Chancellor Pauline Carr

2021 Alumni Awards Address

Chancellor Pauline Carr

Good evening and thank you for joining us.

This is a night to celebrate achievement and this room is filled with great movers and shakers, our friends, partners and colleagues who help us achieve great things.

But the greatest achievement is being all frocked up and together under one roof. You may think that evening clothes left in the back of a closet for a year or two have a tendency to shrink. I think you’ll find that something else has expanded so throw that hypothesis out the window.

Besides honouring the best of our alumni, tonight is also our belated 30th birthday party, so we have much to celebrate. Like other 30-year-olds, we’re growing up. And getting better at what we do.

While we didn’t suffer the same restrictions that our eastern state neighbours did during the past 18 months, I’m really proud of the way we faced the global pandemic which caused the cancellation of last year’s celebration and many other events that we would have held in normal times.

That we put our community first throughout and followed the guidelines of careful hygiene and social distancing meant that we are almost at a point where life as we know it can be resumed.

Although I must say I have seen some very creative masks in the street, particularly masks featuring popular movie villains and some very cute puppies. I think it would be hard to get away with wearing a mask like that in normal times, so I guess pandemics give us another chance to be extra creative in the way some of us present ourselves.

Tonight is a night devoted to our alumni, people who take the education we offer them and use it to do great things in the world. We graduate them as global professionals who are knowledgeable, effective and ethical and they take those skills into the world and do good things.

They are our ambassadors – examples of where dedication, hard work and good education can take you. They will always be an important part of the University, as role models for current students to emulate and be inspired by.

We have around 230,000 alumni around the world, each contributing their talents and skills to their communities, and while we are proud of all of them, tonight’s Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the achievements of just four who, after taking their education from UniSA or its antecedent institutions, made a spectacular difference to the people in their communities.

You’ll meet them later this evening.

As I mentioned, tonight we are all in Pridham Hall, the heart of UniSA and the place where we celebrate all our successes. In particular Graduations which is a key event in anyone’s life.

This year we also have other achievements of alumni to celebrate like those who were awarded Australian awards in the Australia Day Honours list.

An AO for the Hon Jay Weatherill, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and former Premier of South Australia. AMs for Ms Lindy Hume, Ms Winnie Martha Pelz, and Professor Lester-Irabbina Rigney. The Hon Trish White, a Fellow of the University also received an AM. OAMs were awarded to Ms Wendy Gaborit, Ms Eleni Glouftsis, Mr Jeremy Mansfield. Ms Janet Simmons, and Ms Fiona Thomson. Public Service Medals were awarded to Dr Douglas Marmion, Ms Sarah Moore, and Mrs Erma Ranieri. And a Australian Police Medals was awarded to Chief Superintendent Paul Ralphs.

In June the Queen’s Birthday Honours awarded. An AO to Mr Ian Trust who took a Certificate in Community Development with us. AMs were awarded to Ms Narelle Barker, Mrs Rosalind Elaine Butler, Ms Kathy Mitchell, Dr. Gillian Sparkes, and Mr Tom Stodulka. Recipients of Medals of the Order of Australia, OAMs, included Mr Derrick Casey, Mrs Jennifer Curnow, Mr Paul Hammat, Dr Felicity-Ann Lewis, and Mr John Vander Veeken.

A Public Service Medal was awarded to alumnus Ms Maxine McSherry and Australian Police Medals were awarded to Senior Sergeant First Class Sharon Walker-Robert; and Gregory Williams both members of the South Australia Police Force.

Although we only have four starring roles tonight, it is an event to celebrate all those people who went out did good things and got the rewards and recognition they were due.

It is a night for celebration, for being successful alumni, and for being generous friends and supporters.

Thank you for joining us and enjoy the rest of your evening.

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