December 2019

As my first calendar year as Vice Chancellor of this wonderful university draws to a close, I want to express my appreciation for the warm reception from our alumni community, commencing with the Canberra reception in February and continuing throughout the year.

Alumni played an essential role in informing the development of our Creating a Future for All: Strategic Plan 2020-2025 which was launched in November and I offer my sincere thanks to all who contributed.

We finished the year on a high with inspirational stories of graduates shared at our 13 ceremonies last week as well as various other alumni achievements that I would like to share:

  • Student speaker at one of last week’s graduation ceremonies and new member of the Griffith alumni family, Ms Caitlene Hillman from the Griffith Business School has been selected from 4,700 candidates from around the world as a Schwarzman Scholar for 2020/2021. Caitlene will be Griffith University’s first Schwarzman Scholar, the second Queenslander ever and the only non-Go8 student from Australia to receive this prestigious scholarship.
  • Griffith Law alumnus Ms Sasha Purcell of the Whaleboat family from the Torres Strait has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to further her studies in the USA. Sasha’s achievement was celebrated at the recent valedictory dinner for our 140 First People students graduating in 2019.
  • At a recent function in New York City, medical alumnus Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM was announced as one of 10 global recipients of the 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards honouring leaders with disabilities. (Congratulations to Dinesh was also got engaged!)
  • Griffith Health alumnus Professor Qiyong Liu, Chief Scientist for Health and Climate Change China was named the 2019 Alumnus of the Year at the Australia China Alumni Awards in Beijing. The award was won in recognition of his remarkable achievements in public health, and particularly working with poor and vulnerable communities.

The future pipeline of talent coming through the University is as strong as ever. In November nine Griffith University students were awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships – more than any other university. This is an extremely impressive performance for Griffith as we continue our tradition as a university deeply engaged with the Asia-Pacific.

These are a few of the recent outcomes which mark 2019 as another amazing year for Griffith. With a Top 250 position in two major global rankings Griffith continues to stake its claim as a leading Australian university.

I wish you, your families and friends all the best over the festive season and I hope you have a productive and rewarding 2020.

Carolyn Evans

Vice Chancellor and President

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