Alumni News

Congratulations to UniSA’s Young Achievers

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell

Congratulations to four University of South Australia alumni whose achievements, dedicated and innovative research, and tireless community work was recently recognised at the Channel Nine Young Achiever Awards in Australia.

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell was the deserving recipient of the University Senior College Change Award for her work with not-for-profit organisation TIA. While Bryce Eldredge, Dr John Arnold, and Dr Joel Fuller all made it to the finals in their respective categories.

Tessa, who graduated with a Bachelor of International Relations and a Bachelor of Social Work in 2013, founded TIA in 2009 and works with children and young people through their transition from state care into independence, empowering them to become thriving members of society and create brighter futures for themselves by providing the necessary training, support, and opportunities.

Tessa has raised over $200,000 to help Bolivian teenagers through the ValenTIA program, and said she was incredibly humbled to win the award.

“This award really goes to all the incredible people who have helped to make TIA what it is today, including four Bolivian staff and over 100 volunteers, not to mention the countless teenagers and young people we have had the privilege of working with,” says Tessa.

Over that time, TIA has set up a number of initiatives in Bolivia to help youth in state care, with over 100 teenagers successfully moving on to independent living. Tessa said she intends to continue this trajectory.

“I would love to work more closely with the Bolivian Government to create a system that offers support to all young people leaving care.”

Tessa Henwood-Mitchell

Dr Fuller, who graduated with a PhD in Physiotherapy in 2016, was one of the finalists for the University of Adelaide Science and Technology Award for his research, which has helped improve the health of athletes through wearable technology. He is currently researching to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life through exercise.

Dr Fuller’s research into sport health has been recognised in the past with awards such as the UniSA Vice Chancellor & President’s Scholarship, the Fullbright Postgraduate Scholarship, as well as winning the UniSA Three Minute Thesis Competition. His research then went on to be demonstrated in high-ranking sports science journals as well as presentations at national and international conferences.

“My research has led to collaborations with national and international companies and research institutes,” says Dr Fuller.

“It has also enhanced clinical practice in junior Australian football and improved how footwear companies tailor shoes for runners.

“It was an honour to be a finalist amongst so many other high-achieving young South Australians.”

Good luck to all our alumni, staff, and students in next year’s awards.

By Keir Hale


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