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Community - 2011, Edition 1

Community: Edition 1 2011

Vice-Chancellor's comment

The start of Semester 1 often sets the tone for the rest of the academic year, and this year the energy levels are particularly high.

The streams of students emerging each hour to change lectures and tutorials reinforce just how quickly we are growing with more than 8,000 students, our campus is noticeably busier now than in previous years— especially from a Vice-Chancellor’s perspective.

My office is close to Student Central, which is a constant hive of activity, and my window looks out over the centre of campus. The streams of students emerging each hour to change lectures and tutorials reinforce just how quickly we are growing.

The multitude of students accessing the wireless network in the library precinct reflects not only the changing times but our commitment to learning and teaching excellence and our provision of facilities to support this.

A rewarding aspect of Orientation Week activities this semester was the allocation of a record number of scholarships.

About $450,000 of government, University and community funding was awarded to 67 deserving, dedicated new undergraduates.

The increase in community support indicates the Sunshine Coast region’s engagement with its own university.

It shows the willingness of individuals and groups to be directly involved in recognising high achievement and acknowledging that many of our students struggle financially as they try to balance study with paid employment.

This edition of Community features a cross-section of University highlights from the past few months and rightfully celebrates USC’s continued growth and development.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

Around USC

01 USC’S preservice teachers had Queensland rugby league icon Mal Meninga onside when he visited the campus in early March to expand an Indigenous education program. The Queensland coach spoke about ARTIE (Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education), which was successfully trialled at Kawana Waters State College last year with USC Education students working as volunteer mentors. It is a joint initiative of the Australian Government and the Former Origin Greats (FOGS).

02 Construction of the University’s Olympic standard pool should be complete by mid-August, weather permitting. Funding for the 10-lane, 50-metre pool has included contributions by the Queensland Government, the University, community donations and through in-kind support during construction. USC Alumni have been urged to take part in an exciting ‘Challenge Match’ to help raise funds for the pool.

03 USC held a special farewell event at the USC Gallery late last year for one of its longest-serving academics, Professor Pam Dyer. Professor Dyer started as a lecturer at USC when the University first opened in 1996 and progressed through the ranks to become Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in November 2005. She officially retired in January 2011. At the farewell event, Professor Dyer thanked colleagues, staff and family for their enduring support.

04 The University also farewelled retiring Dean of the Faculty of Science, Health and Education Professor Rod Simpson in February. Professor Simpson, who had worked at USC since October 2001, congratulated the University for having the courage to pursue its dreams. He also praised the dedication of his faculty’s staff in dealing with a five-fold growth in the number of students over the past eight years.

05 USC has become a partner in a major project that will greatly expand the region’s health training and research facilities. Vice- Chancellor Professor Greg Hill signed an agreement in January with representatives from Queensland Health, the University of Queensland the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE and Queensland Health’s Clinical Skills Development Services. The organisations will work together to develop the $60.8 million Skills, Academic and Research Centre planned for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital site at Kawana.

Student population exceeds 8,000

A record intake of more than 3,300 new students this semester has seen USC continue its strong growth trajectory.

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s student population reached 8,200 in the first week of this semester, following a record intake of more than 3,300 new students.

This is more than double the number of students who were studying at the University seven years ago.

As a result of this growth, USC opted to hold individual Faculty welcome events during Orientation Week in place of the usual whole-of-University welcome ceremony.

USC also provided its new students with a wide range of academic and fun social activities, including live entertainment, sporting events and coach trips. The community market day on Tuesday 15 February was the biggest Orientation drawcard and featured market stalls, information booths, cultural activities and a clothing exchange.

Other Orientation highlights included the launch of USC’s innovative U-pass scheme and the running of the annual Great Court Race.

USC’s most popular degree is again the Bachelor of Nursing Science, which had 208 new students enroll by the fi rst week of semester. This was followed by Primary Education (115 students), Sport and Exercise Science (106 students), Psychology (102 students) and Business (90 students).

