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Community - 2010, Edition 3

Community: Edition 3 2010

Vice-Chancellor’s comment

With 2010 drawing to a close, it’s appropriate to dwell on the University’s successes during the year, and this edition of Community covers that theme very well. A lot has happened this year and it’s gratifying to reflect on the many outstanding achievements of our staff and students.

The stories and profiles emphasise just what a dynamic place this University is. It’s a stimulating environment in which to work, study and relax. As is always the case at this time of year, we farewell friends and valued colleagues who are moving on to new roles elsewhere.

At the same time, we are gearing up to welcome new staff who will anchor degree programs on offer for the first time or begin in senior management roles. And we are already preparing for what will be an even busier 2011.

We are surrounded by construction activity as the new engineering and science workshop nears completion, work begins on the Olympic pool, and substantial refurbishments progress in various buildings to expand available office and teaching space.

Submissions for major infrastructure projects are being considered by government. Sincere thanks to the staff, students and members of the University community who have helped make 2010 such a successful year.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President Designate

Minister launches pool construction

Queensland’s Minister for Sport and Child Safety Phil Reeves officially launched construction of USC’s Olympic swimming pool on Thursday 11 November. The 10-lane, 50m heated pool will be the first phase of USC’s planned Aquatic Centre to be built next to the existing Health and Sport Centre, sports stadium and athletics track.

The launch ceremony included speeches by the Minister, USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill and Professor of Sport Science and Paralympic swimming champion Brendan Burkett.

The $2.1 million pool will be the first of its kind in the region — available for community use, but also designed for specialised research and testing of elite swimmers.

Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2011, with funding provided by the State Government, the University, community donations, and through in-kind support during construction.

Mr Reeves said the State Government’s contribution of $900,000 was made through its Major Facilities Program, which provides financial assistance to organisations to develop and enhance sport and recreation infrastructure.

It’s lights, camera, action for students

Journalism studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast took a huge leap forward in October with the official launch of USC’s own television studio. The fully equipped studio has enabled journalism students to produce quality television news bulletins — featuring their own interviews — which have been broadcast online. With technical support from professional editor and camera operator Ben King and presentation advice from Seven Local News journalist Rosanna Natoli, students are revelling in their new opportunities.

USC’s Head of School of Communication Associate Professor Stephen Lamble thanked Seven Local News for its assistance in establishing the television studio on campus. Samples of the students’ work are online.

Building takes shape

Construction of a semi-industrial building to give Engineering and Paramedic Science students a place to really get their hands dirty is almost complete. The 1050 square metre Engineering and Science Training Facility will provide large, open spaces suitable for concrete stress tests, hydraulic engineering experiments, photovoltaic cell (solar cell) testing and accident scene simulations. The $5 million project followed USC’s successful applications for funding through two Federal Government programs: the Capital Development Pool Program; and the Teaching and Learning Capital Fund.

USC alumni are simply outstanding

USC’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year for 2010 were announced at a special awards ceremony on campus in September. They are the CEO of Hong Kong’s Financial Reporting Council Dr PM Kam, popular children’s author Dr Gary Crew, and Townsville-based Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Coordinator Madonna Kennedy.

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

Dr PM Kam is the Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong’s Financial Reporting Council, a statutory body established to investigate auditing irregularities and non-compliance of accounting requirements.

Until March 2010, he had been the Group Financial Controller of Jardine Matheson, a company with 50,000 employees and an annual turnover of $30 billion.

PM attained his PhD from USC in 2008, and his thesis was on corporate governance and earnings management in Hong Kong.

Dr Gary Crew graduated with a Doctor of Creative Arts from USC in 2005. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at USC, and an award-winning author of more than 40 novels and illustrated books for children and youth.

Among his achievements are winning the Australian Children’s Book of the Year award four times and a national citation for outstanding contributions to student learning.

Madonna Kennedy graduated from USC in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science (Public Health). She is now an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Coordinator based in Townsville.

This is a senior position with Queensland Health, and involves the planning, implementation, management, evaluation and reporting of ATOD prevention activities for an area between Mackay, the Torres Strait Islands and the Northern Territory border.

