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Community - 2009, Edition 3

Community: Edition 3 2009

Achievements deserve praise

In recent months, there has been a succession of events at the University to acknowledge the achievements of both staff and students, and some are mentioned in this edition of Community. All of these events have, in various ways, highlighted the depth of the talent being fostered by the University.

They cover the spectrum from academic achievements, to graduates contributing to society, to achievements of personal development through participation with a multicultural soccer team comprising players from many countries.

In the case of staff, every University’s reputation ultimately rests on their calibre and performance.
For years, student evaluations of our academic staff have meant successive 5-star ratings in the Good Universities Guide.

Now we have even more definitive evidence through peer recognition in Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citations.

USC achieved the highest number of citations per head of staff than any other Australian university. Accolades are also being directed at our growing number of researchers. With respect to students, the most impressive evidence of quality is to be able to see how our graduates are having an impact.

Many of them speak so eloquently about their learning at USC and how they have applied that knowledge for the betterment of society, in their respective fields.

They are all, staff and students alike, to be congratulated on these high achievements, as they are testament to the growing maturity and complexity of USC and what is offered here.

Professor Paul Thomas AM
Vice-Chancellor and President

Climate change project wins Eureka Prize

USC academic Professor Tim Smith and his research partners in a major climate change adaptation project have won a prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prize.

The three-year project involved Professor Smith and representatives from the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, WWF and the CSIRO assessing the ability of Australia’s largest city to adapt to future climate conditions.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees presented the team with the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change at the annual awards event in Sydney on 18 August.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s premier science awards that reward excellence in scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science, and science journalism and communication.

Gold heritage medal

A book co-authored by USC’s Dr Joanne Scott has won a gold medal in the National Trust of Queensland awards. USC Associate Professor of History Dr Scott and Dr Ross Laurie of the University of Queensland spent four years researching and writing the 250-page book ‘Showtime: A History of the Brisbane Exhibition’, which was published in time for last year’s Ekka.

It was launched at the Museum of Brisbane in conjunction with a social history exhibition about the Ekka called ‘10 Days in August’. Dr Scott attended the awards ceremony at the Old Government House in Brisbane, and said it was a thrill to receive the Governor’s Heritage Award from the Governor of Queensland, Penelope Wensley AO.

USC boosts business

USC’s focus on boosting knowledge-based business in the Sunshine Coast region has gained recognition among its peers and industry. The University’s creation of the thriving Innovation Centre is one of 12 case studies across Australia selected for a national publication called ‘Partnerships @ Work’.

This publication was produced by the Business/Higher Education Round Table, a top-level, not-for-profit group that aims to strengthen ties between universities and industry. USC set up the Innovation Centre in 2002 to support the start-up and growth of knowledge-, economy- and technology-based businesses on the Sunshine Coast and to promote interaction between these businesses and the University. It has since supported more than 55 businesses, employing 400 people, and helped businesses secure more than $20million in investment.

Student kicks off career with Newcastle Knights

Public Relations student Michelle Smit, 20, is well on the way to achieving her ambition of “eventually becoming CEO of a National Rugby League club”.

Even before finishing her Bachelor of Public Relations at USC this year, Michelle had scored a job as Media and Publicity Coordinator for the Newcastle Knights.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for someone of my age, to not even be finished my degree and have the dream job secured-—it hasn’t sunk in,” she said.

“The Knights have a great culture within the club and supporters like no other within the league. I’m really looking forward to beginning work, right next to their home ground in Newcastle, on 18 January and to the start of another exciting season.”

Michelle, a former Mountain Creek State High School student, completed an internship with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles earlier this year.

“I sought the internship so I could be exposed to the high-profile and high-pressure industry to make sure it was right for me. It was perfect,” she said.

Michelle said USC’s efforts to help students engage with industry had provided her with vital hands-on experience which helped her gain work.

Discover your options at popular USC event

To find out all you need to know about studying at USC in 2010, come along to the University’s annual Options Evening on Monday 21 December 2009 between 4pm and 7pm.

