Award Recipients

Congratulations to all nominees, shortlisted candidates, and in particular, to the outstanding 2022 University Award recipients.

  • Excellence in Research

    An award for an academic staff member

    Professor Shaobin Wang

    Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

    Shaobin’s outstanding contributions to his fields of research are on the frontier of scientific endeavour.  He is an internationally renowned scientist in both fundamental science and applications in advanced materials design, catalysis, and environmental remediation. Shaobin has demonstrated a great capacity to undertake ground-breaking research, and is continuously invited to give plenary, keynote and scientific presentations at many international conferences. Over the past 5 years he has produced over 300 refereed journal publications where more than 95% are published in Q1 Journals. His research group is world-leading, and was listed as the global no. 1 research group in materials for environmental remediation in the report of Research Fronts by Clarivate and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2018.

    Shaobin’s impact is felt not only through his research outcomes. He has made a significant contribution to developing the next generation of globally leading researchers through his supervision and mentoring of more than 30 PhD and postdoctoral fellows. He is collegiate, conducts himself and his research ethically, responsibly and with integrity, and generates enthusiasm amongst his colleagues.


    An award for a professional staff member

    Ms Joanne Hedges

    Research Officer in the Adelaide Dental School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Joanne is a Yamatji woman, and became the Director of The Indigenous Oral Health Unit in the Adelaide Dental School earlier this year after 10 years in the Unit. Joanne’s greatest teachers have been the strong Aboriginal Elders and Community Leaders she has had the privilege to work alongside. This has underpinned her unwavering commitment to driving sustainable solutions to the oral health gap for Aboriginal Australians. Joanne has achieved exceptional success in obtaining external research funding, including in excess of $6 million over two Category One funding schemes this year. This is an exceptional outcome given that only 0.3% of NHMRC funds were awarded for oral health research. Joanne leads a team of researchers working closely with the Aboriginal community throughout South Australia. She worked for many years as a senior research Aboriginal officer and has built bridges between researchers and the Indigenous Community though her excellent mentorship and willingness to share her wisdom and knowledge with others.

    Joanne is a highly regarded senior Aboriginal researcher in the Aboriginal community, and an exemplary University citizen, who has achieved considerable inroads to raising cultural awareness and cultural competency for both students and staff in the Adelaide Dental School. 


    An award for an early-career researcher

    Dr Katharina Richter

    NHMRC Externally funded Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Katharina is a high-performing early-career academic, with an infectious energy, charisma and global links - making her an outstanding ambassador for the University of Adelaide. Katharina established her own research group at the University of Adelaide only 1.5 years after completing her PhD, and now supervises 3 postdocs and 4 PhD students. She has produced 25 scientific papers, 36 conference papers as first author and 24 conference papers as senior author. Katharina has secured over $3 million in competitive research funding, which is a testament to her intellectual merit and ability to deliver science that is recognised as novel and impactful. Her recent co-founding of an Australian company, RiBu Plasma Pty Ltd, demonstrates her ability to identify multiple paths through which to have impact: scientific, translational and commercial.

    Katharina’s research leadership and contributions, dedication to science outreach activities and to inspiring students to follow careers in STEMM exemplify her enthusiasm and dedication to science. She has a rare ability to captivate and inspire people of various backgrounds, and excels in training, motivating, mentoring, and supporting staff and students, enabling them to build their track record, become independent research leaders and deliver high quality outcomes for the benefit of society.


    An award for an academic, professional or mixed team

    AKction Team

    Adelaide Nursing School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Team representative: Associate Professor Janet Kelly

    Dr Kim O’Donnell, Miss Amy Graham, Ms Kelli Owen, Mr Isaac Brown, Mrs Rhanee Lester, Ms Nari Sinclair, Mr Jarad Kartinyeri, Mrs Melissa Arnold-Chamney, Dr Samantha Bateman, Dr Elizabeth Rix, Miss Alyssa Cormick, Miss Tahlee Stevenson and Miss Kynesha Temple-Varcoe

    The Aboriginal Kidney Care Together, Improving Outcomes Now is an innovative and unique research project that is improving kidney care for and with Aboriginal patients by privileging and acting on the voices of Aboriginal patient experts, their families and community members. Based within the Adelaide Nursing School, co-led by Dr Kim O’Donnell and Associate Professor Janet Kelly, AKction brings together patient experts, academics, healthcare professionals, peak bodies and key stakeholders to collaboratively co-design innovated and responsive models of kidney care within and across health and support services.

    The team work within a brave space and hold a vision of how their research can (and must) have immediate impact and benefit for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal recipients of kidney care, as well as the health professionals and services providing that care. They are significant contributors to the inaugural National Indigenous Clinical Kidney Care Guidelines, and National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce, both of which are making significant clinical, policy and model of care changes leading to improved access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people with kidney disease. AKction set an example and a precedent for exceedingly high quality, culturally safe research.


