Community - 2008, Edition 1 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Community - 2008, Edition 1

Community: Edition 1 2008

Vice-Chancellor's comment

The new year brings, for many commencing students, a new setting in which to learn, make new friends, face new challenges and develop new balancing acts between work and leisure.

Most importantly, the period is confirmation that they are embarking on an experience in social and academic learning that will endure for a lifetime.

There has never been a more important time to enter and persist with university studies.

Everywhere in the modern world, significant and secure future careers are being built on the acquisition of knowledge which business, industry and the professions demand.

Graduates have high employment opportunities, with good salaries and great chances to be internationally mobile.

Long after the shine has worn off the receipt of a wage packet in lieu of further or higher education, the impact of a university education can be profound for those prepared to give, as well as receive, and participate fully in the university experience.

The Sunshine Coast needs a range of talented people to remain or return here after graduation and contribute to the development of this unquestionably beautiful and potentially important economic and cultural region.

Much has still to be done, however, to secure the future, and the presence of the University in the region is one of the major contributory factors that is helping to do just that.

If staff and students internally, as well as the University partnering with other regional organisations, continue to work together for mutual advantage, then the Coast has a bright future and our graduates will have the demonstrated talent to help influence that future, armed with degrees that never lose their value.

I wish every commencing student success and happiness.

Professor Paul Thomas AM

Three USC identities in Who’s Who in Australia

Three University of the Sunshine Coast identities have been featured in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who in Australia.

USC’s Chancellor John Dobson OAM, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Pamela Dyer and the former Dean of the Faculty of Business Professor Ed Fitzgerald are new inductees in the annual publication.

Publishers, Crown Content, said the USC representatives were among 531 new inductees, alongside some of Australia’s most influential and famous people.

Australia Zoo owner Terri Irwin, who became an honorary Senior Fellow of the University of the Sunshine Coast last year, and her daughter Bindi also are among this year’s new inductees.

Chancellor John Dobson said it was fitting that University of the Sunshine Coast representatives were featured in the prestigious publication.

“I think USC should be in Who’s Who in Australia, because it is a most remarkable human story of achievement and I am delighted to be just a part of the story,” he said.

Voices wins Community Event of the Year award

The Voices on the Coast youth literature festival has won the 2008 Maroochy Shire Council Australia Day Award for the Community Event of the Year.

The annual festival—co-hosted by Immanuel Lutheran College and the University of the Sunshine Coast since 1996—brings some of Australia’s finest writers, poets, illustrators and performers to the Sunshine Coast.

The week-long program includes activities and events for school students and adults, including the opportunity to meet famous authors.

Voices coordinator Kelly Dunham of Immanuel Lutheran College said she was thrilled about the Maroochy Shire award.

“It is wonderful recognition of the services that Voices provides for young people in encouraging their love of reading and in improving their skills in writing, illustration, poetry and performance,” she said.

“It’s also recognition of the festival’s role in raising literary awareness among adults.”

Mrs Dunham said 4,500 students from Years 5–12 attended Voices’ two-day schools event at the University. This year’s Voices on the Coast festival will be held on 2–7 June.

New students hit the ground running

The annual Great Court Race — an exciting 400m dash around the University campus — was among the highlights of USC’s Orientation Week for 2008.

A large crowd gathered to watch the race, which added further entertainment to a week of academic and social activities.

Matt Osberger of Maleny edged out Eric Stroh of Minnesota, United States, with a desperate lunge for the finish line in the men’s event. Eric Juven, also of Minnesota, finished third.

Emma Cooper of Armidale claimed the women’s crown over bare-footed runner Jacqui Scriven of Buderim in an equally-close finish. German student Susanne Koll finished third. Emma and Matt received the Dean van der Helm Memorial Shield.

Almost 2,500 new students started at USC last month. The most popular award program is the Graduate Diploma in Education with 177 new students.

The most popular undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of Nursing Science with 171 new students.

