I do some of my best thinking on long haul flights. Having just come back from celebrating the graduation of our Hong Kong students and launching several new professionals into careers in Nutrition and Food Science, Business Management, Marketing and Communications and Media, it struck me again what an enormous impact we, as Australia’s University of Enterprise, have on the wider world.
We regularly celebrate our successful rise in the world university rankings, from being considered one of the world’s best young universities to now being included in the list of the world’s best universities of any age. From having a 10-year-old law school that is already ranked as one of the world’s top 100 (number 88 in case you were running a sweep) to being one of Australia’s most successful universities when it comes to attracting end-user linked research income, we have a lot to be proud of. And while we educate and graduate around 8000 new professionals every year, what we’re also doing is giving the world high performing, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial people who not only add value to a nation’s economy, but offer a very real commitment to the community.
This year we inaugurated The Vice Chancellor’s International Alumni Leadership award that recognises the enormous value offered to the community by the people we graduate. In July in Singapore the award was made to Mr Andrew Chen, a Fellow of the University of South Australia, the founder and chief executive of the Asia Pacific Management Institute in Singapore, for his devotion to education and support of future leaders. That support comes to the tune of $100,000 donated to our scholarship funds.
In Malaysia the award was made to Mr Yeong Chee Meng, also a Fellow of the University of South Australia, who studied his Masters of Applied Science in Project Management with UniSA in 1994 and now runs a major hydropower project. He is also a donor to our scholarship fund because he believes that it is his responsibility to give back to his community some of the opportunities that education has given him.
In Hong Kong at the start of November the award was made to Dr Edward Lam who took his Masters of International Business Administration at UniSA and, with his own business, is a passionate supporter of small and medium enterprises in Hong Kong and is incredibly supportive of UniSA, mentoring students and giving them work opportunities.
As you may know, we celebrate four outstanding alumni each year in Adelaide. We will be announcing and celebrating the UniSA Alumni Award recipients this weekend (Saturday 18 November).
This year we again chose fantastic examples of successful alumni, men and women who, although they come from completely different backgrounds, all share common values: to help their communities in humanitarian ways, to educate those with limited access to education and to serve their communities in whatever way they can.
We have also initiated a new way to recognise major donors, the Hetzel Group, named for the late and much missed the Honourable Dr Basil Hetzel AC, our former chancellor and one of South Australia’s great contributors to public health and the intellectual life of the State.
The people who are now members of the Hetzel Group have donated more than $100,000 to the University. They are: Winemaker Wolf Blass AM DUniv; Bob and Gayle Cowan; Associate Professor Margaret Davy AM; former Chancellor Dr Ian Gould AM DUniv and his wife Christine; former UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj; psychologist Dr Pamela Ryan OAM DUniv; Tom Pearce; and Emeritus Professor Kym Adey AM. As it’s not a secret I can say that there are a couple of other familiar names included in the group – they may include a couple of Irishmen – one from the North and one from the South - who are known to wear stylish blue robes at our graduation ceremonies. Their precise roles in the institution are never clear cut – but they enjoy a good function, and they’re proud to give back as best they can.
There are some donors in this group who would prefer to remain anonymous and some who will be inducted in the future. I’m hoping there will be many more to join in future years.
Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President