Over 500 people gathered at Leighton Hall in the John Niland Scientia Building on the evening of 1 June for the 2016 UNSW Business School Awards Ceremony. The event celebrates the academic achievements of the School’s highest performing undergraduate and postgraduate students. More than 300 students were awarded prizes and scholarships valued at over $3 million dollars.

Virginia Kane (MBA 2015) was the Master of Ceremonies. Kane kicked off the night by reflecting on her experience at AGSM and the impact her scholarship had on her time at UNSW.

“My student experience was greatly influenced by the generosity of donors and supporters. I was able to relocate from the United States to Sydney to attend AGSM, and because of the financial support I received I undertook a semester study exchange at the London Business School. The experiences I gained inside and outside the classroom were invaluable,” explained Kane.

Professor Chris Styles, Dean, UNSW Business School followed Kane’s remarks with a formal welcome.

“Tonight’s award recipients have worked hard to achieve the recognition they will receive here tonight. The Business School has over 14,000 students and to be here tonight is a momentous achievement,” said Styles.

With friends, family, donors, and staff of UNSW Business School in the audience, honourees collected their awards to much applause. The night’s celebrations were not limited to claps. Three videos profiled different aspects of the Awards journey bringing laughs and some tears to the eyes of guests.

Peter Mattick AM (BCom 1975), co-founder of Salmat Limited, gave the keynote address. Mattick’s speech focused on his family and the lessons in leadership and perseverance that he learned from his mother and siblings.

“Mum pushed us,” Mattick explained. “She told us that you have to be better than you are. Good is not enough. You have to give your best. Never think you are the best, always do your best.”

Mattick ended his speech with a powerful message to students. “You are among the best and brightest in our community. You can be the engine of our country’s prosperity. You will all be successful; you will all have great jobs. But you need to give back. During your lifetime you will need to make a decision on how you want to give back, and just maybe, you might consider giving a scholarship back to someone.”

Professor Julie Cogin, Deputy Dean and Director of AGSM followed Mattick’s speech with the presentation of awards for AGSM. This year featured the launch of the $4000 Sydney Airport AGSM Award. The award recognises the top performing Business School student across the AGSM’s Strategic Management Year – the final intensive session of UNSW’s renowned MBA (Executive) program. Kim Anderson, Head of Deposits Product Management at NAB, won the award.

"All the learning experiences I’ve had both within the Strategic Management Year and over the previous three years have supported me within my day-to-day work and continue to help me progress my leadership capabilities and fast track my career opportunities. This award is a fabulous way to end my MBA experience," noted Anderson.

As the evening drew to a close, Kane thanked the donors for making the awards night possible.

“You have provided us opportunities to set ambitious goals, challenge ourselves, pursue our passions, develop expertise, and help others,” Kane explained.

“Your support not only recognises high achieving students but also encourages all students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities the School has to offer.”

Kane ended the night with a message similar to Mattick’s.

“Consider how the generosity that we have received, provides us the opportunity to be generous in return, now and in the future – with our time, our energy, our ideas, and our positive influence in our classrooms, workplaces, and communities.”

Visit the UNSW Business School Awards Ceremony page for a full list of recipients.