University of Melbourne Magazine

Alumni milestones


    Agricultural scientist Professor Lindsay Falvey FTSE (DAgrSc 2005) has been elected Chair of the Board of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). ILRI is one of the elite Green Revolution Centres that conducts research across the globe for the specific benefit of developing nations, addressing the basic human needs of several hundred million people. Professor Falvey was previously Dean of what is now the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences.

    Professor Lindsay Falvey

    Professor Lindsay Falvey

    Sean Rooney (MBA 2004) has been appointed inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Leading Age Services Australia, the national peak body representing private and not-for-profit providers of retirement living, home care and residential aged care services. Mr Rooney was previously Executive Director of Sustainability and Climate Change in the ACT Government.

    Former Australian Government international education counsellor to Beijing and Thailand Jennifer Tyrell (BA 1999, BSc(Hons) 2001) has been appointed Director of International Education for TAFE Directors Australia.

    The University has established the role of Enterprise Professor, a senior academic position designed to enhance University links with industry and business. Four Melbourne alumni were among the inaugural group of 12 appointees, who will work with individual faculties to deepen industry collaborations. Dr Colin McLeod (BA 1984, MBA 1989, PhD 1998) will join the Faculty of Business and Economics, former Victorian premiers Ted Baillieu (BArch 1976) and John Brumby (BCom 1974) will join the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, and Dr Andrew Cuthbertson AO (BMedSc 1978, MB BS 1980, PhD 1986) will join the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

    Ted Baillieu

    Former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu will join the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning as Enterprise Professor.

    Professor Kate Auty (BA(Hons) 1977, LLB 1979) is the ACT’s new Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. Professor Auty previously held the same position in Victoria, before leaving to become a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

    The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning announced a new Dean in July. Professor Julie Willis (BPD 1989, BArch(Hons) 1992, PhD 1997) will replace Professor Daryl Le Grew (BArch 1969, MArch 1972, PhD 1983) who has been Interim Dean since July 2015. In nearly 20 years at the University, Professor Willis has served in numerous senior roles – most recently as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Research Capability). She will commence her role as Dean in November.

    Heather Campbell (BE(Hons) 1988, MEngSc(EnvEng) 1995, International House), General Manager of Health, Safety and Environment at CSIRO, is the newly appointed Chair of Sustainability Victoria.


    Associate Professor Kevin Tolhurst AM (DipFor 1976, BForSc(Hons) 1979, PhD 1996) received the prestigious Ember Award from the International Association of Wildland Fire for his work on the Phoenix RAPIDFIRE bushfire modelling and prediction software. The Phoenix RAPIDFIRE software has been used to successfully predict the path of dangerous bushfires, such as those that occurred in New South Wales in January.

    Dr James Hunt (BSc(Hons) 1999, PhD 2006, St Hilda’s College) has been presented with the 2016 Grains Research and Development Corporation Southern Region Seed of Light award for his contribution to communicating the outcomes of grains research. Dr Hunt’s pioneering research into water use efficiency, time of sowing and stubble management has changed many growers’ practices.

    Neurosurgery trainee Dr Ruth Mitchell (BSc 1981, MB BS 1986) was presented with the Australian Medical Association’s Doctor in Training of the Year Award in recognition of her work to address bullying and sexual harassment in the medical profession. Dr Mitchell is completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne and is a neurosurgery registrar at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She is also Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Trainees’ Association.

    Professor Robyn Sloggett AM (BA(Hons) 1979, PhD 2010), Director of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne, has been named the winner of the 2016 Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal. The award recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the protection or promotion of Australia’s built, social, cultural or environmental heritage.

    Professor Robyn Sloggett AM

    Professor Robyn Sloggett AM

    Dr David Hall (BVSc 1978) has been presented with the Australian Cattle Veterinarians’ Bovine Practitioner 2016 award at Uluru. The award recognises his contribution to the cattle industry and work with students.

    Architectural renderer Brian Burr (BArch 1964) has been awarded the William J. Mitchell International Chapter Prize in the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards. The prize recognises Mr Burr’s significant contribution to architecture internationally.

    The 2016 Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal has been presented to Howard Raggatt (BArch(Hons) 1978) and the late Stephen Ashton (BArch 1977, Ormond College) of architecture practice Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM). ARM’s projects can be found across Australia and include the Perth Arena and the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. They shared the honour with Ian McDougall, the third founding director of ARM.

    University of Melbourne researchers Dr Jake Shortt (PhD 2012) and Dr Ricky Johnstone (BSc(Hons) 1988, PhD 1993) (pictured) have been awarded the Happy Hour research Award from Cancer Council Victoria. The award was created to recognise the fundraising efforts of the Kerang Happy Hour group, which raised more than $95,000 for cancer research and support. Dr Shortt and Dr Johnstone will use the award to research the treatment of leukaemia and lymphoma.

