The Outstanding Alumni Awards (OAA) recognise graduates of QUT and its predecessor institutions for exceptional professional and personal achievements and contributions to the local, national, and international community.

Established in 1991 as an initiative of the QUT Alumni Board, the awards showcase and celebrate diverse achievements, leadership, and the impact of our alumni in the real world.

Award recipients are recognised at QUT's annual Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony, and their inspirational stories are shared widely with the broader community.

2021 award winners

Outstanding Alumnus

James Burnett

2003 Master of Education (Mathematics Education)
1993 Graduate Diploma in Education (Curriculum- Mathematics)
1989 Diploma of Teaching Primary

James Burnett is passionate about education and strives to make mathematics meaningful, enjoyable and accessible for all primary students and their teachers. James co-founded ORIGO Education in Australia to support primary mathematics education to develop quality, research-based classroom resources and provide professional learning for teachers. He wrote and developed Australia’s first core maths program, which was adopted by more than 60% of the Queensland market.

Watch James' video

Outstanding Alumnus

Elena Gosse

2004 Bachelor of Business (Accountancy)

Elena Gosse, CEO and co-owner of AIS Water, has overcome significant life challenges to emerge as a leader and successful businesswoman. Elena’s reputation as a disruptor extends beyond her professional life. From her early years as a Russian immigrant to her passion for public speaking and being an advocate against domestic violence, she believes in championing the changes she wants to see in the world by leading the discussion.

Watch Elena's video

Outstanding Alumnus

Dennis Walsh

1992 Master of Engineering Science (Civil Engineering)
1987 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)

Dennis Walsh has over 30 years of experience in strategic transport management, civil engineering, traffic and transport planning, road safety, road design and operations and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). His traffic, speed management and ITS leadership has helped make Queensland a national leader in road safety engineering and road operations best practices, consequently reducing road trauma and lowering fatalities.

Watch Dennis' video

Bronwen Knox (Outstanding Sports Alumnus)

2020 Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice
2019 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (Graduate Entry)
2014 Graduate Diploma in Public Health

A four-time Olympian, Bronwen Knox has represented Australia in more than 384 games in one decade, classifying her as the highest capped female water polo athlete. In addition to her sporting career, Bronwen is a legal practitioner and works with Sport Integrity Australia as an education presenter, promoting athletes' rights and responsibilities and reinforcing key messages around clean, fair sport.

Watch Bronwen's video

Daniel Browning (Outstanding Indigenous Alumnus)

1994 Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts)

Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster,
documentary maker, sound artist, writer and currently the ABC’s Editor of Indigenous Radio. A former news director at youth broadcaster Triple J, Daniel joined the ABC in 1994 fresh out of his QUT degree. He presents The Art Show on Radio National, and produces Awaye!, which surveys contemporary Indigenous cultural practice across the arts spectrum. Daniel is a descendant of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland.

Watch Ben's video

Susannah George (Outstanding Entrepreneurial Alumnus)

2004 Bachelor of Mass Communication (Public Relations and Creative Writing)

Susannah George is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketer. She is the founder and CEO of Australia and New Zealand’s largest independent media company, Urban List, an online recommendation source and curated guide to optimise your life. A fifth-generation entrepreneur, Susannah founded Urban List from her bedroom in 2011, landing on a concept that has since become one of the fastest-growing media companies in the country.

Watch Susannah's video

Luke Mountford (Outstanding Service Alumnus)

2003 Bachelor of Laws

QUT Medallist and Law alumnus Luke Mountford has been a passionate volunteer and donor to QUT for more than 15 years. His involvement began three years after graduation at the age of 26, when he donated to the QUT Faculty of Law Founders’ Scholarship. In 2006, Luke became a member of the Law Founders’ Scholarship Committee, supporting the work of the volunteer team and Faculty of Law to promote the scholarship and secure backing from other alumni and the legal community more widely.

