A world of achievement at the UTS Alumni Awards

In summary: 
  • UTS celebrated the achievements of graduates around the world at a special gala dinner to present the UTS Alumni Awards 2011
  • The night also saw the launch of UTS Luminaries – a select group of exceptional alumni with a sustained record of outstanding accomplishments

UTS graduates were honoured for their achievements in business, the arts and science, along with service to the community both in Australia and internationally, at the 2011 UTS Alumni Awards last night.

The main award for the evening went to Law graduate Rob Coombe whose high-profile career in business, as well as ongoing service to the community and UTS, were recognised with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence.

Rob, the Group Executive Westpac Retail and Business Banking, was acknowledged as one of Australia's leading retail bankers with his leadership characterised by ethical business and strategic ability.

The award also recognised "a tireless commitment to giving back to the community through Surfing Australia and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation."

"Rob has had a sustained record of accomplishment, an acknowledged reputation as an expert in his field, with exceptional leadership skills," said UTS Chancellor Professor Vicki Sara.

"He has devoted time not just to the wider community, but is also a passionate advocate of UTS. For these reasons, he was awarded the Chancellor's Award in recognition of his achievements."

Alumni Award winners - (L-R) Rangan Srikhanta, Graham Jahn, Rob Coombe, Guy TempAlumni Award winners - (L-R) Rangan Srikhanta, Graham Jahn, Rob Coombe, Guy Templeton, Karieshma Kabani, Drenka Andjelic, Dr Shari Forbes, and Matthew Cleary. Picture by Fiora Sacco

Distinguished graduates from all seven UTS faculties were awarded an Alumni Award for Excellence, including Matthew Cleary, an expert in emergency nursing who has worked in war zones for Médecins Sans Frontières and Drenka Andjelic, who heads up the only project management construction firm run by a female in Australia.

The awards also recognised graduates under 35 years old with the UTS Young Alumni Award – won by biomedical science graduate and current masters student Karieshma Kabani – and overseas graduates with the inaugural UTS International Alumni Award won by Swedish-based Director of Science at the European Spallation Source, Dr Dimitri Argyriou.

The UTS Alumni Community Award was awarded to Rangan Srikhanta, the Executive Director of One Laptop per Child Australia. At just 27, Srikhanta heads up an organisation that aims to enhance learning opportunities for the 300,000 primary school-aged children living in remote Australia by providing each one with a specially designed XO laptop.

The full list of 2011 UTS Alumni Awards winners was:

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – UTS Business School
Guy Templeton

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
Graham Jahn

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
Drenka Andjelic

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Law
Rob Coombe

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Matthew Cleary

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 – Faculty of Science
Dr Shari Forbes

UTS Alumni Community Award 2011
Rangan Srikhanta

UTS International Alumni Award 2011
Dr Dimitri Argyriou

UTS Young Alumni Award 2011
Karieshma Kabani

UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence 2011
Rob Coombe

The launch of UTS Luminaries saw UTS acknowledge some of its most exceptional graduates. Inaugural Luminaries Dr Michael Myers (Founder and Executive Chairman, Re-Engineering Australia Foundation), George Savvides (MD, Medibank Private), Mark Fitzgibbon (MD and CEO, nib health funds limited) and The Hon Justice Tricia Kavanagh (Justice of the Industrial Court of New South Wales) attended. Messages of support and thanks were sent from some of those who couldn't be there including the 2010 Chancellor's Award Winner Kim McKay, and Actor and Producer Hugh Jackman.

For more information on the Luminaries see the UTS Alumni Website.