Spotlight favours the ‘fearless’ achievers

Outstanding high achievers in business, research, advocacy and healthcare have been recognised by Flinders University for their significant and ongoing contributions around the world.

The 12 high achievers were announced at a Flinders Alumni Awards ceremony in Adelaide.

Receiving the highest accolade – the Convocation Medal – were Maurice Crotti (AO), Joint Chairman and Chief Executive of San Remo, who graduated from Flinders in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts; and Professor Maria Makrides, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Executive Director, who graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) in 1995 after completing a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1991.

Flinders University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling congratulated the recipients who embodied the core values of Flinders – a dedication to knowledge, innovation, and the betterment of society.

“From healthcare and medical research, to manufacturing, the arts and advocacy for First Nations peoples, our 2023 awardees have each made their mark across a wide spectrum of disciplines and industries,” said Professor Stirling.

“Their stories are a testament to the transformative power of education and the unyielding spirit of human endeavour, and they motivate us all to reach higher, dream bigger, and leave indelible footprints that inspire future generations of Flinders graduates.

“As we honour our most distinguished alumni, we also reaffirm Flinders’ commitment to fostering an environment where knowledge knows no bounds and where the potential for excellence resides within each and every one of us.

“Congratulations to our 2023 Flinders University alumni awarded and their amazing contributions to our future.”

Convocation Medallists:

Cav. Maurice Crotti AO, San Remo Joint Chairman and Chief Executive: Bachelor of Arts (1971).

Convocation Medal for outstanding entrepreneurship and ambassadorship for food manufacturing, export and economic development in South Australia.

Professor Maria Makrides, SAHMRI Executive Director: Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) (1991) and Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (1991).

Convocation Medal for outstanding leadership in translational nutrition research in the fields of pregnancy and perinatal health aimed at improving maternal-infant outcomes.

Distinguished Alumni Awardees:

Professor Robyn Clark.


Professor Robyn Clark, Flinders College of Nursing and Health Professor of Nursing and Director of SALHN Nursing and Midwifery Research: Bachelor of Nursing (1994) and Diploma of Science (Nursing) (1986).

Distinguished Alumni Award for contribution to research that is improving access to evidence-based cardiovascular care for underserviced and disadvantaged populations.




Professor Bogda Koczwara AM.


Professor Bogda Koczwara AM, Medical Oncologist and Senior Staff Specialist in the Centre of Innovation in Cancer: Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (1990).

Distinguished Alumni Award for leadership in the medical oncology profession and health services research.




Emily Korir.


Emily Korir, BET Group Globally Pty Ltd Chief Executive: Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies (2016).

Distinguished Alumni Award for leadership and advocacy, through lived experience, in supporting people with a disability and in recognition of volunteer work in Africa to end female genital mutilation.




Dr Michael Smith.


Dr Michael C Smith, Biomedical Engineer, Purple House (Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation): Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Engineering) (2016), Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care in Developing Countries (2012).

Distinguished Alumni Award for contribution to the health and wellbeing of people in remote Aboriginal desert communities through the design and support of water-treatment systems for medical dialysis services.




Professor Cassandra Szoeke.


Professor Cassandra Szoeke, Healthy Ageing Program Director, University of Melbourne: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1999).

Distinguished Alumni Award for leadership in dementia, women’s health research, and the influence of policy and guidelines internationally to improve healthy ageing.




Professor Simone Ululka Tur.


Professor Simone Ululka Tur, Flinders University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous): Master of Educational Studies (2002), Doctor of Philosophy (Education, Humanities, Law and teaching) (2018).

Distinguished Alumni Award for leadership in Indigenous advocacy both within South Australia and nationally, through art and education.


Early Career Alumni awardees

Dr Mehrdad Aghamohamadi, Cornwall Insight Australia Energy Market Analyst and College of Science and Engineering casual academic: Doctor of Philosophy (Electrical Engineering) (2022).

Awarded for significant research in renewable and sustainable energy development models accelerating Australia’s net zero emission target.

Dr I Gusti Ayu Agung ‘Dhani’ Dharmaprani,  Flinders Cardiac Electrophysiology Research Fellow, College of Medicine and Public Health: Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) (2020), Honours Degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) (2016).

Awarded for significant research in cardiac electrophysiology using engineering techniques to further develop technologies improving cardiovascular health.

Elouise Hall, Co-founder and Managing Director of TABOO: Bachelor of International Relations/Bachelor of Business (2023).

Awarded for significant entrepreneurship with the social enterprise TABOO addressing period poverty in Australia, ensuring everyone has equal access to safe and dignified period care.

Madison Siegertsz, KOJO Content Production Intern, Couch 44 Producer: Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) 2020.

Awarded for significant contribution to the creative industries sector, showcasing South Australian talent and ensuring accurate representation of neurodiverse communities on screen.

Media Notes: Images of all awardees are available, along with biographies and quotes here.

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