International alumna, Tin Ma Ma Htet (Tess) was among four outstanding graduates recognised for their achievements at the ACU Alumni Awards ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday 10 November, 2016.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven was on hand to present the awards in front of ACU staff, students, alumni, members of the clergy and representatives of industry partners.
Tess won the International Contribution Award for her outstanding achievements in the international community. Tess is a teacher, a leader, and most importantly, a storyteller. She has been working to improve standards of education in her home country of Myanmar using unique methods. Raised in a poor family and having experienced discrimination from a young age, Tess became a teacher and later co-founded a youth group ‘Myanmar Storytellers’ – which participated in storytelling festivals in Thailand to share Myanmar’s traditional folktales relating to peace, diversity and tolerance.
Cherisse Buzzacott was named ACU’s 2016 Alumni of the Year and was also awarded the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award for a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and helped strengthen cultural connections respecting traditional rights, values and cultural heritage.
Javier Batista won the Community Engagement Award for making a significant contribution to the wellbeing of others through community and humanitarian service. Javier is the co-founder and CEO of two businesses aimed at providing practical assistance to unemployed people in Australia.
Zeina Chalich won the Young Alumni of the Year for early accomplishments since graduation leading to high professional achievements or community engagement. Zeina has a passion for e-learning and the effective integration of digital technologies to enhance learning opportunities and engagement for young learners.
Professor Craven said each winner has taken the University’s Mission and applied it to their work and to their lives. They demonstrate a deep commitment to producing real change in communities.
“We are inspired by their leadership and honour them as role models within the ACU community and across the world,” he said.