This will be USC’s final information event before the 2010 academic year begins, and will provide details about admissions, applications, alternative pathways to university, fees and financial support and career prospects.

Visitors will be able to explore their study options, take part in campus tours and find out how they can study overseas as part of their USC degrees.

Register online for the Options Evening or telephone 07 5456 5000. Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) is still accepting applications to study at USC for Semester 1, 2010.

Contact USC’s Student Administration office on 07 5430 2890 for more details on how to apply through QTAC.

Awards for top academics and great opportunities at USC

The University of the Sunshine Coast this year attained an unprecedented six Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citations, three times as many as in previous years.

Each citation is worth $10,000 and a total of 206 were awarded by the Australian Government to individuals and teams across the nation.

They serve as national recognition of USC’s quality academics and its special programs that help enrich students’ experiences of university.

Dr Monte Wynder, Faculty of Business, for sustained enthusiasm in curricula development and delivery that models and generates creative problem-solving to prepare flexible and innovative accounting graduates.

USC Senior Lecturer in Accounting Dr Monte Wynder firmly believes that sustainability is good business.

“Management accounting plays a very important role in helping organisations continuously improve,” he said.

“The imperative for improvement, particularly in regard to social and environmental performance, is now critical.

“My goal has been to help USC accounting students develop the knowledge and skills to contribute to the massive changes required for us to have a sustainable future.”

Dr Wynder, who joined academia 20 years ago from the banking industry, said his ALTC citation validated his teaching efforts and would fund his attendance at future conferences.

Dr Ann Parkinson, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, for improving the learning outcomes for foundation students in biology and physiology through innovative pedagogies and resources.

Dr Ann Parkinson knows one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to science education.
That’s why the USC Physiology and Anatomy Lecturer caters to her students’ different learning styles, using resources that help them become independent learners.

“I’ve created innovative, imaginative pedagogies to engage students and improve learning outcomes,” said the coordinator of first-year Faculty of Science, Health and Education students.

“My active learning strategies include freehand drawings, role-play, games, modelling activities and audience response systems (hand-held devices that students use to lodge votes on topics during lectures).”

Dr Parkinson said the citation was an incentive to keep trying new teaching methods and encouraging colleagues to do the same through professional development leadership.

“My plans for the future include developing interactive learning activities such as games, tutorials and revision resources that can be accessed through Blackboard (USC’s interactive online website),” she said.

Dr Parkinson is currently researching mechanisms to enhance student retention in large first-year courses.

Anna Potter, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, for excellence in curriculum design, assessment practice and academic leadership that supports and motivates students to learn in a large, first-year foundation course.

After 10 years working in London’s commercial television industry, Anna Potter brought her communications experience to USC in 2001.

The Communications Lecturer’s teaching focuses on helping first-year students fully engage with their study to enhance success rates.

“A key component of my teaching is demystifying the university experience,” she said. “Students learn communication theory, research skills and academic writing, but the course also supports them in making the transition to tertiary education. The team of tutors I lead plays a key part in this."

Ms Potter said the citation recognised the merits of supportive practices including an early intervention project which provided intensive assistance for USC students who failed their first piece of assessment.

“That’s a watershed moment, so we help them reflect on study habits and make changes to boost their chances of success,” she said.

She said the award would help fund her attendance at a conference of the US National Association of Television Program Executives.

“One of the great things about being awarded a citation is the professional development opportunities it presents, for both teaching and research.”

Margot Reeh, Student Life and Learning, for developing university-wide, student-to-student mentor and advising programs that enhance the university experience of beginning students and benefit the student leaders personally and professionally.

Harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of experienced USC students to help those new to the campus fosters more successful transitions to university, according to Academic Skills Adviser Margot Reeh.

“I’m thrilled to receive the citation because it’s recognition that we’re doing a good job, but the success of these programs is due to the students’ participation,” she said.

Ms Reeh has worked at USC for 10 years, coordinating consultations, workshops, online resources and programs to help new students learn academic writing, study and social skills.

She said volunteers in the student-to-student mentorship program put in extraordinary effort.

“They enhance social networking for the beginning students, help them gain confidence and negotiate any issues,” she said. “They stay in touch throughout the semester and can be vital in early intervention and the retention process.”

For the USC peer adviser program, student mentors are selected and employed by the University to help others develop good study practices and writing skills.

Kylie Russel, Tegan McFarland, Tim Weir and Kath Hughes, Headstart program, Marketing and Communications, and Student Life and Learning for enhancing Year 11 and 12 students’ development as individuals and as learners, through immersion in University courses across all faculties.

For External Relations Coordinator Kylie Russell and Schools Liaison Officer Tegan McFarland, the greatest joys of their Headstart program involve seeing local teenagers become better prepared for higher education, more mature and self-aware.

The program, which was trialled in 2002 with 44 high school students, is now a major element of USC’s regional engagement with more than 160 students participating in 2009.

“The program has gained strong recognition for sustaining its mission to motivate students to develop as learners and individuals while experiencing university life,” Ms McFarland said.

“It’s making education more accessible to young people on the fast-growing Sunshine Coast.”

Year 11 and 12 students can receive academic credit for completed Headstart courses if they enrol in a related USC degree.

Liani Eckard, USC International, for enhancing the cultural engagement, personal development and employment opportunities of students through a leading Global Opportunities program.

As Global Opportunities (GO) program and recruitment coordinator, Liani Eckard has seen hundreds of USC undergraduates benefit from spending up to two semesters each at partner institutions overseas.

“The University is doing everything it can to ensure students enjoy a great experience and a great education,” she said.

“The GO program also gives our graduates a competitive edge through having international experience as part of their USC education.”

GO allows domestic and international students to gain credit for their USC courses while studying at institutions in North, Central and South America, Europe or Asia.

Ms Eckard said students returned to USC with their knowledge expanded by travelling and living and learning in different cultures. She said the citation recognised the popularity and success of the program, which now had more than 80 partner universities and offered grants of up to $3,000 towards airfares for selected participants.

USC recognised as a great place to study

The University of the Sunshine Coast is the only public university in Queensland to gain five stars for teaching quality in the 2010 Good Universities Guide.

The annual Guide also awarded USC top marks (five stars) for its staff qualifications, and for graduates’ satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university.

USC scored well (four stars) for access by equity groups, Indigenous enrolments, gender balance, and for graduates’ satisfaction with their overall university experience.

The Good Universities Guide, produced by Hobsons, bases its ratings on data from the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the results of the Australian Graduate Surveys.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM said he was pleased that USC continued to gain such high recognition for the quality of education that it provided.

“Our focus has always been on providing quality education because we believe it is essential for this region as it continues to grow,” Professor Thomas said.

“The five-star rating for teaching quality recognises the hard work and dedication of our highly qualified academic staff in enriching the students’ learning experiences.”

Professor Thomas said USC’s high marks in the Good Universities Guide for access by equity groups, gender balance and Indigenous participation also highlighted that the University was meeting government targets for social inclusion in higher education.

Paramedic Science team dives in for charity event

A talented team of students from the University of the Sunshine Coast took part in the 2009 Island Charity Swim from Mudjimba to Mooloolaba.

The team comprised five second-year Paramedic Science students Emma McKenzie, Kate Thornton, Jarod Menger, Darcy Staskiewicz and Derek Swift, and Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science Nick Prass.

Four of the team are noted surf lifesaving competitors, with Emma McKenzie also a gold medallist at the recent Australian Pool Rescue Championships.

Taking turns in the water, the team swam the 11km distance in about three hours, raising about $2,000 for the Nambour and Currimundi special schools.

This annual ocean challenge has raised about $900,000 for the two special schools in the past nine years.

