Achievements and Announcements


Student and alumnus recognised at the Australian Accounting Awards

Staff feature in Queen’s Birthday honours list

UniSA’s Verse Magazine named best student publication

Grant to support research into infant leukaemia

Top award for graduate research supervision

A student trifecta takes out the 2017 Ehrenberg Scholarship


UniSA VC appointed to Universities Australia board


UniSA researchers receive funding towards game changing defence capabilities

Join alumni events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne

UniSA’s global reach to improve health care


Student and alumnus recognised at the Australian Accounting Awards

Arlen Dabinett proudly holds his award after the event in Sydney in late May.Arlen Dabinett proudly holds his award after the event in Sydney in late May.

UniSA student Arlen Dabinett and alumnus Chris Hooper were awarded two of the prestigious Australian Accounting Awards late last month.

Business School student Arlen was named Accounting Student of the Year while recent MBA graduate Chris Hooper won the Editor’s Choice Award.

As one of 10 finalists, Arlen beat students from across the country with the criteria including extracurricular activities related to a career in accounting, employment/internships and academic achievements.

Arlen says the win was “a truly amazing experience … something I will always remember and cherish”. He also said being a part of UniSA’s business school was “immensely valuable”.

“It is this Business School that has given me the opportunities to move abroad, be a Business School student ambassador, UniSA international ambassador, business mentor and president of the Commerce Student Association.”

Arlen will graduate next year with a double degree and continue working at his accounting firm Pitcher Partners.

Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award, Chris Hooper, completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) in 2009 and his MBA in 2015 and has since gone on to tutor several subjects for the University.

Hooper started working as a junior accountant at the age of 19, having completed his first year of university.

“Getting experience in public practice accounting before graduating fast tracked my career,” he says.

Hooper and his company Accodex previously won the Accounting Innovation Award in 2015 and are active participants in the University’s Industry Placement Program.

Staff feature in Queen’s Birthday honours list

Three UniSA staff have been recognised for their services to research, education and the community in the 2017 Queen's Birthday honours.

Adjunct Professor Angel LopezCentre for Cancer Biology Adjunct Professor Angel Lopez has been made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO). The award was for distinguished service to medical and scientific research in the areas of immunology and cell biology, and through innovative developments in cancer treatment, particularly acute myeloid leukaemia.

Prof Lopez says it was a tremendous honour to be a recipient, and that he felt “humbled and undeserving”.

“The credit of these medical and scientific achievements should go in reality to the fantastic team at the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB),” Prof Lopez says.

“Recognition should also go to SA Pathology which provides an environment where pathology services and medical research are integrated in such a way that makes progress all the more rapid, tangible and meaningful, as well as to the University of South Australia, which has been instrumental in supporting CCB researchers in more recent years.”

See the Alumni network website for details on alumni who received honours.

Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the community, particularly to child protection and wellbeing, as an advocate for children's rights reform, and to education.

Associate Professor Denise Wood, a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, was made an AM for significant service to education as an academic, researcher and practitioner in the field of participation, inclusion and access.

Other recipients include Bangarra Dance Theatre artistic director Stephen Page, an honorary doctor of the University of South Australia, who was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Jack Condous, publicity officer and immediate past president of the Friends of the South Australian School of Art (SASA), was presented a Medial of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the visual arts, and to education.

UniSA’s Verse Magazine named best student publication

2017 Verse Magazine student editors celebrating with their award. Rubina Chitrakar (Editor), Bridget Kerry (Communications Editor), Caitlin Tait (Head Editor) and Rachael Sharman (Graphic Designer).2017 Verse Magazine student editors celebrating with their award. Rubina Chitrakar (Editor), Bridget Kerry (Communications Editor), Caitlin Tait (Head Editor) and Rachael Sharman (Graphic Designer).

UniSA’s student-run publication, Verse Magazine, has won Best Student Publication at the recent Campuslink Awards.

The awards are run by Tertiary Access Group (TAG), a not-for-profit co-operative owned and run by its 70-plus member organisations including UniSA’s Student Association.

TAG’s 2017 Campuslink Awards were held in Canberra on 8 May and Verse Magazine fought fierce competition from the likes of the University of Sydney’s Union magazine, UNSW’s Student Life and ActivateUTS to take home the award.

The annual awards recognise excellence in marketing, services, student programs and innovation in the tertiary sector. The Best Student Publication award recognises outstanding achievement in student publications across Australia.

Verse Magazine is entirely student run, featuring a range of student contributions including opinion pieces, creative writing, poems, artwork, travel stories and band reviews. Six editions are circulated each academic year with 13,000 copies printed and distributed across six campuses.

Verse Magazine’s 2017 Head Editor and UniSA journalism student Caitlin Tait says one of the magazines key strengths is the commitment to include diverse voices.

“We offer a platform for a range of opinions and a safe place to discuss difficult topics, like gender, racism, and sexuality,” she says.

