Indigenous Alumni

Charles Sturt University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – Indigenous Alumni

This award recognises outstanding achievement or contribution by a First Nations alumni in their chosen industry, profession, or field.


Winner: Teresa Cochrane
Career: Academic Coordinator, CSIRO
Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours)

Ms Teresa Cochrane is a proud Dunghutti Gumbaynggirr woman with strong cultural connections to Birpai/Birripi Country on the East Coast of Australia. She has been accepted to study a Master of Philosophy in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at Oxford University in 2023. Teresa is known for environmental advocation and volunteering in her local community.

In 2023, Teresa conducted her first keynote presentation at the 3rd National Koala Conference, sharing research she conducted whilst studying at Charles Sturt University, which resulted in invitation to create educational resources for primary aged children. Since graduating, Teresa has worked at CSIRO and as an Academic Coordinator within the Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy. Teresa won the ‘Scientific Poster Competition’ at Charles Sturt’s DOCFEST in 2023. She will continue to build on her skills through her PhD education at Oxford to further her understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to scientific research.

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Highly Commended

Winner: Carmel Flavell
Career: Manager, Community Links Wellbeing
Master of Child and Adolescent Welfare

Ms Carmel Flavell is the Manager at Community Links, a not-for-profit non-Government community organisation that supports individuals to achieve positive personal and community outcomes. Carmel was the first person in Australia and New Zealand to become a registered Practitioner in Case Management with the Case Management Society of Australia and New Zealand and has had many years working in the mainstream sectors. Carmel was appointed by the Minister to become a member of the Disability Council of NSW and has worked with Western Sydney University creating placements for medical students within the community.

A proud Wiradjuri woman, Carmel has four children, one with severe disabilities. She has worked across the Disability and Health sectors in senior board roles as well as voluntary positions.

Carmel Flavell

This award recognises young alumni (under the age of 35) who are having an impact and inspiring others through their professional achievements or service to community.

Other criteria

  1. Applicants must be 35 years or younger in the year of the award.
  2. Alumni (local on international) who demonstrate:
    1. exceptional success in their chosen industry or field; and/or
    2. the significant positive impact they have had on their community.
  3. Alumni who demonstrate through their work, professional or community, alignment with one or all of the University’s values of insightful, inclusive, impactful and inspiring.

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