The USU celebrated a busy and successful year at its Annual Dinner held last Friday at the Refectory in the Holme Building. The black-tie event was attended by students, staff and alumni who have spent 2011 working tirelessly for the Union. Several University figures also attended, including Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (education), Derrick Armstrong.
For the second year, the USU awarded some of the most outstanding members who made significant contributions towards the Union in the past year. The Union Blues award recipients were announced at the dinner after several dozen nominations were received. The 2011 Union Blues recipients were: Anshu De Silva Wijeyeratne, Bridie Connell, Cameron Creigh, Luke Liang, and Marina Lauer. Former USU President and Vice- President Patrick Bateman and Courtney Tight also received Union Blues – demonstrating admirable continued dedication to the USU.
The USU also awards an Honorary Life Membership to an alumnus or friend of the Union, who display tremendous commitment towards helping the USU achieve its goals. In 2011, John Blount was announced as an Honorary Life member for active involvement in various Alumni organisations. Mr Blount was a USU President in the early 70s and spent much of his career in the Australian diplomatic service, working In Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Denmark and Holland. Previous Honorary Life Members include radio and television personality Adam Spencer and accomplished neuroscientist and journalist, Dr Robin Fitzsimmons.
The USU’s debating team was honoured for another success-filled campaign in 2011. Veteran USU debater, Tim Mooney won the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Most Outstanding Debater of the Year. The best of the USU’s Clubs and Societies were also announced during the night. The Speleological Society was declared Best Club with less than 100 members, while music-lovers Beat the System took out the big prize – announced Best Club with more than 100 members.
The Annual Dinner also featured a guest-speech by television star and former USU member, Juila Zemiro. The lively RockWiz host recounted tales of her days at the University of Sydney in the early 90s, where she exhibited her passion for acting and comedy on the stage in the USU’s Cellar Theatre and became a regular in Theatresports.
The night also featured a special animated video that highlighted a number of interesting facts about the Union. See the video on Youtube: