VC Awards - Data for QA

Staff honoured for exceptional service to UOW

Staff honoured for exceptional service to UOW

Vice-Chancellor’s Awards recognise exceptional performance from University staff members

Teachers, researchers and professional staff who have provided exceptional service across wide-ranging areas of the University of Wollongong have been honoured at the 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Award Ceremony.

Three hundred and seventy people including award recipients, staff and families and friends attended the evening ceremony in the University Hall on 22 August. The annual V-C Staff Awards Ceremony was first held in 1987.

Before officially presenting the awards, UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, told those attending that the awards aimed to encourage and recognise exceptional performance from staff members who demonstrated outstanding achievement in activities aligned to the University’s vision and strategic goals.

He said it was a celebration of both academic and professional services staff from across a broad range of faculties, divisions and campuses.

Award categories were:

Greg and Heidi De Coster with UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings

Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award recipient Heidi De Coster with her husband Greg and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings.  

Among the awards presented this year were the V-C’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL) which was shared by Dr Anura De Zoysa from the Faculty of Business and the Data for QA Program team consisting of Associate Professor Rodney Vickers, Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences; Emma Purdy and Jan Sullivan, Academic Quality & Standards; Dr Peter McLean, Faculty of Business; David Fulcher and Dr Alison Freeman from Learning, Teaching & Curriculum; Robert Sim and Tracey Wilson, Student Services Division; Christopher Torrens, Information Management & Technology Sciences; Venessa Andari and Joyce Priya, UOW Global Enterprises; and Professor Dominique Parrish, Associate Professor Simon Bedford and Marc Conboy.

Data for QA team

The Vice-Chancellor with the Data for QA Program team, which shared the award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL) with Dr Anura De Zoysa from the Faculty of Business.

The 2019 Research Excellence Award for Researcher of the Year was shared by Distinguished Professor Zaiping Guo from the Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences. She has made significant contributions to research excellence and performance, leadership, and inter-disciplinary research collaborations in her field of energy storage and materials science/engineering. She shared the award with Senior Professor Sharon Robinson from the Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health. Senior Professor Robinson is an internationally respected plant environmental physiologist and Antarctic climate change biologist.

VC's Awards winner Zaiping Guo

Distinguished Professor Zaiping Guo (pictured with the Vice-Chancellor) shared the Research Excellence Award for Researcher of the Year with Senior Professor Sharon Robinson.

The 2019 recipient of the Research Excellence Award for Emerging Researchers went to Dr Briony Larance from the Faculty of Social Sciences. Her research is strongly applied and centres on evaluating strategies to minimise the unintended consequences of opioid medications. A Highly Commended award in this category was presented to Dr Katrina Green from the Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health. Dr Green is making significant contributions to improving the pharmacological treatment of mental illness.

Jessica Sun from International Engagement and Coordination was the recipient of the Global Strategy Award. Jessica has made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of UOW’s strategic partnerships in China.

2019 VC Awards collage

The Vice-Chancellor with awards winners (clockwise from top left): the Stronger Cultures Koori Kids team; Jessica Sun; Katrina Green; the Pathways team; Briony Larance; and Nhan Nguyen.

The 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Community Engagement Award was shared by Stronger Cultures Koori Kids comprising Dr Rebecca Stanley, Anthony McKnight, Senior Professor Anthony Okely and Sarah Ryan from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Dr Yasmine Probst from the Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health. The award was shared with the Pathways Team from ANCORS (Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts) comprising Professor Neil Andrew, Dr Thomas Brewer, Brooke Campbell, Ruth Davis, Dr Aurelie Delisle, Dr Owen Li, Dirk Steenbergen, Dr Astrid Vachette and Lisa Wraith.

Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Service for Professional Services staff were awarded to: Carlee Mottley Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health; Sarah Smith Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students); Siobhan Christian from Governance & Legal; CatherineLancaster from the Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health; Nik Milosevski from the Faculty of Law, Humanities & the Arts; and Nhan Nguyen from Student Services Division.

The Marie Lewis Award recognises the achievement of a member of Professional Services Staff who is completing a degree at UOW. This year’s award went to Bethany Just from Student Services Division. For the past 18 months Bethany has been the Acting International Admissions Manager, supervising a team of 18 staff within the Student Services Division.

On occasional years, a Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award is issued recognising exceptional performance.This year the recipient was Principal Specialist, Protocol, Heidi De Coster.

Heidi is the person most responsible for the University’s outstanding reputation for its major events and the way it welcomes visiting dignitaries. She has for many years organised events at UOW for visiting international and national dignitaries, from overseas royalty and Governors to Prime Ministers, senior government ministers, eminent scholars and captains of industry. Heidi first joined UOW in 1982.

Thirty six staff members were recognised for 25 years’ service to the University.

A full list of 2019 award recipients is available at