Chancellor Peter N Varghese AO speaks at the ceremony this week
Chancellor Peter N Varghese AO speaks at the ceremony this week
12 October 2017

Alumni from around the world gathered in The University of Queensland’s Great Court this week for a ceremony celebrating their achievements and community contributions.

A diverse range of graduates attended the 2017 UQ Alumni Awards, which are announced at the annual Courting the Greats ceremony.

Awardees this year included humanitarians, business leaders, researchers and a journalist.

UQ Chancellor Peter N Varghese and Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj attended the ceremony.

This year’s 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awards were presented to:

  • Mr Malcolm Broomhead – a business leader and philanthropist who has driven change in the education and resource sectors through hard work and generosity.
  • Ms Susan Buckley – an industry leader and pioneer of women in finance.
  • Mr Andrew Cameron OAM – a highly decorated nurse and humanitarian aid worker who has provided emergency relief, health care and training in some of the world’s most volatile conflicts and crises.
  • Professor Melissa Little – an internationally recognised researcher whose breakthrough work included growing “mini kidneys” in a laboratory.
  • Ms Marian Wilkinson – a multi award-winning investigative journalist whose contributions have included some of Australia’s most significant reportage.

Distinguished Young Alumni Awards were presented to:

  • Dr Andrew Barnes – an entrepreneur, Rhodes Scholar and the founder of two successful start-up businesses focused on educational tools and resources.
  • Ms Michelle Grant – a food systems specialist and educator who runs a world-leading research centre tackling the world’s most profound global food system challenges.
  • Mr Carl Hartmann – a multi award-winning Australian entrepreneur best known for his work as co-founder and chief executive officer of Temando. 
  • Dr Retnagowri Rajandram -- a researcher and academic who is pioneering collaborative approaches between surgeons and researchers to provide excellent outcomes for patients.

International Alumnus of the Year

  • Ms Shandana Aurangzeb Durrani – an advocate for social justice and girls’ empowerment in her home country of Pakistan, through her work in the development sector.

Indigenous Community Impact Award

Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award

  • Mr Maxwell Gaylard (Emmanuel College 1964 – 1966) – a diplomat, human rights advocate and humanitarian who has had a profound impact on communities around the world through his work with the United Nations and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The UQ Alumnus of the Year and UQ Graduate of the Year Awards, created and supported by the Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc, included:

UQ Alumnus of the Year

UQ Graduate of the Year                                                                 

  • Ms Kaela Armitage - Bachelor of Pharmacy (First Class Honours) 2016, Valedictorian, University medallist and former Co-Chair of the UQ Young Scholars Program.

The UQ Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year Awards celebrate sporting excellence and contributions to University life.

Sportswoman of the Year:

  • Ms Jacinta Carroll - a world number-one water-skier and the reigning champion of water ski jumping.

Sportsman of the Year:

  • Mr Dane Bird-Smith - an Olympic medallist who won bronze representing Australia in the Rio 2016 Olympics in the men's 20km walk.

More details of this year’s Alumni Award recipients can be seen here.

Contact: Mark Schroder, UQ Advancement Communications,, +61 7 3346 3921.