Student Leadership Award winners

2015 winners

Tri Mulyani Sunarharum

2015 Student Leader of the Year

Yani will graduate in 2015 with a PhD in Science and Engineering.

She has been an extremely active student at QUT since beginning her studies in 2012. Originally from Malang, Indonesia, she is the first international student to win this award.

Yani is the president of the Science and Engineering Faculty Higher Degree Research Student Society, was a founding member of the QUT Intercultural Sharing of Talents and Arts Group Enthusiasts and a member of the Civil Engineering and Built Environment Board.

Yani has played a very active role in the Australian-Indonesian community, both within and outside of QUT. She is vice-president of the QUT Indonesian Student Association and was selected as the student coordinator of the G20 visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to QUT in November 2014. Yani also represented QUT in the Brisbane Global Café G20 Youth Forum. Her involvement extends to volunteering for QUT International, running 'new to Brisbane' student sessions and co-facilitating international student information sessions.

Outside of QUT, Yani is involved in the Communication Division of the Indonesian Islamic Society of Brisbane, Inc, and is head of the external division of the Indonesian Student Association of Australia nationally, where she supervises three departments. She was the founder of Gelora Indonesian Community, a non-governmental community related to art, culture, education and social activities to help Indonesians have a better future, and she is an ambassador of Rotary Club International, Semarang Branch, Indonesia.

Amy Gunnell

Special Excellence Award winner

Student Leadership Excellence Award winner

Amy will graduate in 2015 with a degree in Mechatronic Engineering.

She is a student ambassador, delivers robotics workshops for high school students, and for the past three years has been an active member of QUT Motorsports.

As the operations manager of QUT Motorsports she led the concept development for the QUT Electric vehicle in 2013, and was Project Manager for the vehicle in 2014. Under her leadership the team changed from a petrol-driven engine to a solar car. This change led to a partnership with Team Arrow, a Brisbane-based solar car racing team, of which QUT students are now an integral part. Additionally, she has overcome personal health issues to drive the solar cars in extremely hostile environments, including central Australia and the Abu Dhabi desert.

She has played a major role in recruiting new QUT Motorsports members from a broad range of faculties and disciplines.

Sam Turner

Special Excellence Award winner

Student Leadership Excellence Award winner

Sam will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor of Pharmacy.

Sam joined the QUT Student Pharmacy Association (SPA) in 2012 as the 1st year representative. One year later, he became president of this organisation. In this time the organisation's membership increased by 150%.

Sam was the 2013 National Councillor and Deputy Chair of the Industrial Affairs Committee for the National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA). In 2014 he was elected as its national President. He represents more than 4,000 pharmacy students from 19 universities. In 2015 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership in NAPSA for the work he has done for the organisation. This includes engaging with pharmacies nationwide, involvement in a variety of fundraisers and charities and overseeing significant changes to NAPSA in order to promote long term sustainability of the organisation.

Sam is a member of the Board of the Australian College of Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee. He is also part of the Australian Pharmacy Liaison Forum and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland Branch. Additionally, Sam is a STEM Ambassador for QUT, has worked as a student pharmacist at Terry White Chemist since 2007, and worked in a second part-time job.

Anja Ali-Haapala

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Anja is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Industries, and will graduate in 2016.

She has shown leadership in a number of QUT and community organisations. Anja co-founded the QUT Dance Society, and was a leadership team coordinator. She was the entertainment co-coordinator for the 2014 Creative Industries Ignite! Postgraduate Conference, and a workshop leader for QUT Research Student Network.

During the first year of her PhD she offered support and academic advice to dance honours students. Additionally, she gives feedback and support to a dance, drama and music writing circle. Between 2011 and 2012 she was an ITAS tutor within the Oodgeroo Unit.

Outside QUT, Anja chaired the Research and Documentation Network Student Group, World Dance Alliance in 2014. She was also the treasurer of the Brisbane Dance Artists Hub in 2013 and a volunteer for BlackDance in 2012.

