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The Advance Award winners are global Australians and alumni of Australian universities who exhibit remarkable talent, exceptional vision and ambition, our Game Changers.

Meet the 2020 Advance Award winners

Dr Abigail Allwood

Overall Award Winner 2020
Science & Technology Award Winner 2020

Dr Abigail Allwood is at the cutting-edge of space exploration. She is one of only seven principal investigators developing innovative instruments to accompany the Mars 2020 Rover expedition. Not only is she the first Australian, but also the first woman scientific lead on a Mars mission.

Tim Kentley Klay

Overall Award Winner 2020
Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2020

Tim Kentley Klay is a creative and technical entrepreneur. He describes himself as a painter, designer, animator, film-maker, trouble-maker and thinker.

Christopher Doyle

The Arts Award Winner 2020

Christopher Doyle is an award-winning cinematographer. Works like Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love have been met with international critical acclaim, and have found a firm footing in Chinese cinema and international cinema in the West.

Dr Bart Kolodziejczyk

Sustainability Award Winner 2020

Dr Bart Kolodziejczykis a nanoscientist and inventor intent on busting his brilliance out of the lab and into the world of commercialisation. Bart is addressing health, energy and climate change issues by innovating new technologies.

Dr John McHutchison AO

Global Impact Award Winner 2020

Professor Dr McHutchison AO has played a central and critical role in developing the curative treatments for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). To develop this treatment is a remarkable accomplishment destined to improve the health of many millions of people.

Dr Rossa Chiu

Asia Impact Award Winner 2020

Dr Rossa Chiu is a professor in the department of chemical pathology and Associate Dean for Development at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Determined to tackle the cancer epidemic, she and her colleagues have been developing blood tests with the goal to identify cancers early, thereby reducing cancer-related deaths.

Dr Susan Graham

Emerging Leader Award Winner 2020

Dr Susan Graham leads a team of passionate engineers, plant scientists and drone operators to tackle global scale deforestation. As the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dendra Systems, Susan uses a combination of data analytics, AI and drones to restore natural ecosystems, enabling large scale management and restoration.

Jennifer Nason

Financial Services Award Winner 2020

Jennifer Nason is considered one of Australia’s most successful global business leaders and one of the most senior and influential women on Wall Street. She attributes her career trajectory to a willingness to live outside her comfort zone, a love of constant learning and calculated risk.

Nicholas Wyman

Social Impact Award Winner 2020

For the past 25 years, Nicholas Wyman has sought novel ways to connect youth with the jobs of the future. Nicholas believes the ‘learn by doing’ approach has much to offer in a new world order straddling the faultlines of a ‘skills mismatch’.

Olivia Humphrey

Education Award Winner 2020

A visionary who democratised access to educational content, Olivia Humphrey founded a new channel for streaming films to members of academic and public libraries, in turn forging a new model to monetise and distribute independent films.

Premesh Chandran

Alumni Award Winner 2020

As an important proponent of free speech in Malaysia and a disruptor of the media landscape, Premesh Chandran creates space for voices against corruption and government abuses.

Professor Jill Banfield

Life Sciences Award Winner 2020

A mineralogist-turned-microbiologist, Jillian Banfield has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the structure, function and diversity of microbial communities in natural environments and the human body.

Sophie Blackall

Australian Global Icon Award Winner 2020

An Australian icon in the world of Children’s Books, Sophie Blackall creates places to escape to during stormy times, and return from wiser, calmer and changed. Needless to say, her work is relevant to children and adults alike in modern times.

Previous Advance Award winners

Adam Gilmour

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2019
Adam is the CEO and Founder of Gilmour Space Technologies, a venture-funded rocket company in Queensland, Australia that is developing a new breed of hybrid launch vehicles for small satellite/payload customers.

Adeeba Kamarulzaman

Alumni Award Winner 2012
Adeeba Kamarulzaman graduated in Medicine from Monash University and received her training in Infectious Diseases at the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Aihua Wang

Asia Impact Award Winner 2013
Sustainability Award Winner 2013
Jianhua and Aihua’s partnership has been so successful, both in Australia and on their return to China.

Alexandra Readhead

Energy & Resources Award Winner 2018
Alexandra Readhead works with governments of developing countries to strengthen their laws, institutions and capabilities to address tax avoidance in the extractive sector.

Alexie Seller

Social Impact Award Winner 2018
Renewable energy entrepreneur Alexie Seller lives in Bangalore in India, where she co-founded the social enterprise Pollinate Energy, bringing life-changing sustainable products such as solar powered lights, water purifiers, clean cookstoves and mosquito nets to families in India’s urban slums and Nepal’s rural communities.

Alison Thompson

Social Impact Award Winner 2016
Dr/Ambassador Alison Thompson is a full time global humanitarian volunteer. Her work started on the Sept 11th 2001 attacks in New York, where she rollerbladed downtown to help as a first responder.

Andrew Harper

Social Impact Award Winner 2017
Andrew Harper has been working with refugees since the 1990s when he worked in Turkey during the first gulf war for UNHCR.

Andrew Tanner

Science & Technology Award Winner 2014
“What makes Andrew such a visionary in the clean tech industry is his powerful mix of strong technical expertise combined with his natural business and marketing talent.

Angelica Cheung

Alumni Award Winner 2018
Angelica Cheung has played an integral role in the development of China’s fashion industry. Upon joining Condé Nast China as the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue China in 2005, Angelica Cheung spearheaded the launch of the publication and for the past thirteen years, has led its growth to international acclaim.

Angelica Mesiti

The Arts Award Winner 2019
Angelica lives and works between Paris and Sydney. Mesiti is a contemporary artist working in the field of moving image installation and performance.

Barry Bourne

Energy & Resources Award Winner 2013
“Within geophysical mining and academic circles, Barry is well known for his global leadership and impact on the business.

Barry Marshall

Global Impact Award Winner 2018
In 2005 Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in recognition of their 1982 discovery that a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, causes one of the most common and important diseases of mankind: peptic ulcer disease.

Baz Luhrmann

Australian Global Icon Award Winner 2014
Born in Sydney, Australia, Baz Luhrmann has captured popular and critical imagination internationally with a diverse range of award-winning projects in film, opera, theatre, and music.

Betty Who

Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2017
Betty Who was born in Sydney and raised as a classical cellist, until moving to the US in her adolescence to study music.

Brett Solomon

Social Impact Award Winner 2013
“Through his organisation Access, Brett is on the cutting edge of this topic.

Brook Andrew

The Arts Award Winner 2018
Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who examines dominant narratives, often relating to colonialism and modernist histories.

Cameron Hepburn

Sustainability Award Winner 2015
Cameron is an academic and entrepreneur. He is Professor of environmental economics at the University of Oxford, based at the Smith School and the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, and is also Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics and a Fellow at New College, Oxford.

Carolyn McGregor

Science & Technology Award Winner 2015
Professor Carolyn McGregor AM Carolyn McGregor, is a Research Chair in Health Informatics at Ontario Tech University – and an expert creating techniques to find patterns in numbers.

Chris Behrenbruch

Life Sciences Award Winner 2012
Entrepreneur and Monash University alumnus Christian Behrenbruch is recognised internationally for commercialisation achievements in healthcare IT, medical device and biotechnology domains.

Christopher Boshuizen

Overall Award Winner 2014
Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2014
“Chris has certainly demonstrated a significant “innovation quotient” as evidenced by the unique work he performed while at Ames Research Center, and recently by the creation and success of the start-up Planet-Labs” – Bruce Yost, NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate – NASA Ames Research Center.

Craig Barratt

Technology Innovation Award Winner 2013

A global industry leader in wireless technology and communications, and Senior Vice President and GM at Intel, and Chair of NASDAQ-listed Intuitive Surgical

Dalene Wray

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2018
Dalene Wray is the managing director of OBE Organic and is driving change, innovation and digital adoption in the Australian beef industry.

Dana Cordell

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2016
Dr Dana Cordell is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Daria Rippingale

Financial Services Award Winner 2019
Daria Rippingale Daria is Chief Executive Officer at Bankingblocks, a European wholesale banking and payment provider, serving global fintech and payment companies.

David Droga

Overall Award Winner 2012
Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2012
David Droga is Founder and Creative Chairman at Droga5, headquartered in New York City.