Female athletes show prowess

PARAMEDIC Science student Emma McKenzie claimed the title of USC’s Greatest Female Athlete in an exciting new contest held on 9 March.

The Kuluin basketballer and surf lifesaver scored the most points of six contestants after six gruelling events at the campus gymnasium, stadium and athletics track.

Alexandra Headland swimmer Amy Thompson finished second and Twin Waters kayaker Alyce Burnett came third.

The contest was part of the University’s inaugural Sport for Women Week, aimed at encouraging more female students to try different sports.

A day earlier, USC held a special breakfast to mark the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day.

During this event, USC announced that it had received its seventh consecutive Employer of Choice for Women citation from the Equal Opportunity For Women (EOWA).

New senior executive has an eye for detail

An internationally known expert in antimatter-matter and quantum dynamics is now focusing on what matters most for USC.

Focusing on the detail comes quite naturally for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Deputy Vice-Chancellor Birgit Lohmann.

The Professor of Atomic Physics — whose research interests include experimental atomic and molecular physics and quantum dynamics — is settling in quickly as the person responsible for much of the day-to- day running of the University.

She became USC’s first female senior executive when she arrived in mid-February with a strong background in quality assurance and enhancement, teaching and learning, research, and developing collaborations between universities and their communities.

Professor Lohmann was previously the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Learning and Quality at the University of Adelaide, where she provided leadership in learning and teaching, and in quality assurance processes.

She said this work, in particular, had prepared her well for the job ahead at USC.

“I’m still fleshing out the parameters of my role, but my main emphasis will be on ensuring the academic activities of the University proceed without hindrance,” she said.

“My job involves making sure staff are supported in delivering the core business of the University—that is, teaching and learning, and research—and are brought along with the aspirations and the strategic goals of USC.

“It also involves ensuring the quality of our program offerings and that the student experience is retained at a high level.

“It is exciting to take up this role to help unlock the potential that this University has to further develop as a high-quality and well-known institution in Australia and internationally.

“USC needs to start seeing itself in the light of the next step, and that is becoming a bigger institution with more profile and more clout.”

Professor Lohmann is internationally known for her research in atomic and molecular physics. She plans to continue her adjunct roles with Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, and with the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies.

Chemistry expert to become a catalyst for research

It’s no coincidence that the man appointed to act as a catalyst in developing the research capabilities of the University of the Sunshine Coast knows quite a lot about chemistry.

Professor Roland De Marco started in February as USC’s inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research.

His primary goals are to foster a stronger emphasis on research and boost the University’s success in research publications and grant income.

The Professor of Chemistry was previously the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Strategy and Development) at Curtin University in Perth, where he had worked since 1995.

At Curtin, he helped create a strong research culture that delivered many prestigious Australian Research Council fellowships, a top 500 ranking in the Shanghai Jiao Tong index, and a national ranking just outside the top 10 universities in Australia.

Professor De Marco said he would use a coordinated and strategic approach to foster a similar research culture at USC, which he describes as a ‘young and aspirational’ university.

“In terms of research, USC is an infant,” he said. “It has only had 10 years or so to build its research, and the academics have been doing that while also writing teaching programs.

“The University is undergoing a massive growth trajectory with its undergraduate programs, and the research is following suit. This will be an interesting and exciting time to be involved in this University.”

Professor De Marco said he aimed to lift USC’s research ranking from 38th of 41 universities, ranked according to reported research income and publications, to the top 30 by 2021.

“The plan is to develop several niche areas of research strength that are world class and competitive, and to support these areas in the winning of competitive grants and the publication of high quality papers,” he said. “We need to target our limited resources into areas of strength.”

Professor De Marco is an internationally recognised leader in the field of electrochemical sensors and their application in environmental and clinical analysis. He has gained more than $4 million in competitive research funding and published about 200 papers and reports.

His 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 in Launceston.

