International healthcare leader wins top alumni honour

20 September 2016

Dr Frances Hughes ONZM accepts her awardThe Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Dr Frances Hughes was recognised with the prestigious UTS Chancellor’s Award for Excellence at the 2016 UTS Alumni Awards last night. A graduate of UTS Health, Hughes is responsible for leading a global force of more than 16 million nurses.

UTS Chancellor Brian Wilson paid tribute to the impact of her work and her embodiment of UTS’s core values, including equality and social justice.

“Dr Hughes is working at the top of her profession, leading an international effort to ensure that health care is accessible and affordable to all – particularly to vulnerable populations,” he said.

Hughes has played a significant leadership role in general and mental health nursing across the globe, and has been instrumental in the development of government policy around nurse prescribing, primary care and rural scholarship schemes, the nursing workforce, nurse practitioners, and mental health.

"Dr Hughes is working at the top of her profession, leading an international effort to ensure that health care is accessible and affordable to all – particularly to vulnerable populations"

She was the first nurse to be awarded the Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy by the Commonwealth Fund in New York, and was a Fulbright Scholar. In 2005, she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to mental health as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Hughes spent six years as a World Health Organization (WHO) facilitator for the Pacific Island Mental Health Network and is regularly called upon by the WHO, governments and non-government organisations to consult on critical matters relating to nursing, policy and mental health across the globe.
Hughes commenced her role with the ICN in February this year – it is the first time in the organisation’s 100 year history that it has appointed a chief executive from the Southern Hemisphere.

“It is a great honour, says Hughes, who travelled from her home in Geneva, Switzerland, to receive the award. “Personally, it has meant stepping up and challenging myself, my philosophies, my beliefs and my knowledge of nursing and health,” she said.

The UTS Alumni Awards gala awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 alumni, staff and students in the UTS Great Hall on Tuesday 20 September. Eleven of the university’s most outstanding graduates were honoured for achievements in innovation, leadership and compassion that are changing the world for the better. This year’s recipients included innovators in technology and health, drivers of social justice and change in the community, and leaders across business and the legal profession.

Click here to view photos from the event

Kate Burleigh, Managing Director of Intel Australia / New Zealand, was recognised with the UTS Business School Alumni Award for her role as an technology industry leader and passionate advocate for building Australia’s innovation economy.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Russell Taylor AM, was also recognised for his work promoting knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories.

Other award recipients included Associate Professor Richard Ferrero, whose world-leading medical research is working towards an understanding of the cellular processes involved in stomach cancer – one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide; and Cristina Cifuentes, Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The event was hosted by UTS Chancellor Brian Wilson and Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs, with journalist and UTS alumna Sunanda Creagh acting as Master of Ceremonies.

Video highlights from the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony

2016 Winners

Dr Frances Hughes ONZM

Dr Frances Hughes ONZM

UTS Chancellor’s Award for Excellence
UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Health

Doctor of Nursing (2003)

Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Nurses

"I am motivated by equality and social justice; by ensuring that health care is accessible and affordable to all – particularly to vulnerable populations."

Emre Celik

Emre Celik

UTS Community Alumni Award

Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems Engineering (2001)

President and Chief Executive Officer, Rumi Forum

"It is a privilege to be a catalyst for social change; to play a role in alleviating the concerns of others and bring together diverse communities to overcome social discord and misunderstanding."

Emmanuel FreudenthalEmmanuel Freudenthal

UTS Young Alumni Award

Bachelor of Business (2006) Hons 1 (2007)

Freelance Investigative Journalist

"A number of Australian mining companies operating in Africa have a very dark history of corruption and human rights violations – yet no one has been jailed. I’m curious by nature, and this is the kind of thing I want to look into."

Emmanuel's face has been deliberately obscured to protect his anonymity.

Nguyen The TrungNguyen The Trung

UTS International Alumni Award

Bachelor of Science in Computing Science (2002)

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DTT Technology Group

"It’s important to me that DTT strives for an international standard, and drives Vietnamese engineers to perform at that level."

Russell Taylor AMRussell Taylor AM

UTS Indigenous Australian Alumni Award

Master of Business Administration (1993)

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

"I believe that improved education and intercultural knowledge and understanding are important pathways to achieving a rosier future for my mob, and for all Australians."

Kim Crestani

Kim Crestani

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building

Bachelor of Architecture (1984)

Director, Order Architects
"No matter how large the project, it is quintessentially the public who will use and connect with these projects; they should make people’s lives more enjoyable."

Sean Gordon

Sean Gordon

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (2000)

Chief Executive Officer, Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

"Our goal is to close the gap on the social and economic disadvantage of Indigenous Australians."

Bettina McMahon

Bettina McMahon

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology

Master of Business in Information Technology Management (2007)

Executive General Manager, Government and Industry Collaboration and Adoption, Australian Digital Health Agency
"It's so important that young women see examples of other women who have successful STEM careers and who also have some balance in their lives, such as pursuing interests outside work or raising a family."

Cristina Cifuentes

Cristina Cifuentes

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence - Faculty of Law

Bachelor of Laws (1995)

Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
"I have long believed that what really matters is not what you have, but what you do with it. It’s important to me that I use my skills and experience to contribute to better public outcomes."

Richard Ferrero

Associate Professor Richard Ferrero

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence – Faculty of Science

Bachelor of Applied Science Biomedical Science (1985)

Research Group Head, Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
"It is a dream of mine that we could one day develop a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place."

Kate Burleigh

Kate Burleigh

UTS Alumni Award for Excellence – UTS Business School

Master of Business in Marketing (2000)

Managing Director, Intel Australia/New Zealand

"I have learned that the one constant is change, and your ability to adapt to change – or ideally to drive change – is the only sure path to achieving growth."