David Fidock

Life Sciences Award Winner 2016
Professor David Fidock’s major achievements in the life sciences have been the discovery of how the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparumacquired resistance to the first-line antimalarial drugs chloroquine and artemisinin.

David Putrino

Overall Award Winner 2019
Life Sciences Award Winner 2019

David is the Director Of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a Coach at the Entrepreneurship Lab (ELabNYC) Bio & Health Techand the “Chief Mad Scientist” at Not Impossible Labs. He is a physical therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience and worked as a clinician in Australia, before moving to the United States to study computational neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, MIT and NYU.

David Sinclair

Life Sciences Award Winner 2017

David Sinclair, Ph.D. is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Founding Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard. He is also a Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales, Honorary Professor, University of Sydney, and Co-Chief Editor of the journal Aging.

David Thompson

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2019
Australian chef, author, television presenter, and restaurateur, David Thompson is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on Thai cuisine.

Derek Buckmaster

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2018
Derek runs Carbon Nexus, Deakin University’s globally unique, $34m carbon fibre research facility.

Fiona Wood

Global Impact Award Winner 2016
Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood AM is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction.

Genevieve Bell

Overall Award Winner 2016
Science & Technology Award Winner 2016
Professor Genevieve Bell is an Intel Senior Fellow and former vice president in the Corporate Strategy Office with responsibility for corporate sensing and insights at Intel Corporation.

Geoffrey Garrett

Education Award Winner 2016
Dr Geoffrey Garrett is Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, and Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Geraldine Buckingham

Financial Services Award Winner 2018
A Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford, Dr Geraldine Buckingham is the youngest BlackRock executive reporting directly to CEO Larry Fink – tasked with long-term strategic thinking at the world’s largest asset manager.

Greg Norman

Australian Global Icon Award Winner 2015
Greg Norman was labeled the “Great White Shark” by a newspaper reporter during the 1981 Masters Tournament, but he began exhibiting all the characteristics of that deep-sea creature long before that.

Hugh Evans

Social Impact Award Winner 2015
Hugh Evans is an Australian humanitarian and internationally renowned development advocate.

Hugh Whalan

Sustainability Award Winner 2019
Hugh is passionate about the use of innovative business models to solve the world’s big problems. 

Jackie Yun

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2017
Jackie Yun was born in Sydney, Australia and is of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Chinese heritage.

James Gorman

Financial Services Award Winner 2015
James P. Gorman (born July 14, 1958, in Melbourne, Australia) joined Morgan Stanley in February 2006 as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Wealth Management Group (GWMG).

Jane Sloane

Financial Services Award Winner 2012
Jane has long been committed to making a difference in the social sector, holding executive positions in organisations such as World Vision, Marie Stopes International, International Women’s Development Agency, and the Social Entrepreneurs Network, where she was the founding CEO. 

Jason Day

Sport Award Winner 2016
Jason Day is an Australian professional golfer and PGA Tour member.

Jeni Klugman

Financial Services Award Winner 2013
“Jeni is well respected as a development thinker and practitioner; she demonstrates leadership and is innovative in her approach to issues; and she is making major contributions to development.

Jeremy Balkin

Overall Award Winner 2017
Financial Services Award Winner 2017
Jeremy K. Balkin is considered a leading international expert on ethics in banking, fintech and the strategic engagement of millennials in financial services.

Jeremy Heimans

Social Impact Award Winner 2012
As co-founder and CEO of, Jeremy’s work has literally mobilised millions of citizens and consumers to help solve major global problems.

Jianhua Zhao

Asia Impact Award Winner 2013
Sustainability Award Winner 2013
“Jianhua and Aihua’s partnership has been so successful, both in Australia and on their return to China.

John Mattick

Global Impact Award Winner 2019
Professor John Mattick AO, FAA, FTSE, is an Australian molecular biologist internationally recognised for his blend of ahead-of-its-time genomic research with world renowned leadership of prime research institutes in Australia and around the globe.

John Polson

Creative Industries Award Winner 2013
“He’s given a lot of people, not unlike myself that didn’t grow up in Sydney with all the cool kids, the opportunity and the right to say, “Well I can do something too.” He is an inspiration.

Jonathan Mills

Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2014
“As an artist himself, a composer, Jonathan understands the arts from a personal perspective.

Justin O'Shea

Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2016
Justin spent his formative years in a remote aboriginal community in Australia, working in the mines with his father and unpacking boxes at a supermarket.

Karen Day

Overall Award Winner 2015
Life Sciences Award Winner 2015
Karen Day is a distinguished malaria researcher dedicated to the improvement of global health.

Karyl Nairn

Financial Services Award Winner 2014
Karyl Nairn, Queens Counsel (QC), was born in Perth and is a graduate of the University of Western Australia.

Kate Glazebrook

Science & Technology Award Winner 2019
Kate is CEO and co-founder of Applied, the Behavioural Insights Team’s first tech venture.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Alumni Award Winner 2013
A pioneer of the biotechnology industry in India and the head of the country’s leading biotechnology enterprise, Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a highly respected businesswoman.

Laode M Syarif

Alumni Award Winner 2019
Dr Syarif is Commissioner for Indonesia Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) (2015-2019). Before he joined the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission), Syarif was a Senior Lecturer at Hasanuddin University, Faculty of Law, Makassar, Indonesia.

Lauren Jackson

Sport Award Winner 2015
Lauren Elizabeth Jackson (born 11 May 1981) is an Australian professional basketball player.

Leanne Kemp

Science & Technology Award Winner 2018
Leanne Kemp is the Founder & CEO of Everledger. With extensive experience in emerging technology, business, jewellery and insurance, Leanne is pushing boundaries by addressing real-world challenges through driving transparency and trust along global supply chains using emerging technology – blockchain.

Lihua Tong

Alumni Award Winner 2017
Lihua Tong is a public interest lawyer and the leading advocate in China for the rights of children, women and migrant workers.

Lynette Wallworth

The Arts Award Winner 2016
Lynette Wallworth is an Australian artist whose immersive video installations and film works reflect on the connections between people and the natural world.

Michelle Garnaut AO

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2015
Australian born Michelle Garnaut is one of the most respected and recognised restaurateurs in Asia and was described by Time magazine as “an industry celebrity” as well as “the pioneer of China’s fashionable-dining scene”. With over 30 years’ experience covering every facet of the service industry, from dish washing to cooking, from waiting tables to bar tending, from marketing to management, Michelle founded the M Restaurant Group in Hong Kong in 1989 to represent her vision of the all-inclusive dining experience.

Michelle Grant

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2019
Michelle Grant Michelle Grant is a food systems and sustainability professional who has worked at the interface of research, education and practice for more than 15 years.

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Global Impact Award Winner 2015
Mike Cannon-Brookes is the co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, a team collaboration software company that helps teams organise, collaborate and communicate around shared work.

Milton Catelin

Energy & Resources Award Winner 2014
Milton is a pragmatic yet courageous leader within the coal industry.

Nasima Rahmani

Alumni Award Winner 2015
Nasima Rahmani is the Director of the Women’s Empowerment Centre at Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education (GIHE), Kabul, Afghanistan, where she also lectures in Law.

Natalie Jeremijenko

Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2019
One of America’s brightest digital pioneers, Natalie Jeremijenko has been named one of the Top 100 young innovators by the MIT Technology Review, and one of the Top 40 most influential designers by I.D.

Neima Candy

Alumni Award Winner 2016
Neima Candy is an accomplished health professional whose work has had a positive impact on the provision of health services, disease treatment and prevention across Liberia.

Pete Ceglinski

Sustainability Award Winner 2018
Surfer and industrial designer Pete Ceglinski  has been around the ocean his entire life and in 2014, with the mission to have pollution free oceans for future generations, he started the Seabin Project – a revolution to to clean up our oceans’ pollution through a floating rubbish bin designed to catch rubbish, oil, fuel, detergent and micro plastics down to 2mm in size operating 24/7. 

Peter Carberry

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2015
Dr Peter Carberry is a distinguished graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment awarded with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with first class honours in 1982 and later with PhD in Agriculture in 1987 from the University of Sydney.

