From business leaders and diplomats, to world-class researchers and grassroots campaigners, La Trobe University boasts an impressive alumni community.
Each year the University recognises its inspirational alumni in the Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year, seven people have been honoured for their accomplishments and commitment to making a difference in their communities and country.
Congratulations to the following recipients:
Distinguished Alumni Awards
Sandra Nicholson, Bachelor of Arts (Art History) 1982
Sandra had a decorated 35-year-career with Victoria Police, including many years as a senior detective. She was recognised with an Australian Police Medal in 2004 and was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2008. At the time of retiring in 2010, Sandra was the highest ranking woman in Victoria Police.
Radek Sali, Bachelor of Arts (Cinema Studies) 1997
Radek is CEO of leading health and wellness brand Swisse. He has ensured Swisse is now one of Australia’s most recognisable and fastest growing companies. In 2012 Swisse was named the ‘Most Successful Business of the Year’ in the prestigious BRW Private Business Awards, and this year Radek was a EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
Emeritus Professor Jennifer Seberry, PhD Computational Mathematics 1971
Known as a pioneer in mathematics, cryptology and computer science, Jennifer was the first woman and first mathematician to complete a PhD at La Trobe University in 1971. She quickly achieved global recognition for her discoveries in areas of Hadamard matrices and co-invented a whole new area of Discrete Mathematics.
Geoff Walsh AO, Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) 1974
Geoff has has built an impressive career spanning politics, the media and business. He was National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (2000-2003) and a Senior Adviser to Australian Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. He served as Chief of Staff to Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and held a senior advisory position for Victorian Premier John Brumby.
Clare Pullar MACE, Bachelor of Arts (History) 1972, Diploma of Education 1973
Clare is a highly-regarded and respected leader in the field of educational philanthropy in both tertiary and secondary sectors. During her seven years as Pro Vice-Chancellor Advancement at the University of Queensland, gifts to the University totaling $235 million supported teaching, student support and research. This was a lift from less than $8 million per annum in prior years.
Young Achiever Awards
Dr Simon McIlroy, PhD (Applied Science) (Pharmacy) 2011
Simon is a young researcher who is already considered an expert in the field of microbiology of wastewater treatment systems. Currently based at Aalborg University, Denmark, Simon has dedicated his research career to the study of the microbiology of wastewater treatment systems and also bioenergy systems.
Stephanie Woollard, Bachelor of International Development 2011
Stephanie founded Seven Women, a grassroots social enterprise in 2006 when she was a student at La Trobe University, after meeting seven marginalised and isolated women in Nepal. The organisation has now grown to four centres in Nepal, which have trained and employed over 5000 women.