Swinburne design graduate named best of the year

Thursday 15 June 2017

Sahra Martin with Jo-Ann Kellock CEO DIA

Sahra Martin with CEO of Design Institute of Australia Jo-Ann Kellock | Image credit: Daniella Casamento

In summary

  • Swinburne graduate is the winner of the Design Institute of Australia’s Australian Graduate of the Year Awards
  • She is the first Swinburne graduate to be awarded in the overall AGOTYA category
  • The AGOTYA is the primary student design award program in Australian  

Communication design graduate Sahra Martin has been recognised as the overall winner of the Design Institute of Australia’s Australian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA).  

Ms Martin, a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) (Honours) graduate, has seen success in two categories:

  • Madeline Lester Award of Excellence (overall award) and
  • first prize in Visual Communications. 

She is the first Swinburne graduate to be awarded in the overall AGOTYA category. 

“It’s an amazing ending to four years of hard work,” says Ms Martin.   

“I’ve always been very ambitious and worked hard to achieve success, but in these last few years of study I definitely put in some extra mileage. I guess it helps when you’re doing something you’re passionate about—it gives you an incredible amount of purpose and drive.” 

Ms Martin hopes that the win will open up new doors for her and set her apart from other graduates. 

“There are so many talented emerging designers, you really have to make your mark early. Hopefully this helps me find even a small foothold in the industry." 

Crediting industry experiences she undertook as part of her Swinburne studies, Ms Martin believes working on projects from start to finish with other creatives and clients gave her the skills she needed to achieve academic success. 

“It also helped to have a couple of cheerleaders along the way, teachers who actually took the time to give feedback, recognised my strengths and challenged me to push my work further.” 

Sahra Martin with Swinburne's Dr Christopher Waller and Associate Professor Stephen Huxley
Sahra Martin (centre) with Swinburne's Dr Christopher Waller (Left) and Associate Professor Stephen Huxley (right) | Image credit: Daniella Casamento 

Swinburne Communication Design lecturer, Dr Christopher Waller, says “Sahra’s win is recognition of the brilliance of her talent, design thinking and sheer hard work.” 

“Sahra’s achievement is an acknowledgement of the calibre of our design graduates, and a tribute to the collective qualities that Swinburne design educators instil in our students throughout the course.” 

The Australasian Graduate of the Year Award is the Design Institute of Australia’s primary student design award program and takes submissions from all over the country.

Industrial design student, Alexandra Tyquin, was awarded overall Victorian Design Graduate of the Year earlier this year.