Young Alumni Award

The Young Alumni Award recognises outstanding achievements and contributions by young alumni who have demonstrated an outstanding level of professional achievement and community involvement since graduating from the University of Newcastle.

Inspiring young alumni have previously included entrepreneurs, design and online-marketing innovators and award-winning architects.

Nominees must meet the following selection criteria

  • Hold a minimum undergraduate Bachelor degree from the University of Newcastle
  • Be aged 35 years or younger at the time of nomination
  • Demonstrate outstanding achievement and/or contribution to any field; OR
  • Demonstrate initiative and excellence in any other endeavour
  • This award is for non-academic/research alumni. Academics and researchers should nominate for the Beryl Nashar Young Researcher award

2020 Recipient
Luke Hawthorne

Senior Associate, King and Wood Mallesons (KWM); Non-executive Director, Shaun Parker and Company
Bachelor of Laws / Diploma in Legal Practice (Honours) 2012
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2010

Luke Hawthorne

Luke Hawthorne is an award-winning lawyer in a leading international law firm, a campaigner for Indigenous Australian artists and their cultural rights, and a leader in LGBTQIA+ advocacy.

Luke was recognised in 2019 as the Australian Law Awards' Senior Associate of the Year.

He specialises in intellectual property, technology, and litigation; having assisted in some of Australia's leading contentious and commercial matters in the last eight years. In particular, Luke has advised on market-defining cases for copyright website-blocking, privacy investigations, and industry-leading patent litigation.

He has also led the expansion of a KWM program to assist more than 200 Indigenous artists with over 2,000 pro bono hours—including over 20 of his own matters. He is twice a recipient of the Arts Law Centre of Australia Pro Bono Lawyer Award, and the KWM Tony D’Aloisio Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2019.

A proud gay man, Luke is a lifelong advocate for gender and sexual diversity and is the Sydney leadership representative for the KWM inclusion network.

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.