Distinguished Alumni Awards

Recognising alumni who have significantly contributed to their communities and professions.

Our Distinguished Alumni are a rich and diverse pool of leaders and innovators who, through their outstanding accomplishments, have improved the lives of others and significantly contributed to their communities and professions. 

These are the contemporary and the legendary; the entrepreneurial and the humanitarian; the philosophical and the technical talent. They are exemplars of the University of Adelaide success story and a great source of internal pride and inspiration.

Distinguished Alumni Award categories

Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognises the outstanding and sustained contributions made by University alumni in their local communities and beyond.

2022 recipients: Professor John McNeil AO, David Reynolds PSM (pictured), Professor Nicola Spurrier PSM


Tirkapena Indigenous Award

Recognises an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alumna or alumnus whose significant achievements have impacted their profession and/or community.

2022 recipient: Tiahni Adamson (pictured)


James McWha Rising Star Award

Recognises young alumni (35 years or younger at the nomination deadline) who are making a significant contribution as emerging leaders within their profession and/or within their community.

2022 recipients: Dr Angela Alder-Price (pictured), Professor Phiala Shanahan


Distinguished International Alumni Award

Dr Mercy Mwangangi, is a medical practitioner, health economist and policy analyst who fundamentally believes in the crucial role public health plays in Kenya’s economic and social development. Dr Mwangani is the Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry for Health, and became the face of the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic response at just 32 years old.

Previous recipients