• Highlights
  • In Pictures
  • Honorary Awards
  • Appointments and Laurels

iconLeading Australia’s multi-billion smart satellite revolution

UniSA will be the lead institution for one of the most significant space industry research concentrations in Australia when it heads up a new Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Satellite Technologies and Analytics – The SmartSat CRC.

The new CRC is a national research powerhouse involving a $190 million investment in cash and in-kind from 84 research and industry partners.

With $55m funding from the Federal Government through the Department of Industry, Science & Technology’s successful CRC program, the SmartSat CRC will be the biggest investment in space industry R&D in Australia’s history. It will play a key role in meeting the Australian Space Agency’s goal to triple the size of Australia’s domestic space industry to $12 billion, generating an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.

Photo by Cath Leo.

iconUniSA research independently assessed as having significant impact

UniSA’s research has been assessed as having the equal highest impact of Australia’s universities and the third highest level of engagement with end-users, according to the results of the Australian Research Council’s first engagement and impact assessment.

The result was one of three significant research and impact achievements for UniSA during April and March, which also include:

• The Australian Research Council (ARC) assessing UniSA across 39 detailed (4-digit) fields of research, as part of Australia’s national research evaluation framework Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) and rating all 39 at world standard or above. 

• Times Higher Education ranking UniSA 22 in the world in its inaugural University Impact Rankings, which assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

iconTop marks in SA for graduate employment outcomes … again

UniSA is the number one university in South Australia for graduate employment and graduate satisfaction in the latest graduate outcomes and student experience data from the federal education department.

UniSA also topped the State for employer satisfaction, with almost 86 per cent of employers polled through the 2018 Employer Satisfaction Survey saying they were satisfied overall with the UniSA graduates they’d employed. This puts UniSA in the top 10 universities Australia-wide for overall employer satisfaction.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey confirmed UniSA as number one in the State for graduate satisfaction; satisfaction with teaching quality; for graduates in full-time employment.

iconTestlab at Mawson Lakes to benefit defence and space industries

Local space and defence industries will receive a significant boost this year with the establishment of a Testlab at Mawson Lakes to prepare businesses for the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0.

The project, worth about $2 million, comprises investment by UniSA and the Federal Government, and will see an Industry 4.0 Testlab set up at Mawson Lakes as part of a national network of six such institutions.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the Mawson Lakes campus, which is located next to Technology Park and more than 80 defence, aerospace, electronics, engineering and ICT companies, is being transformed into a world-leading Industry Connections Hub.

The Testlab will provide local SMEs and high-tech start-ups with access to smart factory technologies.

iconAdelaide Crows now reigning AFLW premiers

The Adelaide Crows made history in front of more than 53,000 fans at Adelaide Oval in late March, winning their second NAB AFLW Grand Final.

It was a record crowd for a women’s game of Australian football. The Crows beat the Blues 63 to 18.

UniSA is a proud premier partner of the Adelaide Football Club. The partnership provides UniSA students with placement opportunities, a platform for sport and health research collaborations and opportunities to engage with the community.

Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos

iconHead of the River and Pedal Prix

The 2019 Schools’ Head of the River Regatta, sponsored by UniSA, was held in March at the Alex Ramsay Regatta Course in West Lakes.

Scotch College won the 1st VIII schoolgirls race and St Peter’s College (pictured) won the 1st VIII schoolboys race as well as the prestigious title of 2019 Head of the River Champions. 15 South Australian secondary schools took part.

UniSA is also lead sponsor for one of South Australia’s most popular school activities – the Australian HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) Super Series, often known as the Pedal Prix.

iconCampus Fair named best orientation event in Australia

A series of free events held on each of UniSA’s metropolitan campuses at the start of each academic year to introduce students to campus life and university services, has been named the best orientation event in a national competition.

The inaugural event, held in 2018, was named Best Orientation Event at the annual CampusLink Awards. 

Campus Fair is co-presented by UniSA’s Student Association (USASA) and the University’s Student Engagement Unit. The event aims to orient students about university life and connect them with student clubs, events, wellbeing, career and volunteer opportunities, leadership, and other services. 

iconEngineering students’ future careers through upgraded facilities

Engineering students are making the most of newly-upgraded facilities that are designed to better prepare them for their future careers.

UniSA has invested $7 million into redesigning and upgrading the Engineering facilities at the Mawson Lakes campus.

Renovations include the establishment of new flexible learning spaces that will allow further collaboration between students, researchers and industry.

Pro Vice Chancellor for the Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment Professor Julie Mills says the upgrade is part of an exciting suite of improvements being rolled out at Mawson Lakes this year.