Tuna king praises USC researchers

The man responsible for coordinating the world-first spawning of southern bluefin tuna in captivity earlier this year was the keynote speaker at USC’s 2009 Research Conference on Monday 9 November.

Describing himself as “just a tuna operator”, Clean Seas Tuna chairman Hagen Stehr AO brought together scientists from across Australia and around the world over the past few years to work on the project near Port Lincoln, South Australia.

This team of scientists included several USC researchers, particularly Professor in Aquaculture Biotechnology Abigail Elizur and Associate Professor in Aquaculture Genetics Wayne Knibb, who played key roles in the spawning breakthrough.

The project was supported by the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre and has opened up huge opportunities commercially, as well as environmentally in preserving wild fish stocks.

Mr Stehr said the success of the project was a shining example of what could be achieved when scientists and industry groups worked together for the same goals.

“I am just a tuna operator who has been able to get a bunch of scientists together and get them all looking in the same direction,” he said. “I’m more than pleased with what we have achieved together.

“Tuna propagation will, in the future, be the only way to have an ecologically sustainable industry. We are going down the right path, not only for the benefit of Australia, but for the whole world.

“We have lifted the holy grail of tuna propagation and the University of the Sunshine Coast has played a major part in that. The milestones that we achieved with southern bluefin tuna are world firsts and couldn’t have been achieved without the help of USC.”

The research conference also featured presentations by 24 academics and research students on projects that had the common theme: “Research to benefit society”.

Graduate becomes CQU’s Vice-Chancellor

University of the Sunshine Coast graduate Professor Scott Bowman recently became Vice-Chancellor and President of Central Queensland University.

Professor Bowman graduated from USC with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2005 after studying online over four semesters.

He started at CQU in August after previously working in various Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor positions at James Cook University in North Queensland since 2004.

The former radiographer said his study at USC had boosted his career opportunities and had helped prepare him for the challenges of being a vice-chancellor.

Professor Bowman said he appreciated the flexible delivery method of the MBA at USC.

PhD candidate works alongside world’s best

A PhD candidate researching the genetic makeup of E. coli bacteria has accepted an invitation to spend six months working at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Nubia Ramos, 24, left for Sweden in October to continue her research into the effects of oestrogen on E. coli and the impacts on instances of urinary tract infections.

“Urinary tract infection is highly prevalent in the world, affecting mostly women, with around 175 million cases per year,” she said. “Due to this high incidence, it is very important we learn more about the disease and potential treatment.”

Nubia, who received a $2,500 Rotary Club scholarship in May, said she was excited about working alongside 2,100 other doctoral students at the famous research facility.

Academic gains gold award

Senior Lecturer in Interactive Digital Media Dr Christian Jones recently won a Queensland Police Service (QPS) gold award for crime prevention.

Dr Jones was part of a joint USC and QPS partnership that created an online computer game, Being Safety Smart, to help children avoid abduction.

Being Safety Smart has been trialled in nine Sunshine Coast schools to assess its effectiveness in boosting the personal safety knowledge of children aged 6-8, ahead of a planned State-wide roll-out. The concept for the game came from Sunshine Coast police officers in response to the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe, 13, at Palmwoods in December 2003.

The QPS funded the Being Safety Smart project, which also has strong support from the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and Education Queensland.

Dr Jones spent more than two years creating the animated game that is based on international best practice for child safety awareness.

He relied on the expertise of USC Psychology lecturer Kay Pozzebon in developing age-appropriate messages that are appealing and engaging for both boys and girls.

Dr Jones said he was delighted by the QPS gold award. “This is great recognition for the project and the team that has been involved in it,” he said. “It is part of a relationship between QPS and the University that will extend into the future with other educational gaming projects.”

Rachel is student ambassador of year for State

USC student Rachel McKay was named Queensland Student Ambassador of the Year at the Queensland Education and Training International Awards in Brisbane in September. At the same event, USC’s Global Opportunities (GO) program won the Excellence in Outward Mobility Award for the second time in three years.

