Our alumni in the news

Our alumni are constantly featured in the media as well as in publications across Australia and around the globe. The Alumni Relations office recognises the world-class excellence of our alumni and shines a spotlight on their achievements.


Australia Day Honours

Congratulations to the University of Newcastle graduates and alumni who were recognised in the Australia Day honours for 2015. These awards are a fitting recognition not only of our alumni's outstanding service but also the leadership role that UON graduates play in their profession and the broader community.

Inspector Bruce McGregor

The Bachelor of Social Science (1994) graduate received an Australian Police Medal. Bruce was instrumental in the introduction of school speed zones, leading the NSW Government's pilot trial of 40km/h speed safety restrictions at school crossings in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas. In 2014 Bruce received the NSW Police award for the Aboriginal Issues Officer of the Year, and in 2013, the NSW Rotary Police Customer Service Excellence Award.

Mr Norman Angelkovic

Norman received aPublic Service Medal for outstanding public service to the community of NSW through the provision of financial and human resources for the State Crime Command. Normanhas served in the NSW Public Service for more than 40 years, including 16 years with the NSW Police Force. In 1998, Norman obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from UON.

Mr Bruce Henry  

Bruce's love of the community was recognised with his OAM for service to the community through a range of organisations. Bruce was a founding member of the Wyong Shire Senior Citizens Council in 2007; and involved with the Association of Independent Retirees from 1996-2010, including the position of NSW Vice President from 2003-04. Since 2003 he has been an active member of Wrap with Love, providing warm wraps to millions of people in the world suffering extreme cold.

Mr Kevin Harold Berger

Kevin Berger is the founder and executive director of the Dynamic Alternative Learning Environment (DALE) program at St Philips Christian School, Waratah. The program, established in 1997, supports at-risk and special needs youth to remain at school and continue their education. The school also offers a separate program for young mothers seeking to complete the high school certificate. Kevin, a UON Bachelor of Educational Studies (1978) and Bachelor of Science (1975) graduate, was recognised with an OAM for service to education through specialised alternative learning programs for youth.

Dr Alan Francis Beard

Alan was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education from UON in 1993. His Australia Day OAM recognises his service to the community of the Hunter. Alan held executive positions including Club President, Club Secretary and Public Officer with the Rotary Club of Warners Bay from 1978-2010. He was instrumental in kicking off the first formal Loop the Lake bike ride for charity in 1997; a member of the International Youth Exchange Program from 1979-90; and Founding Governor of the Fort Street Foundation in 1999.

Professor Peter Ebeling

A Conjoint Lecturer at UON'sSchool of Medicine and Public Health, Peter received an AO for distinguished service to medicine in the field of bone health, through academic contributions and research initiatives in administrative, executive and professional roles. The endocrinologist specialist and researcher is Director of the Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science, Medical Director of Osteoporosis Australia, and a Board Member of the International Osteoporosis Foundation. He is also the President of the Endocrine Society of Australia.


Gold Walkley awarded to UON graduate

Joanne McCarthy has won Australian journalism's most prestigious award, the Gold Walkley, for her coverage of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Newcastle Herald journalist's reporting last year on the sexual abuse of children, primarily by Catholic clergy in the Newcastle and Hunter regions, prompted a state enquiry and royal commission.

In her acceptance speech at the Walkley Award ceremony in Brisbane on November 28, Joanne thanked the victims for trusting her and her team.  

"I want to thank all of the people, the victims and the family, who have trusted us," she said speech.

"For people who have every reason in the world not to trust, they trusted us. I think over the years that's what got us to the point that we did and I'm proud of that because we didn't let them down."

The Herald team including Joanne, editor Chad Watson and reporters Ian Kirkwood and Jason Gordon won the Walkley award for coverage of community and regional affairs for the 'Shine the Light' series on child sex abuse.

2013 has been a successful year for Joanne who was named Melbourne Press Club's Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year, the Gold Kennedy NSW Journalist of the Year and Prodi's Northern NSW Journalist of the Year. These awards all recognised her investigative work into the Catholic Church.

Joanne, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2003 and the Open Foundation Program in 1997, said her time at University was invaluable during her research.

"For the past seven years I have had to source documents, objectively assess information, conduct interviews, critically evaluate competing data, reach conclusions, write articles in which arguments are developed and deliver speeches to support those arguments, often against considerable criticism," she said.

"That work has relied on the skills I developed and tested at the University, after completing Open Foundation."

Listen to Joanne's interview with 1233 ABC Newcastle following her Gold Walkley award win. 


UoN Fine Art Student Wins National Tertiary Art Prize

Bachelor of Fine Art graduate and Faculty medallist Shan Turner-Carroll is the winner of the Doctor Harold Schenberg Art Prize.

Shan's work was selected to represent the University at the Hatched exhibition, which features 37 artists from 20 art schools across Australia. His work is currently showing at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Shan was awarded the Jennie Thomas Travelling Art Scholarship in 2012 and will be travelling to Myanmar in June. He will be exhibiting his award-winning work and creating new images reflecting the experience of his ancestral homeland.

You can see Shan's work on our Callaghan campus. As part of the University's history and heritage project, Shan photographed the former Dean of Law Neil Rees. His portrait hangs in the Law School, located in the McMullin building.

Watch an interview with Shan.


Focus on our alumni in print

Our alumni are published in a vast range of texts in their fields of excellence. Alumni in Print shines a spotlight on our published alumni.

Graduate wins twice for first novel

Michael Sala is an award-winning author, an award winning teacher, and a graduate of the University of Newcastle.

The Last Thread, Michael's first novel, tracks a childhood spent between Holland and Australia. Michael develops a disjointed intimacy between the old world and Newcastle - an intimacy reflected in complex family relations that strain across the international and the suburban.

The Last Thread won the Pacific Region section of the Commonwealth Book Prize and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing. Michael has previously been shortlisted for the Vogel Australian Literary Award.

Michael continues to write, and teaches at the University of Newcastle. In 2012 he won the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Sessional Teaching Excellence.

Read more about Michael's prize win and watch his interview with ABC News.29.11.13