Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Summer 2012 Issue
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Alumni on the move

What's new with you?

If you've recently celebrated a promotion or career achievement, a change of jobs or won a major prize, we want to hear about it! Share your good news with your fellow alumni by emailing us 50 words or less, including your name, degree and graduation year.

Send it to or call +61 8 8303 5800.

Natasha Stott Despoja [BA 1991] has been made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as a role model for women.

While studying at the University of Adelaide, Ms Stott Despoja was President of the Students' Association. In 1995, at the age of 26, she became the youngest woman to enter Federal Parliament, as a Senator for South Australia. From 2001-2002 she was Leader of the Australian Democrats. In October 2006, Ms Stott Despoja announced that she would not recontest the 2007 Federal election.

Ms Stott Despoja sits on the Alumni Advisory Committee, providing strategic advice to the Vice-Chancellor and President. She is a current PhD student in the School of History and Politics and co-teaches a course on Australian politics.

She also funds an annual scholarship to support a financially disadvantaged, full-time, female Bachelor of Arts student of academic merit who would not otherwise be able to attend university.


Peter Hollingworth [Grad Cert App Proj Mgmt 2011] is the first "online graduate" of the Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management program, provided through the University of Adelaide's Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), and delivered in either face-to-face or online mode.


Hannah Swee [B Com (Acc) 2009, BA (Hons) 2010] was recently given the opportunity to work as an Aurora intern at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) in Canberra. The program is involved in arranging internships for students and graduates, with Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) as well as other organisations involved in policy development, human rights, social justice and Indigenous affairs.

Patrick McCabe [BA 2009] has been awarded the Margaret Dooley Award for Young Writers, awarded annually by Eureka Street, an online journal published by the Australian Jesuits.

Tom Richardson [BA 1998] was named South Australian Journalist of the Year at the eighth annual SA Media Ball at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide. Tom, a news reporter for Channel Nine in Adelaide, was recognised for his outstanding body of investigative and news reporting and commentary in the 2010 calendar year.

Janet Boileau [LCB M A (Gast 2007), PhD (H&SS) 2010] has launched a glossy new magazine that aims to give readers a delicious taste of travel. Taste & Travel is devoted to culinary travel, covering everything from where to find the best oysters in South Africa to recipes for authentic Yucatán cuisine.

James Byrne [B Sc 2006, B Sc (Hons) 2007] started his writing career submitting science columns for the Advertiser. He has now accepted a role as blogger for the online presence of the prestigious magazine, Scientific American.

Dr Diane Wickett [PhD (Nurs) 2006] has been appointed to the inaugural South Australian Health Performance Council (HPC). The council has been established under the Health Care Act 2008 to provide the SA Health Minister with advice, independent from the Department of Health.

James Kitching [Dip Lang 2005, B Int St 2005, B Int St (Hons) 2006, LL B 2008] has become the first South Australian to be accepted into the prestigious FIFA Master course and will study in England, Italy and Switzerland. The FIFA Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport was created to promote management education within the sports world.

Josh van Konkelenberg [B Mus 2003, B Mus (Hons) 2004] is completing a Masters degree in London in Organ Improvisation at the Royal College of Music. Following this, he will head to Cambridge in 2012, where he will become a choral conductor and organist.

Fr. Peter Zwaans [B Com (Corp Fin) 2003] Newly ordained parish priest Peter Zwaans recently became the youngest priest in South Australia at a ceremony at St Francis Xavier Cathedral.

Kirsten Dixon [LCB M A (Gast) 2003] attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, and earned a Masters degree in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide. She has written two cookbooks and in 2010 opened a cooking school in Tutka Bay, Alaska. She was recently featured in a cooking segment on the NBC Today show.

David Bowley [B Ag Sc (Oen) 2002] is one of 11 nominees for the 2011 "Young Guns of Wine" award. Experiencing vintages in Australia and abroad, David also worked as a winery auditor for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation before launching his own artisan wine label, Vinteloper Wines.

Nick Barbato [B Ec 2001, MBA 2005] recently completed a University of Liverpool Football Industries MBA, the only MBA specific to football globally. One of only 25 students selected each year, Nick is the first Australian to complete the program. As part of the course, Nick visited professional football clubs in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, UK and also UEFA and FIFA. Upon his return he visited A-League clubs around the country and chose to stay in Adelaide with Adelaide United where he is now Business Development Executive.

Amanda Rischbieth [Grad Dip Int Care Nurs 1997, M Nurs Sc 2001, Ph D (Med) 2007] has been appointed CEO of the Heart Foundation of South Australia.


Chris Johnston [BA 1999] has recently founded Work Visa Lawyers. Chris is a lawyer and registered migration agent, specialising in employer-sponsored visas and business visas. The new business is well positioned to assist with employer-sponsored skilled workers to address skills shortages in South Australia's mining and defence industries.

Dr Meera Agar [MBBS 1997] is Clinical Director at the South Western Sydney Palliative Care Centre where she heads up a research team focusing on improvement of the care and quality of life of cancer patients worldwide.