“With the opening of these upgraded facilities, students will have access to the same equipment used by industry, giving them the best possible start to their future careers,’’ Prof Mills says.

iconDr Rosemary Bryant AO

Dr Rosemary Bryant, AO, Australia’s first Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer and advocate for the vital role of nursing and midwifery expertise in the health system, has been made an honorary doctor of UniSA.

Namesake of the Rosemary Bryant AO, Research Centre run at UniSA in partnership with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA branch), Dr Bryant has been a career-long advocate for the role of nursing in the health care system and an advocate for evidence-based research in nursing and midwifery.

As Commonwealth Chief Nurse she advised the Minister for Health and the Department of Health on the nursing and midwifery workforce and policy development.

Dr Bryant led the Royal College of Nursing, Australia as its executive director and represented Australia on nursing at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and as part of the Australian delegation to the World Health Assembly.

iconAdam Goodes

AFL legend Adam Goodes is a sporting hero and role model but it’s the work he’s done off the field to empower Aboriginal youth that is making an ongoing impact. 

The 2014 Australian of the Year was awarded an honorary doctorate by UniSA, recognising Goodes’ human rights advocacy, his ongoing fight against racism and the support he gives young Aboriginal people. 

Goodes, who was inducted into the Sydney Swans Hall of Fame in March, is an Adnyamathanha man who has spent time working with troubled Aboriginal youth, including those in detention centres. 

In 2009 he founded the Goodes O’Loughlin (GO Foundation) with his cousin and former Sydney Swans teammate, Michael O’Loughlin, to create opportunities for Aboriginal youth through education, including university scholarships with UniSA. 

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd paid credit to Goodes’ career, “on and off the field”. 

“His record on the sporting field speaks for itself, but it’s the work that Adam has done since his retirement which is empowering Aboriginal youth to change their lives,” Prof Lloyd says.

iconMichael Hickinbotham

Michael Hickinbotham, director of the Hickinbotham Group, received a UniSA honorary doctorate in recognition of his immense contribution to South Australia across 25 years of innovative, sustainable building development. 

The Hickinbotham Group was founded in 1954 by Hickinbotham’s father and has since grown to be SA’s largest residential construction firm, establishing a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative, sustainably-minded developers. 

The company was the first to place power and telephone lines underground, restrict tree felling on developments, and, in partnership with the CSIRO, pioneered stormwater harvesting designs for new estates, establishing official Australian standards in the process. Hickinbotham was also the first developer in Australia to introduce architect-designed, 7.5-star energy-rated homes for the volume market. 

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says Michael Hickinbotham’s commitment to innovative practices aimed at benefiting society, perfectly reflects UniSA’s own ideals. 

“Michael has proven the value of viewing challenges as an opportunity, rather than a problem. He has guided his company towards finding better ways to do things, and in doing so, has proven that what is good for society and the environment can also be the foundation of a great business,” Prof Lloyd says. 

iconJim McDowell

South Australia’s most senior public servant and former UniSA Chancellor, Jim McDowell, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by UniSA for his services to education.

McDowell, who served as UniSA Chancellor from 2016-2018, was appointed Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in August 2018.

“He also oversaw the Advisory Board of the Defence Systems Innovation Centre and UniSA’s Division of Business Advisory Board, and he continues to contribute to the University via a first-year law undergraduate scholarship named after his son Joshua,” Prof Lloyd says.

McDowell’s tenure as Chancellor coincided with some major infrastructure projects at UniSA, including the construction of the $247 million Cancer Research Institute and $50 million Pridham Hall, a student-focused sports and function venue.

iconDr Brendan Nelson AO

Australia’s Director of the Australian War Memorial and former federal Leader of the Opposition, Dr Brendan Nelson AO, has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his exceptional contribution to public service, international relations and the education of the nation. 

A member of the House of Representatives for more than 13 years, Dr Nelson was appointed Minister for Education, Science and Training in 2001 and Minister for Defence in 2006. 

In 2004 as Minister for Education, he provided strong funding support for the foundation of a Chair in Child Protection at UniSA, leading to the foundation of the Australian Centre for Child Protection. 

He was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 2007 to 2008. 

In 2012, he was appointed to his current role of Director of the Australian War Memorial, where he is revitalising the Australian War Memorial activities. He oversaw the commemoration of the Gallipoli centenary in 2015, and the centennial commemorations for battles on the Western Front in Europe. 

iconProfessor Fiona Stanley AC

Professor Fiona Stanley AO is one of the nation’s strongest advocates for a more holistic approach to children’s health, she’s Australia’s UNICEF Ambassador for Early Childhood Development, in 2004 she was named as one of our national Living Treasures – and Prof Stanley has been made an honorary doctor of UniSA. 

