Summer scrolling

Influential alumni Instagrams to follow

Pull up a sun-lounger, relax and check out these alumni

Over Summer break, you might find yourself idling away time scrolling socials – so why not add these interesting University of Wollongong (UOW) alumni influencers to your followed list?  

Tristan Knowles OAM

Tristan Knowles OAM is an Australian wheelchair basketballer, and five-time Paralympian, winning a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympics. Tristan is a childhood cancer survivor; he became an above the knee amputee because of the illness.  

A man is playing wheelchair basketball. He is wearing a yellow and green basketball singlet, holding a basketball in both hands. In 2009, Tristan was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport as a Gold Medallist at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. 

Tristan’s Instagram page is full of engaging content based on his own guiding mantra – inspiration, confidence, achievement - as he advocates for mental and physical wellbeing. Follow Tristan: @tristanknowles09

Willo Boniface

Willo studied at the University of Wollongong, graduating with a Bachelor of Nanotechnology (Honours) and completing her PhD through the Australian Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. 

Willo’s scientific career saw her consult for companies including Ernst & Young, helping companies claim government incentives based on their research and development activities. Since 2020, she has built an international business helping ambitious women achieve their goals as a mindset and leadership coach. 

woman with short brown hair is standing in front of the ocean on an overcast day

Willo’s Instagram is an empowering daily dose of how to unleash the magic in your life. To quote one of Willo’s mantras: rip in ladies. Follow Willo: @willoboniface  

Laura Wells

Laura Wells is a Sydney-based science communicator, environmentalist and model with a passion for all things nature and educating people on what we can do to ensure its protection for the future.  

Laura works with conservationists, scientists and activists to promote solutions and promotion of behavioural change to create improvements in the planet’s health.

A woman is standing on a beach. she is wearing blue jeans and a white shirt that reads 'Stubborn climate optimist'

Her Instagram delivers loads of incredible facts about our oceans, animals and planet in an outside the box way. Educate yourself and have a laugh at the same time! Follow Laura: @iamlaurawells 

Dr Justin Coulson

Well known parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson switched careers as a new father driven to be a better parent to his young children. This journey catapulted him into sharing knowledge through his podcast, Happy Families, the leading podcast in Australia for parenting and families.  

Dr Coulson has gone on to co-host popular Channel Nine series Parental Guidance and is a wealth of knowledge on how parents, or anyone, can interact with children in meaningful ways.

A man is wearing a white business shirt, smiling

The holiday season can test our family relationships, so it’s worth checking out Justin's Instagram as we (attempt to) spend quality time with our kin. Then you might follow Justin’s advice and ‘put your phone away’!  Follow Justin: @drjustincoulson

Laura Byrne

Laura Byrne is an Australian radio host, podcast host, television personality and writer who rose to fame as winner of the fifth season of Network 10's The Bachelor Australia.  

Two women are standing with their arms around each other. The woman on the left has light brown hair, woman on the right has dark hair and a tan cap.

Laura Byrne (left) and her podcast co-host Brittany Hockley

Laura teamed up with fellow The Bachelor contestant Brittany Hockley to host the Life Uncut podcast which delivers belly laughs, tears, empowering conversations, inspiring interviews and everything in-between in their refreshing and entertaining style - perfect for summer scrolling. Follow Laura: @ladyandacat and Life Uncut: @lifeuncutpodcast

Erin Rhoads 

Erin Rhoads is an eco-warrior and wealth of knowledge on how we can reduce, reuse and reconnect. 

Erin has been sharing practical sustainability ideas and tips in a fun, refreshing way through her blog The Rogue Ginger since 2013, becoming one of the most recognised eco-living blogs in Australia and internationally. 

A woman with red hair and a yellow top is standing in front of a fresh produce display

Erin’s grid encourages us to “waste not every day” with small but significant habit shifts that help the planet, as well as delivering workshops and keynotes on eco-activism.  

Be a part of the solution, not the problem with Erin’s help. Follow Erin: @therogueginger  

Georgia Watson  

Georgia Watson is a gamechanger and scientist with a passion for communicating science and climate action in simple speak we all can understand.  

Georgia has visited Antarctica as part of her research with ARC-funded Special Research Initiative Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future and is an Ambassador for the Antarctic Science Foundation.  

Three women in thermal black and yellow overalls are standing in front of a caution sign in Antarctica

Georgia Watson (right) is an Antarctic researcher

Georgia is regularly featured in radio interviews, podcasts and print articles as an expert on the climate crisis. Her Instagram will teach you some super cool science facts and the depth of urgency of climate change. Follow Georgia: @BrightEcology

Donny Galella 

Donny Galella is one of Australia’s most in-demand fashion stylists, regularly dressing celebrities for Australia’s top awards nights and glamourous events.  

Appearing regularly on Channel 7’s The Morning Show and Sunrise over the past 10 years, Donny has a passion for making fashion and style accessible for all Australians. His mantra is ‘everyone deserves to look good and feel fabulous, no matter their age, shape, size or shopping budget.’  

A man is wearing a suit, standing in front of a clothes rack

Follow Donny for tips on how to look good and feel confident this summer as well as getting first-person point of view of Sydney’s hottest social scene.  Follow Donny: @DonnyGalella

 Clare Every 

Clare Every is a vegan food lover and blogger who has amassed over 167,000 followers on Instagram.

The Little London Vegan blog reviews vegan options on offer in the city as well as sharing thought leadership and recipe ideas. Clare’s offers restaurant reviews, experience reviews and recommendations categorised by name, location and cuisine.  

A woman with light brown hair is wearing a red beanie. She is holding up a pizza and smiling.

Clare has expanded to also host a global series where she travels the world nibbling the vegan options in various cities, curating global city guides.  

If you’re holidaying in Europe over the break or planning a trip in the future, check out The Little London Vegan or simply travel (vicariously) with her via Instagram.  Follow Clare: @thelittlelondonvegan 

 Hannah Diviney 

A leading writer, disability and women’s rights advocate, Hannah Diviney is the Editor-In-Chief at Missing Perspectives, a publication platform dedicated to addressing the marginalisation of women in news, media, and democracy. 

A woman with a white top is standing in front of a Women's Weekly media wall. Beside her is a large yellow book cover that reads 'Hannah Divieny I'll let myself in'

A finalist for both the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future Awards and the 2022 Young Australian of the Year Awards, Hannah’s Instagram follows her remarkable journey as she advocates to make the world a better, more equal and equitable place.  Follow Hannah: @hannahthewildflower