2016 Academic Achievement Award finalists announced

By Pete Fairbairn, 23.11.16

RUPA are pleased to present the finalists for the 2016 Academic Achievement Award, with the winner to be announced at the Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch on Wednesday December 7th.

The Academic Achievement Award is awarded to the fully contracted player who has undertaken and excelled in any level of education. It reflects the players’ dedication and commitment to his or her personal or professional development across a broad range of studies, and is not confined to university level education.

Finalists are put forward by the RUPA Player Development Managers who guide and support their players throughout the year with their academic and professional development. The winner is decided by RUPA Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC and RUPA President Benn Robinson.

The Award was first presented in 2011, when it was won by Matt Hodgson, with other winners including Ben Daley (2015), Jeremy Tilse (2014), Tom Kingston (2013) and Pat McCabe (2012).

2016 RUPA Academic Achievement Award Finalists:

Ross Haylett-Petty (Western Force)

Western Force lock Ross Haylett-Petty, a RUPA delegate, graduated from his Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Economics and Business Law) at the University of Western Australia, and has already started his Masters degree in Financial Planning. Ross’ course is not accessible online, but his efforts to prioritise University attendance around his busy Rugby schedule are a credit to him and are a shining example to all at the Club.

Karmichael Hunt (Queensland Reds)

In 2016, Karmichael Hunt embarked upon his first studies since completing Year 12 at Anglican Church Grammar School when he enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Psychology, through the University of Southern Queensland. Karmichael’s personal growth in recent years was typified by his commitment to his studies, as he completed his first five subjects with a minimum level of Distinction.

Alicia Quirk (Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens)

Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens star Alicia Quirk managed to balance her studies and Rugby with aplomb in 2016. Alicia completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Charles Sturt, including the completion of nearly a month’s practical work at Westmead Hospital. Alicia also learnt Portuguese in preparation for the Olympic Games, where she played a key role in Australia’s Gold Medal win.

Tom Robertson (NSW Waratahs)

2016 has been a year to remember for NSW Waratahs prop Tom Robertson, who made his Super Rugby and Wallabies debuts while also beginning his Doctor of Medicine at Sydney University, following the completion of his Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2015. Tom’s commitment to his study knows no bounds, taking his books on interstate and overseas tours and juggling a daunting workload with his impressive ascension as a professional Rugby player.

Tom Staniforth (ACT Brumbies)

Brumbies lock Tom Staniforth has set himself apart from his peers as the Brumbies player most committed to studying and life away from Rugby. After previously completing his Diploma of Building and Construction, and Certificate II Security, Tom is studying a Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) through the University of Newcastle, studying for his ACT Real Estate Licence and was part of the Brumbies/Raiders Carpentry Class.

The Academic Achievement Award is one of eight major awards presented at the Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch, including the RUPA Medal for Excellence, Taylors Wines People’s Choice Wallaby of the Year and Community Service Award.

Stay tuned for announcements regarding the finalists in other award categories over the coming days and weeks.

Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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