A NASA astronomer, a top public health scientist, a psychologist and entrepreneur, and a trailblazer for women in leadership are the winners of this year’s inaugural Griffith University Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Griffith University celebrated the exceptional contributions of its alumni, who have excelled in their chosen fields and shown a commitment to their communities locally and abroad, at the inaugural Outstanding Alumni Awards gala dinner in Brisbane.

The awards represent the University’s values and were split into four categories — Outstanding Alumnus Award, Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus Award, Outstanding International Alumnus Award and Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor AC said the reach and influence of the University’s 200,000 alumni and their positive impact on the world around them was outstanding.

“The University greatly values its alumni relationships and is proud of the amazing things you do each day to make a difference. I would like to thank each of you for being outstanding ambassadors for the University.”

Twenty exceptional alumni award group winners in Arts, Education and Law, Business, Health and Sciences were recognised at the event, with the final four overall university winners from this group revealed on the night.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM was named the winner of the Griffith University Outstanding Alumnus Award. Commissioner Carroll has a distinguished public safety career in policing and the fire service and became Australia’s first female fire commissioner in 2015. She has been a pioneer for women in the policing and fire services and a role model to women and girls aspiring to pursue similar careers.

Psychologist and social entrepreneur, Mr Clinton Schultz was named the Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus Award. Mr Schultz founded Marumali Consultations, providing culturally responsive wellbeing support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. He also consults on organisational and cultural responsiveness, including the Queensland Child Deaths Case Review Panel. In his spare time, Mr Schultz founded Clinto’s Kupmurri food van, providing healthy native-focused food and Sobah, Australia’s first non-alcoholic Aboriginal craft beer, which is aligned to the Sobah Initiative.

A top scientist and public health specialist, Professor Qiyong Liu was named the winner of the Outstanding International Alumnus Award. Professor Liu is internationally renowned for his research addressing climate change and health, devoting 30 years to combatting health threats to poor vulnerable communities.

NASA astronomer, Dr Jessie Christiansen was named the winner of the Griffith University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Dr Jessie Christiansen spends her days looking for planets and has published discoveries on several exoplanets. She is an active mentor and educator, always seeking to foster women and under-presented minorities in the natural sciences.

All University and group award winners were celebrated on the evening, with group winners recognised by their respective Pro Vice Chancellors.

“We received so much interest and many high calibre nominations, causing difficult choices for the selection committee,” Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor AC said.

“We look forward to continuing our connections with you long into the future.”

Meet all of Griffith University’s Outstanding Alumni Award winners 2018 and read their remarkable stories here.