Meet our 2023 ANU Alumni Awards Finalists

2023 Student Volunteer of the Year (Undergraduate)
20 Oct 2023

Each year, the ANU Alumni Awards recognise the real impact of our students out in the community, celebrating their volunteer activities. This year, our 2023 Student Volunteer of the Year (Undergraduate) award finalists are out there advocating against sexual violence, working tirelessly to help others, providing relief to those in need and supporting mental health needs across Canberra and the world.

Emily Bottoms (She/Her) - BA, BINSS student 

Emily Bottoms is fierce advocate for preventing sexual violence on campus. She has been a leader of The STOP Campaign, a volunteer and student led not-for-profit, for over two years. Recently, Emily has worked with staff at ANU to develop the College Program, a series of peer-led workshops that provide a safe space for open discussions and which equip students with the skills and strategies to safely respond to sexual violence. Emily has also supported the development and launch the Safe Response Toolkit

Tom Gibbs (He/Him) - BMedSci (Hons) student

Tom Gibbs is an honours student at the Hannan Group at John Curtain School of Medical Research. He is a super volunteer across the Canberra region - volunteering with St John Ambulance ACT, North Canberra Hospital, and helping hundreds of students to have a safe night out with the Canberra NightCrew. He dedicates his time to keeping the ACT community safe and healthy, providing first aid at big and small events, and lending a caring and empathetic ear to patients - helping them to understand their conditions and treatments. 

Nurhan Raihan (He/Him) - BPolSci student

Nurhan is a prominent representative of several organisations including the Canberra Hub, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Communiteer, and Amnesty International, among others. In 2022, he embarked on a humanitarian journey to Jordan, Lebanon, and the demilitarised UNHCR camps along the Syrian border; rebuilding homes for refugees and providing essentials to children and families fleeing hostile areas.

Within the ANU community, Nurhan has served as a SET4ANU Mentor, senior resident for his residence, and a student caller raising funds for ANU. He also contributes to sustainability through the Kinetic Project, the ANU Solar Racing team, and the Local Conference of Youth for UNICEF Australia.

Sonali Varma (She/Her)- BA, BSc student

Sonali Varma's experiences with mental health struggles have propelled her to connect with, advocate for, and support others experiencing similar issues. Through volunteering, Sonali strives to help people in their time of need. As a telephone crisis supporter for Lifeline, she helps our community's most vulnerable. Sonali also volunteers by participating in research groups facilitated by the Youth Coalition; contributing to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Sector Alliance as a member of their youth reference group; acting as a gen-rep for the Psychology Society, Undergraduate Research Society, Fifty50 and Effective Altruism ANU; serving the community at the Food Coop; and mentoring at Set4ANU.

This year finalists, their guests, and distinguished members of the ANU community will be invited to attend the ANU Alumni Awards reception held at the heritage Hyatt Hotel Canberra, on Monday 27 November. Join us as we announce the 2023 ANU Alumni Award recipients, and find out more here.










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