We’re proud to introduce our Deakin Alumni Award recipients and share their stories.

These Deakin University graduates have made significant impacts in their industries and their communities.

You’ll meet an innovative play therapist supporting remote Australian towns by air, a third-generation firefighter harnessing VR and robotics to save lives, international athletes using their platform to promote sustainability and inclusion, and more.

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A message from President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Iain Martin

Alumni Excellence Award

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Antoinette Braybrook AM

Antoinette is the CEO of Djirra, an organisation providing holistic and specialist legal and extended support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence. In 2020, Antoinette was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, in 2022 she was named Melburnian of the Year, and in 2023 she was named a Member of the Order of Australia. Antoinette graduated in 2000 from Deakin’s Institute of Koorie Education, now known as The National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute.

Bachelor of Laws ’00
A thank you message from Antoinette
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Fiona Campbell

Fiona is a highly regarded technical audit specialist as Oceania Audit Partner at EY. She has contributed greatly to student engagement at Deakin, and has been recognised for the development and retention of women in the industry. The 2023 Australian Accounting Hall of Fame honoured Fiona as an auditing standard setter and outstanding practitioner.

Bachelor of Commerce ’91
A thank you message from Fiona
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Lesley Harvey

Lesley delivers play therapy through the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section, providing mental health services to children and families. When she is unable to travel via plane, she may drive long distances to cater for the needs of children in her division. Lesley is also an SES volunteer, and studied Deakin’s Master of Child Play Therapy, graduating in 2020.

Master of Child Play Therapy ’20
A thank you message from Lesley
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Sheree Marris

Sheree is the award-winning author, documentary maker and an exceptional environmental communicator. In 2002, Sheree established her own communications consulting business called Visions of Blue. She has been commissioned by leading organisations to provide sustainability advice, consultancy services, and deliver environmental projects.

Deakin’s Bachelor of Science (Aquatic Science) ’97
A thank you message from Sheree
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Dr James Mullins

James is a third-generation volunteer fire-fighter, and the Chief Technology Officer and Founding Researcher at FLAIM Systems. FLAIM’s virtual firefighting training system is deployed with customers across emergency services, defence, and training organisations in 45 countries. In James’ words, he is proud that he ‘was able to combine my two passions of robotics and and firefighting to provide a unique training outcomes.’

PhD ’09, Bachelor of Engineering ’03
A thank you message from James

Young Alumni Excellence Award

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Rhydian Cowley

Rhydian is an Olympic race walker and an environmental ambassador. His personal best is the seventh fastest time in Australian history, and he attended two Olympic Games when he was a student at Deakin. Rhydian has a strong connection to land and is an environmental activist working at Bush Heritage Australia. As a Sports Environmental Alliance ambassador, he seeks to empower sporting organsiations to reduce their carbon footprint. He is a member of Ecoathletes, an international team of athletes, academics, climate scientists, ecopreneurs and green business leaders.

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce ’15
A thank you message from Rhydian
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Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann

Gabi is a senior Rabbi at the Ark Centre, a dynamic community centre and synagogue located in Hawthorn East. He is an active member of community organisations, and is currently sitting on not-for-profit advisory boards and government boards, as well as being a member of the Victorian Government’s Anti-Racism Taskforce. He collaborates with other leaders to create programs for multifaith communities.

Master of Social Work ’19
A thank you message from Gabi
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James Murphy

James runs Sea All Dolphin Swims in Queenscliff, and founded Southern Ocean Environmental Link (SOEL) which has been awarded Green Travel Leader status by Eco-Tourism Australia. James’ team allocates 40% of their time to conducting charitable work, and the company directs half of their of profits to enabling SOEL’s conservation efforts. As well as their own initiatives, the organisation supports projects, research, and work integration with Deakin student involvement.

Bachelor of Commerce ’17
A thank you message from James
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Sandeep Namburu

Sandeep is the founder of the renowned brand consulting firm Magsmen in India, and a certified image consultant. He is an enrolled advocate at the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and holds a seat on the jury for the MMA Global Awards. Sandeep demonstrates community-mindedness through his Launchpad initiative, a program providing startups with free support and guidance, and he volunteers his time within his community.

Master of Business Administration (International) ’18
A thank you message from Sandeep
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Al Viney

Al is an athlete, strength and conditioning coach, and ambassador. She has represented Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, finishing forth in the mixed coxed four competition. She is a Victorian Institute of Sport Scholarship holder, and an ambassador for both the Australian Institute of Sport and Lifeline Australia, raising awareness about mental health and the challenges that athletes face. She is an advocate for women in sport and greater opportunities for people of all abilities.

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science ’19
A thank you message from Al

Now that you’ve met our Alumni Awards Class of 2024, there’s plenty more to discover.

Below, you can hear advice from our recipients from their personal journeys, meet the student who designed this year’s stunning trophy, and leave a congratulatory message in the guest book.

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Each year, talented students design Deakin's Alumni Awards trophy. This year's designer is Jatin Goyal, a current Master of Architecture student, who based the design around his philosophy of cherishing the journey - rather than just the result. On behalf of Deakin University, thank you to Jatin and our production partners at artisaned awards for these beautiful trophies.

Reflections from our recipients

Our Alumni Award recipients share their advice for life.

How to find the room to grow
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The secrets to success
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Meet more previous Alumni Award recipients

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Leave a message of congratulations for our Alumni Award recipients. They’ll see your messages!

  • Congratulations and best wishes for continued success and fulfillment in all your future endeavors.

    Varun Srivastava
  • What an impressive group of alumni who are all having a positive impact in areas they’re passionate about. Well done to everyone who has been recognised by Deakin!

  • Congratulations to all 2024 Deakin Award recipients. Your endeavour and contribution to community is inspirational.

    Serdar Baycan
  • Your dedication, achievements, and outstanding contributions have not only left a lasting impact on the Deakin community but have also set a remarkable example for others to follow. Your commitment to excellence and the positive influence you’ve exerted on those around you make you truly deserving of this prestigious honor. I am proud to be associated with such a remarkable individual, and I have no doubt that you will continue to accomplish great things in the future. May this well-deserved recognition bring you joy, fulfillment, and renewed motivation to pursue your goals and aspirations.

    Kwok LUN
  • Congratulations on your achievements! Your curiosity, creativity and dedication is truly inspiring. It also demonstrates just how much we can achieve if we keep moving forward and have an open mind along the way. Thank you for sharing your stories – l loved watching each one!

  • Congratulations to you all! Such incredible achievements and you should all be very proud of what you have done for your professions and communities

  • It is inspiring to see the global impact of the award winners. Congratulations to all! As an alum myself, I am both proud and in awe of the community I belong to.

  • Congratulations to all the winners! Each year I think I could not be more impressed and inspired and I continue to be. Thank you for the wonderful work you’re doing in the community too.

    Venesa Djouma
  • Congratulations to all recipients of the Deakin Award winners. You continue to inspire many of us of what you do to contribute to society.

    John Jeffreys
  • What an outstanding, diverse, energetic lineup of people all offering incredible service

    I am proud to be at the same university you attended.

    Annie Termaat

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