International healthcare leader wins top alumni honour

Dr Frances Hughes receives the UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence from Chancellor Brian Wilson. Picture: Carmen Lee Platt/Encapture Photography

Dr Frances Hughes receives the UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence from Chancellor Brian Wilson. Picture: Carmen Lee Platt/Encapture Photography

In summary: 
  • UTS Health alumna and CEO of the International Council of Nurses Dr Frances Hughes was awarded the prestigious UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence at the 2016 UTS Alumni Awards
  • The awards recognise the university's most outstanding and inspiring alumni. Details of all recipients are available here

The Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Dr Frances Hughes, responsible for leading a global force of more than 16 million nurses, has been recognised with the prestigious UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence at the 2016 UTS Alumni Awards.

UTS Chancellor Brian Wilson paid tribute to the impact of Dr Hughes' work at last night's awards and to her embodiment of UTS's core values, including equality and social justice.

"Dr Hughes is working at the top of her profession, leading an international effort to ensure that health care is accessible and affordable to all – particularly to vulnerable populations," he said.

Hughes has played a significant leadership role in general and mental health nursing across the globe and has been instrumental in the development of government policy around nurse prescribing, primary care and rural scholarship schemes, the nursing workforce, nurse practitioners and mental health.

She was the first nurse to be awarded the Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy by the Commonwealth Fund in New York and was a Fulbright Scholar. In 2005 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to mental health as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Hughes spent six years as a World Health Organization (WHO) facilitator for the Pacific Island Mental Health Network and is regularly called upon by the WHO, governments and non-government organisations to consult on critical matters relating to nursing, policy and mental health across the globe.

Hughes commenced her role with the ICN in February this year – it is the first time in the organisation's 100 year history that it has appointed a chief executive from the Southern Hemisphere.

"It is a great honour," says Hughes, who travelled from her home in Geneva, Switzerland, to receive the award. "Personally, it has meant stepping up and challenging myself, my philosophies, my beliefs and my knowledge of nursing and health," she said.

The UTS Alumni Awards gala awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 alumni, staff and students in the UTS Great Hall. Eleven of the university's most outstanding graduates were honoured for achievements in innovation, leadership and compassion that are changing the world for the better.

This year's recipients included innovators in technology and health, drivers of social justice and change in the community and leaders across business and the legal profession.

Kate Burleigh, Managing Director of Intel Australia/New Zealand, was recognised with the UTS Business School Alumni Award for her role as a technology industry leader and passionate advocate for building Australia's innovation economy.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Russell Taylor AM, was recognised for his work promoting knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories.

Picture: Carmen Lee Platt/Encapture Photography Picture: Carmen Lee Platt/Encapture Photography

Other award recipients included Associate Professor Richard Ferrero, whose world-leading medical research is working towards an understanding of the cellular processes involved in stomach cancer – one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide – and Cristina Cifuentes, Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The event was hosted by UTS Chancellor Brian Wilson and Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs, with journalist and UTS alumna Sunanda Creagh acting as Master of Ceremonies.

To read more about the 2016 Alumni Awards, and the inspiring stories of this year's Award recipients, visit the UTS Alumni website.

This year's full list of recipients:

UTS: YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD 2016
Emmanuel Freudenthal
Freelance Investigative Journalist
Bachelor of Business (2006) Hons 1 (2007) 

UTS: INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN ALUMNI AWARD 2016
Russell Taylor AM
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Master of Business Administration (1993)

UTS: INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI AWARD
Nguyen The Trung
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DTT Technology Group
Bachelor of Science in Computing Science (2002)

UTS: COMMUNITY ALUMNI AWARD
Emre Celik
President and Chief Executive Officer, Rumi Forum
Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems Engineering (2001)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – UTS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Kate Burleigh
Managing Director, Intel Australia/New Zealand
Master of Business in Marketing (2000)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING
Kim Crestani
Director, Order Architects
Bachelor of Architecture (1984)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Sean Gordon
Chief Executive Officer, Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council
Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (2000)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Bettina McMahon
Executive General Manager, Government and Industry Collaboration and Adoption, Australian Digital Health Agency
Master of Business in Information Technology Management (2007)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF HEALTH;
UTS: CHANCELLOR'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Dr Frances Hughes ONZM
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, International Council of Nurses
Doctor of Nursing (2003)

UTS: ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF LAW
Cristina Cifuentes
Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Bachelor of Laws (2005)

UTS ALUMNI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE – FACULTY OF SCIENCE
Associate Professor Richard Ferrero
Research Group Head, Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Bachelor of Applied Science Biomedical Science, 1985

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