Students awarded for commitment to animals and the environment

June 29, 2018

Award-winners: Ronni King and Kyle Stewart both received multiple awards at the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences prize night.

The School of Veterinary and Life Sciences held its annual awards ceremony last night, recognising students for their dedication and passion for veterinary, agricultural, environmental, medical, molecular and forensic science.

A total of 56 prizes were presented to students for the 2017 academic year across these areas of study.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen said the student awards were one of the year’s highlights.

“The achievements acknowledged tonight are a reflection of hard work and sacrifice by students, but success does not happen in isolation,” she said.

“We are grateful to those who have supported our students along the way, including our sponsors and donors.

“I encourage tonight’s award recipients to continue to do what is right for you, to live a good life by your own values and to carry forward the values of Murdoch University wherever you go: equity and social justice; opportunity; sustainability and global responsibility.”

These comments were reiterated by the Acting School Dean Richard Harper, who noted that the awards were not only important achievements for the recipients, but well received by future employers.

He also acknowledged the role of parents, school teachers and the university’s academics in bringing out the best in the award winners.

Harry Butler Institute Honours student, Kyle Stewart received three awards: for Biological Sciences; the MUEnSA Prize for Ecology; and the Myrtle AB Lamb Honours Scholarship.

“I actually didn't expect to receive any awards after completing my undergraduate degree so I was really stoked to receive three, as well as the two scholarships when I started my Honours degree in Marine Science,” he said.

“I think Murdoch University is one of the best universities to complete a Marine Biology degree and I'm really happy I chose to do so as it was a really challenging and rewarding experience.”

This year, the inaugural Murdoch University Divers Club sponsored its first Award, was received by Environmental and Marine Science graduate Miriam Bell.

From Ocean Park Aquarium in Shark Bay, where she now works as a full-time marine biologist, Miriam said:

“It’s an amazing feeling to be the first recipient of this prize – I’m going to use the prize money towards completing dive masters ticket, which is really going to help my career.”

Winner of both the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Prize and the Marine and Freshwater Research Laboratory Prize in Oceanography Ronni King, gave the vote of thanks on behalf of her fellow students.

Upon addressing the audience, the Marine Science, Conservation and Wildlife Biology student acknowledged the support and encouragement of the University’s academic staff, as well as family and friends as being integral to achieving success.

“I didn’t complete high school, so I had no experience in writing essays or research reports before coming to university, which was initially quite overwhelming,” she said.

“Little could have truly prepared me for the way my life would change, or the challenges I would face learning to support myself on what little time I now had to spare – or just how fascinating the macrophytic algae growing on seagrasses could be.

“To be acknowledged and rewarded for writing a research paper and additionally, for academic performance in fields I’m so fascinated by, is a real honour for me – on behalf of all recipients of awards and scholarships I would like to thank the donors, and the Murdoch Veterinary and Life Sciences staff for their ongoing encouragement, which has allowed us to achieve our full potential.”

Shark Bay: Murdoch Environmental and Marine Science graduate, Miriam Bell, winner of the inaugural Murdoch University Divers Club Award, now works at Ocean Park Aquarium in Shark Bay as a marine biologist.



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