Doctor, epidemiologist and researcher, Prof Stanley has dedicated her life to building healthier children and communities locally and globally particularly in the causes and prevention of birth defects and major neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, maternal and child health in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations and developmental origins of health and disease. 

Prof Stanley was the Founding Director of the Telethon Kids Institute (formerly known as the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research) from 1990 until 2011, which focuses its research on child and adolescent health and development including Aboriginal health, cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, autism, mental health and wellbeing and infectious diseases. 

iconNatasha Stott Despoja AM

Women’s rights campaigner and former South Australian Senator, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, has been made an honorary doctor of UniSA in recognition of both her parliamentary and post-parliamentary contributions to the community. 

Stott Despoja is the youngest woman to ever enter Australian parliament, and throughout her political career made bold contributions to a wide range of policy debate. Notably, she introduced private member’s bills on challenging issues including paid maternity leave, genetic information and data privacy, and was an outspoken advocate for same sex marriage. 

Since leaving parliament in 2008, Stott Despoja has campaigned extensively to raise awareness about discrimination against women and children, leading to her appointment as Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls from 2013 to 2016. 

Stott Despoja is currently the chair of Our Watch, a joint initiative between the Commonwealth and all state governments, established to drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances leading to violence against women
and their children. 

She is very active as public spokes-person for Our Watch, and UniSA Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, recognises the importance of this ongoing role. 

iconDr Kumi Naidoo

UniSA has paid tribute to the Secretary General of Amnesty International,

Dr Kumi Naidoo, during a visit to Adelaide by conferring him an Honorary Doctor in recognition of his commit-ment to social justice. 

The award was presented at the Hawke Centre’s Amnesty International Oration – Human Rights in a Time of Tolerance and Hate, held at the Adelaide Convention Centre in June. 

UniSA Chancellor Pauline Carr said she was proud to present the award to a man who has made an active commitment to justice from a very early age. 

“It is not every 15-year-old that is willing to get expelled from high school because of the passion of his beliefs, but growing up in South Africa during apartheid, Kumi felt compelled to protest injustice, to organise rallies and engage in civil disobedience – and he got expelled,” Carr says. 

He was also arrested, forced to live underground and eventually continue his education in exile in the UK where he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University where he studied for his PhD in political sociology. 

Dr Naidoo has gone on to hold many international leadership roles – chair of the Global Call for Climate Action, Founding Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Co-founder of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

iconProf Carol Grech appointed Pro Vice Chancellor for student engagement

UniSA Head of School: Nursing and Midwifery Professor Carol Grech has been appointed to the role of Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Engagement & Equity.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says Prof Grech has excelled as head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery over the past seven years.

“During this time, Carol has displayed a strong commitment to student engagement and equity issues and we welcome the skills and energy she will bring to her new role,” Prof Lloyd says.

Prof Grech’s professional and academic career spans more than 40 years as a critical care nurse, educator, academic and researcher.

iconNew chief executive appointed to UniSA Ventures

An international leader in new technology development and commercialisation has been appointed to head up UniSA Ventures.

Following an international search, Dr Viraj Perera has been appointed as the new CEO of UniSA’s technology commercialisation and investment management company, UniSA Ventures.

Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation Professor Simon Beecham says Dr Perera has extensive expertise in innovation, SME development, technology transfer and commercialisation and intellectual property rights in several countries. 

“He most recently held a position in the Malaysian Government, leading a public-private Technology Commercialisation Platform (PlaTCOM Ventures) which has a focus on university-industry technology transfer, new product development and commercialisation within the SME sector,” Prof Beecham says.

iconNew science, media and sector expertise on UniSA Council

UniSA has welcomed two new members to Council who bring with them a wealth of experience in science, research, higher education, public and government relations and media – Professor Caroline McMillen and Ian Smith.

UniSA Chancellor Pauline Carr says the considerable expertise and professional experience of both new council members will be an asset to the University.

“The best governing councils draw on a diversity of experience that is relevant to the operations of an institution or business,” Carr says.

“We are fortunate in the calibre of our council members and both Caroline and Ian will bring significant expertise in science and research, university administration, politics, business and media relations.”

iconGabrielle Rolan appointed Pro Vice Chancellor International

UniSA Executive Director for International Gabrielle Rolan has been appointed as Pro Vice Chancellor International as part of an expansion of her responsibilities with UniSA International. 

Reporting to UniSA’s Provost, Rolan will take a leading role in developing a new comprehensive international plan for the University that encompasses teaching, learning and engagement.

Rolan will have increased responsibilities as an executive representative for the University in international settings and oversight of UniSA’s international partners, collaborations and activities, such as HDR recruitment, mobility and ongoing student recruitment strategies.

iconGlobal recognition for lifetime contribution to human-computer interaction

UniSA Professor of Human Computer Interaction Mark Billinghurst has received a global award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to human-computer interaction for augmented and virtual reality.

