Alumni Notes May 2015

11 May 2015

ANU is proud of the extraordinary global achievements of the alumni community. If you have received an award, changed jobs or careers, or have any other professional or personal highlights you want to share with the alumni community, please contact the Alumni Relations team by email.

Warm congratulations to ANU alumni Dr Gaye Sculthorpe (BA '77), Dr Lissant Bolton (BA '77) and Dr John Carty (PhD '12) for the launch of their book "Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation" which accompanies the British Museum exhibition of the same name. This publication highlights the beauty and knowledge embodied in works of art and everyday life from Indigenous Australia. This ground breaking new publication explores the profound impact and legacy of colonialism, the nature of collecting and the changing meaning of objects now in the collection of the British Museum.

Dr Katherine Barnes (PhD '03, MLitt (Hons) '98, BA (Hons) '72) has published a new book 'The Sabotage Diaries'. The book isn't Katherine's first foray into the literary world. Her first book, The Higher Self, about Australian poet Christopher Brennan, won the Walter McRae Russell award in 2007 for a work of outstanding literary scholarship on an Australian subject.

Sue Castrique (BA (Hons) '78) published Under the Colony's Eye: Gentlemen and Convicts at Cockatoo Island 1839-1869. This is the first book about the convict history of Cockatoo Island, one of the eleven world heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites. It is available at bookstores or directly from Anchor Books Australia. Sue also has experience bringing the past to the screen as a writer and script editor for historical documentaries.  Her work has been recognised with a number of awards including three Australian Writer's Guild Awards, an AFI and the Reuben Mamoulian Award.

Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Churcher AO (HonLLD '96) (11 January 1931 - 31 March 2015). Ms Churcher, a former director of the National Gallery of Australia, worked on campus in the 1990s as an Adjunct Professor with the then Centre for Cross Cultural Research. In 1996, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University.

Dr Gregory Constable (PhD '82) was announced as the winner of the 2015 International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) Researcher of the Year. Dr Constable is an agronomist, crop physiologist and plant breeder, allowing him to make significant contributions to the development of scientifically based farming approaches.

Lee Constable (BSc (Hons) '14, BA '12) was recently awarded Great Ydeas Grant by YWCA Canberra. The grant will help to fund a radio program SoapBox for people to discuss their social justice passions. The program will be broadcast on local community radio station 2XXFM, and re-broadcast on national digital youth broadcaster SYN Nation.

Professor Megan Davis (GDLP '00, LLM '03, PhD '11) has been elected as the Chair of the United Nation's permanent forum on Indigenous issues.

Dr James Gill (PhD '72) professor emeritus of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, delivered the spring 2015 Emeriti Lecture. James is an expert on volcanoes and the study of how volcanic magmas evolve within the earth. He served as vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Cruz from 1994 to 2000. He retired from teaching and administration in 2010, but continues to have an active research program. He received a Humboldt Research Award in 2011 and was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2014.

Chiara Grassia (BA '12) was recently awarded Great Ydeas Grant by YWCA Canberra. Chiara will use the grant funding to travel to the USA in June-July to volunteer at two Girls Rock! camps, before returning to run the inaugural Girls Rock! Canberra at Ainslie Arts Centre. Girls Rock! Canberra is a school holiday program that aims to empower girls aged 8-17 through music, encouraging creativity, and fostering teamwork and leadership skills.

Virginia Greville (GradDipPubLaw '93) has been appointed as Australia's next Ambassador to Spain, with non-resident accreditation to Andorra and Equatorial Guinea. Virginia is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, having served as Ambassador to Chile and as Minister-Counsellor in Washington DC.  Most recently, she was Director of the NSW DFAT Office.

Professor David Horner AM (PhD '81) has won a coveted prize for his official history of Australia's domestic spy agency ASIO. His book, The Spy Catchers, won the St Ermin's Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year Award in London.

Dr Catherine Mackenzie (PhD '06) UK-based alumna Dr Catherine Mackenzie will join the University of New England as the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic). She is currently the Director of Studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.  Dr Mackenzie has a distinguished career as a legal academic at ANU, Oxford University and Cambridge University.

Dr Brett Mason (BA '83, LLB (Hons) '85) has been appointed as Australia's next Ambassador to the Netherlands. Dr Mason served as Senator for Queensland from 1 July 1999 to 15 April 2015. Dr Mason will commence in his new role in mid-2015.

Graeme Meehan (GradDipForAff&Tde '92) has been appointed Consul-General in Shanghai. Graeme is currently Assistant Secretary of the East Asia Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a position he has held since January 2013. He has served twice at the Australian Embassy in Beijing, most recently as Deputy Head of Mission (2008-2012), and twice at the Australian Office in Taipei. He will take up the appointment in June 2015.

Robert Piper (BA (Hons) '90) has been named by Ban Ki-moon as his new Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Robert has over 25 years of humanitarian and development experience and will also serve as the Organization's Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory in his new role.

Rodney Quatre (MEnvRsch '14) has received a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders. The Fellowship will see Rodney embark on a six week study program at Florida International University. Rodney is currently in charge of the Seychelles National Parks Authority's research section.

Ernest Rider (BSc (Forestry) (Hons) '66) has been inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. The ceremony was conducted on World Forestry Day at the Sherwood Arboretum, situated on the river in Brisbane.

Sophie Roden (LLB (Hons) '13, BEc '13, GDLP '14) was recently featured in Women's Agenda. She has been fighting Ebola in Liberia. Her work includes monitoring and evaluating the largest social mobilisation program in the country which equips millions of Liberians with the skills they need to fight the disease.

Dr Michael Westaway (BA '93, GradDipArts (Hons) '02, PhD '10) and Doug Williams (BA (Hons) '92) recently appeared on ABC science program Catalyst. The program showcased their research on an Aboriginal burial found on the Darling River near Bourke. The skeletal remains exhibited significant sharp edge trauma identical to that from metal swords, but radiocarbon and optical dates showed the skeleton predates metal weapons in Australia, meaning that specialised Aboriginal wooden implements were capable of inflicting such injuries. Watch the program on the Catalyst website or ABC iView.

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