Verse Magazine allows a place for students to use their power and to celebrate it.”

Grant to support research into infant leukaemia

Associate Professor Simon ConnA team of researchers led by UniSA Associate Professor Simon Conn from the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) has been awarded a coveted grant from the Ray and Shirl Norman Cancer Research Trust towards understanding how mutations which lead to cancer arise.

While it has long been accepted that environmental and/or hereditary factors are responsible for all mutations seen in cancer, Assoc Prof Conn’s team has made ground-breaking discoveries to show that naturally occurring molecules in the individual can also cause specific mutations.

The team hopes its research will assist with diagnosis and guiding the treatment of cancers, in particular infant leukaemia.

The Ray and Shirl Norman Cancer Research Trust was set up following the death of Raymond Simpson Norman to fund research into the prevention and cure of cancer.

Top award for graduate research supervision

Associate Professor Jill DorrianThe Australian Council of Graduate Research has presented UniSA’s Associate Professor Jill Dorrian with an award for excellence in graduate research supervision.

The Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) announced the winners of its inaugural national Excellence in Graduate Research Education Awards at a ceremony at the University of Technology Sydney earlier this month. The awards promote outstanding performance in higher degree research supervision, leadership and industry engagement.

Assoc Prof Dorrian, who is Associate Head of School: Research and Associate Professor: Psychology,. was one of just three winners on the night, and the only one in her category.

Since 2006 Assoc Prof Dorrian has supervised 21 graduate students to completion and supported her students to author more than 50 high quality journal articles, book chapters and industry reports.

She is committed to enhancing her students’ future employability and not only encourages them to publish work from their theses, but also provides opportunities to work on extra projects to give them industry experience.

“It’s always been my desire to inspire interest in science, to identify and nurture talented students, and to provide research training, particularly in research design and communication of results,” Assoc Prof Dorrian says.

“Receiving this recognition from the national body responsible for promoting excellence in research training is an honour and a testament to the wonderful students who I have been fortunate to work and learn with.”

UniSA Dean of Graduate Studies Professor Pat Buckley says that to receive the inaugural national award for best research degree supervision is “a tremendous achievement”.

“This award recognises the quality of Jill’s commitment and talent in graduate research training,” Prof Buckley says.

“I was fortunate to be at the awards ceremony, and it was wonderful to hear how well received her award was, in a room full of people who understand the dedication and work that goes into exemplary research supervision.”

For more information about Assoc Prof Dorrian’s award, visit the ACGR website.

A student trifecta takes out the 2017 Ehrenberg Scholarship

A high calibre of marketing students has resulted in three Ehrenberg Scholarships being awarded this year.

Awarded to top tier students, the prestigious Ehrenberg Scholarship rewards winners with a year of paid HECS fees, the option to undertake paid, part-time work with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, and direct entry to invitation-only marketing masterclasses.

Typically awarded to a single high-achiever, 2017 has seen the unprecedented appointment of three winners— Georgia Butterworth (Port Augusta Secondary School), Alexandra Green (Mercedes College) and Oliver Main (Pembroke School)—selected from a large pool of premier candidates, who had each achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 95 or above in their Year 12 results.

Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the UniSA Business School, Professor Byron Sharp, says he was impressed by the quality of the applicants.

“We had a large number of outstanding candidates this year which is fantastic,” Prof Sharp says

“As every scholarship applicant graduated in the top five per cent of high school students in the State, it’s always hard to select a winner.

“But this year it was astonishingly difficult, which is why we decided to award three.”

Named after the late Professor Andrew Ehrenberg, one of the Institute’s namesakes and one of the world’s greatest marketing scientists, scholarship applicants must have an ATAR of 95+ and be enrolled in one of two UniSA marketing degrees. Selected candidates are then invited to attend an interview and the scholarship is awarded based on students' potential for excellence in marketing.

“The interview is our first look at the marketing scientists of the future,” Prof Sharp says.

“It’s great to meet these passionate students at the very start of their careers.

“Over the span of their university degree, they develop marketing knowledge that’s grounded by marketing science, placing them in good stead for a successful and confident career.”

He says it’s the world-class reputation of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute that attracts high-achievers to undertake marketing degrees with UniSA.

“Scholarship applicants are aware of our reputation as a leading Institute – we are the world’s largest centre for research into marketing – so the experience they can have while studying marketing at the UniSA Business School is unique.”

First-year marketing student Georgia Butterworth, from Port Augusta, says she’s excited about where the prestigious scholarship could take her.

“I knew that learning industry-relevant information from marketing researchers would provide me with a number of opportunities,” Georgia says.

“Winning the Ehrenberg Scholarship has given me verification that I can achieve a lot more than what I originally thought.”

Oliver Main, who was head prefect at Pembroke School, says studying marketing had a strong appeal.

“I’ve been interested in marketing and advertising for a while, so choosing to study marketing at UniSA was a logical choice,” Oliver says.

“This scholarship will let me make the most of my time at university, especially given the opportunities to talk and meet with people in the marketing world.”

