Social entrepreneur Aimee Marks and Beijing-based sports marketing specialist Priscilla Ho are RMIT's Outstanding Alumni for 2014.
The pair received their Outstanding Alumni Awards from Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT, at an awards ceremony last week.
Ms Marks received the Outstanding Alumnus Award (Domestic), while Ms Ho received the Outstanding Alumnus Award (International) at the breakfast ceremony at Storey Hall.
Ms Marks graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) in 2007.
She founded TOM Organic, born from a school assignment and now Australia's leading certified organic tampon range, stocked in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores nationally.
The TOM Organic philosophy is centred on education and community building around the issues of women's health and consumer empowerment.
The company regularly donates stock to the Sacred Heart Mission Women's House in St Kilda, partners with the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation to provide 50 free cervical cancer vaccinations each month and works with the One Girl organisation in Sierra Leone.
RMIT's Outstanding Alumnus (international) for 2014, sports sponsorship guru Priscilla Ho.
"I'm so proud that such a small idea that began at home in a bedroom is now available nationally and has women's empowerment and environment at the heart of our core business."
Ms Marks said RMIT played a pivotal role in broadening her knowledge and understanding of the contribution that young business people can make in the world.
"For an educational platform to nurture and encourage young students to challenge the status quo in business is amazing," she said.
Ms Marks also said she would always be grateful to the individual teachers who dedicated so much to students' learning outcomes throughout her course.
"In particular, Dr David Gilbert - thank you for teaching me that the greatest innovators are those who channel their passion and skills to doing so much with so little," she said.
"You're right, there was never a backwards step in all the learning, no matter how challenging!"
Last year, Ms Marks received the 2013 Victorian Telstra Young Business Women's Award.
Ms Ho graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) in 1993.
She is founder and President of Prescient Sports and Entertainment Marketing Pty Ltd, a top sports marketing agency in China.
Through Prescient, Ms Ho pioneered sports sponsorships into China, managing over RMB 2billion (AUD $344million) in sports sponsorship over the past ten years.
"During the Beijing Olympic Games we found partners and sponsors from Lenovo to Sinopec.
"We were the first agency for stadium sponsorship and branding solutions for all three major Olympic stadia in China."
"We have connected China to the international sports marketing industry," Ms Ho said.
Her time at RMIT provided a strong base for her career and accomplishments.
"My education at RMIT gave me so many new opportunities.
"For the first time in my life, I was opened up to questioning what people were saying (including my Professors), as well as individual thinking.
"My professors always taught that once we had finished our university course we would still keep on learning throughout our life.
"That's why I keep my humble learning attitude and even now, I am still learning," she said.
Coming from a socio-economically disadvantaged family, Ms Ho appreciates the opportunity given to her for further education, and incorporates social responsibility into her marketing programs.
"My return-to-the-society determination is really driven by a number of kind people who helped me go through some difficult times," she said.
"Through these people and organisations I would not be where I am today, they changed my life, and therefore I'd like to try to help others change their lives too.
"In the future, I'm prepared to help RMIT and its students in various aspects".
She is also passionate about raising funds, awareness and support for disabled and retired athletes.
Ms Marks and Ms Ho join previous alumni award winners: fashion designer Toni Maticevski and Singaporean entrepreneur Ryan Lee, Bloom Cosmetics founder Natalie Bloom, award-winning artist Sam Leach, founder of Engineers Without Borders Daniel Almagor, CSIRO scientist Dr Amanda Barnard and Olympic rower and business leader James Tomkins.
All photos by Vicki Jones Photography.
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