Nancy Millis Award for theses of exceptional merit

2015 Nancy Millis awardeeThis award is named after Professor Nancy Millis, who served as Chancellor of La Trobe University for 14 years from 1992 - 2006.

A 'legend' in the world of science, she was one of only five Australian scientists recognised on the 'Australian Legends' series of stamps in 2002. During her distinguished career, Professor Millis gained a string of scientific and civic accolades, including election to the Australian Academy of Science, an MBE and a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Selection process

The Nancy Millis Medal is awarded to the authors of outstanding doctoral theses. Examiners are asked if they consider the thesis to be in the top five per cent of theses they have examined. Nominated theses are then assessed following the examination process and are considered for award through a selection process that involves the School's Director of Graduate Research. Final recommendations are approved by the Board of Graduate Research.

2021 recipients

The following recipients received their award in 2021.

AwardeeSchoolThesis Title
Julie EdwardsAllied Health, Human Services and SportFostering Organisational Identity in a Community Service Organisation: A Jesuit Approach
Garry DisherHumanities and Social SciencesThe Search for a True Home: a Novel and a Critical Review of Recent Australian Rural Noir
Jessica PetersPsychology and Public HealthThe Role of Visual Attention in Reading: Implications for Developmental Dyslexia
Nathan WardAllied Health, Human Services and SportExercise as an Alternative to Traditional Airway Clearance Techniques in Cystic Fibrosis
Jaclyn SwanLife SciencesInvestigating the Sweeter Side of Fasciola spp: Host Parasite Interactions, Glycosylation Machinery, and N-Glycan Analysis
Lacey ChetcutiPsychology and Public HealthThe Nature and Significance of Temperament Differences for Social-Emotional Functioning in the Context of Autism in Early-Life
Gizem YildizPsychology and Public HealthThe Effects of Pictorial Depth Cues on Perceptual Rescaling of Stimuli Inside Ponzo-Like Illusions
Keaton CrosseLife SciencesInvestigation of the Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning the Broad Antiviral Activity of Viperin

Previous Awardees

2020 recipients

The following recipients received their award in 2020.

AwardeeSchoolThesis Title
Jamin MoonHumanities and Social SciencesAboriginal Cultural Heritage Law, The Thirdspace and Decolonisation in Australia, Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand
Catherine PapadopoullosHumanities and Social SciencesRecasting Transgression in Modernity Prohibition, Pleasure and Otherness
Margaret PerrottAllied Health, Human Services, and SportLumbopelvic Stability in Recreational Athletes
Pramod SubediMolecular SciencesInvestigating the Mechanisms to Fold Disulfide Bond Containing Virulence Factors in Salmonella
Karen Lee TwiggHumanities and Social SciencesAlong Tyrrell Creek: An Environmental History of a Mallee Community
Ashleigh MurszewskiHumanities and Social SciencesScales of Geoarchaeological Analysis Applied to the Drimolen Palaeocave System: the Cradle of Humankind (UNESCO World Heritage Area)
Genevieve BladesEducationWalking Practices with/in Nature(s) as Ecopedagogy in Outdoor Environmental Education: An Autophenomenographic Study
Kaijian XingMolecular SciencesEngineering the Two-Dimensional Hole Gas on Hydrogen-Terminated Diamond by Transition Metal Oxides Towards Diamond Surface Electronics
Angela BurgeAllied Health, Human Services, and SportOptimising Home-Based Rehabilitation for COPD
Michael McDermottPsychology and Public HealthThe Affective Politics of Queerbaiting: Fandom, Identity and Representation
Timothy LukeApplied Systems BiologyHigh-Value Metabolic Phenotypes for Improved Dairy Cow Health
Jana BatovskaApplied Systems BiologyEnhancing Arbovirus Surveillance with Metatanscriptomics
Brian DevittAllied Health, Human Services, and SportAetiology, Diagnosis and Treatments of Anterolateral Rotatory Laxity of the Knee
Denise JonesAllied Health, Human Services, and SportPhysical Activity Following Arthroscopy for Hip-Related Pain

2019 recipients

The following recipients received their award in 2019.

