Two inspiring young Queensland University of Technology graduates, Tammy Williams and Dr Thomas Ward, have been named joint winners of the 2009 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Dr Ward has worked in the United States and consulted on major health system reforms in the Middle East. Tammy Williams has worked as a barrister and solicitor, is a previous recipient of the Queensland Women Law Association's Emergent Young Lawyer of the Year and is a dedicated human rights campaigner.
The annual awards, which were held on July 22 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, recognised QUT graduates who have achieved outstanding results in their careers and communities.
Dr Ward, who graduated from QUT in 2000 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Medical) degree and a QUT Medal, said he was honoured to receive the award.
"Thank you QUT for the wonderful opportunities you have provided to me and I commend the university for its willingness to promote research in engineering and medicine which set the trajectory for the rest of my career," Dr Ward said.
During his undergraduate studies, Dr Ward was sponsored by the Queen's Trust for Young Australians to carry out an assessment of the needs of landmine victims and rural amputees in Cambodia, which has one of the largest disabled populations in the world.
After graduating from QUT, Dr Ward won a Rhodes Scholarship to complete a doctorate at Oxford University's Orthopaedic Engineering Centre. Here he researched a system enabling better understanding of the post-operative movements of knee-joint replacements.
Dr Ward then worked in the United States and consulted on major health system reforms in the Middle East.
Dr Ward is currently completing a medical degree at the ANU medical school.
Williams' award recognises her significant contribution to economic and social justice for Indigenous people.
She has a long history of developing capacity-building strategies and has utilised her legal background to achieve results for Indigenous communities.
Accepting the award on behalf of Ms Williams, her mum Lesley Williams said her daughter had always believed her greatest professional achievement was attaining her law degree from QUT.
"The degree meant the poverty cycle in her family could be stopped at her," Lesley Williams said.
Williams gained her Bachelor of Laws from QUT in 2001 and the following year was admitted as a barrister.
In 2003, Williams was named the Queensland Women Law Association's Emergent Young Lawyer of the Year.
She has been a member of the National Indigenous Council and received the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's National Human Rights Award in 1997.
Last year, she was one of four eminent Australians appointed to the National Human Rights Consultation Committee. She has also recently been appointed as member of the Children's Tribunal in Queensland.