Bike Hub provides support for USC cyclists

USC unveiled another link in its chain of initiatives to promote alternatives to car use with the opening of an impressive Bike Hub on 17 March.

This $55,000 facility offers far more than just a place for cyclists to store their bicycles during work hours and study time. It is a dedicated end-of-trip facility which includes secure parking and lockers for bicycles, personal lockers, showers and toilet facilities.

Access to the Bike Hub is via swipe card only and the facility is monitored at all times by security cameras.

The official opening event was supported by Sunshine Coast Council’s TravelSmart program. Students received bicycle packs from TravelSmart, and bicycle maintenance experts were on hand to provide advice during the opening event.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the Bike Hub was yet another initiative the University had introduced in the past year to help make public transport and cycling more attractive to students and staff.

“As the University has grown, we have been working to reduce pressure on our roads and environment with initiatives to lessen solo private car trips to and from campus,” he said.

U-pass creates buzz during Orientation

A subsidised bus travel scheme that will benefit thousands of USC students has become the talk of the town. “U-PASS” was the word on everyone’s lips during the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Orientation Week activities in February.

Almost 1,600 students signed up within one week for an innovative U-pass scheme that is being trialled at the University this semester.

The scheme has been organised jointly by USC, the Sunshine Coast Council and TransLink to boost public transport use, improve transit services and help the environment.

It is now providing 2,000 students with up to $70 worth of subsidised bus travel this semester.

The trial was launched by USC Vice- Chancellor Professor Greg Hill, Sunshine Coast Councillor Vivien Griffi n and TransLink Senior Product Officer David Tashke.

The scheme is expected to cost up to $213,000, with the Council contributing $73,000 towards administration costs through its Public Transport Levy funding, TransLink providing $15,000 equipment, and the University covering student travel subsidies.

If the trial is successful, all USC students could soon be provided with University identification cards that double as TransLink go cards.

The U-pass project follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by USC and the council’s TravelSmart Sunshine Coast program in December.

Professor to nurture state's sport stars

University of the Sunshine Coast sport scientist Professor Brendan Burkett was recently appointed to the board of the Queensland Academy of Sport.

Professor Burkett, a former Paralympic swimmer who is also director of USC’s Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise, is one of five new board members to help guide the state’s present and future sporting champions.

“It’s a real honour to be joining such highly-experienced sports people and administrators,” he said.

“The QAS is a leader in this country, with the performances it produces across 22 sports and the research it conducts at the Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport Science Research in Brisbane.”

Professor Burkett said he aimed to foster excellence and support activities in regional areas.

“And I want to ensure the research and its applications are athletecentred, to benefit both their health and sporting performance,” he said.

Global award for insight into futures

A USC adjunct professor who works to educate business, not-for-profit and government organisations on what the future holds has received a global award.

Professor Sohail Inayatullah received one of four 2010 Laurel Awards in January for all-time best futurists, after a vote by almost 3,000 of his colleagues in the global Foresight Network.

He said futures studies involved activism, research and citizen visioning. It aims to facilitate discussion between people who are experts in their fields about possible future outcomes and how these can be altered.

“It’s about empowering people in organisations to create better futures,” he said.

Researcher finds strength in sport of bodysculpting

If a woman builds muscle for sport, does that mean she’s less feminine?

That’s the question posed by Jamilla Rosdahl, a University of the Sunshine Coast Arts Honours graduate and tutor who believes there is a “complex, contradictory relationship between muscular women and femininity”.

Swedish-born Ms Rosdahl, 31, is close to fi nalising her PhD on the topic after becoming personally involved in her research into the sport on the Coast.

“I went to the gym every day to train for bodysculpting before I became pregnant,” said Ms Rosdahl, now a mother of two. “It’s a form of bodybuilding that displays female strength and it can make women feel empowered, confident and more self-assured.

“I’m interested in femininity as a social and historical phenomenon and how this affects women when it should be about strength, health and the capabilities of women and their bodies.”

