Industry and community leaders celebrated at 2017 Alumni Awards

Sarah-Grace Williams

Chancellor Professor Peter Shergold with Sarah-Grace Williams, winner of the 2017 Chancellor's Leadership Alumni Award

Musical leaders, Silicon Valley creatives and medical entrepreneurs were among the Western Sydney University graduates honoured at the 2017 Alumni Awards.

Held at the Parramatta City campus, the awards paid tribute to the achievements of graduates, and demonstrated the transformational power of education.

The 2017 Chancellor's Leadership Alumni Award was presented to the Founding Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Metropolitan Orchestra, Maestra Sarah-Grace Williams, who was recently listed amongst '10 of the Best Women Conductors' by Limelight magazine.

With a focus on community outreach, Sarah and her husband, fellow Western Alumnus Mr Bevan Rigato, present innovative orchestral productions and regularly perform to audiences of newly arrived migrants and refugees.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alumni Award winner Dr Trung Qui Li left Vietnam to study at Western Sydney University, before returning to his home country to build Vietnam's second largest fast food chain, Pho24.

The Young Alumni Award was presented to Silicon Valley based graduate Luke Martin, now the Creative Director at Facebook.

Among other award winners was School of Medicine PhD graduate Dr Sameer Dixit, who pioneered South Asia's first biomedical research institute, the Centre for Molecular Dynamics in Nepal. Sameer was presented with the International Alumni of the Year Award.

Chancellor Professor Peter Shergold AC says Western Sydney University's more than 170,000 graduates are the University's international ambassadors.

"Alumni act as role models for current and future students, with their journeys inspiring others to achieve their dreams," says Professor Shergold.

"Together, the 2017 Alumni Award recipients and their journeys represent a powerful statement of impact at Western."

"Many credit the quality of education and their academic guidance they received during their studies as they now strive to achieve social and industry change."

The full list of Western Sydney University Alumni Award recipients are listed below.


25 May 2017

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer