Celebrating the achievements of UQ’s alumni

Alumni Deborah Riley. Image: Studio Commercial David Silva

Alumni Deborah Riley. Image: Studio Commercial David Silva

An international business leader, an entrepreneur and an Emmy award winner are among those recognised in The University of Queensland 2020 Alumni Awards.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deborah Terry AO said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding talent in the University’s global alumni community.

"Since returning to UQ, it's been wonderful to see the depth and breadth of talent of our alumni and to be reminded that the reach of our community extends both near and far," Professor Terry said.

"We are really proud to have played a role in the career journey of these high-achieving UQ graduates.’

One of the Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award winners, Deborah Riley, is an award winning production designer and art director.

She designed film and television sets for Game of Thrones, Moulin Rouge! and the Matrix, as well as the closing ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and her awards include Emmy awards, BAFTAs and US Art Directors Guild Awards.

Ms Riley said there was a key element to her success no one told her about.

“Bravery is something I wish that somebody had spoken to me about much earlier in my career,’ she said.

“Just how much of it you need and how much belief in yourself and your skills you need to have.’

Former military mechanical engineer and founder of social venture, Two Good Co , Robert Caslick, is another recipient.

After leaving the military, Mr Caslick established Australia's first organic soup kitchen to feed the homeless around Sydney's Kings Cross.

Two Good Co collaborates with chefs like Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer and Matt Moran to deliver meals and lifestyle products to 26 communities, including those displaced by domestic violence.

“When you share a good meal you also share dignity, respect and love and that was the genesis of the soup kitchen,’ Mr Caslick said.

Other recipients of the 2020 Vice-Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Awards include:

Asia Pacific business leader Lawrence Au

International banking and finance professional Paul Compton

Professor of Psychology and globally recognised advocate for body image positivity, Professor Phillippa Diedrichs

UQ Alumnus of the Year (created by Alumni Friends): The Honourable Matthew Foley, barrister, former minister and social worker

The 2020 Distinguished Young Alumni Awards:

Charlie Shandil - a leader across public, private and non-profit sectors

Dr John Maunder - a mechanical engineer and medical doctor

Dr Michael Bonning - a medical doctor working in health policy, non-profit and corporations

Holly Tattersall - an entrepreneur committed to empowering women in the digital industry

Tamara Richardson - Director and founder of Pace 48, a multinational youth-led platform promoting access to cultural education across 48 Asia-Pacific countries

Indigenous Community Impact Award: Cameron Costello, CEO of the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC)

International Alumnus of the Year: Fauna Ussumane Rugunato Ibramogy, an agribusiness specialist with a passion for improving gender equality in the Agricultural industry

College's UQ Alumni Award: Sally McPherson, CEO and founder of iSeekplant.com.au, Australia's largest online construction hire marketplace

UQ Graduate of the Year (created by Alumni Friends): Josephine Auer

Sportsman of the Year: Angus Scott-Young - Rugby Union

Sportswoman of the Year: Rebecca Greiner - Hockey

Full details of the 2020 Alumni Award recipients are here.

To hear more from our alumni award winners, subscribe to the UQ Alumni podcast.

Image above left: Robert Caslick.

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