Ms Rosdahl’s outstanding work earned her The Australian Sociological Association postgraduate scholarship to participate in its annual conference at Macquarie University in December 2010.

At the conference, she presented her paper ‘Autoethnography, Poststructuralist Feminist Fieldwork and Bodysculpting’.

“It’s very rewarding and motivating to receive this acknowledgement,” she said. “The University of the Sunshine Coast has given me the resources and support to pursue my interest in sociology and gender theory.”

USC Sociology Lecturer Dr Lucinda Aberdeen said it was the first time that a USC postgraduate student had been awarded the scholarship.

Ms Rosdahl also recently was named 2010 joint winner of the USC Dean of Arts and Social Sciences Award for Sessional Tutoring.

Ms Rosdahl said she was delighted with her study success at USC after arriving in Australia as a teenager in the 1990s unable to speak English.

“My mother was an archaeologist in Sweden so I come from a background of curiosity about human beings and social behaviour,” she said.

Ms Rosdahl received first-class Honours for her thesis on gender theory and sexuality. Her previous research projects include the schooling experience of young refugees in Queensland.

Breakthrough in propagating trees

Research by a PhD student could revolutionise the way tropical hardwood trees are produced.

Cao Dinh Hung is a 36-year-old Vietnamese student who enrolled at USC a few years ago because of its emerging reputation as Australia’s leading university for tropical forestry research.

His goal is to complete his PhD on enhancing hardwood trees for use in plantations in Australia and Vietnam.

“I want to assist in reducing deforestation while establishing and improving plantations in our countries,” he said.

Hung has developed a new method of using synthetic seeds to grow native eucalypt and African mahogany trees, which are traditionally difficult to propagate from cuttings.

The process involves a small tree bud being inserted into a gel bead. After treatment in the laboratory, the bead grows new shoots and roots and can be propagated in nurseries.

USC Associate Professor in Plant Science Stephen Trueman said it was an easier and much quicker method of growing a stronger, selected tree.

“Normally from one seed we could produce 100 plants in a year,” Dr Trueman said. “This way we can produce about 10 million a year, with half the process in the lab and half in the nursery.

“It also means we can select the trees with the best wood quality for plantations and best carbon sequestration for the environment.”

Carbon sequestration is the process in which trees absorb carbon from the air.

The ongoing research is part of a collaboration between USC, the State Government, CSIRO and two plantation companies.

Scientists discover pheromone which induces aggression

A USC researcher has helped discover the reproductive chemical that makes male squid fight—and it’s a protein similar to that found in humans.

Dr Scott Cummins, of the USC Genecology Research Group, worked with a research team on the east coast of North America until he returned to Australia in 2007.

The team, led by Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, studied the Longfin squid.

Dr Cummins, a chemical biologist, has since fi nalised his analyses for the project at USC, where he is also a Senior Lecturer in Physiology.

The final collaborative report is featured in the February edition of the respected international journal Current Biology.

Dr Cummins said the team had identifi ed a pheromone that was produced in the female reproductive tract and embedded on the surface of their eggs laid on the sea floor.

“When male squid came into contact with this pheromone on the outside of the eggs, they instantly went from swimming along calmly and minding their own business to a state of extreme aggression where they fought for potential mates,” he said.

“That’s notable because aggression is generally thought to be a complex process involving neural, hormonal, physiological and psychological stimuli.”

Dr Cummins said the identified pheromone belonged to a family of proteins also found in the reproductive glands of vertebrates including humans.

Sports captain signs up for sporty degree

Mountain Creek State High School’s sports captain for 2009-2010, Stuart Stevenson, has started a degree at USC that suits him to a tee.

The OP1 student, who last year represented Queensland in volleyball and also played basketball, AFL and soccer for his school, has enrolled in a combined degree in Business and Science (Sports Management).

“I’ve always had an interest in business and sport, so this degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast looked very interesting to me,” Stuart said.

