Leading judge takes out top distinguished alumni award

The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC

The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC

The first woman to be appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has been named University Distinguished Alumni of the Year, the highest alumni award presented by Monash University.

The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC (BJuris 1973, LLB 1974, LLM 1983, HonLLD 2004), representing the University’s Faculty of Law, was selected from an impressive who’s who from the fields of business, medicine and education. 

The faculties selected their top distinguished alumni, with the University’s Honorary Degree Committee then selecting the person to receive the highest accolade. 

Faculty award winners were: Art, Design & Architecture, Stephen Bram; Arts, Dr Ahmad Maser Sarmast; Business and Economics, Anthony Palmer; Education, Brendan Murray; Engineering, Professor Christian Behrenbruch; Information Technology, Kee Wong; Law, Chief Justice Warren; Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr Ranjana Srivastava; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Adjunct Associate Professor Stephen Marty; and Science, Gabby Leibovich. 

Chief Justice Warren was appointed head of the Supreme Court of Victoria in November 2003, the first woman to achieve this office in an Australian Supreme Court. She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005 and is the Chair of the Court Services Victoria Advisory Council. 

Monash University Chancellor Dr Alan Finkel AO said this year’s winners were an exceptional group of alumni. 

“All the award winners have made an exceptional contribution to their field of endeavour and have an impressive ability to inspire others to strive for excellence,” Dr Finkel said. 

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO congratulated Chief Justice Warren and the other recipients. 

“Chief Justice Warren is recognised for her integrity and a rare level of excellence and achievement in a trail-blazing career,” Professor Gardner said. 

“The success of all this year’s winners in their chosen field of endeavour and the community reflects the University’s commitment to making a difference in our society. They provide an example to motivate our students to reach their highest potential and to contribute to their communities." 

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award faculty winners

Art, Design & Architecture: Stephen Bram (BA (Fine Art) 1986) is an Australian fine artist best known for his abstract expressionist and conceptual paintings that focus on objects and situations in relation to points in space. He is recognised as being responsible for reintroducing early European modernist theories of composition into abstract art, and his paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Faculty of Arts: Dr Ahmad Maser Sarmast (PhD Arts 2005), is a musician and founder and director of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, a music school aimed at empowering Afghan children through education, literacy and music regardless of class, ethnicity or gender.

Faculty of Business and Economics: Anthony Palmer (BBus (Marketing) 1987), is president of global brands and innovation for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, leading the global development of the company’s three consumer categories. He is responsible for product and marketing innovation, research, and working with the corporation’s regional leaders to build the brand’s global reach and market share.

Faculty of Education: Brendan Murray (Grad Dip Ed (Sec) 2004, MEd 2012), is a school administrator and teacher who has worked as a manager and community social worker in the areas of multiple and complex needs, homelessness, criminal justice, community mental health, adolescent street outreach, juvenile detention and child protection. He is the current executive principal and founder of Parkville College –a Victorian government school established to provide quality education for young people detained in custody.

Faculty of Engineering: Professor Christian Behrenbruch (BE (Elec&Comp) (Hons) 1998), is recognised internationally for his commercialisation achievements in the IT, medical device and biotechnology domains. He has been responsible for starting or financing more than 20 innovative companies, mostly from technologies transferred out of the university setting. He is currently the CEO of ImaginAb, Inc. a clinical stage biotechnology company with operations in Los Angeles, Singapore and Tokyo.

Faculty of Information Technology: Kee Wong (BEng 1986, Grad Dip COmp 1989, MBA 1999) is the founder and Managing Director of e-Centric Innovations, a management and technology consulting company that provides strategic advice and systems integration services in e-business and IT.

Faculty of Law: The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC (BJuris 1973, LLB 1974, LLM 1983, LLD 2004) was first appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1998 and subsequently appointed Chief Justice of Victoria in 2003. 

She is the Chair of a number of Victorian legal bodies including the Judicial College of Victoria and the Victorian Council of Legal Education. Most notably, Chief Justice Warren is the Chair of the Court Services Victoria Advisory Council.

The Council’s work culminated in the groundbreaking Courts Services Victoria Act 2014. This act creates a separate governance structure for the Courts of Victoria; an achievement that has previously never been reached in Victoria’s history and came into effect on 1 July 2014.

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences: Dr Ranjana Srivastava (MBBS (Hons) 1997) is a medical oncologist, general physician, educator and award-winning author. Through her role as a doctor and author she has also explored the moral and ethical challenges of modern medicine including communication between patients and health-care providers and access to end of life care.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Adjunct Associate Professor Stephen Marty (B Pharm 1970) is the current Chair of the Victorian College of Pharmacy foundation as well as Registrar of the Victorian Pharmacy Authority. He currently lectures to first and third years and the Intern Training Program on the subject of pharmacy law in practice and Monash University.

Faculty of Science: Gabby Leibovich (BSc 1993) is director and co-founder of The Catch Group, which owns ecommerce stores Catch of the Day, Mumgo, Scoopon, EatNow and Grocery Run. The Catch Group is Australia’s number one ecommerce company