Awards and honours
Historian Dr Clare Wright (BA(Hons) 1991, PhD 2002) won the Stella Prize for her book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, an account of the Eureka Stockade and the years leading up to it. It is the first non-fiction work to win the prize. Dr Wright plans to donate 10 per cent of the $50,000 prize money to be split between two organisations close to her heart – the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which works to close the gap in educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and Northcote High School, to fund an annual academic award, the Eureka Prize for Women’s History.
Associate Professor Peter Barlis (MB BS(Hons) 1997) has been named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology for his outstanding achievements in cardiovascular medicine. The American College of Cardiology is the foremost professional society representing heart specialists in the US and throughout the world. Associate Professor Barlis, of the University’s NorthWest Academic Centre, is particularly acclaimed for his work in the field of coronary imaging.
Two Melbourne alumni have claimed the Johann Jacob Wepfer Award for their work in the field of stroke research. Professor Stephen Davis AM (MB BS 1972, MD 1985, Ormond College) and Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO (MB BS 1972, MD 1980, Ormond College) received the award at the European Stroke Conference in Nice, France. The award honours scientists for outstanding scientific work in the field of cerebrovascular diseases (such as hypertension) and significant contributions to the knowledge about treatment of acute stroke. Professor Davis is Director of Neurosciences at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and current President of the World Stroke Organisation (WSO). Professor Donnan is Director of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and previous president of the WSO.
Melbourne Law School and Professor Pip Nicholson, Director of the University’s Asian Law Centre, have been recognised by Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice for their services to law reform in Vietnam. Professor Carolyn Evans, Dean of the Law School, accepted the prestigious Minister for Justice Certificate, which is the highest award given to an organisation by Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice. It recognises the Melbourne Law School’s collaborative relationship with the ministry in providing professional development training for their staff. Professor Nicholson (BA 1986, LLB 1988, PhD 2001, Ormond College) received the Ministry of Justice Medal for the “Cause of Justice” in Vietnam. The medal is the highest award provided by the minister to an individual, and is usually given to high-ranking officials for their work with the ministry.
Researcher Dr Jaclyn Pearson has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research for her ground–breaking work into how a strain of E. coli bacteria caused diarrhoea in humans by disarming immune defences. Dr Pearson (GCALL 2013, PhD 2013) is based at the University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
Ismail Fajrie Alatas (BA(Hons) 2005) has been named one of the Charlotte W Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2014 by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Newcombe Fellowship is the largest and most prestigious such award in the US for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values. Mr Alatas is now a doctoral candidate in anthropology and history at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
VCA alumnus, performer and playwright Angus Cerini (BCA 2000) has won the 2014 Griffin Award for his new play The Bleeding Tree. The Griffin Award is a national playwriting prize awarded in recognition of an outstanding play or performance text displaying “an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice”. Past winners of the award include alumnus Lachlan Philpott (GDipDramArt(Direction) 1999).
Professor John Tobin was presented with the Paul Baker Award at the Law Institute of Victoria Awards. He was recognised for his extraordinary work, both within the Law School and beyond, in the promotion of human rights. Professor Tobin (BCom 1992, LLB(Hons) 1993, PhD 2009) has designed and taught several subjects for Melbourne Law School in the areas of international law, human rights, children’s rights and public interest lawyering. In 2010 he was awarded for teaching excellence by the University of Melbourne.
Chris Summers has won a major award for his play, King Arthur. Mr Summers (BCA(Hons), LLB 2013) was presented with the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award by Sydney Theatre Company for the play, which follows a retired film maker who decides to direct a sequel to a cult film he made in his youth.
A University alumnus and staff member has been honoured for helping deliver more than 32,000 tonnes of carbon emissions since 2008. Harry Troedel, Sustainability Manager, Implementation in Property and Campus Services, was presented with the Business Leader of the Year Award as part of the Climate Alliance 2014 Business Leadership awards. Mr Troedel (BCom 1998) leads the University’s Energy Reduction and Carbon Mining initiative, which aims to achieve a more sustainable campus. His work has led to annual savings of more than $3 million in energy bills for the University.
Former University Vice-Chancellor and Professor Emeritus David Penington AC (MB BS 1949, LLD 1995, Queen’s College) has been named Victorian of the Year for his contributions to the Victorian community and his work in medical education, research policy and public health. Professor Penington began his medical training at the University and attended Oxford on a scholarship in 1950, graduating in 1955. He returned to the University as Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital in 1970, served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1978 to 1985 and as Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1988 to 1995. He carried out groundbreaking work on tackling the drug epidemic and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and inspired the creation this year of the Penington Institute, a not-for-profit organisation focussed on drug issues.