you can only nominate each alumni once per category. Repeated nominations won't affect entry or judging results.

Who can be a referee? Do I need to fill out this section?

As the nominator, you may be listed as one of the two referees required per nomination. However, when self-nominating, both referees should be other people who know you as the nominee and you cannot be your own referee. The referees must be contactable during the judging period and are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding the nomination. Nominations must be accompanied by two written references as outlined in the Conditions of Entry. Referees must supply their contact details in conjunction with the letter of reference and may be contacted to verify their reference.

Should I tell the person I'm nominating them?

Nominators are to ensure that the nominees are aware of the Conditions of Entry for the Alumni Awards and obtain from the nominee all necessary authorizations, consent, documents and undertakings to meet the Conditions of Entry as required by the University.

What happens after nominations have closed?

Nominations close at 5pm on Wednesday, 21 December 2016. The judging panel will then convene to shortlist nominees for each category. Up to three Finalists will be selected for each Award. Winners and their nominators, and all other nominators will be personally contacted.

How will the finalists and winners be announced?

Award recipients will be announced by email and on the alumni awards website prior to the presentation ceremony where award winners will be awarded. Winner stories and photos will be published online.

I am the winner of an alumni award in previous year, can I nominate myself again?

Previous award winners are not eligible for renomination in the same award category. Unsuccessful nominees and finalists may re-nominate in subsequent years.

The 2016 Western Sydney University Awards were presented on the Parramatta campus at a Black Tie event on Tuesday, 5 April. Congratulations once again to all of our Award Finalists and thank you to all of our exceptional Nominees.


Office of Advancement and Alumni
+61 2 9685 9500
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

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