“Doing a double degree will give me more career options, so I could end up working in business in sport, or in business in other areas of society.”

Stuart said he was impressed by USC’s facilities when he visited the University for its annual Open Day last year and during school athletics carnivals. In his first week at USC in February, Stuart was one of eight students to receive Academic Excellence Scholarships, valued at $12,000 each, at USC’s annual Undergraduate Scholarships Presentation Ceremony.

Graduation expansion

USC will continue its expansion of Graduation ceremonies this year to keep pace with an increasing number of graduates. For the first time, the University will hold three Graduation ceremonies: two on 20 April and a third on 30 September. The April ceremonies will comprise an 11am event for graduands from the Faculty of Business and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and a 5pm ceremony for Faculty of Science, Health and Education graduands.

Graduands hit the ground running as paramedics

THE past year has provided some exciting experiences for the first cohort of USC’s Paramedic Science Students as they gained invaluable on-the-job skills with the Queensland Ambulance Service.

They've braved emergencies from Cyclone Yasi to car accidents and treated hundreds of sick patients from Cairns to Deception Bay, but four University of the Sunshine Coast student paramedics know they’ve picked their ideal careers.

Bec Lostroh, 21, now stationed at Cairns; Tarah Puller, 21, stationed at Mossman; Yaroomba’s Jack Williams, 20, now working at Deception Bay; and Kuluin’s Emma McKenzie, 20, have been amazed and rewarded by their experiences in the past year.

Bec, Tarah and Jack moved to Cairns early last year on special 12-month paid internships as part of their USC Paramedic Science degree. Bec, who remains working in Cairns while she finishes her last subject, bunkered down in Edmonton ambulance station as Cyclone Yasi crossed near Mission Beach on 3 February.

“It was my first cyclone, and very intense in an emergency service sense, but Cairns was very lucky with not much structural damage to buildings,” she said.

“Things were hectic before and after, with both hospitals evacuated, so we had to be organised and work long shifts. Everyone pitched in and we got it done.”

Tarah recently started a permanent job at Mossman station after passing her Queensland Ambulance Service panel assessment following completion of her degree.

“My degree really helped when I worked a 17-hour shift in Cairns during the cyclone. I used the knowledge to work out patient treatments, ongoing care and timeframes while we were on the tarmac.”

Jack is another new graduate of USC’s first Paramedic Science program and now works as a qualifi ed paramedic at Deception Bay.

“The majority of my job involves helping people with chronic health problems,” he said. “I attend serious car accidents or traumas maybe once a month.

“I have a lot of responsibility in making decisions and the challenge is to communicate effectively with all patients, from the elderly and frail to intoxicated people.”

Emma, who is back on campus at Sippy Downs to fi nish several subjects, said her six-week placement at Maroochydore station was exciting and enlightening.

“It was during the busy festive period with lots of traffic and wet weather leading up to Christmas so we didn’t get much rest at night,” she said. “We also worked with the police around nightclub precincts and treated patients at the cells. “It’s definitely the career for me. You get so much fulfilment.

Aussie swim star starts USC degree

A lifelong dream of becoming a television presenter is now one step closer for a local Commonwealth Games silver medallist.

Rising Australian swim star Tessa Wallace, 17, is “testing the waters” of tertiary education after enrolling to study part-time at the University of the Sunshine Coast this semester.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist, who finished a split second behind world champion Leisel Jones in the 200m breaststroke final in Delhi last October, started a Bachelor of Communication in February.

Tessa finished high school at Matthew Flinders Anglican College in 2010 and, despite missing more than a month of school due to swimming commitments, achieved a creditable OP9.

The Caloundra swimmer has her sights set on competing at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai in July and on representing Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

However, she believes university life could play a key role in keeping her feet on the ground.

“I think going to uni will be really good for me because it will provide a balance between swimming and social,” she said. “Your head can get stuck in swimming too much and that’s not a good thing.”

