Community - 2008, Edition 2 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Community - 2008, Edition 2

Community: Edition 2 2008

Vice-Chancellor's comment

In recent times, the University has been increasing its range of specialised degree programs and increasing its success in securing major research grants.

These achievements are driven by highly-qualified staff who are committed to students and the advancement of this growing region of the Sunshine Coast.

For the increasing numbers of students who choose USC and are usually finalising their choice of university around this time of year, this must be the strongest kind of assurance we can provide that the choice of USC is a powerful one.

Much of my work at the University involves our overseas connections, and I have to say that wherever I have travelled, I have only seen consistently improving opportunities for graduate employment in a vast range of fields everywhere.The search for talented graduates has never been more intense and rewarding.

Every country is hungry for graduates, and every country is putting in place measures to increase the supply in the face of world shortages in the professions.Despite the cost of a degree program, and despite the temptation of getting into an occupation without a tertiary qualification, the long-term gains will be greatest for the graduates of tomorrow.

The supportive data is unequivocal. For those who choose USC, there is the opportunity to experience a partner overseas university through the Global Opportunities (GO) Program and then return.

The Coast itself is still lagging in the “knowledge economy” stakes, and there is an urgent need for our graduates to contribute to this region.

I hope that in this crucial decision-making period, one that has such a profound long-term impact on careers and financial security across a lifetime, that students will carefully weigh the enormous advantages offered by USC, its programs and its staff.

There has never been a more exciting time to be a graduate.

Professor Paul Thomas AM

Campaign shows that it all starts right here at USC

Some high-achieving University of the Sunshine Coast graduates are set to feature in a new advertising campaign that promotes USC as the place to launch an exciting career.

This campaign has the theme “It all starts right here”, and shows that graduates can go anywhere if they start with a USC degree.

Among the students to be featured are Bachelor of Science graduates Emily Orchard and Dr Elke Hacker.

Emily is now a senior forensic technician at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne, while Elke is a medical research officer at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane.

Other USC graduates on display will include Ten News journalist Jonathan Williams and Southern Regional Water Pipeline Alliance’s environmental rehabilitation team leader Daniel Morgan. The graduates’ stories will feature in television and radio commercials, in cinema, internet and newspaper advertising, on the USC website and on YouTube channel

University co-hosts World Environment Day festival

The University of the Sunshine Coast last month co-hosted and provided the venue for the biggest World Environment Day festival the region has ever seen.

An estimated 3,500 people visited the USC campus on 21 June for the festival that featured more than 100 displays of innovative green technologies and businesses, forums, workshops, live music, food and drink stalls and activities for children.

The free community event was organised by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, SEQ Catchments and USC and had the theme “Small footprints, big steps — our region’s future”.

And the spotlight was clearly on the future when Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot led a panel of environmental, property and development experts in a public forum on how the Coast can become the most sustainable region in the country.

USC environmental scientist Dr Neil Tindale said it was fitting that USC had co-hosted the event as the University had worked hard to engage the region in considering its future and in developing sustainable alternatives.

He said it was likely the University would continue to be the venue for this annual event.

“The feedback I received from the public and the participants was that it was a great event and it was fantastic that the University was involved,” he said.

Centre brings healthy boost to region 

Construction of the University’s impressive $13.8 million Health and Sport Centre, alongside the Indoor Sports Stadium, represents a bright new future for USC and the Sunshine Coast.

The centre — built over the past nine months by the Evans Harch Group — features world-class facilities for teaching and research.USC Head of School of Health and Sport Sciences Professor John Lowe said the centre included state-of-the-art testing and research laboratories, a gymnasium and purpose-built teaching spaces for a range of degrees.

These include biomedical science, paramedic science, occupational therapy, nursing science, sport science, nutrition and dietetics, psychology and public health.

Professor Lowe said the Health and Sport Centre would provide a huge boost for educating and training the region’s future health workers and in improving community health.

“Sunshine Coast residents will benefit from being able to directly participate in the training of students through various clinics on campus and, of course, by our graduates entering the workforce,” he said.

“And the community also will reap the benefits of research that will be directly applied to them.”