New executive members to start in early 2011

Molecular physicist Professor Birgit Lohmann has been appointed the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Professor Lohmann is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Quality) at the University of Adelaide and will start at USC in early 2011.

She will step into the executive position recently vacated by Professor Greg Hill who became USC’s Vice-Chancellor in June. Professor Lohmann has been at the University of Adelaide since 2007 and has been involved in policy development, curriculum renewal, promoting learning and teaching excellence, and guiding quality assurance processes.

She previously worked at Griffith University in Brisbane as Head of the School of Science and Director of the Centre for Quantum Dynamics. She is internationally known for her research in atomic and molecular physics and has worked as a node manager within the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies.

Also starting at USC in early 2011 will be Professor of Chemistry, Roland De Marco, who has been appointed as the University’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research.

Professor De Marco is currently the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Strategy and Development) at Curtin University in Western Australia, where he has worked since 1995. He is an internationally recognised leader in the field of electrochemical sensors and their application in environmental and clinical analysis. He was previously the Dean of Research at Curtin University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Head of the Department of Applied Chemistry. Professor De Marco’s career also has included working as a research scientist with CSIRO Minerals in Melbourne and as a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Tasmania.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said he was looking forward to working with Professors Lohmann and De Marco. “I think we’ve made fantastic appointments,” he said.

Governments back child care centre

USC has welcomed news that the Federal and State Governments will help fund the establishment of a child care centre on campus at Sippy Downs in 2011. Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin announced in August that $1.8 million in Commonwealth funding would go towards construction of the child care centre.

Queensland’s Minister for Disability Services Annastacia Palaszczuk announced at the same time that the State would provide a similar amount towards the centre’s ongoing operating expenses.

The centre will be run by the AEIOU Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to children with autism. It is expected to open for business early next year, providing 75 child care places, including 25 places for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD).

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the University had worked with the AEIOU Foundation and the Queensland Government for two years on this project. He said USC had donated the land to the project, which will help make life easier for students, staff and families in the local area.

“This will be a wonderful boost to the campus community and provide excellent training and research opportunities for students and staff,” he said. “As is the case with USC, the AEIOU Foundation is  looking to broaden its outreach activities and will use the USC campus as a base for servicing client
communities in surrounding regions.”

Fashion parade hits right note

Students and staff of USC were recently treated to a funky vintage fashion parade of music festival wear at USC’s UniClub. A team of final-year Public Relations students staged the parade in October as an assessment project that aimed to raise funds for a Sunshine Coast community support organisation called Sunnykids. One of the student organisers, Kelly Herbert, said the event was timed to give University students a chance to select new outfits for major music events like the Caloundra Music Festival, Good Vibrations and Big Day Out.

SunnyKids Partnerships and Communications Manager Renae Carolan said she was impressed by the way the students organised the fashion parade. She said the team had been successful in raising funds and awareness about the organisation, which works to help at-risk children and families.

USC introduces Early Childhood Education degree

The University of the Sunshine Coast will introduce a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education in 2011. The new program, which is expected to attract more than 100 students in its first year, will round out USC’s range of Education degrees that already includes programs in primary and secondary education. USC Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Anne Tietzel said the degree would appeal to school leavers, non-school leavers, TAFE diploma graduates, and staff of child care centres seeking tertiary qualifications.

“This four-year degree will help meet the national need for more early childhood educators and lead to broad career opportunities in the education of children from birth through to Year 3,” she said. “The degree will prepare graduates to work across a range of services in early childhood from long day-care centres, kindergartens and the early years of primary school.”

Ms Tietzel said students would undertake extensive practical placements in preparation for careers across the range of early childhood settings.

She said there were strong employment prospects for graduates as the region continues to grow and attract more families.

Professor rolls up to inspire innovation

Most academics are renowned for using segues during lectures to smooth the transition between topics. But University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dean of Business Professor Evan Douglas could well be the first to employ a Segway (a personal transportation vehicle, or PTV) to explain entrepreneurism. Professor Douglas said the creation, development and marketing of the Segway made it an ideal teaching tool to inspire budding entrepreneurs.