OP1 students make USC first preference

Two top school-leavers from the Wide Bay region have started their first year of tertiary study at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

OP1 students Fiona Finnegan of Gin Gin State High School and Karina Hamilton of Urangan State High School both chose USC as their first preference for study to help them pursue careers in science.

Fiona, who is studying a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, said she was attracted to USC by the scientific nature of the degree and by the appeal of the University campus.

“I wanted to get into allied health and health science, so the fact that this degree included biology and chemistry really appealed to me,” she said.

“Having grown up in a small town, I know that bigger doesn’t always equal better,” she said. “I visited USC on a school tertiary trip and it looks really nice.”

Karina has enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Accelerated degree, which will see her complete a four-year degree in three years.

“USC is the only uni that has Accelerated Honours in Biomedical Science, it’s close to home and it’s a smaller university … which is good. It’s a lifestyle choice. I don’t think I’d really like to live in a big city.”

Karina also said she chose USC after hearing only good comments about the University, especially about the friendliness of its academic staff.

Professor Douglas gets down to business

The University of the Sunshine Coast has appointed Professor Evan Douglas as its new Dean of the Faculty of Business.

Professor Douglas was previously the Head of the Graduate School of Business at Queensland University of Technology for more than 10 years.

Prior to that, he worked at Bond University’s School of Business for seven years in a variety of roles including Associate Dean for Executive Development and Director of the Centre for Executive Development.

Professor Douglas has a PhD in Economics, specialises in entrepreneurship, and his academic career has included postings at 15 universities across Australia and internationally.

He said he was excited about his new role at USC and was keen to work towards international accreditation from the Association to Advance Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB).

“This is a great opportunity to build on a good foundation at USC,” he said.

“The University has always had a good reputation for its teaching quality. Now let’s move up to become Australia’s best regional Faculty of Business and to be recognised internationally.”

Professor Douglas said this goal would be made easier by the rapid growth of the Sunshine Coast, USC’s will to move forward and by the University’s close association with the business community.

Professor Douglas has replaced Professor Ed Fitzgerald who retired last year.

Enabling courses help Amy excel

Biomedical Science student Amy Turco, 23, is excelling in her studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast thanks to the University’s optional enabling courses.

Amy last year achieved high distinctions in her first-year subjects of Physics and Chemistry and said the Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) courses she completed played a big role in her academic success.

“My results are a clear indication that I took part in those TEP courses,” she said. “It just prepares you for everything in the subject as well as the exams.”

USC this year has TEP courses in Writing Skills, Computer Literacy, Chemistry, General Mathematics, Mathematics for Physics, Statistics and Biology.

Quest for knowledge pays off

University of the Sunshine Coast graduand Roslyn Clapperton, 33, has achieved what most students can only dream about—a perfect academic record.

The Nambour pharmacy dispensary technician has completed her Bachelor of Science (Sport and Exercise Science) degree with a grade point average (GPA) of 7, excelling in every subject she studied.

She will graduate in April and has been nominated for the Chancellor’s Medal.

Roslyn said her study success came from being organised, having a passion for learning, working with “study buddies” and taking time out to relax and socialise.

“I always started studying at the start of the semester and didn’t leave it all until the end,” she said.

“I treated every piece of assessment as something important. I made sure I did the best I could do in everything so that, by the time I went into an exam, I could pass the subject if I didn’t do well on the exam.

“It wasn’t so much about getting top marks. It was a desire to understand what I was learning. I didn’t like the idea of going into an exam and not being able to answer a question.”

Roslyn said the quality of USC’s teaching staff and the University’s enabling courses for first-year students also were key factors in her success.

“I’ve been very happy with the lecturers that I’ve had. They’ve got life skills. They’ve been out there and done the job and they’re very helpful,” she said.

Roslyn plans to become an exercise physiologist to help improve the lives of those with chronic illness.
But for now, she is studying her Honours (in peripheral arterial disease) at USC.

“I’m doing my Honours this year, just to see if I like research and if that’s an avenue I’d like to explore later on,” she said.

During her studies, Roslyn received four scholarships and bursaries.

