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Alumni Awards 2021 Winners

Alumni Awards 2021 Winners

It is our pleasure to announce the 2021 UNSW Alumni Award winners.

After a record number of nominations, today we recognise eight of your fellow alumni whose tremendous achievements in research, social impact, innovation and entrepreneurship are making a profound impact here and around the globe. 

Our winners are made up of a globally recognised contemporary artist, a world-renowned clinician-researcher, an influential ambassador for defence communities, a remarkable public sector economist, two passionate entrepreneurs influencing online retail, a leader in advocating for disadvantaged communities, and an award-winning novelist.

Khadim Ali

Art, Design and Culture

Khadim Ali is a Pakistani Asian Modern & Contemporary artist whose work has featured in numerous exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Khadim studied miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahor, calligraphy at Tehran University, Iran and completed a Master of Fine Art at UNSW Art & Design in 2015.

As a child, Khadim was deeply influenced by his grandfather, a Shanamah singer, and by the miniature paintings that illustrated the stories of the Shanamah, a tenth-century epic poem. Khadim’s intricate works encompass imagery from history, politics, literature, poetry and mythology to explore contemporary events such as the civil war in Afghanistan and personal experiences of persecution, displacement and discrimination.



Robert Hango-Zada & William On

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Rob Hango-Zada is the Co-Founder & Joint CEO of APAC’s fast-growing shipping platform, Shippit. He brings a common-sense & customer-centric approach to Australian retailing. Having spent a decade working for the world’s leading FMCG businesses (Procter & Gamble, Unilever) across Asia, Rob has vast experience in converting customer insight and analytics into growth driving strategies for retailers such as Woolworths, Coles, Tesco & Priceline and numerous global brands. Rob’s frustration as an online shopper drove him to co-found Shippit with William On to enhance the post-purchase experience from cart to doorstep and back again. Shippit now powers delivery for leading retailers such as General Pants, Cue Clothing, Sephora, The Athlete’s Foot and more. Outside of work, Rob is a big fan of bold red wine, fancy socks and good design.

Will On is Co-Founder and CEO of Shippit, APAC’s fast-growing shipping technology company founded in Australia. Hailing from management consultancies Deloitte and PWC, Will spearheaded the platform’s 300% year-on-year growth across Australia and New Zealand and now oversees Shippit’s expansion into South East Asia. Shippit currently handles over 50 million shipments annually, looking after some of the world’s largest retailers such as Sephora, UNIQLO, Cotton On and Harvey Norman. In his spare time Will plays competitive basketball, enjoys a run and a glass of red!

Rob & Will were both UNSW Co-op scholars, graduating from BSc BIT (Business Information Technology) with 1st Class Honours. Learn more about the UNSW Co-op program here. 

Brigadier Alison Creagh AM CSC (Retd)

Professional Achievement

Brigadier Alison Creagh AM CSC  (Retd) is a Chair, Non-Executive Director and Strategic Adviser and in 2021 was recognised as an outstanding Defence Ambassador for the Australian Capital Territory.  Following 30 years of dedicated service, Alison retired from the Australian Regular Army in March 2015. Over her career, Alison planned and supported numerous operations in Australia and overseas, including deployments to Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Alison completed a Master of Management Studies in Project Management at UNSW in 1995 and a Master of Defence Studies in 1997.  Using her Defence experience coupled with her university studies, Alison now has a focus on supporting veterans, defence industry and promoting cybersecurity. Alison holds a number of board  and advisory positions, including Strategic Defence Adviser - Land for the Queensland Government, Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Veterans and Their Families, Chair of SME Gateway, Trustee of the Commando Welfare Trust, Chair of the Board of Governors for Military and Emergency Services Health Australia, and is a member of the AustCyber Canberra Node Industry Advisory Group. She was previously on ACT’s Defence Industry Advisory Board. She is also on Advisory Boards for UNSW’s Defence Research Institute, Institute for Cyber (IFCYBER) and Capability Systems Centre. 


Professor Nick Talley AC

Research & Teaching Achievement

Laureate Professor Nick Talley is an expert clinician, educator and researcher, with extensive experience as a leader in the medical and university sectors. Professor Talley completed a Bachelor of ‪Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with UNSW in 1979.  A neurogastroenterologist, Professor Talley has published over 1000 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and is considered one of the world’s most influential clinician-researchers.

Professor Talley is a Distinguished Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia and practices consultant gastroenterology as a Senior Staff Specialist at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. He has also been the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia since 2015 and is a leading medical educator and the author of the highly regarded textbooks Clinical Examination and Examination Medicine.

Professor Talley’s awards and prizes include a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2018, NSW Scientist of the Year 2018, Peter Wills Medal from Research Australia 2018, Laureate Professor University of Newcastle 2015, NSW Excellence in Biological Sciences prize 2014 and the American Gastroenterological Association Distinguished Educator Award 2014.

Dr Cassandra Goldie

Social Impact and Service

Cassandra Goldie is CEO of ACOSS, the peak body for the community sector, and Adjunct Professor at UNSW Sydney. With public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights, Cassandra has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged in national and international processes, as well as in grassroots communities. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles with the Australian Human Rights Commission, Darwin Community Legal Service and Legal Aid in Western Australia. 

Cassandra has a PhD from the University of New South Wales, an LLM from University College London and an LLB from the University of New South Wales, and is a graduate of AICD. She serves on the UNSW Law Advisory Council, the Australian Climate Roundtable and the Pinnacle Foundation Board. 

Cassandra has been recognised as an Inaugural Westpac/AFR 100 Women of Influence, selected as an AFR/BOSS True Leader, included on AFR’s Annual Overt Power List, recognised as one of Australia’s top 50 Outstanding LGBTI Executives by Deloitte and voted one of the most influential people in the Australian social sector in Pro Bono’s Impact 25 Awards in 2014 and again in 2021. She is a member of Chief Executive Women. 

Jessie Tu

Young Alumni Award

Jessie Tu trained as a classical violinist for more than 15 years and undertook a B.Music/B.Music Education at UNSW. She is the emerging book critic at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and a journalist and cultural editor at Women's Agenda. Her work has been published in The Guardian, L.A Review of Books and South China Morning Post. Jessie has won several poetry and writing awards and her first book of poetry, You Should Have Told Me We Have Nothing Left was released in 2018. A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing is her first novel.


Dr Philip Lowe

Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Alumni Achievement

Philip Lowe is Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Mr Lowe holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.Comm (Honours) in Economics/Econometrics from the University of New South Wales. He has authored numerous papers, including on the linkages between monetary policy and financial stability. He commenced as Governor on 18 September 2016.

He is Chair of the Reserve Bank Board and Payments System Board, and Chair of the Council of Financial Regulators. He is a member of the Financial Stability Board. Prior to his current role, he held the positions of Deputy Governor, Assistant Governor (Economic) and Assistant Governor (Financial System). He also spent two years at the Bank for International Settlements working on financial stability issues.

Mr Lowe is Chair of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children and a director of The Anika Foundation. He is also Chair of the Committee on the Global Financial System of the Bank for International Settlements.

Mr Lowe is a signatory to The Banking and Finance Oath.