Since 2007, she has participated as a performer in 8 different dance projects on-stage, music videos and films. She has been the choreographer or director of three different projects since 2011.

Melissa Blacklock

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Melissa is pursuing a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and is due to graduate in 2015.

She has held a variety of Ambassadorial roles since beginning her student career at QUT. She has been a Central Student Ambassador since 2011, was a Science and Engineering Faculty Ambassador in 2013, and since 2013 has been a LEGO Ambassador within The Cube and an Ambassador for the QUT Transform Initiative. Melissa has also been a part of the Executive Dean's Scholar Program for the Faculty of Education. She has also been a member of QUT Big Lift, which travels to rural and remote communities to engage in 8 days of community service activities.

She was a co-founder and the inaugural secretary of the QUT Red Cross Young Humanitarians Club. She is a Peer Learning Facilitator and Duty Host for the STIMulate program and has been active in the QUT Connect program and is a Campus Life Volunteer.

In addition to her busy life as a campus leader and student, she has been active in the wider community. She has been working at McDonalds since 2009, and has worked and volunteered for McHappy Day, raising money for Ronald McDonald House charities. She is a strong supporter of the Red Cross Blood Service, and participated in the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave in 2014, raising more than $1,300.

Melissa is passionate about teaching, and in 2013, she volunteered as a judge for both the Brisbane South chapter of the OptiMinds Creative Sustainability Challenge and the first LEGO League tournament. She has been a volunteer classroom helper at St. Augustine's College since 2012.

Allison Boland

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Allison is expected to graduate in 2017 with a dual degree in Bachelor of Justice/Bachelor of Laws.

She has been an active member of the university and wider communities. She is an Explore Uni Ambassador with the Faculty of Law Equity Team, an Indigenous Tutorial Assistant and is the Indigenous Student Representative on the Vice-Chancellor's Indigenous Education and Employment Committee.

Together with fellow Special Excellence Award Winner Corey Curran, Allison developed Project Imba, a two phase program inspiring and building future pathways for Indigenous young people from Cunnamulla. Allison and Corey raised $18,000 in-kind support and sponsorship for this program, which has shown tremendous outcomes in a short time frame. The two plan to continue with Project Imba, and hope to expand to other communities. In 2014, Allison and Corey were invited to co-present at LDI's Reboot Conference on increasing awareness of Indigenous issues within the QUT Community.

Allison currently holds an Indigenous Cadetship with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and in 2013, had an internship with Allens Linklaters. In 2014, she received the Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast Prize for contributions to her Indigenous community and from 2012 – 2014, she received the Making a Difference and Looking Ahead Indigenous Youth Leadership Award.

Corey Curran

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Corey will graduate in 2017 with a dual Bachelor of Justice/Bachelor of Laws degree.

During his time at QUT, Corey has been a Student Ambassador for the Oodgeroo Unit and for the Law Faculty and a Justice Mentor for the JUMP Program. He was also a peer mentor tutor in QUT's Second Language Program and a mentor of the Indigenous Pre-Law and Justice Program. He has also been heavily involved in the QUT Law Society and was chosen to attend the National Indigenous Legal Conference.

Together with fellow Special Excellence Award Winner Allison Boland, Corey developed Project Imba, a two phase program inspiring and building future pathways for Indigenous young people from Cunnamulla. Corey and Allison raised $18,000 in-kind support and sponsorship for this program, which has shown tremendous outcomes in a short time frame. The two plan to continue with Project Imba, and hope to expand to other communities. In 2014, he and Allison were invited to co-present at LDI's Reboot Conference on increasing awareness of Indigenous issues within the QUT Community.

Corey has also contributed significantly to the wider community. He was a volunteer at the QUT Indigenous Law and Justice Dinner in 2013, as well as the Link-Up (Qld) Aboriginal Corporation since 2011. In 2014, Corey began editing for Right Now, a not-for-profit media organisation focused on human rights issues in Australia.

