Distinguished Alumni Awards
From a pioneer in multisensory communication to the Head of State Opera in South Australia, this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards showcase achievements of our alumni in diverse fields and from around the globe.
The awards are in recognition of alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the University of Adelaide through outstanding service to the community or who have made an outstanding contribution in their chosen fields.
Advancing the arts
Timothy Sexton (BMus (Hons) 1985, Grad Dip Ed 1988)
Timothy is head of the State Opera of South Australia and one of Australia’s foremost musicians and innovative artistic directors.
His varied career has encompassed public speaking, conducting and performing, radio broadcasting for the ABC and music composition, most notably for children’s theatre and vocal works.
His contribution to music in this State was recognised in 2008 with the Premier’s Ruby Award for Sustained Contribution to the Arts by an Individual. The following year he was named the SA Great South Australian of the Year in the arts category.
Fighting for equal rights
Jane Sloane (BA (Hons) 1985)
An exceptional humanitarian, Jane is a multiple award winner who has dedicated much of her life to advancing women’s human rights and the rights of marginalised people and populations.
She is currently vice-president of programs with the Global Fund for Women in San Francisco.
She has been a dedicated leader for various humanitarian organisations including World Vision Australia, Women’s World Banking, Social Entrepreneurs Network and the International Women’s Development Agency.
Tireless community worker
Dr Kenneth Collins, AM (MBBS 1960)
For most of his life Kenneth has been dedicated to helping others as a medical practitioner and through extensive community service in a range of civic organisations.
For 31 years he has been involved continuously with Rotary’s Polio Eradication Campaign which has seen the incidence of polio reduced from 500,000 cases in 150 countries in 1985 to 23 cases in three countries to the end of August 2016. Through Rotary and community service involvement, he has made an impact to the lives of millions of people directly or in directly.
His service has extended to numerous overseas humanitarian projects and innumerable committees and organisations.
Probing the structure of matter
Dr Wolodymyr ‘Wally’ Melnitchouk (BSc (Hons) 1989, PhD (Sc) 1984)
Wally is an internationally renowned scientist in nuclear and particle physics.
Currently senior theoretical nuclear physicist at Jefferson Lab in Virginia, USA, he is recognised worldwide for his work dedicated to understanding the structure of matter at its most fundamental level.
In 1994, Wally’s research was recognised with the Bragg Gold Medal by the Australian Institute of Physics and in 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Innovation in mixed reality
Professor Adrian Cheok (BE (Elec) 1994, PhD 1999)
A pioneer in mixed reality and multisensory communication, Adrian has been recognised internationally through multiple awards for his innovation and leadership.
The founder of the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia and the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, some of his ground breaking works include innovative and interactive games such as 3dlive, Human Pacman and Huggy Pajama.
Adrian also invented the world’s first electric and thermal taste machine, which produces virtual tastes with electric current and thermal energy.