2021 ANU Alumni Awards celebrate our top impact makers

30 Sep 2021

Every year, the ANU Alumni Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of our most remarkable alumni. This year, our award recipients are not only high achievers, but each of them is solving big social problems by carving a path of their own.  

Associate Professor Kamalini Lokuge OAM, HOSM (MInltLaw '03, PhD '15) is our 2021 Alumna of the Year. Hailed as 'Australia's pandemic whisperer', Kamalini has been a crucial figure in our nation's COVID-19 response. Her extraordinary work with international organisations has helped control disease outbreaks across the world. Kamalini believes in working closely with communities to empower them with effective and accessible healthcare programs.  

"To prevent people from getting sick...I realised I needed to understand them, the context of their lives, and that of their families and communities," says Kamalini.  

Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson (BA '89) is recognised as our 2021 Indigenous Alumna of the Year. Through her work as an academic, author and activist, she has made a serious impact on First Nations women and feminism. A trailblazing Indigenous feminist scholar, her book Talkin' up to the white woman published 20 years ago, has never been out of print. 

"My message to Indigenous students at ANU is, be strong enough to get up every time somebody knocks you down and keep going. And hopefully, you will be the change-makers that this country needs, in so many different ways," says Aileen.  

Our 2021 International Alumna of the Year is Dr Veronica Fynn Bruey (PhD '19). A Liberian civil war survivor, Veronica is an academic-advocate of law and policy reform regarding race, ethnicity, human rights, social justice and equality. Her work reflects her intrinsic motivation to make the world a better place, especially for girls and women survivors of war and violence. Veronica's mantra in life has been to never stop dreaming despite her challenges. 

"Dream big. You have the full capacity and ability to dream whatever you want to dream...and you have the power to own your dream," says Veronica. 

2021 Young Alumnus of the Year, Afnan Hannan (BEc, BEng '14), is an engineer on a mission to provide clean and reliable energy to remote communities around the world. He credits ANU to opening up his eyes to the challenges of the world and working on solutions.  

"What ANU taught me is accepting there is no single ultimate truth or right answer, but there is always room for going forward and every step forward is a step worth taking," says Afnan. 

Himangi Ticku (BA '18, JD (current student)) is our 2021 Student Volunteer of the Year (Postgraduate) for being a voice for detainees, who are often seen as voiceless in the criminal justice system.  

"Volunteering is the best kind of school you could ever go to.  It encourages you to think beyond yourself and really broaden your perspective," says Himangi. 

2021 Student Volunteer of the Year (Undergraduate) is Dhani Gilbert (BSc & BEnv & Sust (current student)) for her environmental advocacy and her contributions to caring for Country. 

"To me this award is about more than just my own journey and contribution, because this award acknowledges the diverse capacity of undergraduate students at ANU," says Dhani.  

Congratulations to all our 2021 ANU Alumni Award recipients! Your ANU community is proud of you.  

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