Murdoch alumnus and academic honoured at 40 Under 40 awards

March 11, 2016

Associate Professor Francesco Paolucci

Associate Professor Francesco Paolucci

A Murdoch University alumnus and an academic were winners in the Business News 40 Under 40 awards which celebrate entrepreneurship in Western Australia.

Murdoch Bachelor of Commerce alumnus Paul Blackburne won the overall First Among Equals Award, previously won by the University’s Chancellor David Flanagan.

Murdoch’s Head of Health Policy Associate Professor Francesco Paolucci was one of the winners at this year’s event for his work in creating innovative programs in health policy and leadership at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, and for forging new industry partnerships.

“It’s a great honour to be part of this group of inspiring leaders who actively contribute to WA’s and Australia’s advancement with ideas, persistence and courage,” said Professor Paolucci.

“I feel particularly privileged because this award is from the business community which means they appreciate our efforts in making our programs applied, practical and linked to the local healthcare industry.

“It means we are on the right track and that by working together with the industry we can contribute to what we all care about the most – strengthening our healthcare system and the health of Australians.”

Professor Paolucci has more than 10 years of experience in health policy and economics working for universities in Europe and Australia, as well as government, non-government and private sector national and international organisations.

He has published and advised in the areas of public and economic policy focusing on healthcare systems governance and design, healthcare financing and insurance and decision-making and priority setting in various countries.

He joined Murdoch University in 2014 and devised post graduate courses in health policy and leadership for the Sir Walter School.

Mr Blackburne is managing director of Blackburne Property Group, a national company providing property services around the world.

Starting the business in 2003 with a small bank loan, Blackburne Property Group has since gone on to achieve more than $1 bn in sales and has won multiple real estate awards.

In an article for InTouch, Murdoch’s magazine for Alumni, Mr Blackburne said studying commerce at Murdoch marked the beginning of his learning process about business.

“It definitely would have been more difficult to set up the company without that knowledge,” he said in the 2009 edition of InTouch.

“The management training skills have proven useful now that I manage a team of people.”

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