Construction of the new building has been funded by government and private funds, including donations to USC’s Building Excellence Campaign.

This campaign recently received a $500,000 donation from the directors of the Evans Harch Group.A key feature of the Health and Sport Centre is a public psychology clinic that will offer treatment and assessment for a wide range of mental health problems and disorders experienced by adults, adolescents and children.

USC Professor of Psychology Mary Katsikitis said the clinic would be staffed by clinical psychologists who will be supervising psychology interns in their fifth or sixth years of study. Appointment times will be Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. For appointments, contact the clinic tel: +61 7 5459 4514.

Come along to Open Day

The University of the Sunshine Coast will hold its annual Open Day from 10am to 3pm on Sunday 17 August.

This event is an ideal opportunity to find out about the programs and courses offered in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Business, and Science, Health and Education.

Open Day visitors can attend seminars on job prospects in particular fields, as well as presentations about how to apply to study, financial support options and the University’s support services for students. A Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) representative will attend the event. There also will be tours of campus facilities and the chance to chat with USC staff and students. This is an event not to be missed by anyone considering tertiary study. For more details contact Tegan Piggford tel: +61 7 5459 4795.

Marjorie receives Chancellor's medal

The bright rainbow-coloured tie that Marjorie Blowers wore to the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2008 Graduation Ceremony in May provided a small insight into the joy she brings to others.

The Bachelor of Human Services graduate received the University’s highest award—the Chancellor’s Medal—for achieving a consistently high standard in her academic work and for her tireless contributions to the welfare of others at USC and in the community. Marjorie, 37, who also received a Dean’s Commendation, said she was driven by a commitment to social justice and service to the community.

“I’m very social justice and equity minded,” she said. “Building awareness of minority groups on campus as well as off campus is important to me in creating an understanding of diversity.”

Marjorie’s community involvement has included gardening with the elderly, the terminally ill and those with disabilities, using skills from her previous 12-year career as a horticulturalist.

It also has featured working with community groups that advocate for the homeless and against domestic violence.At USC, she has been a student mentor, a Student Liaison Committee member and the Student Guild’s welfare director.In the latter role, Marjorie organised awareness events and health strategies for students and helped provide social support networks for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

Marjorie also voluntarily provided services for students with disabilities, and believes her greatest achievement at USC has been the establishment of a respite room for those who suffer chronic pain.

Financial chief completes PhD through USC

Among the many graduates attending this year’s Graduation Ceremony at the University of the Sunshine Coast was a man who presides over the financial operations of a company that has an annual turnover of $30 billion.

Dr PM Kam is the chief financial officer of Jardines in Hong Kong, a company that has 50,000 employees and is one of the largest employers in Hong Kong.

Dr Kam also sits on advisory boards for a number of universities and international boards in Hong Kong.

He graduated from USC in April as a Doctor of Philosophy after studying offshore under the supervision of Dr Chris Lambert. His thesis was on corporate governance and earnings management in Hong Kong, and his findings will have implications for policymakers in Hong Kong and for the emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Kam said he chose to study in Australia because Australian qualifications were recognised world-wide for their excellence. He said USC offered him a personalised learning experience in which he could study at his own pace.

He said he particularly appreciated being able to attend designated courses, test data and discuss matters with his supervisor outside of business hours.

Dr Kam said he and his wife, Lana, enjoyed attending the USC Graduation Ceremony, meeting the Dean of Business Professor Evan Douglas, touring the University campus and having their photograph taken in front of kangaroos.

Researcher calls for mindshift

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s top researcher for 2008 has called for a fundamental change in the way Australians, in general, think about the environment.Associate Professor Julie Matthews said sustainability must now be considered first — rather than last or not at all — in every human endeavour.

Dr Matthews, who received the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding University Researcher at USC’s Graduation Ceremony in April, said universities have a key role to play in promoting this mindshift.

She said universities should be leading society forward towards sustainable living, both through the education programs they provide and by their own examples of sustainability.“I’d like to see ‘eco-versities’, where everything is geared towards a future sustainable environment and where we make optimum use of the environment,” she said.

Dr Matthews is the Director of Research for USC’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is an education sociologist, specialising in areas like refugee and minority education, visual research and education, and sustainable education.

