An image of student Adam Karayannis, wearing a blue shirt, among the trees at UOW's Wollongong Campus. Photo: Paul Jones

UOW students shine in Top 100 Future Leaders

UOW students shine in Top 100 Future Leaders

Annual GradConnection Awards feature nation’s brightest young leaders

Five high-achieving students from the University of Wollongong (UOW) have been recognised among Australia’s best and brightest undergraduates in GradConnection’s 2022 Top 100 Future Leaders.

The annual competition, in which GradConnection partners with The Australian Financial Review and Chandler Macleod, places the spotlight on the next generation of emerging leaders.

In recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 ceremony was held online in February.

Adam Karayiannis (pictured above), who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce Global (Honours), was named the winner of the Westpac Group Banking, Insurance and Financial Services Award.

During his time at University, Adam has participated in the UOW Global Leaders Development Program, and spent three months in Singapore on study exchange.

Isabella Wijesekera, who is studying a double degree Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Laws, was a finalist in two categories: the Transition Hub First in Family Award and the Ashurst Law Award.

In the Goodman Fielder FMCG Award, UOW had three finalists: Pallavi Singh, Reisha Thaker, and Kian Ballard-Manning.

Reisha, who moved to Wollongong from Mildura to undertake a Bachelor of Pre-Medicine and Health, is an active participant in university life. Throughout her degree, she has been a wellbeing ambassador, student leader in accommodation, volunteered with clubs and societies, and is currently the Treasurer of UOW’s Nutrition and Dietetics Association.

A mentor and tutor for her fellow students, Pallavi is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Scholar). She is fluent in several languages and an active and passionate volunteer in the community.

Kian, who is studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours), has made the most of his time at UOW, with his studies allowing him to study, among other things, humanitarian design and help to build projects in Africa, as well as undertake exchange in Canada.

Professor Theo Farrell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) at UOW, congratulated the five students on being recognised among the nation’s brightest young leaders.

“These coveted awards select 100 students from tens of thousands across Australia, so to be recognised in that company is truly an honour and a reflection of the students’ hard work, dedication, and passion for their studies,” Professor Farrell said.

“Congratulations to Adam, Kian, Reisha, Pallavi, and Isabella on their success. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”