He is a mentor in a variety of community organisations including Tennyson Special School. From 2011-2013, Corey co-implemented the Indigenous Tutoring Centre at Cavendish Road State High School. He is a Cadet with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working for 12 weeks a year across human rights policy and diplomatic launches and communications.

Olivia Hutchinson

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Olivia will complete a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree in 2015, and has managed to achieve a grade point average of 7.

Olivia is passionate about assisting young women to obtain careers in engineering. She mentored many female engineering students and relaunched the Little Sister Big Sister Buddy program that assists first year female engineering students. She is the current President of Girls in Engineering Making Statements, and was previously the Secretary and Vice President.

Olivia is a STIMulate volunteer, and an Ambassador for the Dean's Scholars Program. Olivia was chosen by the Science and Engineering Faculty to participate in a University exchange in Denmark for a semester in 2014. Whilst on a mobility tour in February at Agder University in Grimstad, Norway, she was asked to address 500, 16 year old engineering students about the possibilities for young women in engineering.

Through her involvement with GEMS, Olivia led a team of 30 members to participate in a program called 'Do It In a Dress.' For this program, the team dressed in their old school uniforms and raised almost $17,000 to support young girls' education in Sierra Leone. Olivia also organised barbecues and trivia nights to raise money to provide birthing kits for women in Uganda.

Sean Melis

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Sean will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business (Finance) and a Bachelor of Information Technology.

Sean has had a tremendous impact through his involvement in the QUT Economics & Finance Society (EFS). Initially as Marketing Director and later as President, Sean helped transform the EFS into the 2013 QUT Club of the Year. Membership of this Society was around 100 when he joined, and grew to more than 500 members while he was President. The Society also rated the best Social Event of the Year and the best Networking Event of the Year in 2014. Under his leadership and guidance, Sean brought all business societies together to host the first ever Business Ball. Under Sean's leadership, the Society raised over $2,000 for the QUT Learning Potential Fund and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Sean has been equally active outside of QUT. He co-founded a digital design agency, DrawHistory, which has worked with companies such as UNICEF Australia, Oxfam and World Vision. He has completed internships in the management consulting arms of Ernst & Young and Deloitte, as well as with Uber. Whilst living and working in Shanghai, Sean volunteered weekly at an orphanage.

Finally, Sean has been a participant in the international business case competitions. In Hong Kong, his team came first in their group, and 3rd overall among the 18 teams. Prior to this, Sean was one of 6 finalists out of 180 total entrants to make it to the Grand National Finals of the Microsoft Protégé Competition in Sydney.

Eddie Robinson

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Eddie will graduate later this year with dual degrees in Law and Business (Finance).

Eddie has been heavily involved in life at QUT, and in the wider community. He has previously won a Student Leadership Excellence Award in 2012 Within QUT he has designed and delivered several workshops including: an introduction to mooting workshop for students; a speed reading session for the LDI program; and a finance workshop for the international Business Case team. He was a Peer Assisted Research Learning mentor in 2013. He was also the inaugural Student Representative on the QUT Alumni Board in 2013, and was asked to stay on for a 2nd term in 2014. He was a QUT Connector and Campus Life Leader for 2 years, and in 2013, he convened the Faculty of Law Crime Club. He also debated to raise money for the Law Founders' Scholarships in 2013.

For the past 3 years, Eddie designed and convened the inaugural, second and third annual QUT High School Moot Competition. He was a judge for the high school Caboolture and Gardens Point Blue Shift Case Competitions. From November 2012 to July 2014, Eddie was the co-coordinator of the 2014 Australian Law Students Association Conference, for which he raised and managed $340,000. Throughout 2013, Eddie volunteered at the Strathpine Community Legal Centre.

Eddie has played a key role with the International Case Competition team, representing QUT around the globe. He also competed in the national Hon. Michael Kirby Contract Law Moot Competition, where he ranked 1st and 2nd for the two written memoranda that his team submitted.