After commencing a law degree last year, Alexandra Green found that she wanted to embrace her creative side. She says UniSA’s marketing and communication degree will provide this opportunity while also working closely with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute to explore the ever-changing world of marketing.

“I love the idea that what isn’t invented today, could be the crux of my future career,” Alexandra says.

“Marketing has to adapt to changes in technology and social demands, and being able to be a part of this, through the Ehrenberg scholarship, is really exciting.”


UniSA VC appointed to Universities Australia board

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd has been appointed to the board of the peak body representing the university sector, Universities Australia.

Universities Australia represents Australian universities in the public interest, both nationally and internationally.

Prof Lloyd says it’s an important time to be represented on the board, with the federal Government’s proposed changes to higher education funding and legislation currently being considered by parliament.

“Universities Australia’s mission is to influence the national policy framework in which Australia’s universities operate in ways that affirm Australia’s position as a highly innovative and educated nation,” he says.

“It’s both an honour and a valuable opportunity to be involved in the discussions and decisions that drive the voice of Australia’s universities.”

Prof Lloyd’s appointment to the Universities Australia Board of Directors was ratified in May.

At the May meeting, Vice Chancellors expressed concern about the impact of cuts to public investment in universities and fee rises on students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.



UniSA researchers receive funding towards game changing defence capabilities

UniSA researchers have received more than $200,000 to help develop game-changing defence capabilities in partnership with the Department of Defence.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced in May that 59 projects across 22 Australian universities had been selected to receive the first round of funding under the Next Generation Technologies Fund. The aim is to engage industry and academia to research priority areas identified in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.

“The Next Generation Technologies Fund allows us to draw on the expertise in Australian universities to initiate research into emerging technologies of interest to Defence,” Mr Pyne says.

The following projects at UniSA have been selected for funding:

  • DeepRay glider robust autonomy, $88,000, by Professor Markus Stumptner, Professor Javaan Chahl, Dr Ivan Lee, Dr Wolfgang Mayer, Mr Ryan Green

  • Multi-objective optimisation for autonomous UAV location planning over dynamic networks, $98,255, by Association Professor Regina Burachik, Dr C Yalçın Kaya

  • Anomaly detection in satellite communications networks, $39,947, by Associate Professor Mark McDonnell, Dr Daniel Padilla Baez.

A total of 428 project proposals were received from 31 universities across Australia in a highly competitive field. For more information visit

Join alumni events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne

UniSA alumni in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra have the chance to join Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd to hear about some of the latest research from academics.

UniSA Alumni Cocktail receptions are being held in the four capital cities in June and July and all alumni are welcome.

Some of the topics being presented include Professor Michelle Baddeley from UniSA’s Institute for Choice, speaking about "Copycats and Contrarians: Why we herd and when we don't”, in Sydney on 20 June.

Dr Gabrielle Todd from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, whose research interests include, investigating early motor signs in Parkinson’s disease and the long-lasting effects of methamphetamine on movement, will be speaking in Brisbane (21 June) and Melbourne (18 July).

Dean and Head of UniSA’s School of Law, Professor Wendy Lacey, will be the guest speaker at the event in Canberra (19 July).

For details and to register, visit the UniSA Alumni events page.

UniSA’s global reach to improve health care

Australia Awards Fellowships assistant director Raji Samprathi; Sports Australia Awards Fellow, and Myanmar Ministry of Health employee, Dr Kyaw Soe Nyunt;, Australia Awards and Alumni Branch assistant secretary Cheryl Johnson; and health specialist Jill Bell.Australia Awards Fellowships assistant director Raji Samprathi; Sports Australia Awards Fellow, and Myanmar Ministry of Health employee, Dr Kyaw Soe Nyunt;, Australia Awards and Alumni Branch assistant secretary Cheryl Johnson; and health specialist Jill Bell.

UniSA’s Division of Health Sciences is hosting 13 Australia Award Fellows for eight weeks (April to June) as part of an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) grant awarded to the University.

The visitors, educators and academics mainly from universities in Myanmar, and are here to learn from the University’s program structures, curricula and teaching practices to possibly adapt components of the teaching and learning models to education settings in Myanmar.

The areas of expertise include nursing (in liaison with the University of Adelaide) and midwifery, allied health (pharmacy, physiotherapy, medical radiation/radiotherapy) and population health.

One of the Fellows, Dr Kyaw Soe Nyunt, works in the Ministry of Health and Sports in Myanmar and hopes to expand his knowledge in medical education. He says he’s impressed with what he has experienced in Adelaide.

“I have already seen the current teaching and learning methods and especially case based problem based learning,” Dr Nyunt says.

“I hope to share what I have learned [in Australia] with my Ministry, my department and our universities for academic improvement of capacity building in higher education.”

Since 2015, 40 Australia Awards Fellows from Myanmar have visited Australia through grants awarded by DFAT to UniSA.