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Community - 2010, Edition 1

Community: Edition 1 2010

Vice-Chancellor’s comment

In this, my last comment as Vice-Chancellor in ‘Community’, I am faced with commenting on one of the most emotionally charged decisions I have ever had to make in my life.

It is difficult to convey the intensity of pride that I feel in what we have together accomplished against considerable odds across the past 16 years.

The academic standing, the physical surrounds, and the secure future are testament to the most committed and professional people with whom I have ever worked.

There has never been a day when I haven’t wanted to come to work, because frankly I’ve never really regarded my role as just another job.

It may sound jingoistic but it is true that this, for me, has been a labour of love—and it all emanates from the initial hopes and feelings conveyed to me early in 1994 by a community sick of talk, and just wanting a University for their children and grandchildren, and even themselves.

Decades of waiting had been too long.

From one of those deeply moving expressions, which was a meeting at the Super Bee one winter evening, I just felt that, for my part, I couldn’t let down this community.

And our growing regional community has been, in a myriad of ways, helping the growing staff and student body every step of the way.

From the name, to the formulation of our mission, to the frequent reviews, to the changeover to full University status to our successful fundraising. So many people, all galvanised to make USC the success it has obviously become.

But what we have together achieved to date is only the start.

There is no doubt that USC will go from strength to strength across this century and make an even more powerful impact on this region and its connections with the world.

Personally, I will never forget the support and friendship that I have experienced here and I thank you all for being part of the making of this unique University and providing me with your inspiration.

Professor Paul Thomas AM
Vice-Chancellor and President

New-look team for University’s Council

A “changing of the guard” is well underway for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Council.

Nine of the 18 positions on the University’s governing body required new members when the previous term of office for most Council members ended in December 2009.

Seven new members have joined the Council so far, and the remaining two appointments are likely to be made in the months ahead.

The Council comprises the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Chairperson of the University’s Academic Board, elected University staff and students, Governor in Council appointed members from the community, and Council appointed members.

Those who stepped down at Council’s final meeting for 2009 were Deputy Chancellor Tim Fairfax AM, Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Elliot, Scott Forsdike, Associate Professor Julie Matthews, Louise Ryan and students Elyse Wohling and Julie Norton.

Recently elected USC staff members are Professor Rod Simpson, Dr Donna Weeks and Bruce Williams, while the new student members are Fiona Finnegan and Samantha Hawthorne.

Jacquelyn Wright was recently appointed by the Governor in Council and Natasha Read, a USC graduate, was appointed by the USC Council.

Healthy start to 2010

Degrees in health and education have attracted the highest numbers of new undergraduate students to USC for Semester 1, 2010.

The Bachelor of Nursing Science topped the list of most popular degrees with 226 new students, followed by the new Bachelor of Education (Primary) with 113.

These were followed by Sport and Exercise Science (103), Paramedic Science (88), Psychology (83), Arts (74), Tourism, Leisure and Event Management (68), Business (63), Science (63), Biomedical Science (60) and Occupational Therapy (60).

The most sought-after postgraduate program was the Graduate Diploma of Education, with 162 new enrolments, while Study Abroad and the Tertiary Preparation Pathway programs each received record intakes of about 270 new students.

Students enjoy challenge

Almost 500 students from 16 Sunshine Coast high schools put their scientific and engineering skills to the test at the University of the Sunshine Coast on 9-10 March.

USC, in conjunction with the Science and Engineering Education Centre (an Education Queensland and USC initiative), hosted and sponsored the annual Sunshine Coast Science and Engineering Challenge.

Professor of Engineering Mark Porter said the national competition series helped motivate Year 10 students to choose the sciences in senior secondary and higher education. Students took part in activities that included building bridges, helicopters, hovercraft and a Martian rover vehicle.

The winning schools were Mountain Creek State High School on day one of the challenge, and St Andrew’s College on day two.

USC welcomes 3,300 new students

The University of the Sunshine Coast has welcomed 3,300 new students this semester.

This record intake is up by almost 20 percent on Semester 1 last year, and has nudged the University’s total student population past 7,600.

USC now has about 860 international students, 560 of whom started this semester.

At the Official Welcome ceremony on Tuesday 15 February, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM urged the new students to make the most of their time at university by getting involved in various interest groups on campus.

The one-hour ceremony also included a traditional Indigenous welcome and presentations by current USC students.

Wet weather led to the cancellation of several planned Orientation events and the postponement of the annual Great Court Race, but students still enjoyed a range of academic and social activities, and daily barbecue lunches.

Live entertainment, a movie night, market stalls, displays by various clubs, information seminars, cultural activities, and bus trips around the region were highlights.

Chelsea, 15, starts combined degree at USC

Starting university this year at the tender age of 15 did not seem to daunt Chelsea Wallis of Marcus Beach in the slightest.

The confident St Andrew’s Anglican College graduate took it all in her stride as she enjoyed Orientation activities in February before launching into a combined Arts and Business degree.

“I’m probably just as nervous and excited as any other new uni student would be,” she said during Orientation. “But I also feel I’m just as well prepared as the other students here and I’ll just do my best.”

For Chelsea — who has a genius IQ score of 165, who jumped two year levels while at school, and whose ambitions include becoming a Rhodes Scholar and specialising in international relations or international business—her tertiary study experience has already started on a high note.

On Monday 15 February, she was among 55 first-year students to be honoured at USC’s Undergraduate Scholarships Presentation Ceremony.

Chelsea received one of five Heller Merit Scholarships, valued at $6,000 each, which are presented annually for high academic achievement, leadership skills and financial need.

“I want to express my immense gratitude to the donors and the University,” she said. “This scholarship will allow me to extend myself and give me opportunities that I would not otherwise have had.

“I come from a single-parent family and have two younger sisters, so this financial assistance will be fantastic. It will lessen the burden of the HECS debt and the student costs at uni. I feel really lucky that I’ve got such a wonderful university and all these opportunities so close to home.”

One of Chelsea’s classmates at the University will be her mother, Sam, who is continuing a Bachelor of Business degree this year.

Academics step up to become professors

Hard work and dedication have paid off for four senior academics at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Brendan Burkett, Joanne Scott, Helen Wallace and Margaret McAllister each started 2010 with the new title of Professor, after gaining promotions in late 2009.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM congratulated the new professors for their sustained academic performance and achievements.

He said this was the first time USC had promoted four academics to the rank of professor at any one time.

Professor Burkett of the Faculty of Science, Health and Education specialises in biomechanics, sports coaching and performance enhancement.

He is the Director of USC’s Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise (CHASE).

Professor Scott of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences teaches and researches Australian history and oral history.

Professor Wallace of the Faculty of Science, Health and Education specialises in agricultural ecology and teaching in environmental science subjects.

Professor McAllister of the Faculty of Science, Health and Education specialises in mental health nursing, and her research areas include self injury, nursing history and mental health leadership.

Vice-Chancellor to retire in June

It will be the end of an era for the University of the Sunshine Coast when founding Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM retires on 11 June 2010.

Professor Thomas has spent more than 16 years guiding USC from initial planning to the thriving campus of 7,600 students that it is today.

His vision, energy and determination have seen the University develop at a pace that few thought possible.

Professor Thomas’s leadership skills have been recognised widely, earning him a Fellowship from the Australian College of Educators, a Paul Harris Rotary International Medal, a Centenary Medal in 2001, and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award in 2007.

He received yet another prestigious award in late March for leadership from the international Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Professor Thomas said leaving USC in June would not be easy.

“Since conveying my decision to the Chancellor in August last year, this has been a difficult period for me,” he said.

“I feel deeply about this place and the people within it, as well as for the many people in the community who have supported the University and me personally.

“I have really had to wrestle with this decision because, at a personal level, I would have liked to have continued for a couple more years.

“But I’m convinced that with changes afoot in the higher education sector, there is a unique opportunity for a new Vice-Chancellor to map an exciting long-term future for USC in the new sectoral environment.”

Professor Thomas started as Planning President in 1994 and became the inaugural Vice-Chancellor in 1996 when USC opened as a University College with only 524 students, two buildings and a choice of only two degrees.

It now has more than 7,600 students, 16 buildings and more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate study programs.

“That span of 16 years has seen the University develop from a boggy cane field to an increasingly powerful regional university, growing rapidly, and with the potential to reach its strategic target of 15,000 students in the next decade,” Professor Thomas said.

“It has been a privilege accorded few Vice-Chancellors to have been associated with the creation of a new university, but I have no doubt in my mind about this growth having been a team accomplishment.

“There’s been an overwhelmingly positive culture here that has enabled us to make the progress at a pace few thought possible at the outset.

“To lead such a talented group of people who work so cohesively for the greater good has been a wonderful experience.”

Professor Thomas said his retirement plans included spending more time with his family, pursuing his passion for photography, and renewing his interest in golf.

