Published on 7 January 2015
A USC team has beaten competitors from across the Asia-Pacific to reach the final of the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society International Feasibility Competition.
The competition called for mock expressions of interest to build medium-density residential developments in two precincts in post-earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand.
Cate MacMillan of Buddina and Matt Paterson of Little Mountain teamed up during the final semester of their Property Economics and Development degrees last year to submit a development proposal.
They will fly to Malaysia next week (Sunday 18 January) to present their proposal in the final against teams from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Malaya.
Matt, 32, did his degree part time over five years while working full time. His first job in property was as an assistant property manager for BWS and Woolworths after working his way up from stacking shelves and working the cash register.
“I was always interested in property but I have to give credit to my manager at Woolworths who actually offered me a promotion on the proviso that I start studying a property economics degree,” he said.
“I started with Stockland last April and am now working as a development professional on the new Oceanside master planned community which surrounds the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital precinct and includes commercial, residential and retail development.”
Cate, 56, recently retired as principal of Noosa District State High School and turned her passion for education and learning towards a university degree in a whole new field.
“I always thought the property courses at USC looked really interesting and I must say I’ve loved doing the degree and really enjoyed learning something new,” she said.
Cate volunteers as the development officer for The Compass Institute, a local organisation that delivers education and training to school leavers with intellectual and physical disabilities.
“One of the big issues that’s come out of working with Compass is the need for housing for adults with a disability to live in independently,” she said. “So I did my major research project last semester on the type of housing that enables intellectually disabled adults to live independently.
“I’ve recently been accepted into the Master of Urban Planning by Research to continue that project and hopefully roll that into a PhD here at USC.”
— Jane Cameron