More than 400 staff, alumni, industry partners and friends have celebrated Swinburne’s 25th anniversary as a university at a gala dinner at the historic Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne.
The evening was hosted by Swinburne alumna Yvonne Adele, and included messages from the Chancellor, Graham Goldsmith, and Vice-Chancellor, Linda Kristjanson AO, as well as performances by students from the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) and a keynote address by recently crowned 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year, Michelle Gallaher.
The gala included a dynamic LED-lit performance by students from NICA.
Ms Gallaher, a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) entrepreneur and TEDx Melbourne alumna, spoke about the role universities play in predicting the future.
Once told by her Year 11 science teacher that she should give up science, Ms Gallaher now has more than 25 years’ experience in the biotechnology industry and is founder of consultancy The Social Science.
Michelle Gallaher is also a board member of the Australian Research Council Training Centre in Biodevices at Swinburne.
Ms Gallaher spoke about predicting the future and identifying the industries of tomorrow – in particular, the ‘megatrends’ that are shaping our world and Australia’s research agenda.
She noted Swinburne is already identifying future trends through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery and PhD programs that link students with industry and entrepreneurship. Ms Gallaher described these industry-connected PhDs as a “game changer”.
Ms Gallaher praised Swinburne for its ability to recognise and respond to future trends, and the importance Swinburne places on STEM.
“Frankly, I’m one of your biggest fans,” she said.
“I think you’re doing it different, I think you’re doing it better. I think you’re able to predict, you’re able to respond, and you’re able to be flexible and adaptive to the new design that science and technology offers.”
In addition to the gala, anniversary celebrations have included staff events across all three Melbourne campuses, as well as at Swinburne’s Sarawak campus, and alumni events in Singapore and Malaysia.
View photos from Swinburne 25th anniversary events
Discover some of the people who have helped to shape Swinburne over the past 25 years