Tessa said her Communication degree would provide her with a variety of career options, from public relations to advertising or journalism, possibly even conducting poolside interviews with Australia’s swim stars of the future.

“My main reason for choosing Communication is that I’ve had a lifelong dream of becoming a TV presenter,” she said. “It could be in sports or lifestyle, as I enjoy both.”

Tessa said starting with just two subjects at USC this semester would enable her to assess how well she can balance the rigours of study and her demanding 20-hours-a-week training schedule that includes nine pool sessions and several gym workouts.

She praised Matthew Flinders Anglican college for its support during her senior high school years, and was confi dent that USC would assist her in a similar way.

Scientists add punch to TV show

The work of two University of the Sunshine Coast sport scientists has featured in Series 3 of the popular Rexona Australia’s Greatest Athlete competition on Channel 7.

Laboratory technicians Stephen Bishop and Raymond Cupples designed a gruelling punching challenge for eight elite athletes who are vying for sporting supremacy in 2011.

They gave Shannon Eckstein (ironman), Eamon Sullivan (swimming), Mark Winterbottom (V8 supercars), Quade Cooper (rugby union), Ken Wallace (kayak), Fabrice Lapierre (athletics), Luke Hodge (AFL) and Kurt Gidley (rugby league) a solid workout using some slightly modified USC research equipment at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.

Raymond took blood samples to analyse the athletes’ lactate levels before and after the test, while Stephen analysed the data provided by the punching pad equipment that has been used previously for assessing martial arts kicking and for golf research.

“The equipment calculated the total force over a minute of the athletes punching a special boxing pad,” Stephen said.

“Going by their results, it was obvious that they worked above their lactate threshold for quite a while. Some of them got very tired and even started to miss the bag.”

Raymond said he enjoyed the opportunity to put Australia’s top sportsmen through their paces using scientific knowledge gained from his studies at USC.

“It was a good opportunity to apply what we’ve learned here at the University into practice off campus,” he said. “The lactate analysis that I did showed how intensely they were working and how well their energy systems are developed to deal with intense activity.”

Clean sweep for science students

If there’s a science to doing well in the annual Great Court Race at the University of the Sunshine Coast, it seems USC’s science students are on to it.

The three place-getters in this year’s women’s event held on Wednesday 16 February are all studying science, and there was a similar result in the men’s event.

Juliana Bahr-Thomson of Peregian Beach, who is studying a combined Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Science degree, claimed first place in a fast race run over a rain-sodden course.

She edged out Science PhD student Michelle van Mulken of Holland, and Exercise Science student Melissa Ostrowski of the United States.

Last year’s winner Lene Knudsen — a Master of Climate Change Adaptation student of Denmark — finished fourth.

In the men’s event, the top student place-getters were Science Honours student Brodie Gardner of Eudlo, Clinical Exercise Science student Harley Cameron of Maroochydore and Nutrition student Luke Grimley of Valdora.

High achievers gain $12,000 scholarships

Academic excellence scholarships reward eight outstanding students from Blackall to Tasmania.

Eight high-achieving students starting degrees at the University of the Sunshine Coast this semester have received $12,000 Academic Excellence scholarships.

They were among 67 students who gained scholarships, ranging in value from $3,500 to $12,000, at USC’s annual Undergraduate Scholarships Presentation Ceremony.

The event in February was attended by donors, high school principals, the students’ family members and University staff.

Mountain Creek State High School dux Timothy Burke, Frances Weichelt of the Tasmanian Academy (Helyer College) and mature-age student James Baker of Moffat Beach received the three Renouf Family Scholarships for 2011.

Bonita Lawrence, previously of Blackall State High School, and Shanarah O’Leary of Warwick State High School received the two Tim Fairfax Regional Scholarships.

The three USC Chancellor’s Scholarships for 2011 went to Caloundra State high School’s Matthew Irvine, Mountain Creek High School’s Stuart Stevenson and Kawana Waters State College’s Breanna March.

