How will you make your mark on the world?

13 October 2017

Our past Graduate Medal winners share how these awards helped to turn their passions into a career.

We’re all looking for our own way to make an impact; a way to stand out from the crowd. Graduating from university is an exciting time with the promise of big changes and the hope of an incredible career ahead. With so many people competing for jobs, it doesn’t hurt to have an edge. Receiving a University Graduate Medal could be the little oomph that you need.
The Alumni Award Graduate Medals recognise our most recent graduates by celebrating those who have made outstanding contributions to their field and to their communities.
This year, for the first time, the Graduate Medals are open for self-nomination. Some of our past winners share why nominating yourself is something worth doing.

Nominations are now open, and you can nominate yourself or someone you know today.

More than just your marks

It’s easy to think that your marks are the only thing that can make you stand out, but these awards look at more than academic success, they also look at your extra-curricular activities. They celebrate students who contribute to our diverse community, students who mentor others, students who are doing fascinating research, and also accomplished athletes.

Mykaela Saunders, winner of the 2016 Sister Alison Bush Medal says she had separately been recognised for teaching, creative writing, academics and community engagement previously, but this award recognised all of this together. “I come from an incredible Koori culture that values our communities above all else and prioritises connection and culture. It’s great to see the university celebrating our cultural values too.”

Sister Alison Bush Medal winner Mykaela Saunders

Sister Alison Bush Medal winner Mykaela Saunders

A career boost

Whether you know exactly where you want to go after graduating, or if you’re looking for a little inspiration for what to pursue, a Graduate Medal can help you feel confident in your decision.
Dr Michael Bowen, who was awarded the 2015 Rita and John Cornforth Medal for his postdoctoral research on treating brain disorders, says that his award has been invaluable to his career. “The nature of the award, which assesses many years of hard work across both the academic and community domains, conveys such a strong positive reflection of your work ethic and character which you can then take forward into the next stage of your career.”
Mykaela agrees, ‘The entire experience of winning this award actually gave me the confidence to switch fields relatively late in my academic journey. I had not quite met all of the entry requirements, but this award gave me that extra boost to be accepted into my current degree’.

Rita and John Cornforth Medal winner Dr Michael Bowen

Rita and John Cornforth Medal winner Dr Michael Bowen

Why nominate yourself?

Law graduate Adam Fovent says he has always been driven by living a life of service. It’s this motivation that helped him stand out and win the 2016 Edmund Barton Medal. Throughout his studies, Adam was active in extra-curricular activities, including as a student representative on the University’s Disability Action Plan Consultative Committee. He also volunteered overseas, with a stand-out experience being his volunteer work with a grassroots NGO in Cambodia combating the causes of human trafficking.

Since graduating, he has worked as a tipstaff at the NSW Court of Appeal and he is currently in the United States studying a Masters of Law at Harvard Law School.

Jumping into the employment pool was initially a daunting prospect, but Adam says, ‘The award has always drawn particular interest from employers and professional contacts. I highly recommend students and alumni consider nominating themselves for a Graduate Medal’.

Edmund Barton Medal winner Adam Fovent

Edmund Barton Medal winner Adam Fovent

You can nominate yourself today

Making a mark on the world is hard – but our past medalists say that the Graduate Medals experience helped them to make theirs. From inspiring a change in field, to attracting special interest from employers, the awards provide graduates with more than just a special experience.

Nominations for the 2018 Graduate Medals are now open, and close Monday 27 November 2017. If you know of someone who you think deserves recognition, or if you believe you meet the selection criteria, we would love to hear from you.

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