These were the Sunshine Coast Sports Medicine Clinic Bursary (2006), the Lambert Innovation Prize in Science (2007), an Australian Federation of University Women Bursary (2007), and the Heart Foundation Summer Scholarship (2007).

Scientist is Alumni of the Year

A USC science graduate who recently accepted a research position with one of the world’s leading environmental agencies in the United States has won the University’s Outstanding Alumni Award for 2007.

Dr Craig Hansen, 40, of Sippy Downs, was recognised for his doctoral and postdoctoral research in epidemiology (the study of diseases in populations), which included field-work in the South African township of Soweto.

The former guitar teacher plucked up the courage to change careers in 2000. He completed a Bachelor of Science (Public Health) in 2002, before doing his Honours and PhD at USC.

His PhD research involved investigating how air pollution affects the growth of foetuses during pregnancy, using a sample of 30,000 pregnancies in Brisbane.

Dr Hansen then gained a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine and studied cardio-vascular disease among residents of Soweto.

In December last year, Dr Hansen accepted a postdoctoral research fellowship in epidemiology at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

His work involves helping write reports on the health effects of air pollution to assist policymakers set national air pollution standards.

“It certainly is exciting working for the USEPA, as it is respected throughout the world as one of the main forces in protecting the environment,” Dr Hansen said.

“Although my role may be small in the overall scheme of things, working here brings a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I have contributed to protecting the environment for current and future generations.

“Also, working for the USEPA is providing me with the opportunity to collaborate with scientists in other fields—such as toxicology and ecology—and to meet and work with many world experts.”

USC muscles up for greater sport testing

The University of the Sunshine Coast is set to further flex its muscles as a major testing centre for people undergoing rehabilitation and for elite athletes, thanks to an impressive international connection.

Swedish Development Centre for Disability Sport director Kennet Frojd visited the University in December to install a new software package called Muscle Lab, following visits to Sweden by USC staff in 2002 and 2007.

Mr Frojd has been developing the software for the past 17 years to help sport scientists around the world achieve more precise measurements of strength, speed and power.

“This software can be used for elite athletes, as well as for people of all capabilities, to determine the most effective strength-based training exercises to match the individual’s requirements,” he said.

USC’s Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise (CHASE) director Associate Professor Brendan Burkett was thrilled Mr Frojd had provided the University with this state-of-the-art software.

“This system has electromyography, an accelerometer, inclinometer, synchronised video function and telemetry—without cables—for use in an exercise rehabilitation setting, such as in USC’s new sports stadium and the health and sport clinic which will open in July 2008,” he said.

“Muscle Lab will help us in understanding how people move, and in getting them to move better. It will be valuable for sports performance or exercise rehabilitation.”

Scientific approach pays off for trainee teachers

Seven teaching students from the University of the Sunshine Coast recently earned A$2,000 awards under a Commonwealth Government program designed to promote science education.

Leisha Burgaty, Christopher Butcher, Andrew Hoschke, James Dalitz, Amanda Fanya, Pauline Reid and Michelle Franklin received Primary Pre-service Teacher Awards for Excellence in Science Education from the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) in November.

These awards were funded by the Australian Government Quality Teacher Program.

They are designed to recognise teaching students most likely to use a new strategy called “Primary Connections: Linking Science with Literacy” in their future work.

USC education lecturer Ken Young said Primary Connections was an innovative approach to teaching and learning that enhanced primary school teachers’ confidence and competence in teaching science.

Young entrepreneur enjoys business launch

University of the Sunshine Coast business student Jesse Costelloe, 21, is on his way to joining the ranks of Australia’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

Jesse last month launched a new design-led business called Evok, in which he creates and sells a complete hi-fi and home theatre lifestyle range that includes matching designer furnishings.

His business is aimed at design-conscious consumers and commercial developers and offers a full fit-out service—to budget—of technology and furnishings in display units.

Jesse celebrated the official opening of his first Evok Shop on the top floor of the Urban Sofa Gallery at Newstead, Brisbane, in December.

He aims to open four more Evok Shop outlets in the future.

