Alumni awards

Each year Deakin's Alumni Awards recognise, acknowledge and promote prominent alumni around the world who have achieved outstanding success in their communities, professions or given exceptional service to the University.

2022 Alumni Awards – nominate an outstanding alumni

We are delighted to invite you to nominate a Deakin graduate or to self-nominate for the 2022 Deakin Alumni Awards. The 2021 Alumni Award nominations have now closed.

The two alumni award categories are:

  • Alumni of the Year (over 40 years of age)
  • Young Alumni of the Year (under 40 years of age at the time of nomination).

How to make a nomination

Nominations are via a submission of up to 500 words outlining how the nominee demonstrates the Deakin values in their professional and personal lives – you may highlight one or more of these values in your nomination.

Deakin's values are:

  • Excellent: We will strive for excellence in all aspects of our work, taking pride in being the best we can be.
  • Inclusive: We will value our diversity, embrace difference and nurture a connected, safe and respectful community.
  • Ethical: We will always conduct our business with the highest standards of professional behaviour and integrity.
  • Sustainable: We will care about our shared future, integrating economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability in all we do.
  • Brave: We make bold decisions, demonstrate courage and ambition, and we support personal responsibility and accountability.
  • Dynamic: We are innovative and entrepreneurial, solving problems with creativity and flexibility.

Please note that the nominations are confidential and only the award winners and their nominators will be contacted by the Deakin Advancement Office. When nominating someone else, we ask that the nominees are not approached for information or advised of the nomination at any stage. Immediate family members cannot act as supporting referees in the nominations.*

Final selection of the Alumni Award winners will be made by the Vice-Chancellor in conjunction with the Chief Advancement Officer. The Awards will be presented in October 2022 and the winners will be contacted beforehand.

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to be nominated if you are a:

  • current Deakin University Advancement staff member
  • current Deakin University staff member who is not a Deakin graduate
  • current member of the Senior University Executive
  • Honorary degree recipient who did not also complete an award course at Deakin.

Please submit your nomination to Deakin University Advancement by Friday 6 May, 2022.

Submit your nomination

2020 recipients left to right: Amenthi Jasinghe (Alumna of the Year), Justine Flynn (Young Alumna of the Year), Megan Gilmour (Alumna of the Year), Saifuddin Bin Ahmad (Alumnus of the Year), Uppma Virdi (Young Alumna of the Year), Dr Ben Hindson and the 10x Genomics team of Deakin alumni: Dr Joshua Delaney, Dr Adam Lowe, Dr Chris Hindson, Dr Geoff McDermott and Dr Jessica Terry (Alumni of the Year Award).

2020 winners

Justine Flynn – Co-founder and Brand Director, Thankyou

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Management, 2014

Justine Flynn is Co-founder and Brand Director of Thankyou, a social enterprise that commits 100% profit to helping others in need.

Thankyou started with a vision to redistribute wealth from consumer spending to help the most vulnerable in the world. They began by selling bottled water and now the range has grown to over 55 products including hand wash and sanitiser.

The Thankyou consumer movement has raised over 17 million dollars to get safe water, toilets, and child and maternal health programs to people in need.

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Uppma Virdi – CEO, Chai Walli

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws, 2013

Uppma Virdi built her company Chai Walli in Australia from the ground up, a tea business focused on bringing the most authentic Indian Ayurvedic teas to the world.

She became an accidental entrepreneur while she was working as a commercial lawyer, when her side hustle became bigger than she’d ever imagined. This prompted Uppma to take the leap from corporate lawyer to grow her business and educate people about chai through workshops, educational services, and social media. She is passionate about equality and diversity.

Her company, Chai Walli has won many awards for their masala chai and tea range.

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Saifuddin Bin Ahmad – Director, SNO Architects

Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Architecture, 1983

Saifuddin Bin Ahmad is an outstanding architect and firm Director of SNO Architects based in Malaysia. He has over 30 years of experience and is a leader in innovation and environmentally sustainable buildings with energy efficient designs.

He has held positions on Boards including the esteemed position of President of the Malaysian Institute of Architects and has supported education in both Malaysia and Australia.

Saifuddin was also the Chairman of the Green Building Index and designed the ‘Low Energy Office Building’, which was designated by the Ministry of Green Technology and Water as a showcase for sustainable buildings.

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Megan Gilmour – Founder and CEO, Robots4Good and Missing School

Alumni of the Year Award
Master of International and Community Development, 2013

Megan Gilmour is the Co-founder and CEO of Robots4Good, and the Co-founder and CEO of internationally recognised not-for-profit MissingSchool.

Megan is a social innovator, change-maker, entrepreneur and champion for a solution to an overlooked social problem.

After her own son was seriously ill, she saw first-hand that children with serious illness were being left out of classroom life and isolated when they could not attend school.

She empowers these children through her organisation that places robots in schools, so they can have a presence in the classroom and are included. Through research and practice, she advocates for change for these children and informs the efforts of educators, health providers, and governments.

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Amenthi Jasinghe – Humanitarian Aid Leader

Alumni of the Year Award
Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership, 2015

A humanitarian aid worker who has headed World Vision Sri Lanka's Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs team, Amenthi Jasinghe has worked with World Vision in Mozambique, Nepal and South Sudan, Plan International in Sri Lanka, and Motivation Charitable Trust, based out of the UK.

She is now a consultant with extensive international development and humanitarian program experience, specialising in disaster management and grant acquisitions.

Amenthi is a graduate of Deakin’s Humanitarian Leadership Program.

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Dr Ben Hindson and the 10x Genomics Deakin Alumni team

Alumni of the Year Award

Dr Ben Hindson
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, 10x Genomics
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 1998, PhD 2005

Dr Joshua Delaney
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2010, PhD 2014

Dr Chris Hindson
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 2007, PhD 2013

Dr Adam Lowe
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 2006, PhD 2011

Dr Geoff McDermott
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2008, PhD 2012

Dr Jessica Terry
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2009, PhD 2012

Their story of entrepreneurial success in science starts with Dr Ben Hindson, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of an early-stage biotech company in California called 10x Genomics. In eight years, the company has grown to over 700 employees including five other Deakin PhD graduates and we have recognised all their contributions with this team award.

10x Genomics has been listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and their team share the vision of addressing the true complexities of biology and disease.

Play video

Alumni awards videos

Our Alumni Award Winners YouTube playlist includes video interviews with our alumni, previous years dinners, speeches and more.

Explore the videos

Connect with us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest alumni opportunities, Deakin news and research and much more. You can email the Alumni Engagement team or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.