AwardeeSchoolThesis Title
Golrokh AkhgarMolecular SciencesSpin Electronics in Two-Dimensional Surface Conducting Diamonds
Xue BianSchool of Life SciencesA New Frontier for Behavioural Biology: Quantifying the Key Role of Plant Habitats on the Signalling Strategies of Dragons
Sarah CarusoMolecular SciencesDetermining the Mechanism of Cell Disassembly during Apoptosis and Its Function in Immune Regulation
Lucy Caroline DaviesHumanities and Social SciencesIndigenous Mobilities and Colonial Boundaries of Rule: How Papuans' and New Guineans' Travels Shaped Australia's Administration of Papua and New Guinea
Jennifer GravrokPsychology and Public HealthHow Do Assistance Dogs Help Their Handlers to Live Their Best Possible Lives?
Jessica HortonHumanities and Social SciencesCounter-protection: Aboriginal People’s Letter Writing and Networks of Resistance in Victoria 1869 – 1925
Julian PotterHumanities and Social SciencesFaustian Modernity: Rethinking Mythos and Logos in German Social Theory after Goethe's Faust
Qiao XuLife SciencesClimate Change Goes Underground: Effects of Elevated CO2 on Rhizosphere Priming of Soil Organic Matter
Son ThaiEngineering and Mathematical SciencesSize-Dependent Modeling of Small-Scale Structures Based on High-Order Continuum Theories and Isogeometric Analysis
Georgia Kate Atkin-SmithMolecular SciencesElucidating the Molecular Mechanisms and Functional Consequences of Monocyte Apoptotic Cell Disassembly
Should be corrected to: Defining the molecular mechanisms of monocyte apoptotic cell disassembly, and its role in cell clearance and influenza infection
Thomas MunyanezaHumanities and Social Sciences 
Nano NagleMolecular SciencesAn Investigation of Uniparental Markers as Signatures of the Human Colonisation of Australia and Subsequent Dispersals Within the Continent
Nuala Catherine DentLa Trobe Business SchoolA Fractured Landscape: A Systems Psychodynamic Investigation into the Experience of a Partially Distributed Team of Therapists in an Australian Child Protection System
Sebastien DesboisMolecular SciencesMolecular Evolution in Quaternary Structure, Function and Allostery of Dihydrodipicolinate Synthase
Richard Brian TurnerHumanities and Social SciencesMade in Lancashire: A Collective Biography of Assisted Migrants from Lancashire to Victoria 1852 - 1853
Natasha Kate BrockwellMolecular SciencesTumour Inherent Type I IFN Signalling in Immune Reactivity, Metastasis and Therapeutic Response
Heather Julie WallaceNursing and MidwiferySexual and Reproductive Health Decision Making in Timor-Leste: Hearing the Voices of Timorese Women and Men - An Ethnographic Study
Sagun ParakhCancer MedicineNovel Anti-ErbB Antibodies in the Treatment of Cancer
Daniel Ross BonannoAllied Health, Human Services & SportFoot Orthoses for the Prevention of Lower Limb Overuse Injuries in Military Personnel

2018 recipients

The following recipients received their award in 2018.

AwardeeSchool Thesis Title
Larisa BardsleySchool of Humanities and Social SciencesReturning Home: A Creative Exploration of Self
Andrea BruderSchool of Allied HealthThe Role of Exercise in the Rehabilitation of Patients with Wrist Fracture
Miaomiao ChengSchool of Life SciencesUnderstanding Cd Phytoextraction by Australian Native Cd Accumulator
Janni ChristensenSchool of Molecular SciencesStructure and Interactions of Enzymes Functioning in the Diaminopimelate Biosynthesis Pathway
Kate LaingSchool of Humanities and Social SciencesFighting for a new world order: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in Australia 1915-1975
Daniel LopezSchool of Humanities and Social SciencesGeorg Lukács's Philosophy of Praxis
Kerry NixonSchool of Humanities and Social SciencesYeoman Farming in Rural Nineteenth-Century Victoria: A View of and from the Currie Diary
Elizabeth OrrSchool of Allied HealthMessages for Good Practice from Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers and Social Workers in Hospitals in Victoria
Nina RiddellSchool of Psychology and Public HealthA Systems Biology Approach to Refractive Errors and Associated Ocular Pathologies
David SnowdonSchool of Allied HealthClinical Supervision of Allied Health Professionals
Rochelle TixeiraSchool of Molecular SciencesApoptotic Cell Disassembly Regulation and Function in Cell Clearance
Catherine Anne Bent School of Psychology and Public Health

Factors associated with The Age of Diagnosis of Autism in Australia: Barriers and Enablers to Early Identification

Hannah Leigh Mayr School of Allied Health, Human Services and SportThe Effect of a Mediterranean Diet Versus Low-Fat Diet on Inflammation and Adiposity: an Intermediate Analysis of the AUSMED Heart Trial for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease
Stephanie Paone School of Molecular Sciences

Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Development of Atherosclerosis

Christopher John Taylor School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Double Heyting Algebras

Jason Andrew Wallis School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport

Physical Activity and Exercise for People with Severe Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

Elena Wilson Rural Health School

People, Power, and Participation: The Disconnect Between Regulation, Reality and Ethics

Christopher SmedleySchool of Molecular SciencesDeveloping Sulfur-Fluoride Exchange Click Chemistry

2017 recipients

The following recipients will receive their award at a special event, held at the Graduate Research School in December 2017.