When Professor Thomas retires, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Greg Hill will become Acting Vice-Chancellor for the remainder of 2010. A new Vice-Chancellor will be appointed later this year to start at the beginning of 2011.

Farewell events are planned to be held in June.

USC expert represents Indonesia at Copenhagen

USC’s Head of School of Science and Education Professor Noel Meyers attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

He was invited by the Governor of the Indonesian province of Papua to help the Indonesian delegation highlight the importance of preserving more than 23 million hectares of pristine rainforest in Papua.

Professor Meyers said the Indonesian delegation argued in favour of a world-wide trading scheme that could help save the mega diverse rainforests that he describes as a “biological jewel” and the “lungs of the Asia-Pacific”.

“Papuans want to hand down the forests to future generations, but at the same time want to clothe and feed their children now,” Professor Meyers said.

“Without international support, vast tracts of rainforest will be converted to provide economic benefits for the Papuans—unless they have another option. The loss of these forests will release trillions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.

“We have a biological jewel on our doorstep that can help save the planet from human-induced climate change. We need to work with the people of Papua, to lock up carbon in the Asia Pacific region and to preserve a priceless biological legacy for future generations.”

Professor Meyers is currently working with Papuans to create sustainable futures that allow them to preserve their forests, lock up carbon, and create a rich and vibrant economy, while improving the quality of life of Papuans.

Marine scientist leads climate change programs

Dr Shireen Fahey has become USC’s new coordinator of postgraduate programs in Climate Change Adaptation, Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Environmental Change Management.

With more than 30 years experience including marine research, environmental assessment and management, and university teaching, Dr Fahey is excited about her new role in helping society prepare for the likely effects of climate change.

Her appointment at USC followed several years of consultancy work for private and government organisations as a principal environmental scientist.

This work included conducting and reviewing baseline assessments for aquatic discharges from the Western Corridor Recycled Water project and the Tugun desalination plant, and assessing the watercourse crossings for the South-East Queensland water pipeline corridor.

Dr Fahey has stepped into the role previously held by Associate Professor Peter Waterman.

Student aims to save his island home

Postgraduate student Riibeta Abeta wants to help save his low-lying home country from being swamped by the extreme impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.

Mr Abeta, 31, came to Australia last year from the remote Pacific Island nation of Kiribati to study USC’s new Master of Climate Change Adaptation.

Mr Abeta, who previously worked for the republic’s Environment and Conservation Department, attended the United Nations conference in Copenhagen in December.

He recently presented his thesis on the barriers to Kiribati’s capital of South Tarawa adapting quickly and effectively to the threats of global warming.

Although the coral atoll escaped damage after the tsunami associated with the recent Chilean earthquake, it was increasingly suffering from rising sea levels and severe weather events such as storm surges.

Mr Abeta said a recent risk assessment warned that Kiribati could start losing significant land mass to inundation by 2075.

“Problems are happening already,” he said, citing the deaths of children due to poor drinking water quality predominantly caused by seawater intrusion.

“The island’s population of 100,000 is growing fast. More people are squeezing into limited space.”

Scientists join forces to fight leg disease

World-leading exercise and muscle physiologists from Denmark have joined forces with a University of the Sunshine Coast research group in a bid to develop a new, pain-free treatment for peripheral arterial disease.

Professors Ylva Hellsten and Jens Bangsbo from the University of Copenhagen are working alongside USC exercise physiologist Dr Chris Askew to assess how active and passive exercise can boost the growth of capillaries (small blood vessels) and increase blood flow to the legs.

Their proposed treatment could provide a new lease on life for patients with peripheral arterial disease, a painful condition afflicting about 20 percent of adults aged over 55.

It could also help reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.

Dr Askew said patients with peripheral arterial disease experience pain in their leg muscles due to poor blood flow and are limited in their ability to undertake normal daily activities.

He said the collaboration between USC and the University of Copenhagen was a perfect match to help these people get back on track to better health.

“Our research at USC has demonstrated that patients with peripheral arterial disease have a reduced number of capillaries, and this limits their capacity to exercise,” he said.

“The Danish researchers have shown that, in healthy adults, passive exercise can lead to the growth of new muscle capillaries.

“So this present study is investigating whether passive exercise also promotes the growth of new capillaries in the leg muscles of patients with peripheral arterial disease.

Professor Hellsten said the muscle pain experienced by patients with peripheral arterial disease often discouraged them from taking steps to improve their condition.

“By providing them with two to three months of passive movement therapy, they won’t have that pain later when they exercise,” she said.

The project also involves Danish research officer Dr Jens Jung Nielsen and PhD students Meegan Walker from USC and Birgitte Hoier of Copenhagen.

Students land $10,000 seafood scholarships

Two University of the Sunshine Coast Honours students have landed $10,000 scholarships from the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to study the nation’s prawn farming industry.

Chelsey Parish, 22, of Caloundra is investigating the export readiness of Australian prawn farmers, while Hannah O’Brien, 21, of Maleny is assessing the relationships and communication along the supply chain to local seafood outlets.

The Australian Seafood CRC awarded the competitive scholarships following applications by the students’ Honours supervisors, International Business lecturers Drs Leone Cameron and Joanne Freeman.

USC assesses federal projects

USC is helping assess the effectiveness of $13 million worth of federally-funded projects in boosting higher education across the country over the past four years.

A partnership involving USC’s Manager of the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching, Tilly Hinton, and the University of Queensland has won a $208,000 grant from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) for the investigation.

“More than 80 learning and teaching projects across the country have received $13 million in ALTC grants since the scheme started in 2006 and we will help gauge their success,” Ms Hinton said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for USC because there’s so much money and work invested in people receiving these grants.”

Andrew lands island paradise job

A former Noosa boy who changed his life by studying business at USC instead of becoming a baker has been promoted to his dream job, heading a team of 22 at a luxury resort on the island of Bali.

Andrew Fairbairn, 29, who graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), is the new Director of Sales and Marketing at The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Nusa Dua Bali.

“I jumped at the chance in September to be part of the executive management of this exceptional five-star resort—I’m living and working in paradise,” Andrew said.

The role, a promotion within Starwood Hotels & Resorts, follows his past three years as director of sales for the three Sheraton & Westin Resorts in Fiji.

“I successfully completed executive-level training with Starwood’s Pacific High Potential Program 2008,” said Andrew, who started his marketing and business development career at Tourism Noosa and Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa.

“I want to lead by example, so I’ve been working closely with my team of sales and marketing ambassadors and focusing on leisure sales, events, marketing communications and reservations/revenue.”

Andrew said he almost left Good Shepherd Lutheran College after Year 10 to become a baker, until his father took him to an information session at the USC campus.

“I changed my plans and continued Years 11 and 12, fully focused on entry to USC,” he said. “I then moved into The Village at Sippy Downs to maximise my studies—and look what it’s helped me achieve.”

Andrew said he often drew on his university skills and knowledge.

“The biggest advantage my USC qualification has given me is the drive and confidence to excel,” he said.

“It wasn’t so much about learning how to write a thesis as how to focus on the real world, such as effectively communicating with business leaders.”

Business graduate gains executive role

University of the Sunshine Coast graduate Janine Symons has just become UnderWater World’s new Sales and Promotions Executive.

Janine finished her Bachelor of Business (Tourism) degree in 2005 and has since worked for a variety of companies in marketing and promotional roles.

At UnderWater World, she is responsible for managing functions and sponsorship activities, attending tourism expos and networking events, and liaising with tourism organisations and accommodation providers.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I studied tourism at university, but this is the first time that I’m actually living and breathing it.

“I’m glad I studied tourism, because the industry would be challenging to get your head around otherwise. It is such a large and complex industry, and it’s rather fragmented as well.”

Beerwah High’s dux keen to make a difference

Beerwah State High School’s 2009 dux and school captain Saira Manns has enrolled at the University of the Sunshine Coast because she wants to make a difference to the world.

The OP1 student started a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business degree this semester to boost her career ambition of promoting not-for-profit organisations.

Saira, 18, of Landsborough currently works with Wildlife Warriors at Australia Zoo, Beerwah, where she has seen first hand the powerful impact that the organisation’s communications team has had on encouraging conservation.

“I’d like to continue in the not-for-profit industry,” she said. “It makes coming to work worthwhile. It feels like I’m making a difference in my job.”

Saira has worked with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors for the past two years as part of a school-based traineeship in office administration. During that time, she also attained two business certificates through TAFE.

Her traineeship involved assisting the charity’s communications team with media liaison work, uploading information to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors website, and even selling merchandise during animal presentations.

Saira recently received one of two $12,000 USC Chancellor’s Scholarships, awarded for high academic achievement.