In presenting Dr Matthews with her medal, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM praised her ability to challenge the status quo and provide evidence-based alternatives to improve the lives of all Australians.

Professor Thomas also presented the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding University Teacher for 2008 to physiology and anatomy lecturer Dr Ann Parkinson.

He said Dr Parkinson engaged her students in meaningful and active learning activities and was inspirational for students and fellow staff. “Dr Parkinson’s restless energy for improving students’ learning opportunities has led her to develop innovative curricula and pedagogy,” he said.

“Her students recognise her significant contribution to their learning, praising her friendly and personable nature combined with her ability to deliver topics with clarity and present them in an interesting and innovative way.”

Honorary Doctorate for former Chancellor

Kilcoy pastoralist Ian Kennedy AO became an Honorary Doctor of the University of the Sunshine Coast at the 2008 Graduation Ceremony.

The award was presented to Mr Kennedy in honour of his lifetime of achievement as a business leader on the Sunshine Coast and for serving as USC’s Chancellor from 1997 to 2007.

Mr Kennedy is the owner of the Kilcoy Pastoral Company and his career has included working as Chairman of the Australian Meat Exporters’ Federal Council.

The 2008 Graduation Ceremony also saw award-winning agricultural businesswoman Martha Shepherd of Cooroy and former USC academics, Dr Paul Corcoran and Associate Professor Karen Brooks, become Senior Fellows of the University.

Campus Alive project kicks off

An exciting project to enliven the University of the Sunshine Coast campus kicked off in May when hundreds of students enjoyed a fun “Soccer Olympics” tournament at the USC Sports Stadium.

The tournament was organised by business students Lisa Kulpa, Pal Vangstein and Alicia Dent as a Project and Event Management assignment, and featured free food, drinks and entertainment.

The trio had been assigned to work for USC’s Faculty of Business Learning and Teaching Coordinator Dr Lesley Willcoxson and Student Initiatives Officer Julie Flanagan in organising the event as the first activity in a new Campus Alive project.

Lisa Kulpa said she, Pal and Alicia arranged for sponsors to provide free drinks, music by two DJs, and a free sausage sizzle.

“From what people told me, they had a lot of fun,” Lisa said. “Some people came up to me and asked if there was going to be another event like this next semester.”

Dr Willcoxson and Ms Flanagan praised the students for organising such a successful event, and especially for their initiative in gaining sponsorship.

“By all accounts, it was a great success in terms of building community on the campus,” Dr Willcoxson said.

She said several groups of Project and Event Management students had planned further Campus Alive events aimed at contributing to a more vibrant atmosphere at USC.

Ms Flanagan said a second “Soccer Olympics” event could be held later this year.

Other Campus Alive events planned for Semester 2 are monthly markets, a mature-age student get-together, and a Battle of the Bands competition involving bands from each of the three faculties.

Mayor welcomes pledge of support

The mayor of the recently-elected Sunshine Coast Regional Council praised USC’s commitment to sustainability when he made a special address at the University’s 2008 Graduation Ceremony.

Before a crowd of 2,200 people, Mayor Bob Abbot welcomed a pledge by Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM to support his leadership on sustainable development of the region.

Mr Abbot also foreshadowed a strong link between the new council and USC.

“I’m looking forward to a relationship between our council and this university to do a multitude of things on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“This is the first Sunshine Coast Council. We will make history. We will make a difference. We will significantly change the way business is done on the Sunshine Coast to create a bright, new future.

“We will need the University of the Sunshine Coast as a partner in that, and I appreciate most heartedly the offer by the Vice-Chancellor to assist in developing that change.”

Mr Abbot called on the graduates to make a difference in their chosen fields.

“I stand here tonight thinking that the amount of knowledge that has been imparted into the students through this organisation every year will help us (the council) as well to create that history,” he said.

Two USC graduates on regional council

The University of the Sunshine Coast hosted the historic first public meeting of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on Thursday 3 April.

Hundreds of people attended the event in USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium at which Mayor Abbot and the 12 councillors—including two USC graduates—took their oaths of office.