AwardeeSchool Thesis Title
Slade Allen-Ankins School of Life Sciences

Physiological Mechanisms Underlying Fish Distributions along Elevational Gradients: Estimating Fundamental Thermal Niches

Nang Seng Aye School of Life Sciences

Impact of Liming Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Acid Soils

Amy Baxter School of Molecular Sciences

Elucidating the Molecular Mechanism of Tumour Cell-Killing by Defensins of the Solanaceae Plant Family

Scott Doidge School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Anxiety of Ascent: Middle Class Narratives in Germany and America

Claudia Araceli Garcia-Solis School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Archaeology and Tourism: the Performance of Conservation at the World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza

Andrew Gilbert School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Crisis Paradigm: The Concept of “Crisis” and its Limits in Lukacs, Koselleck, Arendt and Habermas

Lisa Hanson School of Allied Health

Field Exercise Tests Used to Measure Physical Fitness and Functional Capacity in Cardiac Rehabilitation

William Keeton La Trobe Business School

Managing Community Engagement: A Cross-Case Analysis of Water Organizations in Victoria, Australia

Xuan Mai La Trobe Business School

Understanding Performance Measurement Practice for Academics from a Social Interaction Perspective-a Vietnamese Case Study

George Mbogo School of Molecular Sciences

ß-Adrenoceptor Mediated Bim Dependent Apoptosis Inhibitors as Novel Therapeutics for Heart Failure

Alice Mora School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Reconstructing Human Diets at a Fine Scale: Sequential Measurement of Amino Acid D13C Values along Single Hairs of Pre-Columbian Individuals

Amie O'Shea School of Psychology and Public Health

I’m Just a Rare Girl: Gender and Disability in Life Stories Produced with Young Women with Intellectual Disabilities

Thanh Kha Phan School of Molecular Sciences

Phosphoinositide-Binding Molecules as Potential Multifunctional Anticancer, Anti-Infective and Immunomodulatory Therapeutics

Jayne Russell School of Psychology and Public Health

Social Support and the Experience of Living with HIV for Women in Australia

Alex Schenk School of Molecular Sciences New Diamond Surface Terminations for Quantum Devices
Deborah Shnookal School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Miami or the Mountains: Operation Pedro Pan and the Children of the Cuban Revolution, 1959 - 1962

Ju Lin Tan School of Molecular Sciences

Exploring the Role of ClpS in the N-End Rule Pathway in Mycobacterium Smegmatis

Sarah Warby School of Allied Health

The Effect of Rehabilitation Programs on Multidirectional Instability of the Genohumeral Joint

Jennifer Wood School of Life Sciences

Ecology and the art of looking: incorporating ecological-frameworks into the analysis of soil- and rhizosphere-microbial communities

2016 recipients

The following recipients received their award at a special event, held at the Graduate Research School in December 2016.

AwardeeSchool Thesis Title
Prue Atkins School of Allied Health

The influence of organisational context in the practice implementation process: identifying influential aspects of design intent in an innovative therapeutic outreach program for child protection clients.

Emma Bland School of Molecular Sciences

High frequency remote sensing of Pc5 ultra-low frequency waves using the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network

Wendy Bunston School of Allied Health

How Refuge provides 'refuge' to Infants : Exploring the ways in which 'refuge' is provided to, and experienced by, infants entering crisis accommodation with their mothers after fleeing family violence

Imogen Clark School of Allied Health

Music to support physical activity in older adults with health conditions

Shannon Couchman School of Molecular Sciences

A theoretical investigation of novel main group organometallic compounds

Gary Devilles School of Humanities and Social Sciences

City Sense An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sensing Manila

Joseph Evans School of Molecular Sciences

The role of TRAFs and RIP kinases in regulating inflammatory signalling in vivo

Leesa Hooker School of Nursing and Midwifery

Strengthening maternal and child health nursing practice for women and children experiencing family violence

Joe Rae Latham School of Psychology and Public Health

Trans Men’s Realities : An Ontological Politics of Sex, Gender and Sexuality

Umar Lubanga School of Life Sciences

Reproductive biology, signalling and sexual selection in the She-oak psyllid Aacanthocnema dobsoni (Froggatt) (Hemiptera: Triozidae)

Alison Lugg School of Education

Remaking Futures: A Case Study of Pre-service Outdoor Sustainability Education Teachers

Gustavo Portes School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sacrifice in animation : Psychological development and relationship in the work of Pixar and Hayao Miyazaki

Alin Rai School of Molecular Sciences

Role of extracellular vesicles in colorectal cancer progression

Mark Scillio School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Making career stories : navigating work life and a sense of security

Holly Sellers School of Humanities and
Social Sciences

A linguistic approach to ethnobotanical plant name classification in southern Lisu

Aryeh Solomon School of Education

The educational theory of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson