Two former Thai Government ministers and a professor of agronomy have been honoured as distinguished UWA graduates at ceremonies in Thailand. The ceremonies, the first such awards to be made to graduates from Thailand, mark the contributions of UWA’s international graduates to their home countries and the
broader international community.
At an alumni cocktail party at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok in mid-August, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson presented Distinguished International Alumnus Awards to Dr Narongchai Akrasanee and Associate Professor Varakorn Samakoses.
Dr Akrasanee is a former Minister of Commerce and a Senator with the Thai Government. He graduated from UWA in 1967 with a Bachelor of Economics (Hons), as a Colombo Plan student andwas president of the Australia-Thailand and the Thailand-New Zealand Business Councils.
Associate Professor Samakoses is a current Deputy Minister of Education with the Thai Government. He graduated from UWA in 1970 with a Bachelor of Economics and has held visiting professorships at universities around the world.
In Chiang Mai, a similar award was made to Professor Benjavan Rerkasem at a gathering at Chiang Mai University. Professor Rerkasem, a professor of agronomy, graduated from UWA in 1977 with a BSc in Agriculture (Hons) in 1969, followed by a PhD in Plant Nutrition in 1977. She is renowned for having made a major contribution to local agriculture by helping train postgraduate students, many of whom are now in the government and private sectors.
“For almost a century, The University of Western Australia has produced graduates who have made major con trib utions to the economic and social wellbeing of local, national and international communities,” Professor Robson said. “As part of the University’s commitment to achieving in ternational excellence, we are proud that our international graduates continue to make enormous contributions within their communities and society generally.”