The University was chosen as neutral territory for the inaugural meeting of the merged local authorities of Noosa, Maroochy and Caloundra.

Many of the new councillors spoke about the importance of their roles in establishing the new regional council. Among them were two USC graduates—Keryn Jones in Division 3 and Chris Thompson in Division 4.

Councillor Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science in 2005, while Councillor Thompson was one of the University’s inaugural graduates in 1999 after completing a Bachelor of Business (Information Systems).

Water planning report has national impact

USC Regional and Urban Planning lecturer Claudia Baldwin has co-authored a comprehensive report into Australia’s water planning practices which already has sent more than a few ripples across the country.

Ms Baldwin and two researchers from New South Wales, Mark Hamstead and Vanessa O’Keefe, produced the report after winning a National Water Commission (NWC) competitive tender last year.

After eight months of compiling case studies and interviewing water planners and users across all States, the trio produced a 528-page report entitled “Water Planning Processes and Lessons Learned This was published as the NWC’s “Waterlines Series—Occasional paper No 6” in April.

Ms Baldwin said the report, which highlights some of the best water management practices across Australia, had already prompted the NWC to take action.

“The National Water Commission, as a result of our report, is funding a project that will involve applying some of the good practices of three particular new water planning processes around the country,” she said.

“The NWC also is allocating millions of dollars for funding new postgraduate courses in water planning, establishing best-practice guidelines for water planning, doing training with local water planners and establishing an evaluation system for continuing improvement.

“This is going to have a huge impact on water planning in Australia.”

Ms Baldwin said she and her co-authors had sought to determine how far Australia had progressed since water planning first started more than a decade ago.

Sport scientist attends historic 2020 Summit

University of the Sunshine Coast sport and exercise scientist Associate Professor Brendan Burkett enjoyed the experience of attending the Federal Government’s 2020 Summit in Canberra in April.

Dr Burkett, the Director of USC’s Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise, was among 1,000 leading Australians invited by the government to help develop long-term options for the nation’s future across 10 major themes.

He was one of 100 summit participants who focused on a long-term national health strategy that included preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population.

Dr Burkett, whose work at USC ranges from fall prevention for elderly people to fine-tuning the performances of elite athletes, described the summit as “a very exciting experience”.

“The fact that we were all working together to help improve this great country was really worthwhile,” he said.

“It was good to catch up with some old colleagues and friends and, more importantly, to develop some new relationships in both the professional and personal area. Often, it is these connections that can provide a new idea to answering a challenging question.”

Two USC adjunct academics — Professor Ian Lowe and John Mendoza — also attended the 2020 Summit. Professor Lowe is an expert in environmental issues, while Mr Mendoza specialises in mental health and drug use issues.

USC research features on ABC’s Catalyst

Research by a University of the Sunshine Coast marine scientist into the effects of four-wheel-drive vehicles on beach ecosystems featured on ABC Television’s highly-regarded science program, Catalyst, in May.

Catalyst reporter Ruben Meerman interviewed Associate Professor Thomas Schlacher on Fraser Island and the Noosa North Shore about the impact that human activities are having on the tiny creatures that make their homes in sand.

Dr Schlacher explained that vehicular traffic along beaches made it difficult for macrobenthic invertebrates, like sea-snails, shrimp and other creatures, to survive in some areas.

He said these animals played a crucial role in the food chain and their loss could have significant impacts on beach ecosystems. The Catalyst interview with Dr Schlacher is on the Catalyst website.

Olympian passes torch to USC on Women’s Day

By Claire Bruynius

Former Olympic kayaker Gayle Mayes has donated her 1992 Barcelona Olympic tracksuit and 2000 Sydney Olympic Relay torch to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The USC tourism lecturer made the generous donations during the University’s celebration of International Women’s Day in March in appreciation of the University’s help in her academic career.

Ms Mayes gave an inspirational speech about her overlapping and sometimes conflicting athletic and academic journeys, before presenting her Olympic memorabilia to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill.Siena Catholic College’s manual arts teacher Peta Bourke provided the timber and perspex case to house the Olympic relay torch.

The framed tracksuit and mounted torch are likely to go on display in the University’s new five-storey Health and Sport Centre.

Ms Mayes, who last year received a $10,000 Federal Government grant for her outstanding contribution to student learning, was one of three high-achieving USC staff members who spoke at the International Women’s Day event.

USC’s Director of Information Services Sandra Jeffries and Professor of Psychology Mary Katsikitis both delivered amusing and dynamic speeches, encouraging women to make the most of life’s opportunities.

The celebration also included a free sausage sizzle and entertainment by USC student singer/guitarist Layla Klinkert.

Student scores league scholarship

By Claire Bruynius

Unlike most rugby league fans, University of the Sunshine Coast student Peter Gough dreams of making his State of Origin debut as the man in the middle holding the whistle.

That’s because Peter, 20, stands a pretty good chance of one day refereeing the rugged interstate clash after recently accepting a prestigious National Officiating Scholarship offered by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

Peter, who is in his final year of a Bachelor of Science (Sport and Exercise Science) degree at USC, was one of only 16 people from across Australia selected from 12 different sporting codes.

His is the only ASC scholarship for rugby league. It includes three trips to Sydney to train with and observe the National Rugby League’s top referees, attend NRL matches and even join his mentors in the video referee’s box.

Peter, who has officiated at Sunshine Coast/Gympie Rugby League matches for the past four years, started refereeing when he was a 13-year-old in Sydney.

He plans to return to Blues’ territory when he finishes his degree, but his enjoyable experiences at the University of the Sunshine Coast are likely to give him a much greater appreciation of the Maroons.“I feel so lucky to have studied at USC,” he said.

“It is a great lifestyle and I feel like I have learnt things here that I wouldn’t have learnt if I had studied elsewhere.

“The classes are so much smaller at USC than other universities, especially the ones in Sydney.

It really let me get to know my tutors and lecturers and I really don’t think I would have been so inspired or motivated anywhere else.”

University introduces associate degrees

The University of the Sunshine Coast will this year offer a new pathway to tertiary study by introducing associate degrees in Arts, Business and Science.

These two-year programs provide for guaranteed entry into a full degree program on completion — with full credit for completed subjects — and eligibility to apply for one of 20 Commonwealth Government-funded scholarships.

USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said students could begin studying associate degrees in July this year and gain a “stepping stone” to further academic achievement.

Applications for the scholarships, which will be assessed in the same way as equity scholarships, will close on 25 July 2008.

Student wins top microbiology award

Ground-breaking research into the genetic make-up of bacteria responsible for causing septicaemia has earned University of the Sunshine Coast microbiology student Nubia Ramos a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Nubia, 23, rubbed shoulders with some of the nation’s top scientists in early July after being invited to present a research paper at the annual Australian Society for Microbiology Conference in Melbourne.

The PhD student earned this honour by recently winning the prestigious Becton Dickinson (BD) Award in Brisbane ahead of other top postgraduate microbiology students from across Queensland.Nubia said her work could one day lead to a gene-targeted approach to the treatment of patients with septicaemia, a deadly disease caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream.

“My research looked at the virulence genes carried by translocating Escherichia coli,” she said. “In other words, bacteria that can move from the gut or urinary tract into the bloodstream of patients in stressed states — such as after surgery — to cause septicaemia.”

Nubia’s intensive laboratory work involved screening for 58 genes and determining which of those genes might be involved in E. coli’s ability to move into the bloodstream.“I found that E. coli originating from the urinary tract had different genes to E. coli from the gut.

However both groups are able to translocate,” she said. “It seems that although some of the genes I tested for have roles in these abilities, there may be other genes not yet identified that enable translocation.

During my PhD studies, this is what I will be continuing to work on.”Nubia, who completed her undergraduate studies at USC, also was one of three students from the University to receive $2,500 Rotary Club scholarships recently.

New business is high note for singer

Talented Coast vocalist Felicia Kyle-Little has launched her own design and photography business at Coolum, thanks to an innovative course she undertook as a University of the Sunshine Coast student.

Felicia, 24, who regularly performs at Coast clubs and pubs as part of a duo called Kadence, is half-way through a combined Business and Arts degree in Design and Marketing at USC.

