Inspirational Community

Our research and professional staff along with our graduates have had an impact all over the world. From the invention of x-ray crystallography, penicillin and the Olympic torch to Australia’s first female Queen’s Counsel, Supreme Court judge, and state governor – they have made vital contributions.

History makers Some of our pioneering women Some of our ones to watch Celebrating some of our people

History makers

We were our state’s first university. The first to offer degrees in science and business. And the first to establish a conservatorium of music. Our people have embodied our spirit of history making.

Sir Howard Florey

Played a key role in the development of penicillin and is regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures.

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Professor Fay Gale

The first honours graduate in Geography and the University’s first female professor in 1978. In 1988 she was the first woman in a senior management position as Pro Vice-Chancellor.

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Dr Andy Thomas AO

Spent a total of 6 months in space across four crewed missions over a 12-year period. Became the first Australian to walk in space in 2001.

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Read more about out Nobel Laureates and History of firsts.

Some of our pioneering women

As the first University in Australia to admit women to all our degree courses on an equal basis to men, pioneering women are part of our DNA.

Edith Emily Dornwell

The first woman in Australia to graduate with a science degree, the first woman to graduate from the University of Adelaide, and the University’s first science graduate (male or female).

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Dame Roma Mitchell AC

First female Queen’s Counsel, Supreme Court judge, and state governor. She was also the first female chancellor of an Australian university—ours—from 1983 to 1990.

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The Hon. Julia Gillard AC

Australia’s 27th, and first female, Prime Minister (2010 – 2013) and Deputy Prime Minister (2007 – 2010). Now an Honorary Visiting Professor.

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Some of our ones to watch

Our alumni are part of a large global community comprising more than 171,828 graduates across 150 countries. They all have a story to tell.

Dr Ben LaHood

Ben featured in The Ophthalmologist magazine’s Power List for 2023 as one of the world’s top 100 ophthalmologists.

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Dr Sarah Boyle

An exceptional young leader in the field of breast cancer research, Sarah has embodied excellence and innovation throughout her and was awarded the 2023 James McWha Rising Star Award.

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Nik Nasha Damia

A passionate humanitarian, Nik Nasha Damia is the Executive Director of Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN) in Malaysia.

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Celebrating some of our people

Our staff are at the core of the University and their individual stories all contribute to the wonderful community that we have built over 150 years.

Associate Professor Beth Loveys

Associate Head of School (Learning and Teaching), School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

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Daniel Tackage

Global Partnerships Manager, Division of External Engagement

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Dr Joshua Curtis

Lecturer, Adelaide Law School. Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

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Celebrating some of our students

Our students are the history-makers of the future and the reason why the University exists. They are the next generation to take us into the next 150 years.

Onnie Chan

An artist, an entrepreneur, and a master of immersive technologies. Onnie Chan is, in a word, impressive!

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Caleb Rodgers

A friendly face around campus, Caleb is involved in countless clubs, is a Succeed@Adelaide Ambassador, and works for YouX

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Grace Atta

Grace Atta will graduate in 2024 with a Double Degree in Media and Arts (majoring in Psychology)

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