For some classes, Professor Douglas rolls up on his two-wheeled vehicle and explains how easy it is to ride, its safety features and clever technology, and its versatility in industrial, health and recreational pursuits.

“It is a great example of entrepreneurial innovation, and its inventor Dean Kamen is a serial entrepreneur with an amazing track record of medical innovations, including the heart stent and the dialysis monitor,” he said.

“Segway provides an example of ‘sustaining technological innovation’ whereby the initial technology platform was later improved progressively. “And there are reportedly 30 patents associated with the Segway, making it an example of a dense thicket of intellectual property protection, typically highly-valued by venture capitalists.”

Professor Douglas said the marketing buzz created by Segway provided a great example of gaining public awareness through the media that otherwise might have cost millions of dollars in conventional advertising.

Professor Douglas also said Segway’s recent focus on its off-road capabilities — in building models for golfers, park rangers, and bush-bashers — exemplified what innovative firms could do to compete with copy-cats.

Students across all faculties at USC can undertake a four-course minor in Entrepreneurship. The minor covers topics like new venture development, growth, establishment and operation.

National award for business textbook

A 630-page business textbook co-authored by a USC academic has won its category of the 2010 Australian Educational Publishing Awards.

The awards were presented by the Australian Publishers Association at a ceremony at the University of Sydney in August.

USC Associate Professor Kathy Lynch was the adapting author of Business Driven Information Systems, an expanded and updated version of the popular American business technology textbook.

Dr Lynch, an Associate Professor in Information and Communication Technology Research and Development, used many examples of business information practices from Sunshine Coast businesses and information from USC and other local experts.

Ceremony expansion a necessity

A crowd of about 1,000 graduands and guests attended the University of the Sunshine Coast’s inaugural Semester 2 Graduation Ceremony on Friday 1 October.

The event was held in USC’s Sports Stadium and will take pressure off the University’s major graduation ceremony next April, which could have exceeded the stadium’s capacity of 3,000 people.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said significant growth in the number of graduates in recent years had made the second graduation ceremony a necessity.

“With increasing numbers of students completing mid-year, an October graduation is an appropriate way to complete the study cycle,” he said.

The ceremony saw Senior Lecturer in Interactive Digital Media Dr Christian Jones receive the new Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Engagement, and Gubbi Gubbi Dance Company founder Lyndon Davis become an Honorary Senior Fellow.

USC Adjunct Professor John Mendoza delivered the graduation address and encouraged graduates to use their education to help make the world a better place.

Mr Mendoza’s career has included working as Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Council of Australia, Chief Executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency and as a mental health advisor to the Federal Government.

The ceremony was video-streamed live on the USC website and was watched by viewers around the world.

Computer game designer reaches a higher level

Creating computer games to help boost the safety of children has earned Dr Christian Jones a new University of the Sunshine Coast award.

The Senior Lecturer in Interactive Digital Media received USC’s first Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Engagement at the University’s first Semester 2 Graduation ceremony in early October.

Dr Jones, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, led the development of a free online computer game called Being Safety Smart, which provides antiabduction training for children aged 6-8.

Being Safety Smart was developed jointly by USC and the Queensland Police Service, with support from Education Queensland and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

The game was launched across Queensland primary schools in late 2009 and earned Dr Jones a Queensland Police Service Gold Award for excellence in crime prevention.

Dr Jones is currently leading the development of a similar computer game project called Feeling Safe. This is an interactive, online educational resource aimed at providing children with sexual abuse prevention skills and strategies, and providing training for teachers and parents.

It is being developed in conjunction with the Telstra Foundation, the Queensland Police Service and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, in partnership with Education Queensland and the Department of Child Safety.

University honours Indigenous artist-educator

Gubbi Gubbi Dance Company founder Lyndon Davis has become an Honorary Senior Fellow of the University. Mr Davis, 36, of Yandina received the prestigious award at USC’s graduation ceremony in October in recognition of his work in welcoming thousands of students, staff and dignitaries to USC over 15 years.

