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2013 Alumni Student Award Winner James Graham: model citizen and model student

Bond University has a well-earned reputation for its active campus clubs and social interest groups but, in terms of student engagement, recent graduate James Graham put in an award winning performance.

Topping off his graduation with double degrees in Commerce and Law, James’ service to the Bond University community was honoured with the 2013 Alumni Student Award, presented at a gala ceremony last month. 

In his four years and eight months on campus, James made his mark serving as President of the Bond University Student Association (2010), President of the Bond Investment Group (2012), and Deputy Chair of the Student Philanthropy Council (2010-2011).

He also found time to volunteer as a coach for several Bond mooting teams and to help with the establishment of the Miscarriages of Justice Moot Competition to encourage new students to give mooting a try.

He introduced the first Women in Business Evening – an event focussed on the issues facing women in the Australian corporate environment. He was part of a team that ran a two-week Kununurra Youth Development Program that involved Bond students working in the remote indigenous community to encourage personal development and leadership skills. And he participated in Oxfam’s 100km Trail Walker Challenge where he and his team-mates raised over $5,000.

Surprisingly, James’ extracurricular activities had no detrimental effect on his studies – in fact, possibly, quite the opposite.

He graduated Commerce with the highest GPA of any undergraduate student in any business discipline, for which he received the Goldsworthy Prize. He completed Law with First Class Honours; took out second place in the international Frederich Hayek Essay Contest (which he presented to the Mont Pelerin Society in Prague); and, in June 2012, was valedictorian of his graduating cohort.

“The culture at Bond motivates you to get much more out of the academic process and your time at university, particularly outside of the lecture theatre," says James.

“The whole experience taught me so much more than you can see on a CV or transcript.”

Needless to say, James has started his career with one of Australia’s leading investment banks, as a financial analyst in the natural resources area of Goldman Sachs in Sydney.

“If I had to pick the most rewarding aspect of my time at Bond it would have to be my term as President of the Bond University Student Association (BUSA),” he says.

“For me, it was the exceptional people I had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, that made this time particularly rewarding.

“I learned lessons from the experience of being a leader and being part of a team, and I am sure that these lessons will stay with me for some time to come.”

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