Peter Hall

Financial Services Award Winner 2013
“Peter presents a model of how a business can effectively engage with the important environmental issues of our day, not only to fulfill the basics of corporate social responsibility, but truly to make a difference in the world.

Peter Le Lievre

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2013
Having worked closely with Peter for five years I know he has outstanding and innovative manufacturing process design skills as well as being able to raise significant development capital for start-up companies without falling into the claws of venture capital investors at the first step.

Peter Liddicoat

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2017
As the CEO of Atomnaut Peter is helping Australia’s transition to a knowledge economy by bringing a new microscope to the world that could change the way materials are engineered.

Peter Rothschild

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2016
Dr Peter Rothschild is the Co-founder & Chief Technical Officer of Heuresis Corporation. Prior to that he was the longtime Chief Scientist and Director of Research and Development at American Science and Engineering Inc.

Prue Clarke

Social Impact Award Winner 2014
“New Narrative has been Prue’s brainchild and has really taken off. 

Rebecca Mann

Financial Services Award Winner 2016
Rebecca Mann is a Senior Program Officer in the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Renae Beaumont

Education Award Winner 2018
Based in New York, Dr Renae Beaumont was just 21 when she began developing a computer game to help children with autism spectrum conditions crack the code of emotions and friendships – the Secret Agent Society. Her idea came off the back of teaching flute to a nine-year-old boy with an autism spectrum condition who was skilled technically, but played flute robotically.

Richard Fuller

Social Impact Award Winner 2019
Richard Fuller, is an Australian-born, U.S.-based engineer, entrepreneur and environmentalist best known for his work on global pollution issues.

Richard Pestell

Biotechnology Award Winner 2014
“Richard has demonstrated excellence as a physician and oncologist through his achievements and recognition in US medicine, including his current senior position at Thomas Jefferson Medical School.

Rodney Brooks

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2015
Rodney Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Founder, Chairman & CTO of rethink robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics), also a Founder, former Board Member (’90/’11) & former CTO (’90/’08) of iRobot Corp (Nasdaq: IRBT).

Rosemary Morrow

Food & Agriculture Award Winner 2017
I became aware half way through my PDC with Robyn Francis that permaculture was what had been lacking in my work in ‘developing’ countries such as India and Lesotho where I had worked in agriculture.

Russell Howard

Overall Award Winner 2013
Science & Technology Award Winner 2013
“As a scientist, Russell has a track record that is unparalleled.

Saul Griffith

Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner 2012
Saul is Founder and Principal Scientist at Other Lab, where he focuses his work on engineering solutions for energy production and efficiency.

Scott Farquhar

Global Impact Award Winner 2015
Scott Farquhar is the co-founder and co‐CEO of Atlassian, a leading enterprise software company that powers more than 25,000 companies to build better software.

Sekai Holland

Alumni Award Winner 2014
“Senator Holland has dedicated her life to campaigning for human rights, democracy and the empowerment of women both in Australia and around the globe.

Siobhan Reddy

Commercial Creatives Award Winner 2015
Siobhan Reddy is Studio Director at Media Molecule, the band of creative minds behind the hugely successful and innovative LittleBigPlanet game franchise.

Sotheary Ly

Social Impact Award Winner 2013
“Already a role model for young women in Cambodia, Sotheary has great potential to be an Australian global role model, representing the best of multicultural Australia.

Susan David

Education Award Winner 2017
Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award winning Harvard Medical School psychologist.

Tan Le

Science & Technology Award Winner 2012
Tan Le Co-founded Emotiv, in 2003 and serves as its President.

Thomas Oxley

Overall Award Winner 2018
Life Sciences Award Winner 2018
When it comes to Dr Thomas Oxley’s work, imagine a digital spinal cord that streams your thoughts.

Vikram Mehta

Science & Technology Award Winner 2014
“Vikram is a unique candidate for this prestigious award as he is one of those rare individuals who has achieved success on a global stage, as a corporate executive and as an entrepreneur in the ICT industry.

Yijia Li

Asia Impact Award Winner 2019
Yijia Li graduated from Tsinghua University in 2009 as a distinguished student majoring in Biology and received a double degree in Economics at Peking University.