Jesse started work on Evok in July 2005 when he saw a gap in the market for a stylish branded range of sound systems.

In January 2006, Jesse enrolled at USC, attracted by the University’s Innovation Centre, which has provided him with valuable guidance and business advice.

Jesse said he was thrilled to have taken part in a recent four-day Enterprisers residential course run by the Innovation Centre in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

Innovation Centre CEO Colin Graham commended Jesse’s recent progress and his business launch.

Researchers step up exercise study

The University of the Sunshine Coast is making great strides forward in a collaborative research project aimed at improving exercise rehabilitation programs for older adults.

Forty eager volunteers, aged 55 to 75, have been put through their paces in an extensive walking study being conducted by USC exercise physiologist Dr Chris Askew, Science Honours student Freya Schroder and visiting research scholar Tobias Vogt of the German Sport University.

The team is assessing the effects of various intensities of exercise on people’s cardiac and brainwave activity, and also how the exercise affects people’s moods.

Dr Askew said the research would help determine what intensity of exercise was required to encourage people to stick with an exercise rehabilitation program after injury or chronic disease.

This, in turn, could lead to the delivery of rehabilitation programs that were more effective and enjoyable, he said.

“If we can better understand the psychological and physiological responses to exercise, then we are better able to utilise exercises that people will adhere to,” he said.

“That age, 55-75, is important because people in this age group are most likely to require an exercise program to treat a chronic disease.”

Dr Askew said the volunteers will have visited USC’s Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise (CHASE) research laboratory on four occasions during the course of the research.

Each participant walked various distances while wearing pedometers (step counters), and their heart and brain activity was monitored using an ECG (electrocardiogram) and an EEG (electroencephalogram).

Multiculturalism expert to advise State Minister

University of the Sunshine Coast academic Narayan Gopalkrishnan has been appointed to an advisory committee for State Minister for Communities and Multiculturalism Lindy Nelson-Carr.

Mr Gopalkrishnan accepted the Minister’s invitation late last year to be part of the Multicultural Community Ministerial Advisory Committee.

This committee will meet four times a year to offer advice and feedback on a variety of matters.

Ms Nelson-Carr said the committee would help the government foster the development of a harmonious community in which cultural diversity is valued and respected.

Among the issues on the committee’s agenda include improving government services for Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, boosting community relations and addressing racism.

Mr Gopalkrishnan said he was delighted to accept the appointment.

“Being a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee is both an honour and a responsibility,” he said.

“I have always believed that Australia is a stronger and more cohesive nation because of the policies and processes of multiculturalism.

“I hope to provide input into Queensland policy at the highest level to ensure that we continue to build on our strengths of diversity.”

Fruiterer wins national short story contest

Caloundra fruiterer and University of the Sunshine Coast student David Zemp has won a national writing competition with his first short story.

David, 27, received A$1,000 in prizemoney in January after his story about a Mediterranean pirate was judged the best of 300 entries from across Australia in a contest run by Maygog Publishing with support from the Co-op Bookshop Ltd.

The story, “Captive”, features in the Maygog Anthology of Short Stories Volume II available at Co-op Bookshop outlets.

David initially wrote “Captive” as an assignment for his first subject in a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) degree at USC last year. It earned him a High Distinction.

The story is based on an historical incident in which a Greek pirate held an ambitious Roman Senator for ransom more than 2,000 years ago.

There is a twist in the tale that David developed thanks to feedback and encouragement from his USC lecturers, authors Luke Keioskie and Maria Arena.

“USC has a really good course in creative writing because they teach you how to use your own ideas and how to flesh-out the story,” he said. “They tell you how to make it better with constructive analysis and encouragement.”

David’s success has prompted him to change from part-time to full-time study this year and he is keen to become a writer, an historian or a teacher … or all of the above.

Co-op Bookshop CEO Simon Milne travelled from Sydney to present David with his prize at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Thursday 17 January.

Phoebe advances her career opportunities

While most students were unwinding over summer, USC business student Phoebe Brown was eagerly laying the groundwork for an exciting employment opportunity at the end of 2008.

