Dean's Honours Ceremony celebrates highest performing graduates

The ceremony celebrates excellence in learning and acknowledges graduates who have achieved the highest academic performance among their peers in the courses from which they have graduated.

Hosted by Professor Jane Gunn, this year’s Dean’s Honours Ceremony was held in person at the Woodward Conference Centre, University House on 10 May.

The ceremony celebrates excellence in learning and acknowledges graduates who have achieved the highest academic performance among their peers in the courses from which they have graduated.

With last year’s event being cancelled due to COVID-19, this year’s event celebrated students from both 2019 and 2020 cohorts. The ceremony was a moving experience for all involved, with attendees enjoying the success stories of these exceptional students and being able to celebrate together with the loved ones of recipients looking on proudly.

For our 2019 cohort, three graduates of the Doctor of Medicine were acknowledged: James Majer, Rohan Navani and Varun Peri. (James and Rohan are pictured below with Professors John Prins and Steve Trumble. Varun was unable to attend).

Professors John Prins and Steve Trumble with James Majer and Rohan Navani.

James completed his Bachelor of Biomedicine under the prestigious Chancellor’s Scholar Program and quickly showed the same level of dedication and ability in the MD. Humble, considered and unassuming; James prefers to celebrate the achievements of his peers first and foremost. However, his scholarly successes across the MD are themselves unparalleled; including, among many others, dux of the Clinical School. James’ natural and easy manner with patients and their families showed a mature and reflective capacity to learn both from and with his patients. A talented surfer, James has now relocated to the surf coast to commence an internship at Barwon Health where he continues to be an exceptional ambassador and credit to our medical school.

Rohan also entered the Bachelor of Biomedicine as a Chancellor’s Scholar and achieved similarly excellent results throughout his degree. A curious student, Rohan’s studies led him to complete electives overseas including general medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and emergency medicine in Mumbai, India. His MD Research Project ultimately led to his interest in cardiology and provided the platform for what is now his career ambition. Rohan has given back to his student colleagues and was active in peer mentoring in the Surgical Student's Society. Outside of Medicine, Rohan has volunteered with his local community at Bayley’s House for the intellectually disabled and is a backyard cricket tragic.

Another Chancellor’s Scholar, Varun entered the Doctor of Medicine after completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Human Structure and Function. Prior to his final year of the MD, he undertook an elective in Emergency Medicine in Malta. An excellent student, Varun won several awards, including the Dwight Prize in Principles of Clinical Practice and the Steward Scholarship for an outstanding final year research project examining the Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis in the ICU Setting.

Professors John Prins and Steve Trumble with award winner Evelyn Andrews.

The 2020 award was presented to Evelyn Andrews. Evelyn is an exceptional student and compassionate human being who contributed much to others whilst still achieving academic excellence. Evelyn received multiple Dean’s Honours awards throughout her medical course and was awarded the Katherine Woodruff Prize in Palliative Medicine. During her degree, she provided free high school and VCE tutoring to students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and in her final year, volunteered in a program run by VicRoads and Melbourne City Mission, teaching a young woman from a disadvantaged social background how to drive. During the height of the pandemic last year, she participated in the COVID-19 kids research evidence update, an initiative of the Department of Paediatrics that aimed to combat misinformation by collating and disseminating the latest COVID-19 research that was most relevant to children. Evelyn is a true role model for the medical profession and whatever she chooses to do in the future will be done with professionalism, compassion and integrity.