Kaye Ferguson [B Ag Sc (Hons) 1996, PhD (Ag & Nat Res Sc) 2003] has won a national Researcher of the Year award for her work on hydroponic cropping and leaf diseases. Dr Ferguson, the Head of SARDI research in Protected Cropping for the past five years, received the award from the Protected Cropping Australia Industry at its annual conference in Adelaide.

Matthew Stead [B E (Mech) 1992] has established a new acoustic consultancy called Resonate Acoustics. The consultancy offers acoustic design, engineering and assessment services across all major sectors. The firm, which is based in Adelaide, operates across Australia.

Dr David Marlow [B SC (Ma) 1990, B SC (Ma) (Hons) 1991] was the study leader for a team that received a Defence Support Services Gold Level Commendation from the Chief Defence Scientist of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in July 2011.

Richard Baker [PhD (Arts) 1990] is Professor of Geography at the Australian National University and also the Deputy Dean of Science. He has recently taken on the roles of Director of the new ANU Science Teaching and Learning Centre and the Coordinator of the ANU Vice-Chancellor's Courses.


Dr Jane Wright [B Sc (Hons) 1975, PhD 1983, Dip Ed 1985] has won the Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. Jane teaches at Loreto College in Adelaide. She is a former president of both the South Australian and the Australian Science Teachers Associations.

Timothy Sexton [B Mus 1981, B Mus (Hons) 1985, Grad Dip Ed 1988] has been appointed as the new CEO and Artistic Director of the State Opera of SA.  The State Opera role encompasses both the roles of Chief Executive Officer and also Artistic Director. Timothy will also be continuing in his role as chorus master and occasional conductor of the operas.

Michael Stutchbury (B Ec 1980, B Ec (Hons) 1981) has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Financial Review.


Lex Graefe [B Ec 1979] has been appointed as a non-executive Director of Rey Resources Limited. He has extensive management and commercial experience, working in the mining industry for the last 30 years in Australia, Africa and Asia.

Dr Allan Robins [B Sc 1975, B Sc (Hons) 1976, Ph D 2000] has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer at ViaCyte Inc, a San Diego-based company which is at the forefront of the development of cell therapy in the treatment of diabetes.

Pru Goward [B A 1974, B A (Hons) 1976] entered the NSW Parliament in March 2007 as the Member for Goulburn. On 3 April 2011, Pru was sworn in as Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women in the NSW Liberal Government. Previously, Pru served as Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner for six years. She had also been Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination since 2005.

Ian Shankland [B Sc 1973, B Sc (Hons) 1975, PhD 1980] The New Jersey (USA) Research & Development Council has elected Dr Ian Shankland to the position of Chairman. One of its key goals is the support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the state of New Jersey. Dr Shankland is currently Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Honeywell Specialty Materials.

Dr Jeffrey Packer [BE (Civil) (Hons) 1973] has been appointed to the HSS Committee Board of the Steel Tube Institute of North America (STINA). After graduating in 1973, Dr Packer went on to complete his Masters and PhD in the UK. He is the Bahen/Tanenbaum Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Dr David Ball [MBBS 1971, MD 2001] was presented with the 2011 Merit Award of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer held in Amsterdam in July. The award is for activities in support of the IASLC mission and accomplishments in lung cancer research.

Barry Couzner OAM [B A 1970, Dip Phys Ed 1970, Dip Ed 1973] has been appointed a technical delegate to the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD), a position that required his presence at the Disabled World Cup in Cambodia in July 2011. He is also Chair of the D-Volleyball Commission of Volleyball Australia which provides strategic planning and development for the disciplines of Standing, Sitting and Deaf Volleyball around Australia.


Dr Leonie Ryder [BA (Hons) 1969, Grad Dip Gast 2006, PhD (H&SS) 2010] recently completed her PhD (History) at the University of Adelaide.

Dr John Steward [B Ag Sc 1967, B Ag Sc (Hons) 1968, Ph D (Ag Sc) 1972] is managing the development of an education project in Melbourne, arising from his involvement with World Vision in Rwanda since 1997. The curriculum, on peace and reconciliation after conflict, is being tested in secondary schools. For more information go to

Dennis Muirhead [LLB 1965] has been inducted into the British Music Roll of Honour by the Music Managers Forum UK (MMF). Dennis was the Founding Chair and a Co-Founder of the MMF in 1992. The MMF now has 18 Chapters in 17 countries including Australia. Dennis works in the music industry, new media and is an accredited mediator. He is President of the South Australian Universities Alumni Europe in London.

Peter Edgar [BA (Hons) History 1962] Peter's second book Sir William Glasgow, Soldier, Senator and Diplomat was launched by Major General Jim Molan AO DSC in Brisbane. His first book, To Villers-Bretonneux, is available from Australian Military History Publications. Peter worked with the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra for more than 30 years, mainly in departments dealing with the arts, heritage and environment before getting back to the writing of history.


Malcolm Bourne [B Sc 1949] Emeritus Professor of Food Science, Cornell University, was recently honoured with the highest award of the Institute of Food Technologies, the Nicholas Appert Award.

Natasha Stott Despoja

Natasha Stott Despoja
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