Phoebe, 20, took part in a summer vacation work placement program at the Brisbane office of the world’s largest professional services company Deloitte.

She was one of only 25 Queensland business students — selected from 500 applicants — who worked with Deloitte staff in their day-to-day business consulting and advisory service work.

With one year to go in her double degree in Business Marketing and Public Relations, Phoebe said the placement was a terrific opportunity for her to impress Deloitte and possibly secure employment with the company.

“This is a chance for Deloitte to see if I’m the right person for their organisation and for me to determine whether I want to work for them when I finish my degree,” she said.

Phoebe said she was thrilled to have gained selection ahead of hundreds of other students from larger universities in Brisbane and she praised USC’s Employability Program for the part it played in her success.

“I can’t emphasise enough how much the Employability Program helped me in gaining this position,” she said.

“If I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t have even known that these opportunities were available. Because of the Employability Program, I went into the interview prepared and confident.”

Phoebe also boosted her chances of success by being involved in USC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, attending business networking events and taking part in fundraising activities for charities.

New English program likely to be popular

The University of the Sunshine Coast has this year introduced a new postgraduate program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Program coordinator Simone Smala said the Graduate Certificate in Professional Learning (TESOL) was open to anyone with an undergraduate (or equivalent) degree.

“So it is not just for teachers but for anyone who wishes to become an English as a Second Language professional in Australia or overseas, particularly in Asia,” she said.

“The program is likely to attract mature-age students who would like to work in Asia for a while.”

Contact Kathryn Mash, tel: +61 7 5459 4699, email: for more details about the new program.

Compelling documentary earns Kylie overseas trip

A University of the Sunshine Coast journalism student travelled to Cambodia last month after winning an international documentary-making competition.

Kylie Stephenson, 26, won an exciting career opportunity to produce a documentary on the eye surgery work of the Fred Hollows Foundation in Cambodia, along with a six-day tour of the country with Intrepid Travel.

The competition had the theme “It opened my eyes” and was sponsored by travel insurance company World Nomads and travel guide publishers Lonely Planet.

Kylie will now be mentored by ABC Radio National journalist Tim Latham in producing the 10-15 minute audio report which will be streamed on the websites of World Nomads, Lonely Planet, the Fred Hollows Foundation and ABC Online.

Kylie’s winning entry was a compelling three-minute podcast she produced last year using skills she developed while studying a Master of Communication degree at USC.

She had interviewed Caloundra real estate agent Robert Webber who had seen first-hand the plight of Ugandan children living in constant fear of being kidnapped and used as child soldiers or sex slaves.

“What Robert said opened my eyes to how, in Australia, we are so lucky that we have choices and opportunities that we take for granted,” she said.

Kylie works as a medical and veterinary scientist with QML Laboratories and was excited about interviewing ophthalmologists at the Fred Hollows Foundation camp as well as local villagers.

“The Cambodian people are among the friendliest people in the world,” she said. “They don’t know you from a bar of soap but they will give you a hug. It’s amazing … they have such a dark past but they live for the present.”

USC’s Head of School of Communication Dr Stephen Lamble congratulated Kylie on her competition victory, describing her as an outstanding student.

Wild start to working life for USC graduate

By Katrina Scott

University of the Sunshine Coast Communications graduate Sarah McAtamney never expected such a “wild” start to her career.

Sarah, 22, gained work as a communications assistant at Australia Zoo shortly after graduating from USC last year and has enjoyed being part of the zoo’s energetic marketing team.

She said her job at the Coast tourism mecca—made famous by Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin—provided plenty of excitement in liaising with the media, writing media releases and developing story ideas about the zoo.

But for Sarah, being able to see the zoo’s animals on a daily basis makes her working week all that more special.

“I get to walk past crocodiles on my way to the office and I see tigers and elephants in my workplace,” she said.

“My job is fun, diverse, creative and one that requires good writing skills.

“My favourite part is working with the team from the television show Totally Wild. I help come up with stories for them and spend the day with them while they film at the zoo.

