Flinders alumni shine at awards night

From left: Convocation Medal recipient Professor Craig Simmons; Distinguished Alumni Award recipients Louisa Minney, Peter Goers OAM, Dr Kate Barnett, and James Currie.

From crisis support for 15 million people rendered homeless by an earthquake in China, to helping the tiny community of Milingimbi off the coast of Arnhem Land secure precious water resources, the outstanding contributions of exceptional Flinders Alumni were celebrated at a prestigious ceremony on 4 May 2018.

Nine alumni were honoured with 2017 Convocation Medal and Distingushed Alumni Awards at the event held at Flinders’ stunning Bedford Park function centre, Alere, with an exclusive guest list that included past award recipients and members of the University’s board and executive.

Flinders University’s groundwater expert, Professor Craig T Simmons FTSE, received a Convocation Medal at the event and four graduates accepted Distinguished Alumni Awards: national security sector consultant Louisa Minney, ABC Radio presenter extraordinaire Peter Goers OAM, social policy researcher and analyst Dr Kate Barnett and international sound producer James Currie.

A further three recipients – Convocation Medallist Dr Lam Minh Yen, and Distinguished Alumni Jessica Berry and Dr Michael Brennan – will be presented with their awards in special ceremonies when they’re available. An additional Distinguished Alumni Award was conferred posthumously to Kirsty Boden at a ceremony with her family in the Riverland in March.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, commended the recipients for their exceptional achievements.

“The distinguished alumni we honour tonight have all reached the pinnacle of success in outstanding, multi-faceted careers, while also making substantial contributions to their communities or broader society.”

Professor Stirling also noted the winners’ roles as ambassadors for the University, acknowledging that “it’s the people who make Flinders fantastic.”

“We are the sum of our educators, our students, those who choose to partner with us, and our greatest asset – our alumni,” he said.

The longstanding awards recognise the substantial contributions made by Flinders alumni to the University, the community or within their chosen fields – both locally and internationally.

The Convocation Medal is presented to graduates who have made substantial contributions to local, national or international communities. The 2017 Medal was awarded to two recipients:

  • Dr Lam Minh Yen MSc(HS) (Res) ’02, who is currently a Doctor at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, for contributions, leadership and advancement of professional practice in the research and treatment of tropical diseases.
  • Professor Craig T Simmons FTSE PhD(SE) ’97, for contributions to leadership and the advancement of knowledge, professional practice and community service in groundwater science, education, management and policy.

    Professor Craig Simmons (right) accepts his award from Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling

The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognise graduates who have distinguished themselves through impressive contributions to the University, their community or within their chosen field. These were awarded to:

  • Dr Kate Barnett BA ’70, DipEd ’71, MEd ’77, for contributions as a social policy researcher in the areas of ageing and multiculturalism.

    Dr Kate Barnett receives her award.
  • Jessica Berry GradDipMarArchaeol ’08, MMarArchaeol ’08, for contributions to maritime archaeology.
  • Dr Michael Brennan BSc(Hons) ’82 PhD(PhysSc) ’86, for contributions in the areas of simulation and defence.
  • James Currie BA(Hons) ’76, for contributions over many years to the Australian and international film industries, specifically in the area of sound production.
  • Peter Goers OAM BA(Hons) ’78 for contributions in theatre and entertainment, cultural knowledge, broadcasting, information sharing, community engagement, and the promotion of diversity.
  • Louisa Minney BA ’97, for contributions in the area of disaster relief (crisis response).

Profiles of all the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are published online.

Nominations for the 2018 awards are now open, closing on 31 May 2018.


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