2020 ANU Alumni Awards recognise agents of change

This year's award recipients are an illustrious mix of individuals, who are making a significant social impact in Australia and around the world. Read about their exceptional journeys.
30 April 2020

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 ANU Alumni Awards.

The Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional individuals within the ANU community. This year's recipients are an illustrious mix of individuals, who are making a significant social impact in Australia and around the world.

Ian Darling AO, BA '85 is Alumnus of the Year, recognised for creating positive social impact and advocating for a more inclusive society through his work.

Ian is an award-winning documentary film maker, whose production company, Shark Island Institute creates extensive outreach, education and community engagement campaigns with their films. The most recent example is The Final Quarter which tells the story of the last three years of the career of AFL star and 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes.

"What is so powerful about documentaries is you are telling real stories and you can take people into worlds that otherwise they may not have had exposure to," said Ian.

Asmi Wood PhD '12, LLB (Hons) '03, GradDipLegStu '98 was named Indigenous Alumnus of the Year for his profound effect on informing public policy on Indigenous affairs through research and educating the next generation. The Australian Parliament, government agencies, community organisations, schools and Indigenous groups have used Asmi's work to seek clarity on Indigenous issues.

"I have had the opportunity at ANU to mix with Aboriginal people from all over the country and see them blossom into beautiful young men and women, who go out into the country and change people's perceptions of who we are as people," said Asmi.

Angella Ndaka MPubPol PolAn (Hons) '15, GradDipPubAdm (Hons) '14 is International Alumna of the Year for her important contribution to gender and social inclusion in Kenya, and leadership programs empowering women and girls. She believes good social policy is important because it reduces the gap between the haves and the have nots.

Young Alumna of the Year is Farzana Choudhury, LLM LegPrac (Hons) '16, GDLP '14, whose legal education programs have supported and empowered women in prison and raised awareness of some of the ACT's most disadvantaged people.

Elijah Buol OAM - JD (expected '21) is Student Volunteer of the Year (Postgraduate) for assisting young and disadvantaged community members integrate successfully into society. A former refugee who lost both his parents in the Sudan War, he believes volunteering has the power to truly make an impact on the lives of those who are struggling.

Student Volunteer of the Year (Undergraduate) is Yasmin Poole for her important contribution to society as a prominent advocate for youth issues. She is motivated by the belief that a better world is made possible by involving young people.

Since 2013, the ANU Alumni Awards have celebrated over 79 winners from more than 400 nominations showcasing the strength of our 120,000 alumni community.

"The Awards showcase the diversity and calibre of the ANU community, and reinforce our own commitment to excellence," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt. "Our winners this year are high achievers, who are shining the light of hope and positive change in the world around us.

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