She said attending USC, where she is majoring in Communication and Public Relations, would enable her to continue working with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

“I love the Sunshine Coast,” she said. “I want to stay living at home for now and stay in my job.

“Wildlife Warriors is the place where I can hone the skills that I’m about to learn at uni. And it’s such a vibrant working environment.”

OP1 student starts Paramedic Science degree

As top of Year 12 chemistry at Suncoast Christian College and with an OP1, Kristi Browne knew she could take her passion for medicine anywhere.

The Palmwoods 17-year-old decided her future lay in a Bachelor of Paramedic Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

“My goal is to work as a paramedic on the Sunshine Coast before continuing studies to become a doctor,” Kristi said.

“I considered a Brisbane degree but the USC one will suit me much better. It’s more practical and I want to use my studies to work in the real world. I’d prefer to be here, actually helping.

“I also want a job so I can put myself through medicine later, and my parents won’t have to.”

Kristi’s parents Darin and Fiona Browne were among the many Queenslanders financially devastated by the collapse of the Storm Financial company.

“That’s why the USC scholarship will really help,” said Kristi, who is delighted at her parents’ pride in how hard she worked at school.

She received one of two Renouf Family Scholarships for 2010. Worth $12,000, the scholarship recognises academic excellence and financial hardship.

Kristi said she was excited about following an ambition she’d had since age two.

Deputy Chancellor steps down but stays involved

Businessman, philanthropist and pastoralist Tim Fairfax AM has stepped down from his position as the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Deputy Chancellor.

In December 2009, Mr Fairfax retired from the USC Council after being the Deputy Chancellor for 12 years. He also retired from the University’s Foundation Board, which he chaired from 1997 to 2009.

Mr Fairfax said he believed it was time to let others take over the reins.

“I have enjoyed my time and involvement with this outstanding University,” he said. “I have been a Councillor for 12 years and I believe that is probably too long to sit on any board.”

Mr Fairfax said he would continue to be involved with USC through his sponsorship of two annual scholarships which allow disadvantaged students from regional, rural and remote Queensland to attend USC.

“I will also continue to take an interest in the development of USC through the University Foundation,” he said.

“I have always had a strong interest in the arts, so I will be particularly interested to follow the development of the University’s Art Gallery”.

In February, Mr Fairfax presented his $12,000 academic excellence scholarships to Sport and Exercise Science student Christine Pauli of Clifton, near Toowoomba, and Journalism student Stephanie McLeay of Hervey Bay.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Thomas AM said Mr Fairfax’s contribution to the development of the University could not be underestimated.

“His belief in this University and its potential to influence the nature of this region has been unwavering,” he said.

“Tim volunteered countless hours to the University in its crucial early years, both in committees and privately, and has contributed widely to various scholarships and initiatives at USC.

“His example will set a benchmark for others to emulate.”

Scholarship ceremony rewards 55 students

The first day of Orientation Week at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Monday 15 February was extra special for 55 talented first-year students.

The students, who represented 38 different high schools and who have started a wide variety of degree programs, received scholarships ranging in value from $3,500 to $12,000 and totalling $360,000.

USC’s first Undergraduate Scholarships Presentation Ceremony featured some eloquent speeches and plenty of emotion, as students chatted with and personally thanked the scholarship donors.

The ceremony included the presentation of six Academic Excellence Scholarships, valued at $12,000 each, which are provided annually through donations by Sir Clem and Lady Renouf, Tim Fairfax AM, and other donors.

Thirteen other major scholarships were provided by various businesses and community organisations and, for the first time, the University presented 36 Vice-Chancellor’s Merit scholarships.

For information about establishing scholarships contact the USC Foundation Office on 07 5430 1104.

Ceremony honours USC’s first bequest

The University of the Sunshine Coast held a special ceremony late last year to honour the University’s first bequest.

The bequest was from Marjorie Harrold who had been an active leader in both Noosa Parks Association and the Noosa Heads Planned Progress Committee from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Marjorie, who died in 2007, was married to Dr Arthur Harrold who received an Honorary Doctorate from USC in 1999 for his environmental work. Dr Harrold and other family members attended the ceremony at USC on 26 November 2009.

Marjorie’s bequest has helped establish a Wildlife Endowment Fund, which will support the study and monitoring of native wildlife on campus — particularly kangaroos.

Graduate lands South Korean government job

N.C. Prinsloo knows he’s in good company as a former school captain of Nambour State High, where Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan also graduated with accolades.

But N.C., a 22-year-old USC graduate, is launching his government career in South Korea.

