University of Sydney awards outstanding alumni

10 November 2010

With an alumni community boasting two governor-generals, five Australian prime ministers, four chief justices of the High Court, the third president of the UN General Assembly and three Nobel Laureates it would be easy to lose track of the significant contributions made by graduates of Australia's oldest university.

To ensure this is not the case the University of Sydney will honour the outstanding achievements of its alumni in a special awards presentation in its Great Hall this Friday evening.

The Alumni Awards celebrate activities and service which often go unrecognised within the wider community. Now in their 18th year, they reward innovation, stimulation of new ideas and services, dedication, creativity, leadership and community spirit.

Importantly they encourage the values we believe in and stand for as a University including transformation, community, ingenuity and courage.

This year University of Sydney alumni will be honoured for their remarkable achievements in Indigenous advancement, public health, community welfare, financial regulation and architecture.

Clover Moore MP
Clover Moore MP

Clover Moore MP, who completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney in 1969, will receive the Alumni Award for Community Achievement. She will be recognised for her thirty years continuing service to the community through her work initially as a Local Government Councillor, then from 1988 as Independent State Member for Bligh, now Sydney; and since 2004 as Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.

As the first popularly elected female Lord Mayor in the 150 years of city government, Ms Moore has addressed major social and amenity issues. Her Council's 'Sustainable Sydney' 2030 is an internationally acclaimed blueprint for Sydney's future.

Ms Moore also donates 100 percent of her mayoral fees to charitable community ventures related to the City, in line with her belief that public life is about service and contribution. The Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP Salary Trust supports innovative programs to help rebuild the lives of those who are mentally ill, drug-dependent or otherwise disadvantaged, as well as animal welfare and local environment initiatives.

Dr John Laker AO
Dr John Laker AO

Dr John Laker AO, who graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1972, will receive the Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. Throughout his impressive career, Dr Laker has negotiated economic reform in Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, served as Chief Representative in Europe for the Reserve Bank of Australia, and been appointed Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Dr Laker has been a board member at APRA since its inception in 1998. He also serves as its representative on the Payments Systems Board and the Council of Financial Regulators, as well as sitting on the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision.

He received the 2006 Asian Banker Award for Excellence in Financial Supervision and became an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to financial regulation and economic policy in 2008.

Jack Manning Bancroft
Jack Manning Bancroft

The Alumni Award for Young Alumni Achievement will be jointly awarded to Ross Langdon and Jack Manning Bancroft.

Mr Manning Bancroft, who graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) in 2007, is well known at the University of Sydney for founding the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). He will be recognised for his efforts to inspire and advance young Indigenous Australians.

The initiative partners Indigenous high school students and university mentors with the goal of lifting the students' rates of high school completion and university admission. Starting with just 25 students and mentors, the program now includes 40 schools, seven universities, close to 1000 Indigenous high school students and more than a thousand university volunteers across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Ross Langdon
Ross Langdon

Mr Manning Bancroft became CEO at the age of 22 when AIME incorporated in 2008. He was this year named New South Wales Young Australian of the Year.

Ross Langdon graduated with the University Medal from his Bachelor of Architecture in 2004 and is recognised for his achievements in the pursuit of excellence in architecture on projects in Australia, Europe and Africa.

In 2008 he founded Regional Associates, a regionally-based design collaboration which has received numerous international awards for its unconventional sustainable design solutions.

Cementing his international reputation, Mr Langdon is currently working on location in Rwanda to develop a number of eco-lodges and other community projects, and is therefore unable to attend the presentation.

Rt Hon Lady Gardner of Parkes AM JP
Rt Hon Lady Gardner of Parkes AM JP

The Alumni Award for International Achievement is awarded to the Rt Hon Lady Gardner of Parkes AM JP, who completed her Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1954 and became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney in 2007.

Baroness Gardner is recognised for international contributions to public health and the welfare of women and children through roles such as British Chairman of the European Union of Women, UK Representative on the United Nations Status of Women Commission and Chairman of children's advocacy organisation Plan International UK.

The only Australian woman ever to sit in the British House of Lords, Baroness Gardner has also been a vocal advocate for dental prevention and public health, leading a crusade to fluoridate water in Britain as Chair of the UK Fluoridation Society. Due to prior commitments, Baroness Gardner will be unable to attend the awards presentation.

Event details

What: Alumni Awards Presentation 2010

When: 6pm, Friday 12 November

Where: Great Hall, Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus

Cost: Free

Bookings: Essential on the Alumni and Friends website

Media enquiries: Katie Szittner, 9351 2261,

Sarah Stock, 9114 0748, 0419 278 715,