The UWA Innovation Champion Award recognises a researcher or staff member who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to promoting a culture of innovation, enterprise and industry engagement at UWA.


uwa innovation champion winner

UWA Innovation Champion Winner

UWA Innovation Champion
Professor Jo McDonald
UWA Innovation Champion - Honourable mention
Jill Benn

Archaeologist, Jo McDonald, is of UWA’s pioneers in linking academia to industry. Her team are currently investigating Rio Tinto’s rock art-rich holdings in the Pilbara. Rock art is the oldest evidence for human communication. It lets us see what mattered to people many millennia ago. Together, UWA researchers, students and indigenous communities using cutting edge technology to help us understand the past including; Drones to map ancient landscapes, tablets to enable rapid and comprehensive archaeological site recording and management, photogrammetry and 3D printing.

Jill is rethinking what UWA libraries should look like. She recently led a team to refurbish UWA’s Reid Library. UWA students were involved as co-designers, decision makers and promoters. The result? A radical departure from the traditional library concept. Rather than an emphasis on physical collections, the space has been repurposed to include a range of informal and collaborative learning spaces. Since opening in August 2016 there has been a 75% increase in Library use. The learnings are now being applied to other UWA Libraries.


  • Jill Benn (University Librarian)
  • Adrian Keating (Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering)
  • Jeremy Leggoe (Faculty of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, School of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering)
  • Kevin Pfleger (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research)
  • Paul Flatau (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (FABLE), UWA Business School, Centre for Social Impact)
  • Jo McDonald (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (FABLE), Centre for Rock Art Research + Management)