Awards recognise high achievers

Two former students of La Trobe University with links to Bendigo are amongst seven Alumni to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards this year.

Dr Ian MacBean, OAM, Chairman, North Central Catchment Management Authority (PhD Biological Sciences) is a well known local identity who has a long association with La Trobe University.

Dr MacBean taught the first intake of students at the University’s Bundoora campus in 1967. In 1970, Dr MacBean was the first person to qualify for a La Trobe University PhD.  Dr MacBean later held senior roles at the University, including Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Deputy/Acting Director and Deputy/Acting Dean of the Bendigo campus.

Ms Jamila Gordon, Chief Information Officer, Qantas Airways (Bachelor of Business Degree in Information Technology) graduated from La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus in 2004. In her role with Qantas, Ms Gordon is responsible for every aspect of Qantas’ IT, has a budget of around $450 million a year and leads a team of over 700 people.

Bendigo Campus’s Acting Executive Director, Dr Andrew Harvey, said Dr MacBean and Ms Gordon had been recognised for their outstanding success and exceptional community service since graduating from La Trobe. 

They are also part of the 120,000 people who have joined the wider community with La Trobe University degrees since the University was established 41 years ago.

‘Professionals and tradespeople, educators, artists, lawyers, singers and broadcasters, scientists and statisticians, philosophers and politicians, captains of industry, comics, speechwriters, academics, Olympians, physiotherapists and psychologists in our community are linked by their common experience as one-time students of La Trobe,’ Dr Harvey said.

Dr Harvey and Mr Robert Stephenson, Chair of the Bendigo chapter of the La Trobe University Alumni Association, are delighted that two people with links to Bendigo have been duly recognised with the award.

‘The Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented to candidates for outstanding professional or community service achievements, inspirational leadership in their field or exceptional human qualities,’ said Mr Stephenson.
‘We congratulate Dr MacBean and Ms Gordon. They are most worthy recipients of the prestigious award and we are delighted that they have been duly recognised in this way.’

Other award recipients are Dr Ian Watt, AO, Secretary, Department of Finance and Deregulation (Economics Masters and PhD); Mr David Morgan, AO, Director, BHP Billiton (BEc (Hons) ); Professor Mark McGillvray, Chief Economist, AusAID (PhD in Development Economics); Datuk Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia (BAgSci, PhD in Agricultural Economics); and Mr Bryan Lipmann, AM, CEO Wintringham Housing (Bachelor of Social Work).

The awards will be presented at an invitation only ceremonial dinner on 29 April at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161