Watch Luke's video

Ellen van Neerven (Outstanding Young Alumnus)

2011 Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
(Creative Writing)

2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing Production)

Ellen van Neerven is an Aboriginal Australian author, educator and editor.  Internationally recognised as one of Indigenous Australia’s leading literary voices, Ellen has undertaken national and international residencies which facilitate cultural exchange and community enrichment. They are of Mununjali (Yugambeh language group) and Dutch heritage. Ellen has aided and empowered others through their role in developing Indigenous authors with an Indigenous writing and editing project.

Watch Ellen's video

Karina & Samantha Seljak (Outstanding Young Alumni)

2011 Bachelor of Business (Advertising)/ Bachelor of Creative Industries (Fashion) - Karina
2011 Bachelor of Business (Economics)/ Bachelor of Journalism - Samantha

As company co-founders, sisters Samantha and Karina Seljak have built Seljak Brand into a global brand in just five short years, participating in systems innovation, and advocating for climate action and a circular economy. Sam and Karina’s unwavering curiosity allows them to continue innovating, working towards achieving their mission of creating beautiful things that are regenerative and sustainable by design.

Watch Karina and Samantha's video

Past winners

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2020

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Indigenous Alumni Award winner
His Honour Judge Nathan Jarro
Young Alumnus of the Year
Matt Fairhurst
Reba Brammer
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Dr Kirstin Ferguson
Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Dr Benjamin Law
Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Jane Bourne
Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Dr Robyn Littlewood
Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni and Special Excellence Award winner
Debbie Kilroy OAM
Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Julian Anderson
Alumni Service Award winners
Heather and Peter Howes

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2019

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni Award
Lex Greensill CBE
QUT Young Alumni of the Year
Josh Cameron
Alex Ghiculescu
Jake Phillpot
Tasmin Trezise
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Caitriona Fay
Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Joseph Kwan MH
Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Norman Hunter OAM
Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Professor Wen-I Liu
Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Hon. Karen Andrews, MP

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2018

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni Award
Tony McAvoy SC
QUT Young Alumnus of the Year
Dr Chris Jeffery
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Sandra Mau
Young Innovation and Entrepreneurship Outstanding Alumni Award winners
Lisy Kane
Sarah Moran
Tammy Butow
Special Excellence Award
Amanda McClelland
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Jeff Dunn
Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Archie Moore
Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Patrea Walton PSM
Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Veronica Casey
Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Ben de Bont

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2017

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni Award
Darryl McDonough
QUT Young Alumnus of the Year
Kate Gifford
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Joel Pobar
Young Innovation and Entrepreneurship Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Michael Brett
Special Excellence Award for Achievements and Contributions to Indigenous Communities
Wayne Denning
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Christine Corbett
Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Peter Greste
Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Hon. Leeanne Enoch, MP
Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Tina Coco AO
Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Michael Dempsey

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2016

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Creative Industries Outstanding Alumni Award
Kate Miller-Heidke
QUT Young Alumnus of the Year
Jessa Rogers
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Caitlin Wilson
Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Maryanne Walsh
Special Excellence Award for Achievement in Podiatry and Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Greg Dower
Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Roman Quaedvlieg
Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award winner
Richard Eastes
QUT Business School Special Excellence Award for Service to the Community
Paul Quilliam
Special Excellence Award for Contributions to the Nutrition Profession
Lim Su Lin

Outstanding Alumni Awards Winners 2015

QUT Alumnus of the Year and Science and Engineering Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award
Dr Abigail Allwood
QUT Young Alumnus of the Year
Andrew Blackman
Andrew Northcott
Special Excellence Award for achievement in education and Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award
Carmee Lim
Special Excellence Award for innovation in youth support and education
Andrew Gourley
QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award
Carolyn Dawkins
Creative Industries Faculty Outstanding Alumni Award
Leigh Sales
Faculty of Health Outstanding Alumni Award
Karni Liddell
Faculty of Law Outstanding Alumni
Dominic McGann