UON shines the spotlight on exceptional graduates

As the University of Newcastle celebrates 50 years, a record-number of high-calibre nominations were received and the University is proud to acknowledge the achievements of 30 graduates across the categories of professional excellence, cultural life, community service, leadership, Indigenous and young alumni.

Congratulations to the finalists in the following categories:

Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence
Emeritus Professor William Caelli AO; Professor Edwin Galea; Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin; Dr Anthony Joseph Lynham

Newton-John Award
Linda Barcan; Jonathan Biggins; Dr Patricia Flanagan; Hal Kirkland

Alumni Award for International Leadership
Sein-Way Tan; Dr Andrew Walker; Sherrill Whittington

Alumni Award for National Leadership
Paul Broad; Neima Candy; David Hughes; Cheryl Kernot

Alumni Award for Regional Leadership
Stewart Dowrick; Kristen Keegan; Kirsten Molloy

Alumni Award for Exceptional Community Service
Colleen Potts OAM; Michael Slater; Dr William Tan

Indigenous Alumni Award
Conjoint Professor Sandra Eaves; Dr William Jonas AM; Associate Professor Peter O’Mara

Beryl Nashar Young Researcher Award
Dr Natalie Beveridge; Dr Melinda Hutchesson; Dr Luke Wolfenden

Young Alumni Award
Rhys Courtney; Matthew Gain; Olenka Motyka

Recipients will be announced at a gala event on Friday 23 October, which promises to be a highlight of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. This year the gala event will move to a larger venue, the University’s own Great Hall, and will be hosted by Australian actor, writer, radio presenter, comedian and proud UON graduate, John Doyle.

Presented annually by UON’s Alumni Advisory Committee, the Awards celebrate and showcase the outstanding quality and diversity of UON graduates.

“Each year the Alumni Advisory Committee is overwhelmed by the incredibly high standard of nominations and this year has set the bar even higher,” President of Alumni, Belinda Smith said.

“The Awards are an opportunity to reflect on some of the extraordinary accomplishments by graduates, and the finalists are making impressive contributions to their industries and communities across the globe.”

The Alumni Awards are a sell-out event each year and tickets are now available. For information about the Alumni Awards and to read more about the finalists visit

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