Late last year, she attended a special Enterprisers course which provided her with the entrepreneurial skills and confidence to start her own business, called Vivo, at the Coolum Copy and Print Centre’s office on The Esplanade.

Felicia’s younger brother, Richmond, provides the photographic skills for the business that has a strong leaning towards their three favourite passions of music, sport and fashion.

Together, Felicia and Richmond are producing design and photographic work for businesses as well as Coast bands, sporting organisations and fashion designers.

In her first year at university last year, Felicia was one of 10 USC students chosen to take part in a four-day residential Enterprisers course run by USC’s Innovation Centre in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

“Enterprisers pretty much changed everything for me,” Felicia said. “It’s the biggest reason why I started this business.

“I always thought about starting my own business, but the Enterprisers course really encouraged me to get it going and boosted my self-belief and self-confidence.”

Donors recognised by prominent display

The University of the Sunshine Coast has paid tribute to its most generous supporters by establishing a donor recognition wall exhibit at the entrance of its new Chancellery building.More than 100 names of individuals, businesses and organisations are featured in this prominent display, including those who have contributed to the University’s current Building Excellence Campaign.

This campaign, which began in 2006 and will finish in December this year, has already raised almost $4 million of its $5 million target to support construction of USC’s new Health and Sport Centre, student scholarships and campus enhancements.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM unveiled the donor recognition wall exhibit on Thursday 8 May before a crowd of about 100 people.

Professor Thomas praised the donors for their generosity, describing their support as an investment in people and ideas that would ensure the University would continue to thrive.

USC Foundation Board chairman Tim Fairfax AM said the Building Excellence Campaign had achieved its $1 million fundraising target for scholarships and bursaries and was quickly approaching its goal of $500,000 for campus enhancements.

“Our main focus now is the remaining funding of the new Health and Sport Centre,” he said.

“This centre will help train the Sunshine Coast’s health professionals and build sustainable jobs and skills for the region. It’s a very important initiative.”

For more information about the Building Excellence Campaign, contact Andrew Pentland at the University Foundation Tel:+61 7 5459 4418.

Classmates establish memorial scholarship

A memorial scholarship has been established to honour USC graduate and former staff member Anita Pitcher who died in February this year after a battle with melanoma.

Anita graduated in 2007 with a distinguished academic record for her Bachelor of Business (Marketing). She also won several awards.

Her friends, like Angie Roberts, remember her with great affection.

“Our friend and study partner Anita was a determined, high-achieving, single mother who inspired and challenged others to strive for their best,” Angie said.

“We want her memory and spirit to live on.”

To honour her memory, Angie and a group of USC alumni have established the Anita Pitcher Memorial Prize for Marketing Research. They are seeking additional contributions for the $10,000 required to award the prize in perpetuity.

For more information or to make a donation, contact USC Alumni Relations Officer Anita Edmonds Tel: +61 7 5459 4564;

New students gain $12,000 scholarships

Six first-year students at the University of the Sunshine Coast have each received a $12,000 academic excellence scholarship.

The new scholarships for high-achieving students were established this year through the USC Foundation’s Building Excellence Campaign, following generous donations to the University by Sir Clem Renouf and Tim Fairfax AM as well as numerous gifts from the community.

Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said students who had achieved OP scores of between 1 and 6 (or equivalent) were eligible for the scholarships.

The presentations were made at a special gathering at the University in April at which the recipients made some heart-felt speeches in appreciation of the generosity shown to them.

The Renouf Family Scholarships are in memory of Sir Clem Renouf’s parents in honour of their efforts in providing him with the best education possible under challenging circumstances.

The inaugural recipients were Karina Hamilton of Urangan State High School and Tamika Magometovs of Maroochydore State High School. The Tim Fairfax Regional Scholarships are aimed at supporting students who have relocated from regional or remote areas.

This year’s recipients were Fiona Finnegan of Gin Gin State High School and Sarah McIntosh of Chinchilla State High School. The USC Chancellor’s Scholarships — awarded to recognise, reward and encourage academic excellence — went to Nikita Tully of Suncoast Christian College and Rebecca Rinehart of St Patrick’s College in Gympie.

