La Trobe University Alumni awarded for outstanding contributions to society

Nineteen alumni of La Trobe University will be formally recognised tonight for distinguished services to their community and nation.

The awardees have been chosen from outstanding La Trobe graduates who have made significant contributions in a broad range of areas; public health, publishing, community development and history, infrastructure planning, literature, political life, sustainability and climate change, science and biotechnology, art, banking and international trade.

"It is a great source of pride for us that La Trobe graduates go out into the world and turn their talents to the advancement of society through research, business, community work and other forms of contribution," said Professor Paul Johnson, Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University.

In 2007 La Trobe University celebrated its 40th anniversary and made a special effort to re-engage with its alumni population which numbers nearly 125,000. Ten of tonight's awards are from the 40th anniversary year and the other nine are winners from previous years. The University is choosing to recognise them all at the ceremony tonight.

Professor Johnson said tonight's awards and alumni relations in general are of great relevance to today's cohort of students.

"An important aspect of alumni relations is that it facilitates a connection between past and present students through a mentoring program and La Trobe alumni work with current students to help them achieve their best in the transition from study to the workplace," said Professor Johnson.

A number of awardees have made significant impacts to business and society internationally and four of tonight's awardees will be flying in from overseas to accept their award.

The La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony will be held in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria at 7:00pm.

If you would like to interview award winners please contact:

La Trobe University 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Penny Davies

Diploma of Arts — General Studies 1982
Graduate Diploma of Education 1982
Grad Dip Health Science 1994
Master of Health Sciences 2000
Current PhD Student — all at Bendigo campus

Penny Davies has committed over 30 years of community service in Bendigo. She has been the driving force behind the initial planning, establishment and operation of the Bendigo La Trobe University Alumni Chapter.

Dr Annabelle Duncan

PhD (Biological Sciences) 1986 — Bundoora

Dr Duncan has been the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer at the Bio21 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Institute since 2005. She is the first woman to have been appointed to that role internally.

Dr Julie McMillan Edmonds

Bachelor of Science Honours — Biological Science 1976
MSc(Rsch)(Biolog Sc) 1983 — both Bundoora

Dr McMillan is currently the Co-Director of the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE). She has also held positions as the Fogarty International Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute and at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Tony Ellwood

Bachelor of Art (Fine Art), Bendigo 1988

Tony Ellwood was appointed Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery in 1996. His program of contemporary art acquisitions and exhibitions allowed the gallery to emerge as one of the most prominent and successful in regional Australia. In 2007, Tony was appointed Director of the Queensland Art Gallery.

Ahmed Fahour

Bachelor of Economics with Honours from La Trobe University Bundoora 1987

Mr Fahour joined the National Australia Bank in September 2004 as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Australia. Mr Fahour is responsible for managing the Australian and Asian region which includes Retail, Business and Corporate Banking. In 2005 he was appointed by the Premier of Victoria as Business Ambassador for Melbourne's Northern Suburbs.

Dr Tim Flannery

BA(Old Humanities) 1977

Tim Flannery is one of Australia's leading thinkers and writers. An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Tim's books include the definitive ecological histories of Australia and North America. Tim Flannery was named Australian of the Year the day before Australia Day on 25th January 2007.

Bernadette McMenanim AO

Bachelor of Social Work 1984 — Bundoora
Master of Social Work (Coursework) 2000 — Bundoora

Bernadette is National Director of CHILD Wise, an international organisation dedicated to raising global awareness of the rights of children. She is prominent among world campaigners working to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Dr Geoff Raby

Bachelor of Economics Honours 1977
Master of Economics (Research) 1981
PhD (Business) 1991 — all Bundoora

Dr Geoff Raby is currently based in Beijing as Australia's Ambassador to China. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to China, and as Deputy Secretary since November 2002, Dr Raby's responsibilities included lead negotiator on WTO matters, China FTA Taskforce and bilateral relations with North Asia.

Dr Paul Siu Fai YIP

PhD (Maths & Information Sciences) 1988 — Bundoora
GradDip Computer Science 1990 — Bundoora

Dr Yip is foundation director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong. His best practice model is being shared with people in other countries in the region which are experiencing very high suicide rates.

Professor Khatijah Binti Mohamad Yusoff

Bachelor of Science Honours — Biological Sciences 1979 — Bundoora
PhD (Biological Sciences) 1983 — Bundoora

Professor Khatijah binti Mohd Yusoff is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), University Putra Malaysia. She has won many awards and fellowships, including the National Young Scientist Award in 1990, which is presented to scientists below the age of 35 for outstanding contribution to research and development in a research institution, university or private sector in Malaysia.

Previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients


Professor Ngoc Trang Thomas AM

PhD Behavioral Science 1988

Professor Ngoc Trang Thomas has had a life long interest in research about the well being of older people. She has been on the boards of SBS, Council for the Centenary of Federation, National Health and Medical Research Council and currently Director of the Australian Psychological Society and Alzheimers' Australia (Victoria). She is currently a Professor of Psychology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).


Dr Andrew Sinclair

PhD Biological Science 1989

Professor Andrew Sinclair is Director of Early Development and Disease at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and holds a joint appointment with the University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics. He leads an internationally recognised research group that focuses on gonad development and dysfunction. Professor Sinclair was President of the Australian Society for Medical Research in 2004 and in 2005 the Federal Minister for Health appointed him to the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council.


Maureen Wheeler

Bachelor of Social Work 1980

Maureen Wheeler is the co-founder and director of Lonely Planet Publications. She has been the driving force behind Lonely Planet's corporate contributions program established to provide financial assistance for humanitarian projects in developing countries. Maureen is an associate professor at the La Trobe University School of Tourism and Hospitality and served two terms as Director on the board of Tourism Tasmania.


Dennis O'Hoy

Dennis Reginald O'Hoy was a student of the Bendigo School of Mines, a Principal Lecturer and former Head of Department Visual Arts, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus. In 1970 he became a foundation Director of The Bendigo Trust (a position which he still holds). He has held responsibilities for the Central Deborah Gold Mine, the Bendigo Tramways Museum and Depot, The Bendigo Gas Works Precinct, Victoria Hill Historic Mining Site and the Chinese Joss House.


Terry Garwood

Diploma of Arts General Studies 1977, Grad Dip of Education 1978

Terry Garwood started his Public Service career in the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and occupied senior management positions in the Aboriginal Development Commission, Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training. Terry has worked in the Victorian Public Service since 1989 when he was appointed Director of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria. He was the first Aboriginal person to hold a Chief Administrator's position in the VPS. He currently holds the position of Executive Director of the Freight Logistics and Marine Division in Victoria's Department of Infrastructure.

Crown Prince, DYMM Tuanku Syed Faizuddin

Bachelor of Economics 1989

His Royal Highness travelled to Melbourne for his higher education in 1984, and enrolled at La Trobe in 1985 where a fairytale romance was set aflame. He met his future wife when he first arrived in Melbourne to do Year 12 but only started going out in 1987 when they met again at La Trobe University Bundoora. The young Crown Prince returned home to Malaysia in 1989 and joined Malaysia Airlines System Berhad as a Trainee Manager. He was later posted to Madrid to strategise the airline's market in the Europe sector. Their Royal Highnesses married in 1994 and had their child, Princess Yang Amat Mulia Sharifah Khatreena Nuraniah, in February 1995.

Professor Kateryna Longley

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1972, Diploma of Education 1976

Kateryna Olijnyk Longley arrived in Australia with her parents in 1949 as a Ukrainian refugee. At 18 she became a secondary school teacher and worked in America and England before returning to enrol in a Literature degree at the new La Trobe University. She went on to do a Master's degree at Sussex and then a PhD at Melbourne University. She worked for 20 years at Murdoch University, where she was promoted to Professor of Literature in 2001. She became an academic leader, serving as Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) and then Pro Vice Chancellor (Regional Development). She is now a Murdoch University Emeritus Professor of Literature.


Jacinta Allen MP

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1995

Jacinta Allan was elected as the member for Bendigo East in September 1999 at the age of 25, making her the youngest woman to ever be elected to the Victorian parliament. Ms Allan is currently Victorian Minister for Regional and Rural Development as well as Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation. Community involvement has been a central part of Ms Allan's life. She has been a member of the Committee of Management for the Bendigo Community Health Service and the Loddon Mallee Women's Health Service.


Mick Bourke

Bachelor of Business 1980

Mick Bourke is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria (EPA). After graduating from La Trobe, Mr Bourke worked with Comalco Aluminum in Tasmania and Melbourne in accounting roles before heading to Mildura where he became the Business Manager at Irrigation Authority. He returned to Central Victoria in the mid 1980's working in urban water and sewerage utilities and was the Chief Executive of Coliban Water from 1993 to 1998. He then returned to Melbourne as the Managing Director of City West Water Ltd, a Water Utility with a gross revenue of $230 million per annum.