Mr Davis founded the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Company in the mid-1990s. It regularly performs traditional welcomes at significant events at the University, which is on Gubbi Gubbi land.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill praised Mr Davis for his contributions to the University, from reconciliation negotiations to teaching students and visitors about bush tucker and traditional culture. Professor Hill said Mr Davis was well respected for his knowledge of Indigenous issues, history and customs along with his demonstrations, from didgeridoo-playing and dancing to storytelling and art. Mr Davis said he was grateful for the award, which recognises the importance of the knowledge, talents and skills he learnt from his elders.

“It also acknowledges a change in attitude that I’ve seen in the Sunshine Coast community over time,” he said.

Spotlight on nation’s brightest young minds

A Sippy Downs student who has seen the lack of privileges in places like Borneo, Croatia and Zimbabwe hopes the outcomes of a recent Australian youth summit will literally help change the world.

Chelsea Hopkins-Allan, 22, who is nearing the end of her Environmental Science degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast, was one of 100 people selected for the Brightest Young Minds (BYM) Foundation summit in Sydney.

She joined fellow USC student Michael Hanisch, 24, of Coolum Beach, at the six-day summit featuring some of the nation’s movers and shakers aged 18–28.

Delegates were selected for attributes including leadership, passion, creativity, initiative, intelligence, charisma, communication and perseverance.

Chelsea said the summit showed how young people could become ethical leaders in their fields and launch social, environmental and humanitarian initiatives.

“It was the greatest experience,” she said. “I want to make a difference because the way we’re managing the world is so inefficient.“

Both Chelsea and Michael, who studied Regional and Urban Planning and now works as a planning officer with the Whitsunday Regional Council, said the summit taught the value of teamwork in improving society.

“Being invited to attend the summit was a massive surprise and honour,” Michael said. “I enjoyed meeting like-minded people who are passionate about what they are doing.”

Journalism student wins media award

University of the Sunshine Coast journalism graduate Alice Campion had two great reasons to celebrate at the 2010 Queensland Clarion (Media) Awards in late-July.

Alice, 20, of Peregian Beach clinched the award for the “Most Outstanding Journalism Student—Regional” before a crowd of Queensland’s top journalists at a gala event at Brisbane’s Hilton hotel. And, just days earlier, Alice had gained full-time employment as a journalist with Sunshine Coast Newspapers.

She is now the editor of the company’s Kawana Weekly community newspaper. Alice, who graduated from USC in April, said she was thrilled to have won the prestigious media award a week out from turning 21.

“It’s a fantastic way to start off my career,” she said. “I’ve just finished three years of study and put in a lot of work, and now it feels like it’s all paid off.”

Alice’s award entry included two news stories published by the Sunshine Coast Daily, where Alice completed an internship in late 2009.

Alice congratulated the two other USC students who were finalists for the award — Graham Reeks, 31, of Landsborough and Jamie-Leigh Carter, 20, of Kippa-Ring.

USC helps Cambodia with eco-tourism plan

Cambodia has enlisted the expertise of the University of the Sunshine Coast to help kickstart a new eco-tourism industry involving sun, sand and shopping.

USC signed an agreement with the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism in October to help establish tourism educational institutions and plan strategic policies for sustainable tourism.

“There is big potential for USC, short and long-term, with this project which may involve tourism master planning for the entire coast of Cambodia,” said USC Associate Professor in Heritage Resource Management Bill Carter.

Dr Carter, who is associate director of USC’s Sustainability Research Centre, said Cambodia had visionary plans for Kep City to become a world-class sustainable tourist attraction.

However, the Australian team recommended the development of an integrated coastal zone management plan and environmental impact study to protect natural assets and form strategies.

Dr Carter said planning might show that Kep could be modelled on Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays as a niche destination, while nearby Sihanoukville had a higher carrying capacity for mass tourism based on sun, sand, shopping and nightlife.

Exercise Science student wins Great Court Race

Clinical Exercise Science student Aaron Turner of Sippy Downs timed his run to perfection when he clinched victory in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s ninth annual Great Court Race at the start of this semester.

Aaron, 28, edged his way from fifth to first over the last 200m to finish several paces ahead of his nearest rivals.

The placegetters were Nutrition and Dietetics student Luke Grimley, 19, of Valdora and Sport and Exercise Science student Michael Gibson, 19, of Alexandra Headland.

