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Congratulations to our Alumni Award recipients

The UON alumni community reaches all corners of the globe, with more than 135,000 dynamic and diverse achievers in over 139 countries, each making their mark.

The UON Alumni Awards recognise and celebrate innovation, creativity and exceptional leadership of those alumni who inspires others through their local, national and international achievements.

We had an overwhelming response to our 2017 Alumni Awards and are delighted to announce the outstanding recipients for each of our Alumni Awards.

The Awards recipients were recognised at our gala dinner on Friday 28 July, we invite you to read more about our recipients below.

The Awards evening is hosted by the Office of Alumni and Philanthropy and the University’s Alumni Advisory Committee.

Meet our recipients

The Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence recognises an outstanding record of professional excellence in leadership, knowledge and professional practice.

Professor Dr Carla Treloar
PhD (Medicine) 1995, Bachelor of Science (Honours) 1991
Professor Dr Carla Treloar is the leading international social scientist in hepatitis C, an infection that affects many of the most disadvantaged in our society. Her work helps guide how clinical, policy and community programs can support or hinder access to care; and how someone who has injected drugs comes to understand and make decisions about hepatitis C.
Read more »

The Newton-John Award recognises innovation or creativity in any field that has improved cultural life.

Susie Porter
Bachelor of Arts 1993
With over 20 years of service in the film, television and theatre industries, Susie Porter has a reputation as one of Australia’s most outstanding actors. Her diverse acting skills have won Susie successful lead and supporting roles in over 20 films, 39 television series and 11 theatre productions, both locally and abroad.
Read more »

The Alumni Award for Exceptional Community Service recognises the work of an outstanding alumni member who has made a significant contribution to their community, and has built or enhanced the reputation of the University of Newcastle and its relationship with the community.

Dr Joanne McCarthy
Honorary Degree - Doctor of Letters 2015, Bachelor of Arts 2003
Award-winning Newcastle Herald journalist Dr Joanne McCarthy’s work transcends traditional journalism to extraordinary depths of advocacy. Delivered under extreme pressure and public scrutiny, Joanne’s work is empathic, courageous and composed. In 2006, she started writing about child sexual abuse in Newcastle and Hunter Valley institutions, primarily the Catholic Church. Read more »

The Alumni Award for Regional Leadership requires demonstration of leadership and/or entrepreneurship initiatives with significance in a regional context.

Professor Jenny May AM
Bachelor of Medicine (Hons) 1985
As Director of the University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health, Professor Jenny May AM combines a deep passion for clinical work and her drive to improve the health of rural Australians through advocacy and research. She has made a remarkable contribution to the health and wellbeing of regional communities, and plays a significant role in growing the next generation of health care professionals by training and mentoring countless young doctors and students. Read more »

The Alumni Award for National Leadership requires demonstration of leadership and/or entrepreneurship initiatives with national reach.

Dr Richard Denniss
Bachelor of Commerce 1993
As Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Dr Richard Denniss has helped to shift the national policy debate on a number of central issues including climate change and the need for reform in Australia's retirement system. A columnist, media commentator and author of numerous books on economics, Richard has become a nationally-recognisable figure who champions progressive economic and social policies. Read more »

The Alumni Award for International Leadership requires a nominee to demonstrate that their role extends beyond the shore of the country in which they reside to produce positive outcomes, or that their position has international influence.

Dr Bryson Bates
Bachelor of Engineering 1978
Dr Bryson Bates is an internationally renowned leader of research into climate change and variability. He brings together an extensive knowledge of hydrology and statistics to explore the impact of climate change and variability on water resources and climatic and weather extremes.
Read more »

The Indigenous Alumni Award recognises the contributions, outstanding talent and achievements of an Indigenous graduate in their chosen field.

Associate Professor Aunty Kerrie Doyle
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) 1999, Graduate Diploma in Health Science 1993
As a practicing nurse, researcher, educator and mentor, Associate Professor Aunty Kerrie Doyle has devoted her life to the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. She currently coordinates clinical and research studies at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and takes a lead role in curriculum development across all health disciplines.
Read more »

The Beryl Nashar Young Researcher Award recognises the research achievements of early- and mid-career researchers.

Dr Andrew Bivard
PhD (Medicine) 2013, Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) 2009
An Early Career Research Fellow at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Dr Andrew Bivard’s work centres on acute ischemic stroke imaging, and patient selection for reperfusion therapies. Extremely talented at translating his research into clinical practice, Andrew led his team to develop the imaging processing program MiStar with industry partner Apollo.
Read more »

The Young Alumni Award recognises outstanding achievements and contributions by a young graduate.

Dr Xanthe Spindler
Bachelor of Science (Forensic) (Honours) 2006
Quickly establishing herself as a leading academic in forensic science, Dr Xanthe Spindler has a strong international profile in fingerprint sciences. She is Program Director for undergraduate Forensic Biology, Masters and Honours Forensic Science students at the University of Technology Sydney. Xanthe’s research in the efficacy of fingermark enhancement techniques is having a huge impact operationally, with more identifiable fingermarks being detected than ever before. Read more »

Dr Malcolm Starkey
PhD (Immunology and Microbiology) 2014, Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) 2008
Immunologist and microbiologist, Dr Malcolm Starkey is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow. His work is substantially contributing to understanding early-life impairment of a healthy immune system and how this predisposes to chronic diseases such as asthma, emphysema and kidney disease. Read more »

About the Alumni Advisory Committee

The AAC is an advisory body established under provisions of the University of Newcastle Act. It is a group of alumni elected by their peers to represent the UON alumni community.

The Committee has an advisory role to the University Council on all matters relevant to alumni and partners with the Office of Alumni and Philanthropy to support alumni development.

For more information about the Awards, please contact