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Alumni Relation Team

Building Orange 2
Level 2, Room 13
Casuarina campus

  • +61 8 8946 6917

Meet our Alumni

Do you know CDU alumni who are shaping society, their career or having a positive impact on other peoples lives? or if you would like to share your career experiences and achievements with other alumni, current and prospective students. We want to hear about them! Submit your story idea here.


Michael Stephens & Donna Stephens 
Master of Business Administration (2017)
Bachelor of Law (2019)

Verona may have had Romeo and Juliet but CDU can boast of Michael and Donna Stephens. “Star-crossed lovers” they may not be, for their marriage has lasted more than thirty years, but theirs is still an inspiring tale nevertheless. Just as remarkably,
both of them are proud graduates of CDU. Read their story


Madalena Costa Soara
Master of Public Governance (2013)

Madelana was born in Turiscai on 2 March 1964, to a widowed mother struggled with supporting eight of her children after her husband, a Red Cross nurse died during the war in 1975. Read Madelana's story


Tamas Fabos 
Master of Business Administration (2014)

Since graduating from CDU, Tamas experienced the post-grad struggle. However, his perseverance saw him though, and not only did he find employment, he also become an Australian Citizen. Read Tamas's story


Sam Bakara 
Bachelor of Engineering (2001)

Sam Bakara is a powerhouse, literally. This CDU Engineering alumnus (Class of 2001) has spent his career powering businesses, governments and consumers with clean energy generated from windfarms, solar and hybrid-diesel energy projects. An innately-driven individual, Sam chose to study engineering because as he said, “I wanted to push myself to the highest academic level'' Read Sam's story


Errol Chua
Bachelor of Laws (Hons, 2018 )

"I started with zero confidence. Charles Darwin University has offered so much support and afforded me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. I encourage others to follow their dream no matter what their age or background.'' Read Errol's story

Photo of Rachel McDonald

Rachel McDonald
Bachelor of Laws (Hons, 2014 )

Contributing to my community

“My work is very demanding but equally rewarding. I have the privilege of walking beside people after they have injured themselves to advocate for them and to ensure that they are receiving everything that they are entitled to under insurance schemes that are difficult, if not impossible, to navigate without legal representation.” Read Rachel's story.

John Rawnsley with President Barack Obama

John Rawnsley
Bachelor of Laws (2007), Bachelor of Torres Strait Islander Studies (2007)

A sense of community

“I value the fact that CDU is uniquely Territorian and provides excellent facilities and services from the library to technology to the quality of teaching and education.”  A proud Territorian of Larrakia heritage through his mother, CDU Alumnus John Rawnsley is an accomplished solicitor with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). He graduated in 2007 with both a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Read John's story.

Photo of Mohamed Elgendi

Mohamed Elgendi
Master of Engineering (Electrical, 2006), Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Engineering, 2012)

When support is priceless

“I enjoy coming up with new ideas to improve current health care technologies. Finding solutions that are simple and more efficient than the existing ones makes my job more challenging but enjoyable.”Mohamed Elgendi is a shining example of what can be achieved by Charles Darwin University graduates. Read Mohamed's story.

Judy Opitz - CDU graduate

Judy Opitz
Bachelor of Arts (1996), Bachelor of Arts Honours (1999), Doctor of Philosophy (2008)

Even at 84, it’s never too late to study!

“I believe education is our hope for a more peaceful world.”

I chose NTU because it offered me an alternative pathway to enter the world of academia. Born 1924 in London, England, my schooling was cut short by the outbreak of World War II.  Read Judy's story.

Shellie Morris

Shellie Morris
Cert III Contemporary Music

The 2014 NT Australian of the Year and NAIDOC Artist of the Year, Shellie Morris, is one of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters and a passionate supporter of the CDU Theatre redevelopment project. Read Shellie's story.

Samantha Gartland

Samantha Gartland
Cert III Commercial Cookery, Cert III & IV Financial Services, Bachelor of Accounting

“After a chat with CDU career advisors, I got excited about the future.”

After ending her 10-year career as a chef and starting a family, Samantha found a new pathway and says CDU did change her world! Read Samantha's story.

Diane Chanut

Diane Chanut
Cert IV & Diploma Conservation and Land Management

“CDU has been extremely flexible....”

After completing a Masters degree in Management, Diane moved to New York City where I worked for the cosmetics company L’Oreal. In 2006, she immigrated to Australia, and in 2011 she took a life-changing holiday to the Red Centre, read Diane's story.