The Chancellor’s Scholarships, which recognise, reward and encourage academic excellence, are funded each year through numerous gifts to the University.

Various organisations presented 11 other major scholarships and the University awarded 48 Vice-Chancellor’s Merit scholarships valued at $6,000 each.

Business whiz sees value in studying locally

A student who topped her business class at Sunshine Coast Grammar School last year and received an OP2 has eagerly started a combined degree in Arts and Business at USC.

Courtney Angel, 18, of Mountain Creek last year won two school awards for leadership and all-round achievements.

On her first day at the University of the Sunshine Coast, she received one of three Heller Merit Scholarships, valued at $6,000, which recognise, reward and encourage academic excellence.

Because Courtney lives locally, she received an extra credit which gave her an OP1 equivalent to enrol at the University.

Courtney is pleased with her study path at USC that is likely to include majors in Psychology and Marketing.

Trainee teachers enjoy rural road trip

USC has responded to the future need for more teachers in rural and remote locations by providing an educational road trip for its trainee teachers.

Nine Bachelor of Education (Primary) students took part in a five-day bus excursion to towns like Goondiwindi, Inglewood, Texas, Yelarbon and Benarkin late last year.

USC’s professional workplace learning coordinator Shirley Richards said the ‘Coast to Country’ initiative was designed to encourage students to seek workplace learning placements in rural and remote locations.

Ms Richards said the 1,100km round trip gave Education students a great chance to sample what life was like in these townships, with students engaged in professional activities within the schools and social activities involving the schools’ communities.

USC received funding from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to help fund the initiative. This foundation assists charitable organisations that support the needs of communities in rural, remote and regional areas.

Pool challenge set for USC graduates

Foundation Board members offer to match alumni donations by 8 to 1.

The concrete structure is finished and the ceramic tiles are set to be installed. Now the University of the Sunshine Coast’s pool-in-progress is the focus of an exciting fundraising project called the USC Alumni Challenge.

Members of the USC Foundation Board, who come from the wider community, have offered to personally donate $80,000 to help achieve the new USC Aquatic Centre if alumni can raise $10,000.

Board chair and USC Chancellor John Dobson urged graduates of the University to pledge donations before 30 June, when their total will be matched against the challenge.

“The entire campus and region will benefit from these gifts for decades to come,” he said. “The Olympic-size pool will contain state-of-the-art technology for research across a variety of disciplines.

“The pool will be a great lifestyle enhancer for students and the broader community and will help to inform the region’s health and sport knowledge.” It is the first stage of the planned Aquatic Centre being built next to the University’s Health and Sport Centre.

The 10-lane, 50m heated pool is expected to open in early spring, with a giant campus pool party to be held later in the year to honour donors.

The challenge forms part of the $300,000 in donations currently being sought. In addition to community and in-kind support, the pool has been funded by both the State Government and the University.

To make a donation contact the USC Foundation by email at or call (07) 5430 1104.

Beth becomes deputy editor of magazine in Vietnam

A USC graduate working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, recently became the deputy editor of AsiaLIFE magazine.

Beth Young, 24, of Palmwoods completed her Bachelor of Communication degree in 2008 and immediately headed overseas to travel through Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

She found work as a kindergarten teacher in Vietnam before becoming a freelance journalist, then a sub-editor for the Saigon Times Daily.

Persistence paid off for Beth in achieving her new role at AsiaLIFE, which involves researching and writing articles, sub-editing and coordinating freelance writers.

“I began freelancing for AsiaLIFE about 18 months ago and kept pestering the magazine for full-time work,” she said. “At the time they didn’t have any positions available, but I hung in until they did.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a young writer like myself. I doubt I would be the deputy editor of a glossy magazine in Australia at 24.”

The monthly English-language publication includes news and feature articles about contemporary Vietnam, as well as information and entertainment advice for residents and visitors to Ho Chi Minh City.

