ANU Alumni competition winners

27 October 2015

To celebrate the news of ANU being ranked equal 19th in the world in 2015 QS World University Rankings, we gave alumni who we hadn't heard from the chance to enter one of two competitions to show their excitement and pride in this news.

One competition asked alumni were asked to come up with a hashtag they would use to celebrate the news,  the other asked alumni to share who inspired them the most at ANU and why.

We had a fun time reading through all your responses and are happy to announce the following alumni as winners of an ANU prize pack.

Winners of the Hashtag Competition

  • #worldclass - Anthony Staun (GDLP '15)
  • #ANUtotop20 - Nathalie De Clercq (BA '06)
  • #limitlessANU - Lachlan Henderson (BSc '12, BE (Hons) '12)
  • #anugraduatestop20 - Fiona Picotti (GDLP '14)
  • #TakeThatMelbUni - Christina Carroll (BSc (Hons) '11)

Winners of the ANU Inspiration Competition

  • Fellow student Richard Walker-Powell.  Politics major in mid 1990s. Despite substantial learning difficulties, he worked harder than anyone else I met at university, driven not by the desire for academic results (he was overjoyed just to pass) but by the passion for learning and the determination to do everything humanly possible to make the world a better place.  He could never achieve academic excellence relative to those without his learning difficulties, but he had a pure and true dedication to learning for its own sake.  He spent an inordinate amount of time with university study skills counsellors and had all of his friends read all of his essays in order to get some insight into how to better express what he thought.  He was a beacon of positive attitude and relentlessly generous and kind of spirit.  He never gave up.  With the same learning difficulties, most would have. Indeed, I would have. Richard inspired me by his lust for life and uncompromising enthusiasm for learning from others.  The world responded in kind.  So, in the early 1990s when Desmond Tutu visited Australia, Richard informed me he was going to meet him.  "How did you arrange that", I asked.  "I haven't", he laughed.  Richard went to hear the Archbishop speak at a large public gathering.  Afterwards he approached the front of the crowd and was stopped by the Archbishop's personal security.  The Archbishop overheard Richard explaining that he just wanted to meet and talk to him.  He gave Richard  a 10 minute personal audience.  Richard's life was full of unlikely experiences like that.  People sensed his goodness and responded to his huge heart. He always wanted to work for the UN on peacekeeping missions.  A couple of years after we finished university (perhaps in about 1998) I received a copy of ANU reporter.  I read an article in it informing that Richard had been killed when a UN plane that he was on was shot down over Bosnia.  I couldn't help thinking that he would have been happy in the knowledge that he died doing exactly what he had desperately wanted to do.  He really was everything that a University could hope for in its students.  Learning for its own sake, regardless of the difficulties, and for the sole purpose of improving the world. Bernard Quinn (BA (AsianStudies) (Hons) '96, LLB (Hons) '96, GDLP '97)
  • Professor Hilary Charlesworth was a great inspiration to me during my Master of International Law and beyond.  Her depth of knowledge and experience in the field of international human rights law and gender and international law make her an incredibly engaging and informative lecturer.  It was these classes that inspired me to pursue a career at the UN, where I spent eight years working in a human rights role until 2012. This was all really largely because of Professor Charlesworth's inspiration. Aside from her amazing academic credentials, Professor Charlesworth also inspired me as a professional working mother, very committed to both work and family.  It made a big impression on me in my late-20s to know of someone with such a high level busy professional life who was also raising young children.  I really feel very lucky to have had such an influence at that time in my life. Renata Sivacolundhu (nee Bryce) (MIntLaw '03)

  • Wil Sanders  is so much more than an academic and lecturer. His passion for improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has challenged and inspired me to chase my own career aspirations. His biggest talent though is the respect the has for his colleagues and that he incorporates a range of guest lecturers into his courses. I found studying easy for the first time in my life as I was so engaged in the subject matter and excited to learn more. He was also always so generous with his time and was willing to assist with academic and career advice. After a couple of set backs, I am now working as a Principal Policy Officer working on Indigenous Social Policy for the Queensland State Government and I love it. All thanks to Will. Megan Butcher (GDLP '11)
  • It is no exaggeration to say that the late Professor Iain Wright (English) altered the course of my life. I was studying at ANU part-time: in my professional life I was a successful software developer, working for major government agencies such as HIC and Centrelink. In my academic life, I pursued my fierce love of literature, particularly the astonishing works of William Shakespeare. Iain, who was my undergraduate thesis supervisor, showed me the ropes of academic research. He had me give a conference paper based on my thesis research at the annual meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association. Afterwards, he helped me get the paper published. One day he remarked casually that we ought to talk about "my PhD." I remember it vividly; I was so flattered, awed. Not only did Iain encourage me to apply to graduate school, he urged me to approach the top schools in the world. In a career-changing gamble that still amazes me when I think of it now, I left the world of information technology to pursue a doctoral degree in English at Harvard University. Since then, I have published and won prizes for my work on Shakespeare. I arrived at ANU with a private passion; I left with the University Medal and the prospect of a fruitful career in humanities academia. It would not have happened without Iain's vision for me. It saddened me immensely that he died during my first year at Harvard. I would not be who I am without him, and will be forever profoundly grateful that our paths crossed. Professor Suparna Roychoudhury BA (Hons) '05
  • I must say it is my supervisor Professor Graham D. Farquhar (Environmental Biology, RSBS) who shows me how active mind, curiosity, critical observation and in-depth understanding of what we are doing will produce good research. He is a highly intelligent individual, always had a sharp eye on research data and frequently found a breakthrough research finding. I am very proud to be his student (1994-1999), everyone in the world in the field of Plant Physiology knows Graham Farquhar, the man behind the famous photosynthesis mathematical equation showing the relation to light, CO2, temperature and stomatal opening. ANU is very lucky to have Professor. Graham D. Farquhar. I am very proud to be ANU graduate under his supervision. Dr Tania June PhD '02
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