In the women’s event, 32-year-old Lene Knudsen of Denmark had a clear victory. The Master of Climate Change Adaptation student finished well ahead of German exchange student Annmarie Conrath, 22, and International Business student Anne Gasper, 20, also of Germany.

The runners received cash prizes of $125 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third, while Aaron and Lene were presented with the Dean Van der Helm Memorial Shield by Dean’s mother Roslyn Dalgleish.

The race is usually held during Orientation Week at the start of Semester 1, but was postponed this year due to heavy rainfall.

Research into physical activity of mums

Ground-breaking research by a University of the Sunshine Coast Science student aims to help pregnant women and new mothers become more physically active.

PhD candidate Michelle van Mulken, 26, of Holland said preliminary findings indicated many first-trimester women reduced their exercise for more reasons than feeling physically tired or nauseated.

She said these ranged from fears about miscarriage to a lack of partner support to insufficient encouragement and information from medical professionals.

“It was surprising that most first-time pregnant women had received very limited information regarding physical activity,” Ms van Mulken said.

Her research aims to identify the determinants of physical activity during and after pregnancy, and is believed to be the first of its kind undertaken in Australia.

Dietitian had plenty on plate at Delhi Games

While most Australians enjoyed the “feast” of televised sport provided by the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October, a USC academic was busily analysing what the athletes were feasting on in India. Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics Dr Fiona Pelly scored a research grant to work with the Games’ catering company, Delaware North, in assessing what athletes ate and didn’t eat during the 12-day event.

Dr Pelly had assessed the menu for the athletes’ dining hall and kiosk. She then led a team of researchers in reviewing recipes, ingredients, and nutrition information cards for each of the foods on offer in the huge dining hall in the Athletes’ Village at Delhi that catered for thousands of athletes.

Dr Pelly said her team surveyed athletes about their dining experiences during the Games, advised athletes on their competition eating plans, liaised between athletes and caterers for special diet requests, kept a record of these requests, and assessed which foods went to waste.

She said the research would help caterers and organising committees of future major sporting events, including the London Olympics in 2012.

Touch team wins bronze at Australian Uni Games

USC’s mixed touch team claimed a bronze medal at the Australian University Games in Perth in October. The team opened its campaign with some runaway victories over Deakin (11-3), Monash (11-2) and Ballarat (9-2), before meeting stronger opposition in its remaining three round matches.

USC ended with five wins from six pool matches, then scored a place in the finals with an exciting 6-5 win over the University of NSW.

The team lost its first semi-final 7-3 to eventual gold medallists Edith Cowan University, before reversing that score against Murdoch University in the bronze medal match to finish third of 13 teams in the division.

Team captain Cameron Sullivan said the team gelled both on and off the field. “We bonded really well,” he said. “We knew that we could rely on everyone to do what they were expected to do, and everyone performed above their own abilities.”

USC’s men’s basketball team suffered some disappointing narrow losses and did not make it through to the finals. Its five pool matches included a 53-47 victory over the University of Notre Dame, and losses to QUT (28-27) and Bond University (51-48).

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill donated $5,000 to the two teams to offset some of their expenses of registration, accommodation and flights, which totalled $18,000.

Teaching quality gains five stars

The University of the Sunshine Coast has again gained recognition for its high teaching quality in the 2011 Good Universities Guide. For the second consecutive year, USC has stood out as the only public university in Queensland to gain five stars for teaching quality.

The annual independent guide, produced by Hobsons, also awarded five stars to USC for its 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. Its ratings for graduates’ satisfaction were the highest awarded to any public university in Queensland.

The Good Universities Guide bases its ratings on data from the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Graduate Careers Australia’s Course Experience Questionnaire and other sources.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the Good Universities Guide had consistently recognised USC’s teaching quality.

Award-winning staff feature on Wall of Fame

The University of the Sunshine Coast celebrated the success of six award-winning academics with a special Wall of Fame breakfast on 30 September.

The event featured the unveiling of large portraits of the University’s 2010 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citation winners.

The prestigious ALTC citations (previously called Carrick Awards) are valued at $10,000 each and recognise dedication to student learning. USC has gained 17 citations since 2006, 12 of them in the past two years.

