Awards: UNSW celebrates its star graduates

L-R: UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston and UNSW Science alumna Professor Frances Separovic
Thursday, 18 May, 2017
UNSW media

For her contribution to chemistry and the promotion of women in science, Professor Frances Separovic was last night announced winner of the Science and Technology category of the 2017 UNSW Alumni Awards.   

Having earned her PhD from UNSW as a single mother, Professor Separovic became the first female Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2005, and in 2010 became the first woman to head their School of Chemistry.

For International Women’s Day this year, she was recognised by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry as a Distinguished Woman in Chemistry.

The annual UNSW awards celebrate the achievements of ten of the University’s most accomplished graduates and graduands, chosen from a pool of close to 290,000 alumni.

Many of the recipients were welcomed back to the University on Tuesday night for the awards dinner hosted by Chancellor Mr David Gonski AC, and President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs.

Professor Jacobs congratulated the recipients saying: “Choosing these winners from the extraordinary pool of talent spread across 146 countries and all facets of human endeavour is not an easy task.

“A key measure of a great university is how much it values its alumni and the contribution they make to society.

“We are extremely proud of the alumni we honour here tonight, the remarkable innovation they demonstrate, and the impact they are having in Australia and worldwide,” Professor Jacobs said.

Presenting the awards, Mr Gonski thanked the selection panel (led by Sydney Water Chair and UNSW Foundation Board member Mr Bruce Morgan), and noted the University had enjoyed its biggest-ever response to the call for nominations, with contenders for the Young Alumni award so strong the panel chose to bestow two awards in the category.

An Indigenous art champion, a doctor undertaking world-renowned work in leprosy, and the founder of a not-for-profit organisation combating sexual violence in India were among other award recipients .

See the UNSW newsroom for a full report.