“It’s my job to make sure they interview the right people and film where they should.”

Sarah said she was now using many of the skills she learnt at USC and from various work experience opportunities she had while at university.

“I did work experience at WIN, an internship at Seven Local News and then at the Sunshine Coast Daily,” she said. “And these were experiences which have helped me greatly in my current position.”

Building Excellence gains strong support

The University’s Building Excellence fundraising campaign is gaining plenty of momentum as it enters its second year.

Deputy Chancellor and Chair of the USC Foundation Board Tim Fairfax AM said the campaign achieved some standout results in 2007.

“I am most pleased about the high participation that was demonstrated last year,” Mr Fairfax said. In addition to the campaign raising more than A$1.8 million in gifts and pledges last year, a record number of donations were made to the University in 2007.

Among them, 44 USC graduates each pledged A$250 or greater, and numerous USC staff participated in the Building Excellence campaign by making donations through payroll deductions.

Recent key community gifts include:

  • Sir Clem Renouf’s commitment to support scholarships
  • a A$500,000 pledge from an anonymous donor to support the new Health and Sport Centre
  • several gifts and sponsorships above the A$5,000 level

For more information about participating in the Building Excellence campaign, contact Andrew Pentland at the University Foundation, tel: +61 7 5459 4418, email:

Psychology donation

Dr Rustum Sethna and his wife Helen recently made a A$5,000 donation to USC’s new psychology program.

Dr Sethna, originally from India, was educated in the United States as a prestigious Fullbright Scholar.

He worked for 25 years as a Professor of Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he met his wife Helen, a health care professional originally from New Zealand.

The two continued their successful international careers together and recently settled on the Sunshine Coast.

When the Sethnas learned of USC’s new psychology program, they immediately extended their financial support. It was their first gift to the University, and the first gift received by the psychology program.

Professor of Psychology Mary Katsikitis was delighted by the donation.

“The display of community support is very encouraging and helps in the practical needs of a start-up program,” she said.

Dr Sethna is passionate about the importance of “practical” psychology.

“What’s important is not just the book or clinical knowledge, but the common sense and street-smart part,” he said.

“We all need to understand human behaviour in everyday life.

Renouf family funds scholarships

Sir Clem Renouf is a Sunshine Coast local with an international reputation for humanitarianism.

The former president of Rotary International—one of the largest volunteer organisations in the world—recently turned his sights towards making a significant local impact.

As part of USC’s Building Excellence Campaign, Sir Clem has funded the Renouf Family Scholarships.

University Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said the annual scholarships would provide two new outstanding USC students with A$4,000 a year for three years towards their studies.

Mr Pentland said the Renouf Family Scholarships would be the largest privately-funded undergraduate scholarships on offer at USC.

“This is the calibre of scholarship that helps make a University competitive on a national level,” he said.

“It will help draw top academic students to our campus, and give opportunities to those who might not otherwise be able to afford to study.”

The Renouf Family Scholarships are among 181 scholarships and bursaries available at USC.

Dive instructor gears up for tertiary study

Sunrise Beach scuba diving instructor Robert Watts, 31, is taking the plunge into tertiary study this year thanks to a special program at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Robert, who finished high school after 6th form (Year 11) in the United Kingdom in 1993, successfully completed USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) program last year and is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (Sport and Exercise Science).

The qualified mechanic, sports coach and diving instructor said TPP gave him the confidence to know he would not be out of his depth at university.

Robert never sat the A-level tests required for university admission in the UK. However, he believes he now has what it takes to tackle his degree with the aim of becoming a physical education teacher.

USC launched the TPP program in 2006 to offer an alternative entry pathway to university. It is designed to help students develop the skills required to study, and sample what university life is like without having to pay HECS fees.

TPP students are required to do two core courses in Academic Skills and Computer Literacy, as well as two elective subjects.

Robert said the Academic Skills course was of most value to him as it outlined how to write assignments, use references, understand and answer exam questions and find information in the library.

“Now that I know how to approach assessment and how to use the library, it will save me a lot of time,” he said.