    Greater McArthur Basin team

    School of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

    Team representative: Professor Alan Collins

    Dr Juraj Farkas, Assoc Professor Rosalind King, Assoc Professor Carl Spandler, Dr Morgan Blades, Ms Georgina Virgo, Mr Angus Nixon and Mr Darwinaji Subarkah

    Australian School of Petroleum and Energy Resources, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

    Professor Simon Holford

    The ‘Greater McArthur Basin’ research team is an exemplar research team. It operates under a model that many attempt and few achieve, and is done through mutual respect, collegiality, and integrity that industry partners and students readily recognise and value. Their research is all aimed at excellence and discovery through student-focused projects, with real-world industry collaboration. The Greater McArthur Basin team have secured over $2.7 million in ARC Linkage Projects, and over the past 5 years, have produced: 2PhD theses, 12 Honours projects, 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and 56 presentations and submitted abstracts. A particular highlight is the novel development of age-dating tools for the ancient rocks of the Greater McArthur Basin. This is truly world-leading innovation in science, which provides a clearer understanding of paleo-environmental reconstruction for this period in Earth history, and helps to improve understanding of subsurface mineral and energy resources.

    This team's success is also due to a culture of sustained engagement with industry and government; this extends from demonstrating industry impact to students through teaching programs, industry engagement in teaching and a sustained partnering with industry. As noted by a testimonial from Santos, the 'Greater McArthur Basin’ research team provide a "welcoming, amicable and open environment for sharing and learning".

  • An Enhanced Student Experience

    An award for an academic staff member

    Associate Professor Elizabeth Beckett

    Associate Professor in the School of Biomedicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Liz is an Education Specialist whose commitment to our students and their education consistently provides an outstanding student experience across the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Her enthusiasm for education is evidenced by her ongoing commitment to professional development, including the completion of her Graduate Diploma of Higher Education and appointment as a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

    Liz has developed flexible learning and teaching activities to facilitate student engagement and learning and has consistently provided an outstanding student experience for those studying on and off campus. Liz’s biggest impact is her tireless leadership of the new Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine degree, the “BMD”. In 2020 the development of the BMD was at significant risk and Liz’s leadership in curriculum development was instrumental to the successful launch of the BMD this year.

    Liz is the embodiment of the culture we aspire to, and the University is exceptionally fortunate to have people of her calibre and dedication amongst our academic ranks.


    An award for a professional staff member

    Brandon Pullen

    Senior Technical Officer in Sciences, Engineering and Technology Faculty Office

    Brandon is an immensely valuable member of the SET workshop team, who has had a tremendously positive influence on the outputs of research groups and the learning and experience of Honours and HDR students and staff.  He demonstrates a great deal of passion towards student and researcher projects by sharing his wealth of knowledge in design and his high standard of finish in machining. He is approachable, collaborative, respectful, and patient, and dedicated to supporting students and staff in understanding design principles and manufacturing practices.

    Brandon takes students and staff on a journey of discovery and learning, and readily shares his experience and ideas. He has a positive outlook and enjoys the challenges that student and research projects bring to his work. Working with Brandon epitomises the experience that we want our students to have with the SET workshop – one that is positive and allows them to grow their technical knowledge and confidence.


    An award for an academic or professional mixed team

    Welcome Back Festival

    Student Experience, Division of Academic and Student Engagement

    Team representative: Dr Owen Lindsay

    Mrs Nicola Venditozzi, Mr Geoffrey Denison, Mr Dave Thomson, Ms Annette Wheatley, Mr Emmanuel Tibatemwa, Mrs Melanie Officer, Miss Chelsea Deckert and Mrs Tamra Purton. 

    Education Transformation, Division of Arts and Student Engagement

    Ms Tanya Dahlenburg

    Marketing, Division of External Engagement

    Mrs Belinda Fordham

    Advancement, Division of External Engagement

    Mr Jorge Garcia

    Following the Covid-19 border closure, the Welcome Back Festival (WBF) working group designed an innovative and engaging program to welcome international students back to campus and support them in their transition to life and study in Adelaide. Their ambitious suite of initiatives addressed a number of challenges resulting from students being forced to study overseas for a prolonged period, including isolation from fellow students, limited capacity to develop strong English language skills and risks to retention and academic success.

    Highlights of the Festival were many and varied, from the Icebreaker Event attended by 300 students and the Eid Mubarak event attended by over 100 students, to the airport pick-up service, on-campus Welcome Desk, English Assist workshops and weekly social networking and conversation groups. Originally anticipated to be available to students for Semester 1, the program was so successful that it was quickly extended into Semester 2.  

