Winners of 2017 Alumni Student Leadership Awards (L-R): Back row: Damien Slinger and Julian Loh. Middle row: Josh Loyd, Kristy Winter, Ria Bhagat, Fred Duku Silver, Timothy Hui and Chenoa Masters. Front row: Nalongded Luanglath.
Winners of 2017 Alumni Student Leadership Awards (L-R): Back row: Damien Slinger and Julian Loh. Middle row: Josh Loyd, Kristy Winter, Ria Bhagat, Fred Duku Silver, Timothy Hui and Chenoa Masters. Front row: Nalongded Luanglath.

Leading the way

With the tenacity to earn a near-perfect grade point average while leading a variety of student engagement initiatives, Nalongded Luanglath is not one to let fear of a challenge defeat his will to achieve.

It is this attribute, among others, that has seen Nalongded named 2017 QUT Alumni Student Leader of the Year.

Nalongded received the award in recognition of his determination to create support and opportunities for student communities, as well as his outstanding academic achievements.

His drive to succeed was ignited at an early age by the challenges Nalongded has faced since birth, with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) greatly restricting his physical abilities.

As a young man with a disability, Nalongded aims to demonstrate that with the right support, disability does not preclude a person’s potential to achieve.

“Positive attitude is good—but in and of itself alone is not enough,” Nalongded said.

Opportunities like the Australia Awards Scholarship Nalongded received have given him a platform from which to encourage other young people in his home country of Laos to consider a similar path.

“Particularly in developing countries, people with disabilities have significantly less encouragement or opportunities to pursue education or professional careers,” Nalongded said.

“My main personal objective is to remove stigma around disability and mental health issues in my community through advocacy and education.”

Receiving an overall degree grade point average (GPA) of 6.75 (out of 7), Nalongded was also the 2015 recipient of the QUT Business School International Undergraduate Prize, which is awarded to the international Bachelor of Business student with the highest GPA for all subjects undertaken over the prize year.

Now in his honours year, Nalongded has also ensured his time as a QUT student is just as fulfilling outside of his academic results, establishing the QUT Lao Student Club (QUTLSC) in 2014 and participating in a variety of other clubs and associations.

Nalongded was presented the award at the QUT Alumni Student Leadership Award ceremony in May.

QUT Alumni Manager Ken Gideon said that the Student Leadership Awards are a valuable opportunity for dedicated students to be recognised for their efforts.

“These students are our future alumni, and it’s incredibly important to us to recognise the contributions they’ve already made to the university community and their fellow classmates,” said Ken.

“We’re always amazed at the level of commitment shown by our winners not only to their studies, but to making the world a better place. We’re very proud to be able to recognise that.”

Also receiving recognition at the awards were the following students, who each received a 2017 QUT Alumni Student Leadership Excellence Award:

  • Ria Bhagat­—Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelors of Laws (Honours)
  • Timothy Hui—Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Julian Loh—Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Josh Loyd—Bachelor of Engineering
  • Chenoa Masters—Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • Fred Duku Silver—Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Damien Slinger—Bachelor of Engineering
  • Kristy Winter—Masters of Applied Science (Research)

Congratulations to all of the winners.

For more on the QUT Alumni Student Leadership Awards, please visit the QUT Alumni website.