This year’s winners were Sociology Lecturer Dr Phillip Ablett, Professor in Nursing Margaret McAllister, Lecturer in Public Health Lily O’Hara, Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Dr Lisa Chandler, Lecturer in Digital Design Dr Debra Livingston and Chair of Public Health Nutrition Professor Roger Hughes.

The academics received their awards at a gala event at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art in August. There were 193 citations presented nationally.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the University now had the highest ratio of ALTC award-winning staff to students of any Australian university.

“This is something to be prized by our current and future students and the community as a whole,” Professor Hill said.

Foundation Board urges alumni to support pool

Thanks to a few visionary donors, the University is closing in on its $300,000 goal in private donations to help complete costs for USC’s $2.1 million Olympic pool.

Jocelyn Walker, a long-time Foundation Board member and USC supporter, has made a leadership gift to support the 10-lane, 50-metre pool. She hopes it will inspire others to give as well.

“Through my close involvement with the University, I can clearly see how this facility will impact teaching and research and, as a result, the Sunshine Coast community,” she said. “It’s a crucial piece of infrastructure for USC and I hope others in the region will also support it.”

Her gift is part of an $80,000 matching fund pledged by members of the USC Foundation Board. The full amount will go towards the pool if alumni (graduates) give $10,000 by 30 June, 2011.

USC Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said he expected the Board’s matching fund challenge to stimulate a lot of interest from graduates.

“Early next year, we’ll be going to alumni and asking for their support for the pool project,” he said. “It’s a great incentive to know that their gift will be matched by as much as $8 for every $1 they give.

“Some graduates heard about the match and are already pledging before we’ve even asked.”

While the new pool will be available for use by students, staff, local schools, and the broader community, it also will be an important teaching and research facility for USC’s School of Health and Sport.

Sport scientist and former Paralympic champion swimmer Professor Brendan Burkett said: “an aquatic facility with purpose-built research capabilities at USC will provide our region with a distinct opportunity to become a national leader in aquatic knowledge and practices”. For information on supporting the
Aquatic Centre, call the USC Foundation on (07) 5430 1104.

MCU Sustainable Banking prizes reward students

MCU Sustainable Banking has made its mark on a sustainable Sunshine Coast by providing two new awards for USC students.

Together the two awards — an annual prize and a bursary — are worth $9,000, and will be given to deserving students who are studying sustainability over a three-year period.

This year MCU’s $500 prize went to Irene Van Dorssen, who was the top performing student in the subject, Foundations of Sustainability.

USC Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland said it was great to see businesses from the hinterland getting involved and helping the University.

MCU was one of several donors present at USC’s scholarship awards ceremony in September.

Graduate accepts pool funding challenge

When Bil Colthurst heard that an $80,000 matching fund had been offered by the USC Foundation Board to challenge alumni to support the new USC Aquatic Centre, he jumped into high gear.

Bil, who graduated with a Master of Professional Accounting in 2008, not only committed $1,000 toward the pool project, he also pledged to match two of his former USC classmates’ gifts to encourage their support.

“It just seems like an incredible opportunity,” Bil said, referring to the matching fund, which will be donated toward the new USC pool if alumni donate $10,000 by 30 June 2011. “Graduates only have to come up with $10,000, and that will translate to $90,000 for the University.”

Bil, who was a mature age student at USC and now owns and operates Fishing International Supplies and Hardware (FISH) on the Mooloolaba Spit, has been a regular donor to the University for several years.

He said he was particularly inspired by the matching fund, because it has aligned with his own personal reasons for giving.

“I don’t give for the sake of being showy. Normally I would donate anonymously.

“However, by joining the other generous donors on the ‘giving wall’, my hope is to engender a spirit of benevolence in my children and others who visit the campus.”

Champions return for USC sports awards

USC’s annual Sportsperson of the Year awards are proving a great opportunity to connect current students who excel at sport with graduates who have done the same.

The Master of Ceremonies at the awards ceremony held in late-October was 2004 and 2006 world surf ironwoman champion Kristy Munroe who graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Business in 2006. And guest speaker was Paralympic swimmer Marakye Jonkers who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science (Community Work) in 2004 and a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) in 2006.