    This was truly a collaborative effort, with staff coming together from diverse areas of the University, each with the singular goal of providing an exemplary, warm, welcoming and meaningful experience for our international students.

  • A Culture of Impact and Excellence

    An award for an academic or professional staff member for exceptional leadership

    Professor Corinna Van Den Heuvel

    School of Biomedicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Corinna is known for her intellect, integrity, and absolute commitment to the ideals of the University and advancement of others. She is supremely passionate about education, and unreservedly committed to our students and their experience. These qualities made her the obvious choice to lead both the Adelaide Medical School and the School of Biomedicine as interim Head of School.

    Corinna is a born leader who actively and thoughtfully engages with her peers, and demonstrates that nurturing strong collegial relationships, pooling collective strengths and supporting one another is at the core of a successful learning and working environment. Corinna shows care for every member of the School. She understands the School's business, knows who the staff are and what they do, and in working closely with the School's leadership team has a clear vision for how the School can be bolder and better. Her leadership attributes are consultation, transparent decision-making, communication, diplomacy, energy and action. Her philosophy is that "nothing happens if we simply sit around talking about it, let's make it happen" and she does. Corinna is a role model and mentor to many and inspires a culture built around purpose, accountability, respect and collaboration.


    An award for a professional staff member or professional team for service innovation and quality

    Academic Integrity

    Student Learning, Division of Academic and Student Engagement

    Team representative: Dr Amy Milka

    Mrs Laura Hall, Mr Tavik Morgenstern, Ms Sharon Nitschke and Ms Sarah Oakey

    Academic Integrity is a strategic priority for the University. A key achievement of the Academic Integrity team’s work has been the implementation of the Academic Integrity Management System (AIMS) which has led to significant efficiencies, and has empowered the team to deliver a service which has more than halved the time professional staff spend on managing each academic integrity case; reduced the number of systems/programs involved; automated administrative tasks and provided a webform for lodging reports and a tracking dashboard.

    The Academic Integrity team was established as a result of the Organisational Sustainability Program, and since its inception, has demonstrated a culture of service excellence, of providing high-quality support for academic and student stakeholders, and an exceptional duty of care for the students who are involved in academic integrity investigations. The team’s success has been built on their ability to work as partners: partners with academic staff, partners with other professional teams and, importantly, partners with students. Their work is acutely aligned with the University’s Values, and has increased the capability and appetite to focus on academic integrity at individual, school, faculty and whole-of-institution levels

  • A Connected and Enriched Community

    An award for an academic or professional staff member or team for building a sense of community

    Women’s Professional Development Network Steering Committee

    Division of University Operations

    Team representative: Ms Antonette Severino

    Ms Belinda Kon, Ms Renee Johnson, Mrs Alexis McKay, Ms Joanne England, Ms Brooke Lee, Miss Katie Lightowler, Mrs Melanie Officer, Miss Shanelle Galea and Ms Ashleigh Mercury

    The Women’s Professional Development Network (WPDN) is a volunteer, member-driven network that specifically supports women in professional services across the University to build resilience, confidence and connection in their careers to overcome gender-based barriers. The WPDN is not driven by University management or any one organisational area, but by a group of dedicated professional staff women who volunteer their time, expertise and leadership (outside of work hours) to deliver an extensive suite of programming to over 2000 members. Deliverables include a recently redesigned Mentoring Program, a newly launched Cultural Diversity Program, and a Leadership Program. The Steering Committee is driven by a passion to develop a community and culture of empowered and strong women who nurture and support each other within the workplace to (consciously and unconsciously) overcome gender-based barriers which they understand to be both structural and cultural.

    The WPDN have provided exceptional service to the University community over many years by fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within professional services. The vibrancy, longevity and significant impact of the WPDN is a credit to the individuals involved.


    An award for a titleholder for making an exceptional contribution

    Dr Ross Savvas

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

    Since assuming the role of adjunct at the start of 2022, Ross has made ongoing valuable contributions to the clinical program through ad hoc supervision of students in specialised areas of law, supervising students a series of interdisciplinary community communication projects working with researchers from the Law and Science schools, and participating in an outreach visit to Port Lincoln with Law School staff and students to connect with remote regional communities. Throughout his many years as clinical supervisor, Ross has worked with students with passion and a strong commitment to justice access and student achievement. He has maintained this passion into adjunct status, to date managing three major projects introducing our students to multidisciplinary law reform work, contributing to research collaborations within the University and with external participants.

    Ross is an active member of the community legal sector, and brings that experience and perspective into the clinical program, facilitating connection between student teams and members of the legal community. His contribution as an adjunct lecturer enriches the clinical program significantly, and expands the University’s ability to offer exceptional and unique experiences to our students.