The University of Newcastle has announced its 25 achievers for the 2019 Alumni Awards.
One of the achievers will be named as the overall recipient of the Alumni Medal at the Gala Breakfast on Thursday 5 September in the University’s Great Hall.
This year more than 120 nominations were received across the nine categories.
The overall recipient of the University’s original award, the Newton-John Award for innovation and creativity in arts and culture, will also be named at the gala breakfast.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO, said the calibre of the nominations was exceptional.
“The University is built on the success of our alumni and it’s a great triumph to see our people demonstrate exceptional leadership across the globe,” he said.
“These awards celebrate the limitless innovation of our alumni and what they have achieved so far in their respective careers.”
Steven McArthur, Liesl Tesch MP and Dr. Ruth Lopert have been named as ‘achievers’ for the Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence, the highest honour of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Awards.
All three have been recognised for their excellence in leadership, knowledge and professional practice in their respective fields.
Steven McArthur is the Scientific Director at Genea and has made a major impact in the world of fertility.
His innovations have contributed to the doubling of successful IVF procedures since the 1990s.
Steven said the practical and hands-on nature of the science program at the University equipped him well to participate and lead in the treatment of fertility globally.
“It challenged me to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also gave me the confidence to push boundaries and always consider a better way,” Steven said.
He said this led directly to the world-first publication and practical implementation of Day five Blastocyst biopsy of human embryos, which revolutionised pre-implantation genetic diagnosis supporting couples from around the world to fulfil their dream of having a healthy baby.
Proud Gamilaroi man Luke Pearson is one of three named as an Indigenous Alumni Award achiever.
Luke graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in 2004.
Luke is a teacher, public speaker, and trainer and Founder of @IndigenousX, which uses social platforms to renegotiate the representation of Indigenous voices in the media.
His platform, @IndigenousX, is a rotating Twitter account that has given a voice to more than 300 Indigenous hosts to its 48,000 followers.
Luke said his student life at Newcastle helped shape his career.
“I was involved in student politics and university gave me my first experience of being involved with structured activism,” Mr. Pearson said.
“I’ve used my core teaching skills to educate people on how mainstream media and institutions filter our stories.
“University taught me the importance of standing up and speaking the truth.”
The University’s Director of Advancement, Rebecca Hazell, said this year’s Alumni Awards Achievers were pushing the boundaries of excellence.
“They are each outstanding in their own right but, when we bring them together, it is a powerful reminder of the great impact our University is making across the globe,” she said.
Tickets to the 5 September Gala Breakfast at the Great Hall are available now.
IMAGE | Beryl Nashar Young Researcher Award recipient, Dr. Serene Yoong