Marayke also had the honour of presenting the top prize, the 2010 Sportsperson of the Year trophy, to Bachelor of Science Honours student Brodie Gardner for his achievements in triathlon this year.

Brodie, 24, came 7th at the Australian University Championships at Mooloolaba in March and then 8th in the hotly-contested 20-24 age group at the Triathlon ITU World Championship at Budapest, Hungary, in September.

Brodie also received the University’s only “Full Blue” award for 2010. Three of the six “Half Blues” that were presented went to surf sports stars Amy Thompson, Allira Richardson and Ben Hepburn, all of whom claimed medals at the recent world lifesaving championships in Egypt.

“Half Blues” also went to champion heptathlete and hurdler Shayleigh Gould, rugby league player Tommy Butterfield and cyclist Christian Manuzio.

USC’s Mixed Touch team won the Team of the Year trophy, Matthew Bousson collected a “USC Green” award for his voluntary work in sport, and a Continued Excellence award went to triathlete Chloe Turner.

Reunion brings back fond memories

Graduates from the Class of 2000 celebrated their 10-year reunion on campus on Saturday 30 October. The festivities began with a campus tour highlighting how the facilities and programs have developed over the past decade.

“The tour was exceptional and it brought memories flooding back of the life-changing experience that USC was for me,” said Glenda Connors, who completed a Bachelor of Arts.

“It is wonderful to see the expansion and to know that it is so available now to any of our extended family, who may one day have their life-changing experience.”

A cocktail-style event followed the campus tour, with Master of Ceremonies and Lecturer in Indonesian, Phil Mahnken, encouraging graduates to speak about their own journeys since leaving USC. Bachelor of Business graduate Sally Hansen (nee Rodgers) said she really enjoyed the celebration.

“I was a bit hesitant about going as my uni friends couldn’t make it, but I’m so glad I did,” she said. “It was amazing to reminisce about the experience of completing something that’s made a difference to your life”.

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.

Seasoned students spice up portfolios

Advanced-level Design students finished off the academic year with a stunning exhibition of their digital design work and commercial graphic art at the USC Gallery.

The exhibition, called Seasoned, featured the portfolios of 40 students. Its official opening on 11 November attracted a crowd of more than 400 people.

The exhibition highlighted the breadth of individual styles and the range of concepts created by USC students who are about to embark on careers in design.

Lisa Lonergan won the Best Portfolio Prize, while Taylor Crisdale received the runners-up award. These prizes are supported through a generous donation from the Proost/De Deyne Family.

Nursing students to work in Tanzania

Eight USC Nursing Science students and their lecturer will spend Christmas caring for children with HIV/AIDS in Africa. USC Senior Lecturer Dr Leonie Williams said the students, aged from 21 to 58, were doing last-minute fundraising and learning basic Swahili in preparation for their trip from 3-27 December.

“This project will give USC students the opportunity to become immersed in another culture and gain first-hand experience in understanding the principles of their Transcultural Health Practices course,” she said.

The group, calling itself Nurses for a Cause, has volunteered to work in orphanages, hospitals and  health care facilities in villages in Tanzania, where 2.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.

Student Nanou Leclercq, 29, said she wanted to contribute to the Tanzanian community and share health information while boosting her nursing skills.

Gallery exhibitions

across country: Ken Hinds Cultural Collection – special edition
25 November—17 December, 2010

This exhibition, held in association with Caloundra Regional Art Gallery and The Arts Park, presents a special selection of Ken Hinds’ outstanding collection of Australian Indigenous art. The exhibition highlights the depth and breadth of Ken Hinds’ amazing collection of artworks. Many of the works in the display have not been available for public viewing for many years.

Cantchant, Vernon Ah Kee
3 February–19 March, 2011

Vernon Ah Kee is a key figure in urban Aboriginal art. He is a member of the Brisbane-based artist collective proppaNOW, and has exhibited internationally. His Cantchant project is a touring exhibition by the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. Ah Kee takes on the iconic subject of the beach, casting a
critical eye on its special role in forming white Australian identity. Cantchant presents the beach as a cultural battleground.