Outstanding alumni receive top awards

Five outstanding University of Adelaide graduates have been recognised for their significant contributions to their professions and communities with Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Among the winners are South Australia’s first woman Chief Scientist; a trailblazer of modern Australian winemaking; a forensic dentist involved in identifying Bali bombing victims; a young woman engineer determined to change STEM stereotypes; and an award-winning author giving a voice to Aboriginal people in the Arts, policy and public debate.

As an addition to this year’s Awards, four further alumni were recognised with Alumni Fellows awards.

The University of Adelaide’s Distinguished Alumni Awards, now in its 29th year, recognise alumni who have excelled in their fields, and through their outstanding accomplishments, improved the lives of others.

The Awards are given across three categories: the Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding and sustained contributions; the Tirkapena Alumni Award for positive outcomes for Indigenous communities; and the James McWha Rising Star Award for those making a significant contribution as emerging leaders.

Alumni Fellows are awarded to alumni who have significantly contributed to the University’s Alumni Relations Program.


Distinguished Alumni Award 2021 winners

Dr Brian Croser AO, has played an integral role in evolving Australia’s small, fortified wine industry into the world’s fifth largest wine exporter. He is also credited with being the first winemaker to break ground in the Adelaide Hills’ Piccadilly Valley and establishing the Wine Science course at what is now known as Charles Sturt University.

Brian's story

Dr Leanna Read, FTSE, FAICD, is an esteemed biotechnology expert and the first woman to be appointed South Australia’s Chief Scientist. Dr Read’s contributions to science span commercial, government and social ventures, and as a member on many scientific boards has played a significant role in shaping local and national science policy.

Leanna's story

Professor Jane Taylor OAM, applied her specialist training in forensic dentistry to play a crucial role in identifying victims of the 2002 Bali bombings, 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and 2009 Victorian bushfires. Currently based in Moscow, Professor Taylor is the Regional Manager of Forensics for Eurasia at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Jane's story

Tirkapena Alumni Award winner

Dr Jared Thomas, a Nakunu man from the Southern Flinders Ranges, is a curator, arts administrator and international award-winning author. In positions held at Arts South Australia, the South Australian Museum, and the University of South Australia, and in volunteer roles including Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Dr Thomas’s sustained contributions have positively impacted outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Jared's story

James McWha Rising Star Award winner

Luisa Panuccio, is a civil and architectural engineer on a mission to change the face of women in STEM. The project manager for a leading infrastructure consultancy, Luisa was the 2019 National Association of Women in Construction Graduate of the Year, a 2020 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards SA finalist and an Engineers Without Borders Australia and Google state STEM Ambassador.

Alumni Fellow Awards

Associate Professor Wayne Boardman is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Animal Veterinary Sciences and was instrumental in establishing the Roseworthy Veterinary Alumni (RVA) Network. He continues to provide support to the committee through his university and industry knowledge.

Marilyn Seidel has dedicated countless hours to furthering the success of the University through volunteering and as a member and Chair of the University’s Hughes Society Committee.

Reuben Jacob and Dr Cher-Lynn Soh were instrumental in establishing the Sciences Alumni Network. Both serve as members of the Committee (Rueben the current President and Cher-Lynn Vice-President).

Tagged in Awards, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, School of Agriculture Food and Wine, School of Biological Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Viticulture and Oenology, Biomedical Science, Student & Graduate Stories