Alumni of Distinction 2013

Four alumni of the Faculty of Business and Economics were announced as Alumni of Distinction at the 2013 Foundation Dinner at the National Gallery of Victoria on Thursday 14 March 2013.

Outstanding contribution to Faculty/University Award

Professor W. Max Corden AC 

BCom Hons 1950 MCom 1953 DCom 1995

Max CordenProfessor Max Corden is widely regarded as the most important Australian international trade economist of his generation.

He is recognised globally for his scholarship and development of international economics, particularly international trade theory and practice. His outstanding achievements and leadership in these fields have been undertaken in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, though he has lectured, written and been honoured around the globe.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne Professor Corden studied at the London School of Economics where he was awarded a PhD in 1956. He has held various distinguished positions including two years with the British National Institute for Economic and Social Research, Professorial Fellow at the ANU, Nuffield Reader in International Economics at Nuffield College at Oxford, Visiting Professor at Harvard and, from 1986 to 1988, a Senior Advisor at the International Monetary Fund.

Whilst at the ANU in 1982 he developed, with Peter Neary, the classic economic model describing the Dutch Disease. This model has proved very significant in policy terms for the resource rich countries, and in particular for Australia, in recent decades.  From 1982 to 1990 Professor Corden was a member of the Group of 30, a prestigious and influential international group of leading academics and senior business leaders.

In 1989 Professor Corden was appointed Professor of International Economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC, a position he held until he retired in 2002. He remains a Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins.

After retiring from Johns Hopkins Professor Corden returned to Melbourne University where since 2002 he has been an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Economics, during which time he has continued to write widely and contribute to research and debate on international economic issues.

Professor Max Corden has made a major contribution to the literature on international trade theory and practice throughout his academic career.  His publications have been required reading for students and practitioners of international trade for more than 30 years. They were also extremely influential in shaping the freer trade policies of the Hawke/Keating and Howard Governments that have had a significant and beneficial effect on the Australian economy. His influence has been similarly significant with policy makers in many other countries and international institutions.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Khun Mechai Viravaidya AO 

BCom 1965 LLD 1993

Mechai ViravaidyaAlso known as "Mr Condom", Mechai Viravaidya has been credited with saving millions of lives through raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in Thailand.

In 1974 Khun Mechai founded the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) to address the unsustainable population growth rate in Thailand of over 3% annually.  A variety of humorous, innovative, and unorthodox methods were utilised in conjunction with mobilizing and educating a network of rural school teachers and village community members to make contraceptives available throughout Thailand, resulting in a more sustainable population growth rate of 0.5% by 2003.  When HIV/AIDS first appeared in Thailand in the mid-1980s, similar methods were used to launch a major prevention program, resulting in a 90% decline in new infections and an estimated 7.7 million lives saved within 12 years.

Khun Mechai has held key positions of Thailand's Cabinet spokesman, the Minister of the Office of the Prime Minister, and Chairman of several of Thailand's largest government-owned enterprises.  He was also elected to the Senate between 1987-1991, 1996-2000, and 2000-2006. He has established a number of social enterprises, including Thailand's first in 1975 and, more recently,

The Village Development Partnership, which was expanded from Thailand into Cambodia through assistance from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the School-Based Integrated Rural Development program (School-BIRD), aimed towards producing a new generation of honest, capable, and socially-conscious students who will perform at their full potential.

For his efforts in various development and educational endeavours, Mechai Viravaidya has been acclaimed with numerous awards, recognition, and honorary doctoral degrees. These include the United Nations Population Award, the Bill and Melinda Gates Award for Global Health, the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health, the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. He was also named one of Asiaweek's 20 Great Asian, and one of TIME Magazine's Asian Heroes to mark the magazine's 60th year of publication in Asia.

Rising Star Award

Mr Anthony Goldbloom 

BCom Hons 2006

Anthony GoldbloomAnthony is the founder and CEO of Kaggle and, at the age of 28, is considered a global leader and innovator in data science and predictive modelling.

Before founding Kaggle, Anthony worked in the macroeconomic modelling areas of the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Treasury. A first class honours student in Economics and Econometrics, Anthony secured an internship with The Economist, where he was inspired to learn more about the issues facing companies about 'big data' and predictive modelling.

Currently based in San Francisco, Anthony founded Kaggle, an innovative solution for statistical analytics outsourcing and a leading platform for predictive modelling competitions, in Australia in 2009. Investors include PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian and Ron Conway's SV Angel.  Anthony is globally renowned as an innovator in the technology industry, changing the way companies think about solving 'big data' problems.

In less than four years, Anthony has built a unique company, like no other in existence, of a community of 70,000 data scientists globally. He has been named as one of Forbes' 30 under 30 for 2011 and 2012 in technology, and by Fast Company as an innovative thinker changing the future of business.

International Award

Ms Sally Macdonald 

BCom 1990

Sally MacdonaldSally Macdonald is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Oroton Group Limited. She is recognised as a success story and leader in the retail industry in Australia, driving change in retail and expanding an iconic Australian brand into Asia.

Prior to Oroton, Sally was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne and New York City, working on a diverse set of clients across cosmetic, tourism, and music and media industries.  Sally also worked at Banana Republic (a division of The Gap) in San Francisco across buying, planning and store operations, and graduated with an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Sally is renowned for her leadership of the Oroton group (which owns the Polo Ralph Lauren licence in Australia as well as its own Oroton-branded stores and products), turning a $9.4 million loss into a $9.8 million profit in 2006. Within her first year of leadership, shares in the company had almost tripled.  Generating unheard-of returns on equity in any sector, let alone the retail business, Sally achieved a remarkable turnaround to save an Australian icon, and was named as the number one CEO by Crikey in 2010 for having Top CEO values.

Sally has led Oroton's expansion into the Asian market and taking an Australian luxury brand abroad. Since opening in Hong Kong, Oroton has also opened a boutique in Singapore, with a further three stores planned for Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and is considering other sites in Southeast and North Asia as well.  Entering Asia marks a game changer for Oroton as it goes in to compete with global brands such as Coach, Kate Spade and Marc by Marc Jacobs in the more developed Asian market.

Sally was a founding committee member of the Financial Management Association of Australia at the University of Melbourne.