Kevin Yow Yeh

Student Leadership Excellence Award

Kevin will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor degree in Social Work.

Kevin has been very involved at QUT. As an Ooodgeroo Ambassador, he has been involved with: the Pre-Orientation Program; the Prevention, Rehabilitation, Intervention, Diversion and Education Program; the Go Further! QUT Experience Camp; the Indigenous Australian Science and Infrastructure Development Winter School, and the Explore Uni Program. Additionally, Kevin worked with QUT Sport to organise a sporting event between QUT Allstars vs Indigenous Allstars during the 2015 Reconciliation Week. He volunteers with the QUT Peer Programs Student Advisory Team and was also a participant in the Faculty of Health's study tour program visiting Semarang, Indonesia.

Kevin's involvement has extended far beyond QUT as well. He undertook a semester placement in the Cherbourg community with the Barambah Local Justice Group and was involved with the Community Engagement Learning Lab Project. This led his co-authoring and presentation of a paper at the 2014 Engagement Australian Conference. He was on the organising commit of the Island Style Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Expo in 2014.

Kevin has also volunteered with the Children's Hospitals – Wonder Factory to help raise money for sick children. Kevin has been a member of the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program, and he was involved in the Participatory Action Research project.

Past award winners

2014 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Jyi Lawton
Special Excellence Award winner
Thomas Davies
Excellence Award winners
Vincent Balmes
Melissa Blacklock
Tianna Camilleri
Bikram Chadha
Courtney Coombs
David Lewis
Ben McGarry
Stacey Percival
Zachary Van Haaften-Thompson

2013 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Brody Foy
Student Leadership Excellence Award and Special Excellence Award
Kerryn Chung
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Kassandra Buckle
Joel Fernandes
Laura McCosker
Daniel Nutley
Laura Pegg
Manisha Senadeera
Elisabeth Snow
Luke Swetman

2012 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Erin Gregor
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Wadzanai Chiwira
Rebecca Daynes
Jodie Farthing
Louise McDonald
Kirralee Parsons
Natalie Reason
Edward Robinson
Jonathan Row
Peter Von Einem

2011 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Jeremy Baldwin
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Melanie Arnost
Michael Attard
Ashley Duggan
Ivan Ingram
Liqin (Jessica) Kong
Laura Parker
Ngam Kim Truong
Yeting (Vivian) Xiao
Brigitte Yap

2010 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Arlou Arteta
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Darren Cann
Ashleigh Coome
Anja Homburg
Lisa Kingsberry
Karen Lewis
Naleesha Niranjan
Stephanie Parkin
Benjamin Schostakowski
Daniel Townson

2009 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Katrina Bukauskas
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Tara Haskins
Deanna Hood
Tanya Kretschmann
Madeline McIntyre
Penelope Mee Lee
Chloe Parker
Renee Robbie
Robyn Shenfield
Petrina Underwood

2008 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Sarah Moran
Student Leadership Excellence Award
David Adams
Yasotha Balakrishnan
Daniel Brennan
Kelly McNamara
Ellen Nicholas
Timothy O'Shea
Tiara Shaqif
Helen Stylianou
James Ward

2007 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Michelle Mills
Student Leadership Excellence Award
Michael D'Onofrio
Sandi Dawson
Shane Degen
Samantha Laidlaw Thompson
Yen Ngo
Rebecca Shaw
James Tilbury
Ashlea White
Helena Wu

2006 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Alison Macintyre
Student Leadership Excellence Awards
Hayley Angell
Nemenja Antic
Deanna Borland-Sentinella
Joshua Caerio
Lauren Carr
Sandra Kafrouni
Damian Leonard
Nikketah McGrath
John Zunker

2005 winners

Student Leader of the Year
Rachael Truscott
Student Leadership Excellence Awards
Anna Crossin
Emmelene Gray
Chandni Gupta
Ruth Hosking
Kristiana Kilvert
Leanne Linard
Meggie Palmer
Bridie Scott-Parker


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