2017 Alumni Award recipients

The University presented its Alumni Awards to six outstanding graduates at the Mt Helen Campus on Thursday 31 August, 2017. The Awards formally recognize their achievements within their chosen field of study and beyond.

Alumna of the Year

Ann Gervasoni

Nomination category:
Outstanding professional achievement;
Outstanding academic or research achievement;
Outstanding service to the community.

Summary

Ann has made a distinguished contribution to education in teaching, research and community engagement, focusing on early and primary Mathematics Education.

As part of her PhD, Ann developed an early mathematics intervention program that is used in hundreds of schools across Australia.

She has partnered with The Smith Family and schools in Ballarat to introduce Maths Clubs for children living in financially disadvantaged communities, and currently partners with a number of principals and mathematics leaders in New South Wales to transform mathematics learning and teaching. In partnership with Professor Bob Perry, Ann developed the Let’s Count Program for the Smith Family.

In 2008, Ann led the introduction of the Clemente Program in Ballarat in partnership with seven Ballarat institutions, including FedUni. The Clemente Program enables Australians who are marginalised to engage in tertiary education. Ann is the author and editor of several books. She was invited to chair the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction 2015 Student on Early Number Learning, and has been visiting scholar at Aarhus University in Copenhagen, Denmark and Bielefeld University in Germany.

Alumnus of the Year

Leon Newnham

Nomination category:
Outstanding professional achievement.

Summary

Leon has distinguished himself in the field of information technology in the ten years since graduating from our University.

Whilst an Honours student, Leon’s research project involved the use of podcasting for enhancing student study opportunities. In 2007 he volunteered his time to teach staff in the school of Nursing how to podcast lecturers in order to enhance study opportunities for nursing students at our Horsham Campus.

Leon is a great ambassador for FedUni and has given freely of his time during and after his study to assist in events such as mentoring, orientation, marketing events and speaking with prospective students. He began his professional career with IBM during his studies. He them moved to London, working for Price-Waterhouse Coopers before returning to Melbourne. In 2010 he took a position in Los Angeles as Project Manager for Vista Entertainment Solutions, the leading supplier of cinema management software worldwide. In 2016 he was appointed as President.

International Alumnus of the Year

Saeed Al Muharrami

Nomination category:
Outstanding professional achievement;
Outstanding academic or research achievement;
Outstanding service to the community;
Outstanding service to the University.

Summary

At the time of his enrolment in 2007, Saeed Al Muharrami was the only United Arab Emirates student studying at our University.

Saeed became a pro-active member of the University community, achieved a high standard of grades, and was inducted into the Golden Key International Honours Society in 2011.

He became an outstanding ambassador through his leadership as President of the Ballarat Arab Student Society and the United Arab Emirates as Student Ambassador. Saeed was also involved through his personal networking, in attracting and encouraging more Saudi students to move to Ballarat and study at our University.

In 2009 and 2010, he worked with the Kuwait government to help facilitate students moving to Ballarat after completing their English programs.

Saeed was 1 of three finalists in The Minister of Interior’s Excellence Award in 2017 in the United Arab Emirates. The award is presented to overseas students working and serving university communities during their academic programs.

Saeed now works for the United Arab Emirates Government in Washington D.C.

Distinguished Alumnus

Martin Andanar

Nomination category:
Outstanding professional achievement.

Summary

Martin often credits the University as laying the foundations for his successful career. His hands- on learning opportunities gave him the skills to land his first media role and break into the industry.

He is a former Filipino TV media executive, news anchor, radio commentator, podcaster, audio blogger and voice-over artist on national broadcasting network TV5. He has organised and partnered with community and civil organisations advocating volunteerism and good governance, all the while incorporating his innovative ideas in media and politics.

During his impressive media career, he was recognised with many awards, including the TV Broadcaster of the Year award in 2015.

In 2016, Martin became Secretary of the Presidential Communications Office of the Philippines, where he supervises government news and information agencies, television and radio stations, and acts as a presidential spokesperson in press conferences.

Distinguished Alumnus

Kenneth Ogden

Nomination category:
Outstanding professional achievement

Summary

Ken is a distinguished member of the civil engineering community and has made a substantial contribution his profession both here and overseas. He was a member of the Council of the Ballarat University College from 1989 to 1994.

He has a long and distinguished career in academia, consulting and advocacy. Ken played a significant part in Australian transport policy, research and education over five decades.

Ken’s interest in transport policy was accelerated by his development of graduate courses at Monash University. He had a lead role in the preparation of the government’s Transport Policy “Transporting Melbourne” in 1995.

He then took up the position of General Manager of Public Policy with the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, and prepared a pioneering publication entitled “Driving the Issues” in 1998 which presented RACV’s advocacy position on behalf of its members.

Ken now runs his own consultancy specialising in transport policy and road safety.

Distinguished Alumnus

R W (Dick) Richards

Nomination category:
Significant contributions to the field of science.

Summary

Dick Richards was an Australian science teacher who joined the Ballarat School of Mines in 1914, where he gave 44 years of service, 12 of them as Principal.

During his career he developed many pieces of experimental equipment and during World War II acted as a scientific adviser in the production of optical apparatus in Australia.

Dick’s work was honoured through the naming of the Ballarat School of Mines–R W Richards Medal, which is awarded annually to a Bachelor of Applied Science graduate. Dick Richards was granted leave from his SMB post and spent 3 freezing years in Antarctica between 1914-1917 as part of an Exploration Expedition. Travelling with Sir Ernest Shackleton, Richards' ship Aurora, tethered offshore, was blown away in a gale leaving Richards marooned for two years with nine other men. He was awarded the Albert Medal (now known as the George Cross) in 1923 for his efforts on the ice to save the lives of two fellow explorers. He outlived all other members of the expedition, and became the last survivor of the so-called “Heroic Age”