“I think I’ll appreciate it even more as I get into my degree.

“In terms of a pre-uni course, it was excellent. If I was to do a degree course without TPP, I would have been like a fish out of water.

“I enjoyed the whole experience of going to uni and meeting the teachers and the new friends that you make there.”

TPP organiser and Senior Lecturer in Science and Education Dr Richard White said TPP graduates had a high success rate in applying for tertiary study.

“We certainly go to a lot of effort to make sure students are being well looked after to maximise their opportunities to study at university,” he said.

For further details about the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) program call Student Administration on +61 7 5430 2890.

Christmas giving

University staff certainly showed plenty of Christmas spirit last December.

USC’s Student Wellbeing and Health Education Officer Allison Cuskelly said staff donated items to create four full hampers for disadvantaged families on the Coast.

Ms Cuskelly said Student Life and Learning also collected hamper items at a special Christmas Day brunch that was held at USC’s Indoor Sports Stadium for staff and students who were away from loved ones.

“Following this successful event, we took the donations to Global Care in Nambour and they were given to needy families,” she said.

Faculty of Science, Health and Education staff also ditched their usual “Secret Santa” process of giving each other small gifts in favour of donating money to the Sunshine Coast Children’s Therapy Centre.

USC wins soccer clash

The University of the Sunshine Coast was victorious in the inaugural USC-Chancellor State College Futsal Challenge in December.

In a hard-fought indoor soccer match, USC claimed a narrow 4-3 win in the University’s new air-conditioned Indoor Sports Stadium.

The stadium seating was full of USC staff and Chancellor College students and teachers who vocally supported their sides.

Coastline BMW backs Art Gallery’s exciting program for 2008

Coastline BMW has signed up as a major sponsor of the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery’s exhibition program for 2008.

Coastline BMW general manager Tristan Kurz is a USC business graduate, a USC Foundation Board member and an enthusiastic supporter of the Gallery.

“The University represents a key point on the Coast where advancement in both education and community opportunity is available to all ages and walks of life,” he said. “It is fantastic to be able to support this.”

As well as being a major sponsor, Mr Kurz said his company would directly sponsor three exhibitions at the Gallery this year.

They are the Western Desert Art from 3 April to 3 May, and two exhibitions of USC Design Students’ work opening in June and November.

“The diversity from one exhibition to another at the Gallery is amazing,” Mr Kurz said. “You can travel from 20th Century China to 21st Century Sippy Downs.

“The student exhibitions are, to me, the most exciting as you never know what to expect.

“Of course the students have basic parameters set for what their work is to communicate, but there never seems to be two interpretations the same.”

USC Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich thanked Coastline BMW for its generous support.

Gallery exhibitions

Grassland: paintings by Yvonne Mills-Stanley
18 February–29 March

Yvonne Mills-Stanley is a well-known Queensland artist who has been painting since the mid-1960s. In the past few years, her work has focused on the spirituality of grass inspired by the drought-ravaged but former grassland areas of western Queensland. Mills-Stanley explores the changes brought on by human intervention and climate change, painting the sculptural effects of wind in grass.

Western Desert Art
3 April–3 May

Comprised of paintings by mostly Pintupi and Warlpiri artists from the Kintore and Kirrakurra regions of Central Australia, the University of the Sunshine Coast‘s collection of large-scale western desert art has come about through generous donations from various individuals.

A Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant was used to create interpretive material and a schools program to accompany the collection.

8 May–7 June

This touring exhibition comprises a selection of Australia’s best designer mementos from the past eight years of the Memento Australia Awards program. The exhibition showcases award-winning product designs from some of Australia’s most talented artists, design and crafts practitioners.

The Memento Australia Awards reward and promote designers who create innovative and authentic mementos for the tourism and gift retail markets.

Gallery hours

Entry to the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery is free and the public is welcome. Gallery hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. The Gallery is closed Sundays and public holidays.

The University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery 2008 Exhibition Program is proudly supported by major sponsor Coastline BMW.