Professor Frances Separovic honoured with UNSW Alumni Award

On Tuesday night, Professor Separovic was presented with a 2017 UNSW Alumni Award, in the category of Science and Technology. The annual awards celebrate the achievements of UNSW’s most accomplished graduates and graduands.

Professor Frances Separovic was one of ten winners, chosen from a pool of 290,000 alumni.

“It was a big thrill to be recognised and have my family present. Also, I felt humbled by the achievements of my fellow awardees,” she said.

Frances and host
Professor Separovic receiving her award, with Professor Emma Johnston, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at UNSW, and University of Melbourne alumna. Photo: Maja Baska

UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs congratulated the recipients saying “choosing these winners from the extraordinary pool of talent spread across 146 countries and all facets of human endeavour is not an easy task.”

Dr Separovic was awarded for her contribution to chemistry and the promotion of women in science. Having earned her PhD from UNSW as a single mother, Frances became the first female Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2005, and in 2010 became the first woman to head their School of Chemistry. For International Women’s Day this year, she was recognised by the International Union of Pure and AppliedChemistry as a Distinguished Woman in Chemistry.

Frances and family
Professor Separovic and her family at the awards evening. Photo: Maja Baska

In 2017, Professor Separovic was appointed Deputy Director of the Bio21 Institute. 

Bio21 Director Michael Parkers says "At Bio21 we’re very proud of Professor Separovic’s achievements in chemistry and her efforts to mentor and support women in science. As Deputy Director, she will continue to focus her efforts to improve opportunities for women researchers at the Institute.”

In winning the award, she received a trophy created by acclaimed sculptor Bert Flugelman in1972 and features a design reminiscent of Flugelman’s subsequent 1978 creation, the Pyramid Tower which is located at Spring Street and Pitt in central Sydney.

Read the full media release.