“I’m a bit of a nerd, I like history and politics,” said N.C., who finished his Arts degree in December after majoring in International Relations.

In mid-February, he jetted off to the city of Daegu in South Korea after gaining a 12-month job contract.

“It’s a very big opportunity for someone who’s just graduated,” said the South-African born student, who also was a USC ambassador.

“I’m working for the Provincial Office of Education, teaching English in schools, but I’m also hoping to get involved in the international relations side.”

N.C.’s successful job application followed six months in South Korea last year, when he studied at Kyungpook National University as part of USC’s Global Opportunities (GO) program.

N.C. said he was grateful to receive two scholarships, from the Australian Government and the South Korean university, to cover living expenses and spending money.

Employers urged to share their real-world experience

Graduates and friends of USC have been encouraged to consider participating in the University’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program to help train future industry professionals.

WIL gives USC students the opportunity to gain practical industry experience while studying.

WIL programs can be internships, guided industry projects, clinical placements, mentoring and/or a combination of these workplace oriented activities. It is usually unpaid, but formal credit is often awarded for assessment.

The benefits for employers participating in WIL include: gaining assistance and expertise in related projects; surveying and evaluating potential employees; increasing knowledge of current academic preparation; and increasing awareness of new and innovative ideas in the industry.

USC science honours graduate Dan Morgan is the Construction Interface Manager for the Northern Network Alliance, and has provided internships for USC students.

“Having a WIL student on our projects provides for a fresh perspective and a passionate resource,” he said.

For more information contact USC’s Industry Liaison Officer on 07 5459 4822 or email

Alumni reception in Fiji 2009

USC alumni in Fiji enjoyed an opportunity to meet the University’s Chancellor John Dobson OAM and Professor Mike Hefferan at the Holiday Inn in Suva last November. The two USC representatives were in Fiji for a graduation ceremony.

2010 date claimers for alumni

14 September: The 2010 Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony will be held at USC. This event is an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with USC and celebrate the achievements of our outstanding alumni.

30-31 October: The 10-year reunion for the Class of 2000 will be held at USC for those who graduated in 2000 and their guests.

Update your contact details

USC’s Alumni Relations Office is keen to ensure it has the current email addresses of graduates, so that they can receive alumni e-newsletters and invitations to events. Please contact to update your details.

‘So you think you can paint’ proves a hit

New first-year students were able to show off their creative flair during Orientation Week in a fun “So you think you can paint” contest outside the USC Gallery.

Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich said the activity was organised to encourage new students to visit the Gallery, have a little fun and make some mess.

“A still life display was set up to provide inspiration, and students were given 10 minutes to complete their pictures,” she said.

“The ensuing crowd of observers voted for the best works by cheering. Eleven students and a lecturer participated, and six winning entrants received book vouchers from the Co-op Bookshop.”

Ms Oelrich said the contest attracted plenty of interest, particularly among international students.

“We had some great entrants and it was so popular that we might run it as a regular O-Week event,” she said.

Gallery exhibitions

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.

Building Milestones: Sunshine Coast Architecture Awards
8 April—1 May

This year’s Sunshine Coast Architecture Awards will be held at the USC Gallery, in association with the Australian Institute of Architects.

A photographic exhibition of significant contemporary buildings that have contributed to the character of the Coast will be on display in the Gallery.

This exhibition will feature diverse and ingenious architectural design, including several buildings on the USC campus.

Missionaries Encounter the Other: Historical photographic exhibition and The Fiji Project
6 May—5 June

This unusual historic photographic exhibition explores the relationships of New Guineans and missionaries in the 1940s and 1950s.

It is being presented in association with Dr Catherine Frerichs and the Art Galleries of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, in the United States. Dr Frerichs’ parents were American Lutheran missionaries who worked in New Guinea.

The historical exhibition will be presented with another photographic exhibition of a more modern approach to intercultural relationships, called the Fiji Project.

Led by USC academic Dr Gayle Mayes, the project involves university students travelling to a remote village in the Fiji highlands twice a year to help build a health and education centre and to deliver various health and education programs.

In turn, the Fijians have treated USC students to workshops on singing, dancing, languages and art.

Mid-Year Design Student Exhibition
10 June—17 July

USC’s advanced design students will present an exhibition of large format prints on paper, canvas or vinyl to demonstrate the innovation and creativity practised in their program.

Concentrating on digital illustration, students are encouraged to experiment through photography, painting and drawing skills combined with computer software to produce a dynamic body of art work.