Le Bai

Le Bai
Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours)

“My CDU path to a new career … via Europe and the Grand Canyon”

It was on holidays in Switzerland in 2007 that Le experienced the beauty of the Swiss Alps and found inspiration for a new career in protecting and caring for the environment. CDU Alumnus Le’s travel adventures continued well after he started studying at CDU, read Le's story.

Brionee Noonam

Brionee Noonan
Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Policy Development

"Indigenous lecturers were important for me..."

From a young age, Brionee was drawn to social justice issues; she wanted to empower people and help them find their voice. Through dedicated study at ACIKE and guidance from a CDU, Alumnus Brionee has followed her dream.  Read Brionee's story here.

Joanna Winslade

Joanna Winslade
Bachelor of Engineering

"Help was always available..."

Joanna, who graduated from CDU with a Bachelor of Engineering in 2013 says she will never forget CDU and now works for Darwin consultancy firm Wallbridge & Gilbert RFP read Joanna's story.

Jasmine Jan

Jasmine Jan
Bachelor of Science

"We weren't just a sea of faces..."

Jasmine, who graduated from CDU with a Bachelor of Science in 1994 in its former incarnation, the Northern Territory University is thankful for the close relationships with her lecturers, and smaller classes read Jasmin's story.

Binil baby

Binil Baby
Bachelor of Engineering

"It was at a Careers Fair that I landed my job..."

Engineering Graduate, Binil Baby, had no idea CDU’s school BBQ’s and careers fair would lead to his dream job in Townsville. Now employed by Baulderston-Lendlease follow Binil's journey.

Steven Miles

Steven Miles
Bachelor of Information Technology

“I've never looked back...”

Steven received the IT Ambassador Award, 2014 for ‘Outstanding Commitment to the promotion of Information Technology’ and has never looked back. Read Steven's story.

Marley Mitchell

Marley Mitchell
Bachelor of Engineering

“Taste of Uni leads to dream career...”

Since Graduating from Charles Darwin University in 2013, Marley Mitchell has carved a successful career as a Graduate Civil Engineer with Western Australian Civil and Mining contractor, Brierty in Darwin. Read Marley's story.

Nathan Fanning

Nathan Fanning
Bachelor of Engineering

“I thoroughly enjoyed studying at CDU..."

Nathan’s role at the Minerals Council of Australia is to liaise with member representatives regarding key policy issues. His journey with CDU involved scholarships, work placement and even a Canadian exchange. Read Nathan's story.

Jayson Ibanez

Jayson Ibanez
Doctor of Philosophy

“I wish to help improve the quality of life...."

Jayson began his PhD at CDU in 2010, after receiving an Australia Awards Scholarship from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He said the scholarship provided him with a rare opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. Read Jayson's story.

Lianna Georges

Lianna Georges
Bachelor of Communications

“The best advice I can give is not to be afraid to try things out..."

Lianna is a Business Development Executive at a national real-estate company and passionate about building design and drafting. After completing a Bachelor of Communications, she was encouraged to continue study at CDU in the area of building design and drafting, while working in her dream area. Read Lianna's story.

Ben Gill CDU Alumni

Ben Gill
Bachelor of Business in Accounting

"I think any opportunity to give back to your community generally is a great thing."

Casuarina Square centre manager Ben Gill graduated from Charles Darwin University with a Bachelor of Business in accounting. Hear Ben's story about giving back to the community through being a member of the CDU Alumni.


Ben is now a Divisional Director with The GPT Group, one of Australia’s leading property companies.  He has direct responsibility for Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s north-west.  The asset is the fourth largest shopping centre in Australia and is valued at a little under two billion dollars.

Ben continues to hold strong associations with the Northern Territory, including family connections, property investment and board membership of Somerville Community Services, the Northern Territory’s largest disability services provider.

Calista Hudson CDU Alumni

Calista Hudson
Certificate IV Fitness

"I am excited about the CDU alumni network."

Calista Hudson qualified with a Certificate IV in Fitness from CDU. She went on to win the 2013 Northern Territory Vocational Student of the Year, and in 2014 was awarded the Charles Darwin University Chancellor's Medal. Calista is a part-time lecturer in Fitness at CDU. Listen to Calista's story.

Jason Schoolmeester CDU Alumni

Jason Schoolmeester
Bachelor of Business & Bachelor of Laws

"There are lots of ways you can give back to the University."

Jason Schoolmeester is the Executive Director of Economic Policy in the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory Government. Hear Jason talk about how he stays connected with CDU.