Rachel spent two semesters studying abroad as part of her USC studies, first at Kyungpook National University in Korea in 2007, and most recently at the University of Mannheim, Germany.

While working towards her combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business degree, Rachel also was a Student Mentor, and was a founding member of USC’s chapter of the Golden Key Honour Society. With glowing recommendations from her host universities, Rachel was an obvious choice for USC’s nomination.

Rachel said she was thrilled by the award, and she praised the GO program for giving her the opportunity to learn more about herself and the world.

“My understanding of different cultures has really improved and, especially in Germany, I found that my technical and computing skills developed a lot,” she said.

The GO program enables students to spend up to two semesters studying overseas while earning credits toward their degrees. USC has partnerships with more than 80 universities and institutions around the world.

Papuan teachers learn at USC

A USC team is delighted by the success of a program that has opened up local education systems to teachers from the Indonesian province of Papua. The 24 teachers, selected as future leaders in their country, completed a 10-week program on the Sunshine Coast in September.

International Projects Group Manager Suzanne Burford, a USC business graduate, said the visitors had worked with teachers, and students at eight Coast high schools, attended lectures and workshops, liaised with USC staff, joined in science and indigenous youth conferences and lived in the community with Coast families.

The program was co-sponsored by USC, the provincial government of Papua and Australian agency AusAID.

A USC team, including Professor Merv Hyde, Dr Bill Allen, Ms Burford and Rama Brierty, gained a $540,000 grant from AusAID to appoint the teachers as Australian Leadership Awards Fellows.

Chloe is USC’s first Sportsperson of the Year

Buderim triathlete Chloe Turner has become the University of the Sunshine Coast’s first Sportsperson of the Year.

Chloe, 19, who won a silver medal in her division of the ITU World Triathlon Championships at the Gold Coast in September, received the title and a huge trophy at USC’s inaugural Sports Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 3 November.

The Sport and Exercise Science student’s stellar year included finishing first in her age group at the Australian University Triathlon Championships at Mooloolaba in March, winning USC’s Great Court Race, and finishing third in the Open category of the recent Noosa Triathlon.

Chloe also was one of two students who received the University’s first Full Blue awards for sporting achievement.

The other recipient was Billy Miller who was a member of the gold-medal winning Australian men’s waterpolo team at the World University games in Serbia in July.

USC presented Half Blue awards to Emma McKenzie (surf lifesaving), James Boyce (rugby league), Strachan Kerswill (triathlon), Brodie Gardner (triathlon), Julia Linnan (touch), Cameron Sullivan (touch), Nathan Katterns (surfing) and Firas Zein (football).

USC’s football team, which won gold at the Northern University Games in July and bronze at the Australian University Games last month, claimed the Team of the Year trophy.

A special USC Green award — to recognise a student who voluntarily assisted the University’s sporting teams — went to Sam Poulsen who coordinated the USC’s touch football teams.

USC graduate and 2004 and 2006 world surf ironwoman champion Kristy Munroe was MC at the Sports Awards Ceremony.

She said the introduction of Half Blue and Full Blue awards highlighted the University’s growth and its developing culture.

Surfer wins gold at national Games

University of the Sunshine Coast education student Nathan Katterns provided his rivals with a lesson in surfing at the 2009 Australian University Games on the Gold Coast in October.

The 30-year-old Yaroomba surfer won gold in the longboard event at Narrowneck, Main Beach, and led the USC surfing team to second place overall (out of 18 teams) and third place in the surf teams challenge. Katterns’ strong performance in the competition also earned him a spot in the Australian honour team.

Two other USC surfers claimed medals at the Games, with Stephanie Holliday winning silver in the women’s shortboard, and Christian Hearn collecting bronze in the men’s shortboard.

USC won bronze in the highly competitive mixed touch contest, with Julia Linnan and Cameron Sullivan gaining places in the Australian honour team.

The USC mens football team, which was undefeated at the Northern University Games on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year, claimed bronze at the Gold Coast. Striker Firas Zein was named in the Australian honour team.

