Inspiring UTS Alumni Awards

Inspiring UTS Alumni Awards

Dr Simon Walsh UTS award 2014

I go to a lot of events, but last night sitting beside the witty, passionate Chancellor Vicki Sara, was inspiring.

The great Hall at UTS in the heart of Sydney sparkled with not only lights and orchids, but Alumni who make the world better. It was the UTS Alumni Awards for Excellence.

The brilliant Dr Simon Walsh Chief Scientist, Australian Federal Police received the Chancellor Vicki Sara’s award.

Forget the TV shows, Simon Walsh is the real thing – a forensic scientist who leads the investigations into major disasters providing closure for families and justice in the criminal justice system.

Father Peter maher OAM UTS awardChancellor Vicki Sara and Professor Mary Spongberg at UTS Alumni Awards

I was at a table with the wonderful Father Peter Maher OAM the parish priest at St Joseph’s Church Newtown a spokesman for victims of sexual abuse by the Church, offering pastoral care to all who need it irrespective of faith, gender, ethnicity … he invited me to speak at his church next year on ‘Elephants Have Wings’ and inter faith/multi faith/humanitarianism, finding your spirit. I am honoured.

Rebecca Cooper and Bridget Yorston UTS Award 2014

It was so wonderful hearing the professors introduce the award winners. So much fun when the young and fabulous designers strode up in super high heels – Rebecca Cooper and Bridget Yorston of the internationally acclaimed label ‘bec & bridge’. My daughter LOVES their clothes.

Other outstanding recipients of the UTS Alumni Awards included Jacqui Feeney MD Fox International; Lihua Tong Director Public Interest Lawyers;Chris Zaharia Co founder Zookai; Jemma Birrell Director of Sydney Writers Festival; Richard Tamba CEO BRT Communication; Leona McGrath Aboriginal Nursing & Midwifery Strategy; Margaret Cunneen SC Deputy-Senior Crown Prosecutor.

Stars, stars, stars!!!!!!!!!

I love the UTS community and feel deeply privileged to have received a UTS Alumni Award several years ago.


I'm a writer committed to kids in particular. Adults are good too. Want to bring hope through story to my readers. Awarded an Order of Australia, Lady Cutler Award and a Lifetime International Award for Literacy for my body of work, spreading literacy is really important. I'm head of SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand, patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, Ambassador for the Premier's Reading Challenge, Writer Ambassador for Room to Read ... among other roles. I also love heritage and adapting to enhance the lives of people today, which is why I restored The Hughenden Hotel 1870s and The Residences Centennial Park - the only homes in the parklands which are open now for accommodation, events and lots of nature.


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