Beth was USC’s Chancellor’s Medal recipient in 2009. This medal recognises excellence in academic performance, as well as active involvement in the local community and participation in University activities.

Alumni meet in Singapore

USC graduates met in Singapore in March for an alumni reception. Hosted by USC’s Alumni Relations Offi cer Anita Edmonds during her visit for a professional development conference, alumni enjoyed sharing their memories of USC and making valuable business connections.

Upcoming alumni events:

  • 15 September 2011 — The 2011 Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony: All alumni are encouraged to attend this premier annual event.
  • 5 November 2011 — Class of 2001 reunion: Graduates from the Class of 2001 are invited to celebrate 10 years since their graduation.

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 update your details.

Stylish way to help the environment

Reducing waste in the textiles industry is the motive behind a new group on campus called Sustainability in Style.

A clothing exchange held at USC’s UniClub during Orientation Week has served to benefit charity, the environment and students’ hip pockets.

The event was organised by USC Environmental Science student Katie Roberts, a former fashion buyer and Melbourne design graduate.

Katie, 26, also used the event to launch a new social group on campus called Sustainability in Style, which will stage further clothing exchanges, hold sessions on how to mend clothes, and organise outings to opportunity shops.

She said the clothing exchange attracted plenty of interest from USC students and staff.

“We encouraged all students to bring along unwanted fashion items and exchange them to create a new wardrobe,” Katie said.

“All proceeds of the gold coin donation event went to the UniClub’s emergency food fund and any leftover clothing was donated to charity.”

Katie said she aimed to help reduce waste in the textiles industry. She plans to do Honours research at USC later this year on the sustainable fashion movement.

Sustainability in Style is one of several new social groups launched by students on campus this year.

Others include a debating and discussion group called Youth Dialectic, and a students’ environmental action group called the USC Environment Collective.

Gallery exhibitions

Jacaranda Acquisitive Art Award Exhibition

A Grafton Regional Gallery Touring Exhibition


THE Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) promotes innovation and excellence in Australian drawing with a major award of $15,000 sponsored by the Friends of the Grafton Gallery along with further acquisitions to the value of $15,000. Acquisitions from the Jacaranda Drawing Award (JADA) enter the Grafton Regional Gallery’s nationally recognised collection of Australian contemporary drawing, which is the fl agship of the Grafton Regional Gallery. This exhibition features the 46 fi nalists selected from the 426 entries in the 2010 JADA competition.

Memory Sense: Judy-Ann Moule
5 May–4 June

Memory Sense focuses on body and memory psychologically. Through narrative and symbolism, Moule recounts a journey from repression and voicelessness to a space that is noisy and richly sensual. Working with a multiplicity of found and cast-off materials, she transforms these into ‘un-forms’ that are odd and vaguely erotic. Inherently tactile, these objects are both alluring and abject. Imbibed with feeling, these forms express a sense of emptiness, dread and darkness associated with anxiety. Material objects act as metaphors to give voice to the unsaid and the unsayable form.

Anatomy of the Incomplete: Aaron Hill
5 May–4 June

Anatomy of the Incomplete is an exhibition of drawings and installation works that form part of the doctorate research project of artist Aaron Hill. Combining Visual Art and Design and Creative Writing, this project employs approaches from both visual art and literature in order to create a narrative framework that explores the role of the illustrated book as object, the human body as object and the relationship between the metaphoric object and the space it inhabits.

Mid-Year Design Students Exhibition
9 June-9 July

Advanced design students from USC will present an exhibition of large format prints on paper, canvas or vinyl that demonstrates the innovation and creativity practised in their course. 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. The University of the Sunshine Coast offers a Bachelor of Computer- Based Design which prepares students for careers in graphic design, advertising, publishing, web design or multimedia design and development.

Gallery hours

Entry to the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery is free and the public is welcome. Open: 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday Closed Sundays and public holidays.