Scholarships provide lasting memories

Twenty-three University of the Sunshine Coast students received almost $20,000 in donations from individuals, community groups and businesses at a special awards ceremony in late September.

The presentation was one of a number of award ceremonies held throughout the year to recognise the achievements of the University’s students.

Awards were presented to acknowledge achievements in a variety of areas including engineering, nursing, sport science, innovation, urban and regional planning, business and the environment.

First-year student Emma Murphy received the 2009 Sunshine Coast Daily Kathleen McArthur Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 2002 in recognition and memory of Kathleen McArthur who was a well-known environmentalist and author.

Some awards also were presented in memory of loved ones, including the ES Sabey Mosel Prize in Nursing and LEW Mosel Prize in Engineering that were established by USC academic Dr Leonie Mosel Williams in memory of her parents.

The recipients of these prizes were Kathryn Hill and Gina Leach respectively.

The Sunshine Coast Sports Medicine Clinic Bursary was established in 2005 by Dr June Canavan in memory of Dr Paul McCarthy who was killed tragically in a helicopter accident in Asia. Dr Canavan died in a plane crash in Papua New Guinea in August.

The bursary was presented to Elias Delphinus by Dr Canavan’s assistant Elaine Kensett and Mrs Haila McCarthy. University Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said almost $200,000 in scholarships, bursaries and prizes were awarded to a total of 150 students during 2009, through the support of donors and sponsors.

Bursary rewards Melanie’s hard work and success

A 25-year-old former child care worker who thought her dyslexia would prevent her from attending university has been recognised for her success and hard work at USC.

Melanie Anquetil, who is in her third year of a double degree in Education and Human Services, received a $1,000 bursary from the Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) in August. The Kureelpa woman was one of five 2009 AFUW bursary recipients.

“It’s humbling because it’s the first time I’ve received anything like this,” said Melanie, a teacher’s assistant at Nambour Christian College.

She said the bursary would help with everyday expenses while she juggled full-time study, work and her art. Painting in acrylics is a hobby she started a few years ago when she was confined by illness. “I’ve also been invited to do Honours at USC,” she said. “I’d like to further my studies in Human Services because I want to get into child psychology.”

Melanie had always thought tertiary education was out of her reach.

“I didn’t consider going to uni because I’m dyslexic,” she said. “I barely made it through high school, although I did manage to get childcare qualifications.

“One day I randomly looked at the USC website and saw a promotion for a career in education. Considering I was already working at a school, I called up. I went to an interview and got accepted in early 2007.”

The other AFUW bursary recipients were Sarah Simpson (Science Honours), Megan Mackander (Journalism), Dana Craven (Nutrition and Dietetics) and Julie Neil (Nutrition and Dietetics).

Donors present Headstart awards

The determination shown by 28 high school students from across the region to continue their education at USC was recognised and rewarded recently at the University’s annual Headstart Scholarships awards night.

Scholarship donors–including David Kirk, John Shadforth and Mark O’Neill– presented $375 scholarships to students representing 22 different schools.

Headstart is designed to create a seamless transition from school to tertiary study, allowing Year 11 and 12 students to complete accredited university courses while still at school.

The popular program began in 2002 and has since provided more than 715 high school students, from as far as Gympie and Redcliffe, with a valuable pre-taste of what it’s like to attend university.

Resolution through design

Luke Van Lathum, 22, of Yeppoon, has claimed the $500 Proost/De Deyne Prize for presenting the best portfolio of advanced-level USC Design students for 2009.

The judges were JosephMark Brisbane’s managing director Ben Johnston and creative director Jess Huddart, along with Big Kart Track managing director and award sponsor Ferre De Deyne.

Luke’s victory was announced at the USC Gallery on Thursday 12 November at the opening of the students’ resolution through design exhibition, attended by about 360 people.

The exhibition featured the portfolios of students who are about to embark on careers in marketing, advertising, multimedia and communication.

Luke, who developed his flair for art through graffiti when he was younger, said he was surprised and thrilled to have won the Proost/De Deyne Prize. He said he was now weighing up his career options.

“I have received so many offers of work, I’m not really sure which one to take at this stage,” he said. Runners-up were Nick Glavin and Karl Short, while highly commended awards went to Rikki Lancaster, Hannah Divine, Emma O’Reilly and Mitch Reyes.

The Students’ Choice for the Most Creative Portfolio went to Karl Short, with Farley Cameron runner-up. Milan Chagoury won the Lecturer’s Award for Innovation and Design.

USC launches Reconciliation Action Plan

The University of the Sunshine Coast launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan on Monday 12 October.

The plan was developed over the past two years to help ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at USC have real opportunities to improve their social and economic outcomes.
It sets specific targets for the University in developing greater relationships, respect and opportunities for Indigenous people.

The plan was launched by Dr Jackie Huggins AM, the Deputy Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit of the University of Queensland, and USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM at USC’s third annual Indigenous Education Symposium, which ran from 12-15 October.

Gallery exhibition

Catchment: Art-in-nature project
26 November–19 December

The Catchment Art-in-nature project was initiated by a collective of six Sunshine Coast visual artists who gathered in July 2009 at a property bordering the Lake Macdonald catchment area near Cooroy. Ephemeral or temporary site-specific works were created and this exhibition documents the 12-day event. The collective commissioned cinematographer Peter Rogers and soundscape artist Leah Barclay to document the event and collaborated with arts writer Dr Tamsin Kerr. The Catchment exhibition is co-curated by Wendy McGrath and Richard Newport.

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.

University celebrates its high-achieving alumni

More than 85 USC graduates, staff and guests celebrated at the University’s 2009 Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony on 16 September.

This year’s award winners were 2009 Young Australian of the Year Jonty Bush, Sunshine Coast Councillor Keryn Jones, and Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine’s senior forensic technician Emily Orchard.

The awards recognise graduates for achievements in their fields of endeavour, from professional and academic achievements to research and community work.

Jonty Bush graduated with a Bachelor of Business in 2002. She became the CEO of the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group in 2006, and was awarded the 2009 Young Australian of the Year for her work on homicide prevention initiatives and law reforms to help homicide victims.

Jonty has led a successful push for a review of the State’s laws surrounding murder and manslaughter and helped develop the “One Punch Can Kill” campaign that has been adopted by the Queensland Government.

Keryn Jones graduated from USC in 2005 with a Bachelor of Social Science. She has campaigned strongly for ecological sustainability in her role as Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s environment portfolio chair and previously as a Sunshine Coast Environment Council coordinator.

Keryn has been a driving force behind the annual World Environment Day Festival on the Sunshine Coast and has lobbied for the protection of endangered animal species and native coastal vegetation.

Emily Orchard graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science in 2002 and is the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine’s senior forensic technician and senior occupational health and safety consultant.

Emily made a significant contribution in the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process earlier this year, including coordinating mortuary operations to help positively identify each of the bushfire victims.

Pioneering Class of 1999 enjoys reunion

A decade after becoming USC’s first graduates, members of the Class of 1999 celebrated their 10-year reunion at the University in October.

About 60 alumni, staff and guests reminisced about the “good old days” and the impact the University has had on their lives since, as they enjoyed a special dinner dance at the Innovation Centre Auditorium on Saturday 17 October.

The following day, about 20 alumni toured the USC campus to discover the dramatic changes that have occurred since the founding days. This tour finished with a farewell lunch.

Malaysian reception

The University of the Sunshine Coast staged another successful alumni reception in Malaysia on 14 August.

The event was hosted by Chancellor John Dobson OAM and Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Hefferan during their visit to officiate at the 2009 Graduation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

More than 80 alumni enthusiastically networked and met former classmates.

“We found the event beneficial and valuable to keep our ties with USC alive,” said Jimmy Lee (MBA 2007). “We hope to form a local USC group to develop this network and to gather periodically.”