Each year, we proudly celebrate the achievements of outstanding UOW alumni from around the globe, including creative innovators in business, those having a remarkable impact on society, young alumni making great strides in their career, researchers at the cutting-edge, individuals who demonstrate professional excellence, and innovators in the arts and creative sectors.

2023 Alumni Awards

2023 nominations are now closed. Thank you for nominating. We look forward to recognising and celebrating the achievements of the award finalists and winners at the Alumni Awards Gala in October.

Professional Excellence Award

This award recognises a leader who is admired for their motivation and continuous contribution on a local, national or global scale. An alumni who has created a remarkable impact throughout their career, and increased the level of recognition for their profession.

2023 finalists

  • Elizabeth Espinosa, Commissioner, Land and Environment Court, Department of Justice NSW
  • Carolyn Hough, CEO, Policy Australia
  • Associate Professor Faye McMillan AM, Professor of Indigenous Health, University of Technology Sydney
  • Steven Young, Chairman of the Executive Board and Board Member Dalgakiran; Former President Bosch Turkey and Middle East 

Young Alumni Award

This award is for someone aged 35 and under who inspires with their incredible drive and achievements. Someone who is changing the world at a local, national or international level or how they are significantly influencing their chosen field.

2023 finalists

  • Dr Benjamin Ho, Research Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong
  • Kate Holland, Marketing Manager, MOOD Tea
  • Dr Natalie Matosin, Senior Research Fellow, University of Wollongong

Social Impact Award

This award is for someone who has had a profound impact on a community. They could be working in the non-profit, profit or public sector, making a significant long-term impact to the community or the University, and changing lives for the better.

2023 finalists

  • Honorary Professor Tanya Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council Australia
  • Chris Lacey, Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra
  • Dr Sinniah Navaratnarajah, Senior Lecturer University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award

This award is for a passionate entrepreneur, or team of entrepreneurs, whose innovation has made an extraordinary impact in their industry, profession, field of research or area of expertise.

2023 finalists

  • Amanda Essery, Founder and CEO, Lovekins
  • Paul Smith, Founder and Chairman Total Sports Entertainment, Chairman and Owner Sydney Kings and Flames
  • Glenn Farrant and Jahmai Lay, CEOs and Founders, Critical Arc 

Research & Scholarship Award

This award is for someone whose research is changing lives, or whose scholarly contributions have made a substantial impact. It recognises someone who's achievements have brought greater recognition to their field of research or scholarship.

2023 finalists

  • Professor Lindsay Oades, Director, Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne
  • Distinguished Professor Omuwunmi Sadik, Chair, New Jersey Institute of Technology Director of the NJIT BioSensors Materials for Advanced Research and Technology, The BioSMART Center
  • Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo, Director of Institute of Cybersecurity and Cryptology, UOW 

Arts & Culture Award

This award is for a graduate who has made significant contribution to society and the arts through excellence in the arts, culture and creative sectors and/or cultural diversity. It recognises someone who demonstrates significant contribution to promoting the understanding and value of the arts and/or cultural diversity at local, national and/or international levels.

2023 finalists

  • Jacqueline Harvey, Author
  • Dr Virginia Keft, Producer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
  • Kumi Taguchi, Host Insight, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)


Leaders, innovators, game-changers & everyday heroes

Previous winners