Business awards lead to employment

Outstanding accounting graduate Kirsty Redgen, 20, collected four industry awards at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Faculty of Business Awards and Prizes Ceremony in April.

Kirsty received the CPA Australia Prize for the Best Third Year Graduating Accounting Student, the KPMG Prize for the Best Student in Auditing and Professional Practice, the Rockcote Enterprises Prize for the Best Student in Management Accounting, and the Taxation Institute of Australia Prize for the Outstanding Student in Contemporary Accounting Issues.

The awards ceremony is eagerly anticipated by USC business students as well as industry award donors who gain a unique opportunity to meet and recruit some of the best business students in the region.

Kirsty, who now works as an accountant for Focus Professional Group at Cotton Tree, said the annual awards event certainly paid dividends for her in terms of employment.

She said she met Focus director Allen Hertel when she won her first Faculty of Business award in 2006. A year later, with two more awards under her belt, Mr Hertel hired her and she completed her Bachelor of Business degree part-time.

Twenty-eight local, state and national businesses and organisations presented 40 awards to USC students this year and 10 scholarships and bursaries to promising Year 12 students. The awards ranged in value from $250 to $1500 and totalled $18,275.

University receives its first bequest

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s first bequest was recently realised in the will of late Sunshine Coast resident Marjorie Harrold. The $10,000 gift will support Environmental Science at the University.

Mrs Harrold is the late wife of Dr Arthur Harrold, who received an Honorary Doctorate from USC in 1999. She was passionate about giving back to her community and was generous to a number of organisations in her will.

USC Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said community gifts and bequests were a major source of support for older universities.

“Mrs Harrold chartered new territory at USC through her bequest, and she left a meaningful legacy for USC students,” he said.

“We are grateful for her thoughtfulness and generosity.”

Inquiries about leaving a bequest to USC can be made in strict confidentiality to Andrew Pentland Tel: +61 7 5459 4418.

Australian String Quartet returns to USC

The internationally-acclaimed Australian String Quartet will perform at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday 5 August.

This special Sunshine Coast performance is part of the quartet’s 2008 Australian Concert Series and will feature selections from Haydn, Miriam Hyde and Beethoven.

The annual concert, now in its seventh year at USC, is a prestigious calendar event for music lovers.

Tickets are A$30 and include the concert and refreshments. They can be purchased through the University Foundation office. Tel: +61 7 5430 1104.

Proceeds from the concert will go towards USC’s Health and Sport Centre. For more information about the musicians visit

Gallery exhibitions

Dryland: Pamela Kouwenhoven
17 July–17 August

This exhibition features multi-layered and richly-textured collages constructed from metals and malthoid (the bitumen-coated material found on the bottom of old rainwater tanks) which provide a wry look at the Australian landscape.

Pamela Kouwenhoven is an award-winning artist who often trawls through rubbish tips and discarded industrial material in the name of art to create her artworks.
In this series, her work focuses on restricted water supply and how we are literally “scraping the bottom of the tank”.

The artist will present a floor talk on Friday 18 July at 10.30am. Bookings are essential—contact the Gallery Tel: +61 7 5459 4645;

Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design—Sunshine Coast Regional Exhibition
21 August–6 September

The Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design recognise and promote excellence in senior visual arts education throughout Queensland secondary schools.

Previously known as the Education Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Art, this program has been conducted annually since 1990.

It has helped raise community awareness about the degree of sophistication in concepts, diversity of technical competence, and the standard of arts education in high schools.

A Second Home by Lisa Williams  |  Soul Connect by Heidi O’Sullivan
11 September–11 October

TWO Sunshine Coast photographers, Lisa Williams and Heidi O’Sullivan, will present a varied exhibition of images journaling the way we now live.

Williams’ “A Second Home” is a black and white photographic project exploring the lives of the East Timorese community in Brisbane.

O’Sullivan’s “Soul Connect” is an exposition of joy and fulfilment in the everyday as she presents colour portraits of her subjects pursuing happiness.

The artists will be available for a floor talk at the USC Gallery on Saturday 13 September at 10.30am.

Bookings are essential—contact the Gallery Tel: +61 7 5459 4645;

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