Best of the best
An exceptional university is one that attracts promising students and produces award-winning graduates.
Among the University of Adelaide graduates to receive global and national recognition over the past 12 months are Hannah Tonkin and Matt Wenham, winners of the Rhodes Scholarship, and Katherine Daniell and Olivia Thorne, recipients of the John Monash Awards.
The John Monash Awards reward academic excellence, leadership and community service, and are valued at up to $150,000 over three years.
Civil Engineering and Arts graduate Katherine Daniell will use her scholarship to undertake a PhD in sustainable water resources research at the renowned Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et des Forêts (or ENGREF) in France. She has served as a volunteer in numerous community projects, and is also a violinist and a volleyball player.
Ms Daniell has a historic connection with General Sir John Monash through her great-grandfather, Edward William Mattner, who fought under Monash in World War One. He was awarded the Military Medal and Bar, Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Cross, and later became a Federal Senator for South Australia.
The other John Monash Award-winner, Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate, Olivia Thorne will pursue her PhD at Cambridge University with a focus on the impact of climate change on the Australian water industry.
Ms Thorne is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society and an A Grade netball player. She is a Tournament of Minds facilitator and a former Joey Scout leader, and has also been involved with Elizabeth Mission, Mission SA and OXFAM.
Both award winners commend the exceptional learning environment at the University of Adelaide, and proudly acknowledge its contribution to their own success.
"I believe that the reason for the success of the University of Adelaide's graduates lies in the combination of rich university life and the exposure to world-leading research at an undergraduate level," Ms Daniell said.
"Not only has the University of Adelaide provided a strong technical foundation for my engineering career, but the staff support I received both during my course and even now has helped guide me down the path I have taken," Ms Thorne said.
Meanwhile, two more Adelaide graduates will head to Oxford to further their studies thanks to the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world's most prestigious.
Law student Hannah Tonkin, Rhodes Scholar for South Australia for 2005, will pursue a Masters in International Relations at Oxford University. After being an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Ms Tonkin, who is already a graduate with a BSc (Jurisprudence) and Diploma in Languages (French), has a sound future ahead of her.
"Through postgraduate study at Oxford, I hope to equip myself with the knowledge, qualifications and life experience necessary to continue my pursuit for social justice in the international arena," she said.
Science graduate Matt Wenham received one of the five Rhodes Scholarships for Australia at Large for 2005. Currently working as a researcher at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Mr Wenham will now head to Oxford University to begin a D.Phil in Biomedical Science.
Mr Wenham has previously been a Vice-President of the Youth Affairs of SA and President of the Adelaide Chapter of the Young Scientists of Australia. He has refereed soccer in the South Australian State and Premier League competitions, and is also a musician and singer.
"The achievements of these graduates demonstrate the exceptional potential of the young men and women who choose to study at the University of Adelaide, as well as the University's exceptional ability to tap their potential," said the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McWha. ■
Story Sukhmani Khorana