Skip to main content


Awards mark CDU alumni success

The 2021 CDU Alumni Awards celebrate the University alumni's outstanding achievements and contribution to society. Bachelor of Business alumnus Sabaratnam Prathapan (Prath) won the Alumnus Award for Community Service.

An Alumni Awards ceremony held at the Darwin Convention Centre yesterday has recognised the success and innovation of graduates of Charles Darwin University (CDU).

The Awards acknowledge the exceptional achievements of graduates, from those who are established in their careers to those who are just starting out and building on the educational foundation provided by CDU.

This year saw 67 nominees and 21 finalists, drawn from Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Educations alumni, all having demonstrated outstanding achievement in their field.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award and International Alumnus Award both went to CDU Master of Public Policy alumna, Madalena Costa Soares, who has been the Vice Minister of Health in Timor-Leste and Vice Chairman of the Executive Board to the World Health Organisation.

Bachelor of Business alumnus, Darwin Hindu community leader and civil engineering lecturer for 45 years, Sabaratnam Prathapan (Prath) took home the Alumnus Award for Community Service.

International expert on racism and First Nations advocate, Professor Yin Paradies, won the Indigenous Alumnus Award. He graduated from CDU’s Bachelor of Sciences in 1999.

Special Commendations for the Indigenous Alumnus Award went to Kungarakan and Gurindji woman, tertiary education leader Dr Wendy Lugwig, and illustrator and writer Jonathan Saunders.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO congratulated the nominated CDU alumni on their achievements.

It was a great evening, and it was simply amazing to hear what our alumni have achieved,” Professor Bowman said.

“I think we can all be proud of what we are achieving as a University if we are producing such great people who are doing such great things.”

The Alumnus Award for Industry Excellence went to Bachelor of Business alumna Emma Bell, who is the senior project manager for the $155m RAAF Base Darwin Estate Master Plan.

Certificate IV Leadership and Management graduate, Ira Racines, won the Early Career Achievement Award for his work as Community Engagement Leader at headspace Darwin and extensive work for the LGBTQI+ community in the NT and Australia.

CDU’s Alumni Manager, Nurhadi Khan, said there were more than 70,000 CDU alumni living and working around the world, spanning over 140 countries.

“These awards recognise and celebrate alumni who demonstrate exceptional professional, academic or research achievements and contributions to society,” Mr Khan said.

“We celebrate their pivotal role in both the history and the future of CDU.”

Other distinguished CDU alumni include the Administrator of the Northern Territory Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO; Chief Minister Michael Gunner; Chair of Business South Australia Nikki Govan; and former Prime Minister of Tuvalu Willy Telavi.

For more information about the CDU Alumni Awards’ winners and finalists, go to

Related Articles

  • Neve McDermott

    CDU student awarded prestigious travel scholarship

    Darwin local and Charles Darwin University (CDU) student Neve McDermott has been awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship that will see her study social work in Nepal.

    Read more about CDU student awarded prestigious travel scholarship
  • pre-business enabling program team

    New transition program enables First Nations students to study business at university

    A new free four-week intensive learning and mentoring program at Charles Darwin University (CDU) will provide a smooth transition for First Nations students to study business at university.

    Read more about New transition program enables First Nations students to study business at university
  • Charles Darwin University (CDU) engineering students Napoleao Da Silva (left) and Trang Nguyen participate in the social innovation challenge with support from professionals like Lecturer Dr Ulrike Kachel and Student Council Sustainability Officer Jens Cheung (right).

    Social innovation challenge tackles food waste in the NT

    A social innovation challenge has kicked off today at Charles Darwin University (CDU), converging brilliant young minds pitching ideas to reduce food waste in the Northern Territory.

    Read more about Social innovation challenge tackles food waste in the NT