ANU honours distinguished alumni


The Australian National University (ANU) has honoured its distinguished alumni at the 2017 ANU Alumni Awards, naming prominent businesswoman Elizabeth Bryan AM as recipient of the University’s prestigious Alumni of the Year Award.

Ms Bryan (BA ’68) has had a distinguished career in business and is currently Chairman of the Virgin Australia Group and the Insurance Australia Group.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said Ms Bryan had made an outstanding contribution to Australian society.

“Ms Bryan is a powerful role model for women in corporate leadership where she has been praised for her rigorous work ethic, resilience and direct approach,” Professor Schmidt said.

Ms Bryan is currently chairman of two prominent Australian businesses, the Virgin Australia Group and Insurance Australia Group. She has also been the Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Asset Management and served as a director of Westpac Banking Corporation and a large number of other Australian public, private and government-owned companies.

Ms Bryan was the first woman to run a large financial institution in Australia when she was appointed to manage the New South Wales State Super and Investment Management Corporation in 1992.

“I am honoured and delighted to be named as The Australian National University’s Alumni of the Year,” Ms Bryan said.

“My time at ANU enriched my knowledge and abilities, while also enabling me to develop unique perspectives that have supported me throughout my career. I am pleased to see that ANU is building on its strong legacy by fostering the next generation of Australian leaders.”

In its fifth year, the ANU Alumni Awards celebrate the University’s outstanding alumni and their achievements since graduation. Along with the Alumnus of the Year, eight other alumni were honoured.

ACT Supreme Court Justice Richard Refshauge (BA Hons ’72, LLB ’75), was honoured by as Alumni of the Year Philanthropy, for his extensive volunteer work and support for disadvantaged and marginalised groups in society.

Museum curator Dr Gaye Sculthorpe (BA ’77), who is currently the British Museum’s Head of Oceania, was named 2017 Indigenous Alumni of the Year for her work educating people about the complexity and diversity of Indigenous Australian culture.

Dr Dongxiang Zhang (MMgt ’06) was named International Alumni of the year for his distinguished career in international banking. Dr Zhang is President of the Bank of China Jiangxi Branch.

Businessman and adventurer Creel Price (BComm ’92) was named Alumni of the Year – Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Professor Schmidt said the winners were all outstanding ambassadors for ANU in Australia and around the world.

“The recipients come from a wide range of fields, from business, law and justice, international banking, diplomacy and philanthropy,” Professor Schmidt said.

“The ANU Alumni Awards are a celebration of the impact the University’s graduate community makes at a local, national and international level. I congratulate all of the award winners.”

The winners are:

Alumni of the Year
Ms Elizabeth Bryan AM

Indigenous Alumni of the Year
Dr Gaye Sculthorpe

Alumni of the Year – Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Mr Creel Price

Alumni of the Year – Philanthropy
Justice Richard Refshauge SC

International Alumni of the Year
Dr Dongxiang Zhang

Student Philanthropist of the Year (Undergraduate)
Mr Benjamin Gill

Student Philanthropist of the Year (Postgraduate)
Ms Kim-Marie Spence

Young Alumni of the Year
Ms Helen Zhang

Young Indigenous Alumni of the Year
Mr Robert Williams

For more information on the 2017 awards and recipients, visit the ANU Alumni website.

Nominations for the 2018 ANU Alumni Awards open in August 2017.

For media assistance please contact James Grubel on the ANU Media hotline on (02) 6125 7979.