UNSW celebrates its star graduates

The inspirational work of UNSW Engineering graduate Turia Pitt has been recognised at the 2017 UNSW Alumni Awards.

Turia Pitt accepts her award via video from The Himalayas

UNSW’s annual Alumni Awards celebrate the achievements of the University’s 10 most accomplished graduates and graduands chosen from a pool of close to 290,000 alumni. This year Turia Pitt, who graduated from UNSW’s School of Mining Engineering, received the Sports and Sports Administration award.

Many of the award recipients were welcomed back to the University on 16 May for the awards dinner hosted by Chancellor Mr David Gonski AC and President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs.

Presenting the awards, Mr Gonski thanked the selection panel, led by Sydney Water Chair and UNSW Foundation Board member Mr Bruce Morgan, and noted the University had enjoyed its biggest-ever response to the call for nominations.

Professor Jacobs congratulated the recipients saying: “Choosing these winners from the extraordinary pool of talent spread across 146 countries and all facets of human endeavour is not an easy task.

“A key measure of a great university is how much it values its alumni and the contribution they make to society.

“We are extremely proud of the alumni we honour here tonight, the remarkable innovation they demonstrate, and the impact they are having in Australia and worldwide.”

Turia Pitt graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) / Bachelor of Science in 2010. Her life turned upside down when, in the following year, she was trapped in a grass fire during a 100km ultramarathon. Losing seven fingers, overcoming burns to 65% of her body and surviving against overwhelming odds, Pitt has since donated her time to motivational speaking, fundraising, humanitarian efforts and ambassadorial work for plastic surgery charity Interplast.

In 2016, Pitt competed in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii despite doctors having told her she would never walk again. She accepted her award via video from The Himalayas, where she was trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp.

For more information about the awards and a full rundown of the 2017 winners, go to the alumni website.

Share this