    The University of Melbourne’s Dr David McInnis (BCom 2004, BA(Hons) 2005, PhD 2011) has been awarded the 2016 Max Crawford Medal by the Australian Academy of the Humanities. The medal is presented to early-career Australian researchers for outstanding scholarly achievement in the humanities, and to those whose publications make an exceptional contribution to the understanding of humanities disciplines by the general public. Dr McInnis has been internationally recognised for his Lost Plays Database, a forum where scholars can share information about lost plays in England from 1570 to 1642. This year he is leading Shakespeare 400 Melbourne, a series of events marking the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

    More than 60 University of Melbourne alumni, staff and friends were recognised in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.


    Opera singer Shakira Tsindos (BMus(Hons) 2015) made her professional debut when she starred in Victorian Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne in April. She took on the role of Alisa in the production just months after graduating.

    On Stalin’s Team, the new book by Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick (BA(Hons) 1962, University College) looks at the team of people surrounding the former Russian dictator.

    Soprano Shauntai Batzke (BMus 2014) starred in Indigenous opera Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House in September. Pecan Summer was written by Deborah Cheetham AO, Artistic Director of Short Black Opera and Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

    Shauntai Batzke

    Shauntai Batzke

    A documentary by filmmaker Aidan Prewett (GDipFTV 2008, MFTV 2010) has been picked up by US distributors. A Venue for the End of the World, which looks at the dangers of audience manipulation and leader worship, is Mr Prewett’s first full-length feature.

    Phoebe Panaretos (BMusThtr 2012) and Anna O’Byrne (BMusPerf(Hons) 2008) were nominated in the Musical Theatre category of the Green Room Awards. Ms Panaretos was nominated for her lead role in Strictly Ballroom, while Ms O’Byrne was nominated for her performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It.

    Everywhere I Look is the latest book by acclaimed author Helen Garner (BA(Hons) 1967, LLD 2003, Ormond College). It is a collection of 33 essays written over a 15-year period. Earlier this year Ms Garner won Yale University’s prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Nonfiction.

    Richard Lewer (MVisArt 2000) won the 2016 Basil Sellers Art Prize for his compendium of 12 paintings, titled The Theatre of Sports. Mr Lewer’s work examined the role sport can play in relation to mental illness, focusing on the extremes of behaviour that follow very public moments of failure. The Basil Sellers Art Prize is a biannual exhibition of sport-related art displayed at the Ian Potter Museum of Art until November 6, 2016.

    The first feature film by Simon Stone (BDramArt 2005, Ormond College), The Daughter, made its debut to critical acclaim in March. The film is a reworking of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck. Stone was previously best known for his work as a theatre director.

    Amy Lehpamer (BA 2008) fulfilled a lifelong dream by starring as Maria in The Sound of Music, which toured Australia between May and September this year. Ms Lehpamer’s previous stage roles include Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Sherrie in Rock of Ages, and she has appeared in several prime time television shows including Winners and Losers and House Husbands.

    Amy Lehpamer

    Amy Lehpamer

    Melbourne artist Louise Hearman (BFA 1984) won the 2016 Archibald Prize, which is renowned as Australia’s best-known portraiture prize. Ms Hearman’s portrait of humourist Barry Humphries (LLD 2003) was selected as the winning entry from a final pool of 51 portraits, following a vote by the Art Gallery of New South Wales trustees.

    Australia’s top subject and genre painting award, the Sir John Sulman Prize, this year went to Esther Stewart (MACM 2010). Ms Stewart’s entry, titled Flatland dreaming, was voted the winning painting by guest judge and former Archibald Prize-winner Judy Watson.


    Two Melbourne alumni won rowing medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Kim Brennan (BA(Media&Comm), LLB 2010), won Gold in the women’s single sculls, four years after claiming Silver and Bronze Olympic medals, while Josh Booth (BSc 2012) won Silver in the men’s coxless four. Another six alumni competed in Rio – Charlotte Sutherland (BAgr 2014), Sarah Banting (BBiomed 2015) and Jennifer Cleary (BSc 2015) participated in the rowing regatta, Elena Galiabovitch (BBiomed 2010, MD 2014) contested the 10m air pistol and 25m sport pistol events, Mary Hanna (BA 1974, DipEd 1988) rode in equestrian dressage (her fifth Olympic Games appearance) and dual national Matthew Guest (BMedSc 2006, MB BS(Hons) 2010) played field hockey for Canada. Current students Joel Baden and Regan Lamble (both athletics) and Jessica Morrison (rowing) also took part.

    The University had two representatives in the Paralympics – Dylan Alcott OAM (BCom 2016) won two Gold medals for wheelchair tennis singles and doubles, while table tennis competitor Barak Mizrachi (BE, BSc 2012) made his Games debut. Meanwhile former Olympian Kitty Chiller (BA 1984) was Team Australia’s chef de mission in Rio.