Alumni Awards 2020 winners (from top left) John Stanway, Vedran Drakulic OAM, Sameerah Arif and Januario Mok

In an extraordinary year, by any measure, VU wanted to celebrate some extraordinary people – our alumni. Having taken a digital first approach this year we have been able to increase our global engagement with alumni, and their supporters. We received over 160 nominations highlighting how our alumni are forces for good in the world and this has resulted in 12 finalists and four exceptional winners.

The online celebration is available to watch on our Alumni Community Facebook page, on YouTube, or on the Alumni Awards website.

Our Winners

Lifetime Achievement - John Stanway

John Stanway was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, one of the world's leading children's hospitals, in 2017. Prior to this he was the Chief Operating Officer for more than ten years. Under John’s leadership, the hospital has increased the efficiency and quality of patient care. John has a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations from Victoria University’s predecessor institution Footscray Institute of Technology.

Professional Achievement - Vedran Drakulic OAM 

Vedran Drakulic OAM arrived in Australia in 1995 as a refugee from Bosnia, having worked for the Red Cross as a logistics officer, interpreter, and press officer during the conflict. In Australia, Vedran has continued to work for the benefit of the community with Australian Red Cross and Oxfam Australia, while also completing a Masters of Public Advocacy and Action from Victoria University. Vedran has been the CEO of Gandel Philanthropy since 2011, one of the largest family philanthropic foundations in Australia.

Rising Star - Sameerah Arif

Sameerah Arif is a Blood Cancer Support Coordinator at the Leukaemia Foundation and a Medical Radiation Therapist, after having obtained a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from Victoria University. Sameerah has held many leadership roles in community and student programs. She has organised fundraising events and managed charity projects both in Victoria and overseas to support children and provide health care to those in need.

Spirit of VU (People’s choice) - Januario Mok

Januario Mok is the Deputy Director at East Timor Development Agency, a not-for-profit training centre in Timor-Leste. Januario works with displaced youth on skills training, job support, and earning power. He was accepted on a scholarship to complete the Graduate Certificate in Vocational Education and Training at Victoria University, which he completed in 2013.

We hope you enjoy the online celebration and feel inspired by the winners.