2011 VC’s Alumni Equity and Diversity Award recipient
|Dr Johann Koss|
The 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Equity and Diversity Award went to Dr Johann Koss.
Prior to completing his medical degree at UQ, Dr Koss was an acclaimed speed skater, winning one silver and four gold Olympic medals for Norway.
Dr Koss currently holds the position of President and CEO of Right to Play, an international NGO dedicated to improving the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.
It gives children a chance to become constructive participants in society, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social background or religion.
Through games and sports, it helps create social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease.
Right To Play’s programs are also used to educate and mobilise communities around national health and disease prevention priorities, including HIV and AIDS, malaria and immunisation.
Unfortunately Dr Koss was unable to attend the ceremony. Ken Gideon of the UQ School of Medicine accepted on his behalf.
Melanie Gordon was named a highly commended recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Equity and Diversity Award.
Ms Gordon is committed to improving gender diversity in the resources sector. She was the first woman ever appointed to the role of Maintenance Manager at BHP in Australia and is responsible for 164 people.
In 2010 Ms Gordon won the Queensland Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award and, in 2008, she was awarded the Resources Award for Women and the Queensland Smart State Award for Engineering.
Unfortunately Ms Gordon was unable to attend this evening's ceremony.
Also named a highly commended recipient was Dale Young – the 2010 Queensland Young Professional Engineer.
In 2007, Dale relocated to Tanzania, where he met villagers who were suffering from prolonged cholera and typhoid outbreaks.
In collaboration with local village communities, Dale developed the Safe Water for Better Health Project in 2009.
Within 20 months of operation, the team was able to provide safe water to 30,000 disadvantaged rural Tanzanians.
The project also aims to educate and empower local rural communities to safely install and manage their own sustainable water and sanitation assets.
Tonight's awards ceremony also featured a lively panel discussion at the UQ Centre, St Lucia, facilitated by ABC broadcaster, Richard Fidler, on the topic: Advancing Diversity or reinforcing privilege? – The global role of universities. Guest panelists were wotif.com co-founder Graeme Wood, UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education) Professor Cindy Shannon and Kenyan peace advocate Mr Joseph Hongoh.
Media: Penny Robinson at UQ Communications (07 3365 9723, email@example.com)