AEL awards showcase outstanding alumni

Leanne Bennett accepts the Arts, Education & Law Outstanding Alumnus Award for her late husband, the acclaimed Australian artist Gordon Bennett from Professor Paul Mazerolle (Pro Vice Chancellor, AEL)..

Internationally acclaimed Australian artist Gordon Bennett has been posthumously awarded the 2014 Outstanding Arts, Education and Law Alumnus of the Year Award.

Announced at the AEL Awards night on Friday, October 17 Gordon’s award was accepted by his wife Leanne.

One of Australia’s most significant and critically engaged artists, Gordon’s success came quickly after he graduated from the Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988.

He achieved a level of critical recognition rarely achieved by any artist, and will be remembered for the prominent role he played in questioning and exposing Australian racial categorization and stereotypes.

Primary school teacher David Hartley was awarded the 2014 Young Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. Principal at Woodridge North State School, Mr Hartley was recognised for his contribution to numeracy and driving high expectations in socially disadvantaged schools.

He has written a series of books aimed at closing the gap and promoting the importance of reading in indigenous communities.

Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the AEL Alumni Awards recognise the achievements and successes of the Arts, Education and Law graduates.

The event was hosted by Radio National’s Paul Barclay, with performances from final-year Musical Theatre students and Conservatorium graduate and urban country songstress, Taylor Moss.

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year School category winners

Griffith Film School
Matthew Schofield — Supervising Storyboard Director for The Simpsons

Griffith Law School
Glenn Vassallo — GRT Lawyers Managing Director

Queensland Conservatorium
Tim Munro — award-winning flutist and international music mentor

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Heather Nancarrow — CEO, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety

Education and Professional Studies
Wendy Thomas — Titans Learning Centre Foundation Teacher

Dr Mark Copland — Social Justice Commission CEO and board member of Ability Enterprises

Young Outstanding Alumnus of the Year finalists

Griffith Film School
Peter Ireland — Senior Director MTV networks UK

Griffith Law School
Ruth Link — Kuwul Group Founder and CEO

Queensland College of Art
Tony Albert — Award-winning artist

Queensland Conservatorium
Samuel Johnson — Opera singer

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Krystal Lockwood — Criminology researcher

Gemima Harvey — Freelance journalist and photographer

Languages and Linguistics
Harry Harding — Guangdong Television TV show host and musician

Find out more about the AEL Alumni Awards at