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Corporate high-flyer named Alumnus of the Year


Steve Spinks
5 August 2013
A corporate high-flyer and a teacher who worked in a remote Aboriginal community have been named as Southern Cross University’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and Young Alumnus of the Year at a reception at the Kirra Hill Community Centre on Friday (August 2, 2013).

Ben Hunter, a graduate of the School of Law and Justice in 1995, was named as Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for his impressive international career specialising in law and banking.

Mr Hunter worked at Credit Lyonnais as a solicitor with the role of negotiating ISDA Master Agreements in London. In 2004, he became vice-president and associate general counsel for two major international banks – JP Morgan in Sydney and Singapore – and then progressed to this role at the Societe Generale in Singapore.

While sustaining an impressive corporate career, Mr Hunter has also volunteered as a corporate social responsibility ambassador, fundraising for the Students Advisory Centre, which provides support to underprivileged children, particularly for education. Now back in Australia, he works as a consultant providing advice to start-up companies on regulatory and compliance issues.

Rachael Muller, a graduate of the School of Education in 2009, was named as Young Alumnus of the Year after undertaking a remarkable initiation into the teaching profession in the remote Aboriginal community of Imanpa, located 250km from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

During her first six months in Imanpa, she taught with a second-year mentor teacher from Queensland, however she soon became the only teacher at the school. Rather than being daunted, Ms Muller thrived in the position and improved attendance rates and also helped two female students finish Year 11 and 12 subjects — the first time this had occurred in the school’s history.

During her three years at Imanpa, Ms Muller was also active in the community. She has also been recognised for her outstanding contribution to Imanpa after being awarded the 2013 Northern Territory Young Achievers Award. Ms Muller is now teaching at Tregeagle Public School, near Lismore, on NSW’s Far North Coast.

The awards were presented by the University’s Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC and Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee FTSE.

The 2013 School Alumnus of the Year Awards were also presented:

School of Arts and Social Sciences – Jim Hearn
Southern Cross Business School – Dr Thirumalai Chandran
School of Education – Craig Ainsworth
School of Environment, Science and Engineering – Dr Joanne Wilson
School of Health and Human Sciences – Ann Schefe
School of Law and Justice – Leanne Minshull
School of Tourism and Hospitality Management – Keith Baker

Photo: University Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC, left, with Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Ben Hunter, Young Alumnus of the Year Rachael Muller and Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee FTSE.