Featured News Celebrating JCU’s Outstanding Alumni 

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Mon, 14 Aug 2017

Celebrating JCU’s Outstanding Alumni 

Outstanding Alumni 2017
JCU's Chancellor Bill Tweddell, Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding and the 2017 Outstanding Alumni

12 James Cook University alumni have been honoured at the annual Outstanding Alumni Awards in Townsville.

There were two winners from each of the University’s six colleges: a College winner and an early career winner (alumni who have graduated within the past seven years).

Deborah Noller, the winner for the College of Business, Law and Governance, was also presented with the Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Ms Noller graduated from JCU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Computer Science, and is now the CEO and co-founder of Switch Automation, a company which utilises the Internet of Things to collect, process and manage building data. The company began in Sydney in 2005 and has since expanded its presence to include five offices in four countries.

The Chancellor Bill Tweddell chose Ms Noller for her success as an entrepreneur, her perseverance in a male-dominated industry and her passion for nurturing talent and mentoring young women in the tech industry.

“I am keen to see the entrepreneurial energy of JCU’s graduates translate into new industries that can create sustainable work and livelihoods in the north,” he said.

“Deb Noller, through her own success and mentorship, is showing future generations of leaders how to do that – and that the possibilities are limitless.”

The annual Outstanding Alumni Awards recognise alumni of James Cook University who have made an outstanding contribution in their field of endeavour at a local, state, national or international level, and celebrate their successes and achievements.

Full list of winners (College winner is listed first, early career winner second):  

Business, Law and Governance

Deborah Noller, Switch Automation – Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumnus

Sharell O’Brien, North Queensland Women’s Legal Service

Arts, Society and Education

Pauline Woodbridge, North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service

Nicola Filsell, Pepper Tree Productions

Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Angus McDonell, St John’s Ambulance Service

Dr Harris Eyre, CNSDose

Healthcare Sciences

Denise Craig, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

Dr Kiera Buchanan, Centre for Integrative Health

Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences

Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyria, United Nations Human Settlements Program

Dr Katherine Usher, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

College of Science and Engineering

Dr Euan Ritchie, Deakin University

Larissa Brown, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW


Bethany Keats

0437 028 175