28 October 2022Share
Six inspiring Australian Catholic University alumni have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in the areas of education, nursing, midwifery, speech pathology, and business.
ACU Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Meg Stuart, and Director of Advancement and Alumni Rachelle Bramley presented four of the six recipients with their ACU Alumni Awards at a celebration dinner in Melbourne.
Speech pathologist Olivia Rayner, who graduated with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology in 2020, was named Young Alumni of the Year for her work including helping adults and children in private practice and schools, mentoring speech pathology students, supporting parents through education, and raising funds for, and awareness of, the acquired language disorder, Aphasia.
Melissa Redsell, who completed a Graduate Diploma in Midwifery in 2004, was honoured with a Community Engagement Award after using her experiences as a young mother to support others as a nurse and midwife and through her charity, A Brave Life, which supports families with mentorship, and practical and educational support to help young mothers to follow their dreams.
Research/ Scholarship Alumni Award recipient Shoni Philpot, who completed a Graduate Diploma in Paediatric Critical Care in 1995, a Bachelor of Nursing in 1998, and is currently completing a PhD, drew on her personal experience with cancer to co-found Australian Families 4 Genomics, an NGO focused on advancing cancer research and supporting young people, in addition to her role as senior director and co-founder of Cancer Alliance Queensland.
Acute care nurse and international student Yanan Wei, who graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2016, had her work as a medical volunteer in Cambodia, Romania, and Africa, through organisations including Challenges Abroad Australia and Mercy Ships, an organisation which deploys hospital vessels to developing nations, recognised with an ACU International Contribution Award.
Proud Palawa woman Elinor Archer, who completed a graduate Diploma in Education in 2015, received the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award for her work including launching an Indigenous language and culture course at Canberra’s Dickson College, the first of its kind in the ACT, where she also teaches Indigenous cultures and languages and the arts, provides pastoral care and tutorial support programs.
And Alexander Miles, a 2016 Bachelor of Business Marketing graduate, was given the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership Alumni Award for his work to create equitable access and pathways for youth including founding Breakthru, an organisation which connects students with education and career opportunities including internships, jobs, and scholarships.
Professor Stuart said she was proud of the inspiring achievements of the award-winning ACU graduates.
“It is heartening to see ACU Alumni continuing to embody the mission and values for which we stand and using their passion and skills to improve the lives of others,” Professor Stuart said.
Ms Bramley said being involved in the ACU Alumni Awards program was a great pleasure and cause for celebration.
“Witnessing the outstanding achievements of our alumni across the globe and the impact they are making in their communities is one of the highlights of my role,” she said.
“The stories of our alumni winners inspire current students, our staff, and our network of over 126,000 alumni.”
The Alumni Awards have been held since 2015 to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and meaningful impact ACU graduates make to their communities.
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