Outstanding alumni honoured at Murdoch

April 6, 2018

Awards evening: The Distinguished Alumni Awards were hosted by Murdoch University last night.

The outstanding achievements of five graduates were celebrated at Murdoch University Distinguished Alumni Awards last night.

An annual event, these awards recognise the outstanding achievements of former students from Murdoch University.

This year’s recipients, Dr Adam Bandt (BLaws & BA 1996), Professor Wendy Carlin (BA 1979, DipEd 1979) 1982), The Honourable Justice James Edelman (BCom 1998) Dr Bill Hare (BSc Hons 1983, Hon Doc Sc, 2008) and Distinguished Professor John Hartley AM (PhD, 1990), are leading voices in fields that traverse international borders – politics, law, economics, climate science and cultural science.

The acceptance speeches revealed a consistent thread with each recipient outlining how Murdoch had broadened both their perspective and view of their specialist subject.

Dr Bandt spoke passionately about how Murdoch gave him the space to establish his next steps.

“In the first year of university I did not have to specialise in any one subject which allowed me the time to work out what it was that I was passionate about and what I wanted to commit to,” said Dr Bandt.

“Also within the law degree, unlike the other offerings that were on at the time, I was able to do incredible courses such as feminist legal theory that weren’t being taught anywhere else. This helped me not only get a really solid grounding, but also a much broader understanding of law and the law in context.”

Internationally renowned economist Professor Carlin was part of the University’s very first cohort of 500 students in 1975.

“It really was Murdoch that set me off on a course that has helped to produce the CORE Project which is currently changing economics teaching across the globe, from the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul to the Harvard Kennedy School,” Professor Carlin said.

For The Honourable Justice James Edelman, Murdoch provided the foundations for a trail-blazing career in law that has already taken him to Australia’s Federal High Court at the age of just 42.

“In my Commerce degree, none of the units were taught in the standard linear way that much of finance and economics is taught everywhere else. It was taught in a way that usually only a young, innovative university can teach,” he said.

“It was an eye opening insight, quite consistent with Sir Walter Murdoch’s ethos and that for me has remained part of my approach to the law. On the surface, the law ought to be a truly logical puzzle – with an understanding of how all the pieces fit together.

"However, underneath it, in order to have a true, deep understanding of law, there needs to be a creative approach to how the pieces really fit together and the philosophy underlying them all.

"To use Sir Walter’s words – why it is, how it is and how we might move from there. For that, I very much have Murdoch to thank.”

Considered to be the ‘best climate lobbyist in the world’, Dr Bill Hare also credited Murdoch University with aiding his extraordinary career.

“The scientific foundation and the perspectives I received through the broad education at Murdoch has really been the thing that has enabled me to become involved at the frontline of all of the international climate instruments and treaties that have been negotiated since the late 1980s,” Dr Hare said.

The final recipient of the night, Distinguished Professor John Hartley AM, spoke passionately about the power of education.

“It was my route to emancipation, to intellectual freedom and innovation, personal reflexivity and understanding and a will to share the advancement of knowledge,” Professor Hartley said.

“I learned very thoroughly that working in places like Wales, in Polytechnics and at Murdoch University, that you can do innovation from the margins so much more readily and successfully than is sometimes possible in the imperial centres.”

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are organised annually by Murdoch University to recognise the outstanding achievements of former students.



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Comments (One response)

ANDREW TAGGART April 10, 2018

A wonderful event with the winners able to hold their own in any great university in the world.

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