Skip to main content

2017 Alumni Achievement Awards

The Curtin University Alumni Achievement Awards showcase and celebrate the achievements of the Curtin alumni community. Curtin alumni form a dynamic network with thousands of graduates making significant contributions to communities around the globe. The Awards are an opportunity for individuals to nominate Curtin alumni, to be recognised for their valuable achievements.

The awards recognise Curtin alumni who are making a significant contribution to society. This might be through personal achievements, or their career, and benefiting local, national or international communities.

Congratulations to our 2017 recipients


2017 award recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

Open to all Curtin graduates who, over the course of their lifetime, have built an outstanding reputation based on exceptional contributions to their field of endeavour and/or the community and inspired others to strive for excellence. This is the most prestigious and highest honour award of all the Alumni Achievement Awards.

Winner: Dr Susan Barkdoll (Doctor of Science Education 1998)

Working as a science teacher in San Bernardino in the US, Dr Barkdoll has demonstrated outstanding leadership, professionalism and dedication throughout her 30-year career in education. She has inspired and nurtured pre-primary children through to university level adults, mentored and guided colleagues, and enthused, enabled and engaged members of her community. She has also successfully secured more than $500,000 in grants from local, state and national organisations.

Volunteer Leadership Award

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated a significant contribution to Curtin University, including alumni chapters/associations, through the donation of their time, resources, committee membership or as an ambassador/advocate for Curtin.

Winner: Mr Edmund Seng (Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Marketing) 2000; Graduate Diploma in Business (Electronic Commerce) 2001; and Master of Electronic Commerce 2001)

Mr Seng is the Managing Partner of Calent3 and Artemis Search & Partners as well as President of the Curtin University Alumni Chapter Singapore, a volunteer position he has held for eight years.

He has transformed the chapter into a vibrant, active group that hosts regular events for Singapore-based graduates. He has also been involved with student-focused initiatives, such as the Curtin Singapore Career Centre and the annual Curtin Singapore Career Fair. Together with the executive committee, he continues to engage Singapore alumni members and industry.

Community Service Award

Open to all Curtin graduates who have made a significant contribution to the wellbeing of others through voluntary or other service in the community, locally or globally.

Winner: Mrs Kristy Wiegele (Bachelor of Science 1998; Bachelor of Science (Nursing) 2008; and Graduate Diploma in Midwifery 2011)

Mrs Wiegele works as a midwife at St John of God Mount Lawley Hospital and is a recognised clinical expert in the field of midwifery. Since supporting a family who lost their baby through stillbirth in 2014, Mrs Wiegele raised more than $100,000 to purchase a cold cuddle cot for every maternity unit in Western Australia. The cot circulates cold air beneath a bassinet so families can spend as much time as they need with their stillborn babies.

In addition to raising funds from community events and via her Facebook page, A Midwife's Gift, she also brokered a significant partnership with the Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

Young Alumna Award

Open to Curtin graduates aged under 30 years at the time of nomination, who have demonstrated excellence in their field of endeavour, and/or made a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service.

Winner: Ms Shelley Cable (Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) 2015)

Ms Cable, a 22-year-old Wilman-Nyoongar woman from Perth, is passionate about Indigenous business and financial literacy. In July, she presented to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, highlighting the need for greater financial literacy as a foundation for the success of the global Indigenous business sector. She was also selected as a national delegate to provide recommendations on constitutional reform and was named as a finalist in the 2017 Western Australian of the Year Awards.

Global Impact Award

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated significant contributions to society by improving or enriching the lives of others and the welfare of humanity on an international scale through outstanding professional contributions and/or volunteer leadership.

Winner: Dr Martin Dougiamas (Bachelor of Computer Science 1993 and Master of Science Education 2000)

Dr Dougiamas is the founder and CEO of open source learning platform, Moodle. Since the release of the first public version in 2001, Moodle has been utilised by millions of people around the world, from vast corporations to village classrooms. It has been used in war-torn countries such as Syria, to enable teachers to educate students about the dangers of mines. Today, Moodle has been translated in 100 languages and is currently accessible in 230 countries, with 100 million users globally.

Innovation Award

Open to all Curtin graduates who have made a significant impact on their profession, community, Curtin University or society at large by developing an innovative program, process or product.

Winner: Mr Anthony Brown (Associateship in Applied Physics 1969)

Mr Brown has made a significant contribution to the development of innovative and assistive technologies designed to enhance the lives of those disabled by illness, accident or the aging process.

In 2014, he established a non-profit organisation, Bentech Assistive Technologies, to continue the initial work of his late son, Ben, who was severely physically disabled. His work includes the Ben's House Project, a suite of software and hardware that provides low cost and easily accessible home automation technologies to assist people with a physical disability, and their carers and loved ones.

Professional Achievement Award - Science and Engineering

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and an exceptional standard of excellence in their field of endeavour.

Winner: Dr James Aldred (Doctor of Philosophy 2009)

Dr Aldred has more than 35 years' experience in the building industry, working in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and the UK. When he completed his PhD at Curtin in 2009, he was working as the Independent Verifier on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building. He has received numerous awards over the years, including the prestigious George Stephenson Medal from the Institute of Civil Engineering in the UK in 2011. Dr Aldred is currently Technical Director at both Concrete Future and AECOM Australia, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW.

Professional Achievement Award - Humanities

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and an exceptional standard of excellence in their field of endeavour.

Winner: Mr Greg Howlett (Bachelor of Architecture 1977)

Mr Howlett, a Director at Cox Architecture, has had a long and distinguished international career in architecture. After graduating in 1977, Mr Howlett accepted a position in the Middle East, working on large hotel resort projects, before moving to Europe. After attending the UK's renowned Architecture Association Summer School, he returned to Perth in 1980.

He has since worked on numerous major projects, including the West Australian Maritime Museum, Government Offices in East Perth and Singapore Airlines House, all of which received awards from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Professional Achievement Award - Health Sciences

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and an exceptional standard of excellence in their field of endeavour.

Winner: Ms Marita Walker (Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences 1979 and Master of Applied Science 1988)

Ms Walker has been driving and leading change in disability, aged care and mental health sectors for more than 30 years. She has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with disabilities and has made a significant impact on individuals, families, organisations and policy in Western Australia, Australia and internationally.

In her current role as a Trial Site Manager for the National Disability Insurance Agency in Western Australia, Ms Walker has led the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in WA, a challenging project which has required strong leadership, drive and determination.

Professional Achievement Award - Curtin Business School

Open to all Curtin graduates who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and an exceptional standard of excellence in their field of endeavour.

Winner: Ms Sharon Warburton (Bachelor of Business 1990)

Ms Warburton has been smashing glass ceilings throughout her 25-year career. She is a non-executive director of numerous companies including Fortescue Metals Group, NEXTDC and Western Power as well as Chairperson of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. She was the 2014 WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year and named in the 2015 Westpac AFR 100 Women of Influence. Ms Warburton also mentors thousands of emerging leaders through her digital mentoring platform, Steel Heels.