Prof Billinghurst was presented with the Virtual Reality Career Award in Osaka, Japan in March. It is the highest award given by the Graphics Technical Committee, a constituency of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Society, the largest association of technical professionals, with more than 400,000 members globally.

Prof Billinghurst, who is the director of UniSA’s Empathic Computing Laboratory, is internationally renowned for his research in both Augmented Reality (AR) – the technology that bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world – and Virtual Reality (VR), which places people into an imagined world such as a video game.

He has won numerous awards in his 25 years working in the field but says being recognised by his peers for his contribution over a whole career of research is a particular honour.

iconSleep researcher recognised for excellence in industry engagement

A UniSA researcher who helps PhD and Masters candidates develop and sustain “win-win” collaborations with industry,

has been recognised by the Australian body that promotes excellence in research training and scholarship.

The Awards for Excellence in Graduate Research Education were presented by the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) in May. The awards recognise individuals who exhibit outstanding performance in research degree supervision, leadership and industry engagement. 

Co-director of UniSA’s Behaviour-Brain-Body Research Centre, Professor Siobhan Banks, was presented with the Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research and was one of just three award recipients nationally.

Prof Banks, who is renowned for her research into the impact of sleep deprivation and shift work on psychological and physiological functioning, was recognised for her work to encourage, train and support candidates to build research partnerships with industry.

iconUniSA alumnus wins Fulbright scholarship

Adelaide medical researcher and UniSA alumnus, Sebastian Rositano, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship in the 2019 round of the program.

Rositano completed a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences at UniSA in 2016, before obtaining a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and has since combined the two perspectives into an interdisciplinary examination of the complex interactions between population-wide policies and individual beliefs and behaviours.

As a Fulbright scholar, Rositano aims to build on previous visiting and intern roles at SAHMRI, where he looked into issues relating to adult and paediatric bullying and sexual assault within South Australia, and the World Health Organization, where he contributed to research into ethics and intersectoral governance.

In the longer term, Rositano is interested in employing psychological insights to reform governance, inform policy, and explore deeper questions across social attitudes, voting activity, ethics and political philosophy, and hopes to better understand how to ethically solve burgeoning challenges across health, justice, education and other social spheres. 

iconAustralia Day awards for great contributors – Høj and Pridham

Australia Day 2019 saw former UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj honoured with a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia to mark his broad contribution to higher education, science, research and its commercialisation and to policy development and reform.

He was recognised along with 34 other graduates, staff and friends of the University including graduate, donor and namesake of UniSA great hall – Andrew Pridham, chief executive officer of Moelis Australia and chairman of Sydney Swans Football Club.

Prof Høj, now Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland, was Vice Chancellor at UniSA from 2007 to 2012 and was made an Honorary Doctor of UniSA in 2017.

“My proudest contribution is to see more than 100,000 people graduate from universities I have led, and it all started at UniSA,” he said.

iconUniSA Business School wins prestigious international customer service award

Reaffirming the virtue of the adage ‘practise what you preach’, UniSA’s Business School has been awarded an International Service Excellence Award (ISEA) by the Chicago-based Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA).

The UniSA Business School was named winner of the “Customer Service Organization of the Year – Not-for-Profit” category from a pool of international finalists.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) Professor Marie Wilson says it is recognition that the school conducts business with as much passion as it teaches it.

“We start with good students and great teachers, but we go beyond that with great career services and professional development opportunities, and exceptional advisors and mentors,” Prof Wilson says.

“Our wrap around student services are world class – and we have the award to prove it – but more importantly, our students rate it highly and their success is the best reward for all of us.”

The CSIA is the body delegated by the International Council of Customer Service Organizations (ICCSO) to manage ISEA, and these awards, announced in Chicago in January, are recognised as the premier service awards around the globe. 

iconThree staff recognised for outstanding contributions to student learning

Three UniSA academics have been recognised nationally for their outstanding contributions to students learning, receiving Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The staff received 2018 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in late February. The citations are awarded through a highly competitive process by the Australian Government through Universities Australia.

Dr Alpana Sivam (Research Degree Coordinator, School of Art, Architecture and Design) – for designing learning experiences using real world ‘live’ projects that enable students to graduate as successful planners with commensurate industry skills and professional knowledge;

Associate Professor Gabrielle Todd (Associate Professor in Neuroscience, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences) – for sustained excellence in formative assessment of learning that demystifies neuroscience for undergraduate and postgraduate students;

Jennifer Stokes (Lecturer, UniSA College) – for sustained commitment to engaging, student-focused enabling pedagogy, which fosters the development of independent learners prepared for undergraduate study.