Skip to Content

Jubilee celebrations - Higher Degree Research


Our Faculty Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates and some very special alumni were welcomed to a gala cocktail event on Monday night to celebrate our successes in HDR and Macquarie's Jubilee year.   Throughout our celebrations this year, we have been Looking Forward, Looking Back and we continued that Jubilee theme. Professor Sakkie Pretorius (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research) talked about our impressive legacy and plans for the future.  We were delighted to have 3 guest speakers representing some of our outstanding alumni present to tell us about the impact of completing a Macquarie PhD.  We also showcased excellence in higher degree research, acknowledging some outstanding candidates and prize winners.  One of our speakers, Dr Ernest Akerejola, reflected on the Macquarie Lighthouse as a metaphor for a light guiding him to a safe harbour in which to dock.  There were other stories of inspirational supervision and taking the leap from academia to industry.  Our Jubilee HDR Showcase provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the moments and people that have changed our lives, to reconnect with old friends, and to consider the breadth and reach of our higher degree research.

HDR Awards

Professor Sakkie Pretorius presented the awards and A/Prof Judi Homewood read the attached citations outlining the extremely impressive records of all our winners.

HDR-Jubliee-Yahya-710x400HDR Excellence Award – Social Impact – Ms Siham Yahya (Psychology)

HDR-Jubilee-Franklin-710x400HDR Excellence Award – Outside Recognition – Ms Jane Franklin (Psy)

HDR-Jubilee-Grey-710x400HDR Excellence Award – Outside Recognition – Ms Alexandra Grey (Ling)

HDR-Jubilee-Nickels-710x400FoHS Award for Excellence in HDR Supervision 2014 – Prof Lyndsey Nickels (CogSci)

HDR Excellence Award - Research Outputs  – Ms Olga Kozar (Ling)

 Olga's award was accepted on her behalf is Dr John Knox (Supervisor)

HDR Excellence Award – Research Outputs – Mr Mirko Farina (CogSci)

 Mirko's award was accepted on his behalf by Prof Lyndsey Nickels

Professor Lynda Yates, Head of Department of Linguistics, introduced the David Hall Prize in honour of our friend and former colleague, Associate Professor David Hall.  David was Associate Dean of both Higher Degree Research and Internationalisation so it is very fitting that this Faculty prize recognises excellence in HDR.

David Hall Prize for Outstanding HDR Thesis– Dr Carly Johnco (Psy) 

Carly's award was accepted by Dr Viviana Wuthrich (Supervisor)

Alumni Speakers

Associate Professor Judy Cashmore, AO

Judy graduated with a PhD in developmental psychology in 1983 and a Masters degree in education. Her research concerns children's involvement in civil and criminal proceedings and other processes in which decisions are made about children's lives. The special focus of this research has been on children's experience and perceptions of the process and the implications for social policy.  She is widely recognised for her outstanding research and achievements in the field of family and divorce.  Judy has been an appointed Member of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales since 2004 and is Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University.

Dr. Ernest Somimola Akerejola Eminefo

Ernest is from Nigeria and graduated with a PhD in Linguistics in 2006.

"I have been to many places, but have never felt at home outside home like my experience here. Personally, my study at Macquarie has further consolidated my sense of fulfillment in opting for academia, instead of accepting the title to my late father's royal throne. This is not to undervalue the role of the royal institution in African communities, but there are other ways of leading a community."

Dr. Julie Vonwiller

Julie Vonwiller received her PhD in linguistics from Macquarie University, and then worked for a number of years in academia.  She founded Appen, a speech technology company in 1996, taking the opportunity to develop a fusion of linguistics and technology to help launch products in new markets around the world. In starting Appen, she envisioned a way for linguists, who typically work only in academia after receiving their degrees, to have the opportunity to build their careers in a commercial setting. Appen is now a successful global company, with over 98 percent of the company's products and services exported and used by global technology leaders in some 50 countries worldwide. To do this, Appen has offices in Australia, United States, United Kingdom and facilities in Asia and the Philippines.  In 2007, Dr Vonwiller received an Innovation Hero award from The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of Sydney; the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service from Macquarie University in 2008; and also in 2008, Julie & Chris Vonwiller received the Inaugural Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Award for Appen.  She announced at our Jubilee event that Appen will be floated on the ASX this week.

One of the numerous vignettes played in the foyer on the night was from HDR Excellence Award winner, Mirko Farina.

Foundations for a new theory of cultural learning - Macquarie University Research Awards 2014,   Category: Excellence in Higher Degree Research 2014