Nominations are now closed

Since 1975, the University of Newcastle has recognised over 178 alumni achievers for their innovation, creativity, and exceptional leadership.

These diverse and dynamic leaders are making a profound impact on communities and are inspiring the next generation of students through their local, national, and international achievements.

Key Dates


Stage One: Preliminary nominations close


Stage Two: Full nominations close


Alumni Excellence Awards Recipients Announced

Award Categories

The Awards acknowledge achievements of extraordinary alumni across nine categories:

* Only University of Newcastle staff can put forward nominations for the Convocation Medal for Exceptional Contribution.

Introducing this year's Alumni Awards Artist

Alumna Jess Kellar has always loved creating art. As a creative but shy girl, Jess sometimes had a hard time verbalising her thoughts and so painting became a vehicle for expression, communication and storytelling.

In 2019, shortly after completing her Bachelor of Fine Art, Jess was diagnosed with autism. As diagnosis is traditionally based on the male expression of the condition, it’s not uncommon for women to be repeatedly misdiagnosed or not at all.

Her featured artwork in this year’s Alumni Excellence Awards, entitled ‘Even Though I am a Woman’ gives reference to being a woman with autism. The artwork is part of Jess's exhibition for her research honours project, Thinking In Pictures. It reflects her journey to understand the way her mind works and the liberation that resulted from her diagnosis.

‘Even Though I am a Woman’ is an inspired and abstract painting that speaks volumes and captures Jess's signature emotive and colourful style. Jess used oil on canvas with vibrant brushstrokes, layering colours and strokes as it dried; allowing the fluidity of her emotions to become part of the work.

We are proud to feature Jess as our alumni artist this year.

Alumni Awards artist Jess Kellar

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.