The Hon Susan Ryan AO recognised at ANU night of nights

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Their contributions, along with the efforts of our more than 100,000 alumni, is the finest example of what an exceptional community we have at ANU.

The University community has come together to recognise the achievements of ANU graduates including Age Discrimination Commissioner and the ACT's first female senator The Hon Susan Ryan AO FAICD.

The 2018 ANU Alumni Awards were held at Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia on Friday night.

Ms Ryan, who graduated with a Master of Arts in 1974, was awarded 2018 Alumna of the Year in recognition of her extensive career advancing the rights of women and older Australians.

"My positive experiences of the quality of teaching at ANU, and the support for my unusual circumstances in the late 1960s as a young mother who also needed to interrupt my Masters studies several times when my diplomat husband was posted overseas, affirmed my views that women could combine study, work and parenthood," she said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt congratulated Ms Ryan on her achievements.

"Our 2018 ANU Alumna of the Year, the Hon Susan Ryan, has made a remarkable contribution to advancing human rights, particularly around equal opportunity and the rights of older Australians," Professor Schmidt said.

"As a minister, Susan introduced the landmark Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, which for the first time gave women equal rights in the workforce. We continue to follow her lead to strive for equity in all that we do as the national university."

Among those recognised at Friday's awards was one of Australia's most highly regarded lawyers, Professor Megan Davis, who was awarded Indigenous Alumna of the Year, for her contributions to human rights and Indigenous law.

Human rights advocate Andrew Harper received the International Alumnus of the Year award, Malaysian-Australian author, rapper and poet Omar Musa received the Young Alumnus of the Year award, and the Student Volunteers of the Year Postgraduate and Undergraduate awards went to gender equity in STEM champion Dr Francesca Maclean, and charity fundraiser Jackson Bursill.

"Their contributions, along with the efforts of our more than 100,000 alumni, is the finest example of what an exceptional community we have at ANU," Professor Schmidt said.

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