Community - 2011, Edition 3 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Community - 2011, Edition 3

Community: Edition 3 2011

Vice-Chancellor’s comment

The offcial opening of USC’s swimming pool in October was a most satisfying public event.

In addition to celebrating the establishment of critical new infrastructure for teaching and research, it was also an opportunity to share the moment with the community and the university’s supporters, many of whom are already accessing this first­class facility for recreational activities.

Our next building is due for completion in December and it will accommodate around 70 staff and teaching spaces equivalent to three, 100-seat lecture theatres.

This structure will come at just the right time as we gear up for the new, deregulated higher education environment that begins in 2012.

Despite the continued campus development, USC has become the first university to be granted EnviroDevelopment accreditation by the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

Our continued, rapid growth in enrolments was supported by our most successful year ever with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Five new citation winners, our first national Program Award and two major Project Grants ensure USC has cemented its position as a stand-out institution for learning and teaching.

And there were successes and strategic positioning in research as well. In particular, the $5.4 million Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) grant.

On the community engagement front, planning around the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital continues and it will be a significant driver of the future for USC.

We look forward to the challenges and opportunities that the hospital, as well as the coming year, will bring.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

Around USC

01 A Journalism textbook, written by USC Associate Professor Stephen Lamble and published by Oxford University Press, has won two prestigious national awards. Dr Lamble’s book, News as it Happens: An Introduction to Journalism, was judged the Best Designed Tertiary and Higher Education Book at the 2011 Australian Publisher Association design awards in May. Then in August, it was the co-winner in the Australian Educational Publishing Awards’ category for the Best Single Tertiary Education Book by an Australian author. Dr Lamble was particularly pleased with the second award, which was judged on content and impact on teaching and learning. "To say I’m delighted would be an understatement," he said.

02 A childcare centre offering the equivalent of 66 full-time places for children, including 22 places for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has opened on campus at the University of the Sunshine Coast. USC provided the land for the AEIOU Foundation’s Sippy Downs Early Learning Childcare Centre, which has been established with funding support from the State and Federal governments. The centre is the first of its kind in Australia.

03 USC has, for the first time, been represented at the annual Australia and New Zealand Three Minute Thesis Competition. PhD student Steven Boyd was one of 42 contestants who gave three-minute presentations on their theses at the University of Western Australia in September. Mr Boyd’s presentation examined the use of fun games as teaching tools and how computer games could boost property investment education.

04 A naming and smoking ceremony for a gallery of large-scale Central and Western Desert paintings that are permanently displayed in the Innovation Centre’s auditorium was held on 26 September. The gallery is now called Ngabung Djamga, meaning Mother Messenger in the Kabi Kabi language. The naming of this exhibition space acknowledges the relationship of the local Indigenous people with USC and welcomes the artwork of other people to Kabi Kabi land.

05 A USC Business graduate is now merging the world of business with culture after landing her dream job with the Woodford Folk Festival recently. Kim Pengelly, 23, of Kawana is the commercial manager for the internationally-renowned music, arts and culture festival. She oversees an umbrella of commercial entities, working alongside a team of 2,500 people, to keep the Woodford Folk Festival flourishing as one of Australia’s major events.

Olympians pleased with USC’s pool
Elite swimmers add glamour to pool’s official opening

Olympic and Paralympic swimming champions from Australia and a 100m freestyle world record holder from France have all given a big thumbs up to the University of the Sunshine Coast’s pool.

Elite swimmers from France and Australia, who were training at USC in preparation for the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup in Singapore in November, added plenty of glamour to the pool’s official opening ceremony on 19 October.

Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves declared the pool open and fired the starting gun for a friendly relay race involving high-profile swimmers like gold medallists Libby Trickett, Jess Schipper and Kylie Palmer, Paralympic superfish Mat Cowdrey and French champion Alain Bernard.

Each of the swimmers commented on how much they had enjoying using the pool and having their techniques analysed by some state-of-the-art technology at USC.

A large crowd of University staff and community donors enjoyed the opening celebration and relay race, which also involved a team of local school students.

The $2.1 million heated, Olympic-size pool was funded by the Queensland Government, the University and more than $300,000 in community donations and in-kind support during construction.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the pool had provided the University with a tremendous teaching and research facility, as well as another world-class sporting venue for community use and training by elite athletes.

Professor Hill thanked all those who helped fund the pool, which was built over 10 months as stage one of USC’s planned aquatic centre.

The ceremony featured speeches by the Minister, Professor Hill and USC sports scientist and former Paralympian Professor Brendan Burkett. It also included the unveiling of a donor recognition sculpture.

Mechanical Engineering degree to start in 2012

THE University of the Sunshine Coast will introduce a Mechanical Engineering degree in 2012.

USC’s Professor of Engineering Mark Porter said he expected strong interest in the new four-year program, similar to that which followed the University’s introduction of Civil Engineering in 2009.

“I think this move to offer Mechanical Engineering underlines USC’s intention to become a significant provider of engineering graduates in Queensland,” he  said.

“We now have a series of programs in place and they are set to grow.”

Professor Porter said mechanical engineers were in high demand, particularly  in mining, power generation, transport, building and manufacturing.

Professor Porter said USC would rely on cross-institutional support from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to establish the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) program.

Students will be required to undertake some external subjects via USQ and travel to Toowoomba for laboratory work intensives each semester.

Athletes shine at national uni games
Strong performances see USC finish sixth at multi-sport carnival

University of the Sunshine Coast athletes secured silver medals in three events at the recent Australian University Games on the Gold Coast.

In its best result to date, USC finished 6th overall from 39 universities competing at the annual multi-sport carnival, after some impressive team and individual performances.

The men’s 4x100m relay team of Luke Grimley, Tommy Connolly, Patrick Killalea and Christian Mackenzie looked a strong chance for gold after winning their qualifying heat in a quick 44.06 seconds.

The team shaved more than half a second off that time in the final (43.49 seconds), but were edged out by the University of Sydney.

USC’s mixed touch team also was denied gold in a close final, losing 5-4 to the University of Canberra. The Coast team had won seven of its nine round matches before beating Bond University 6-4 in the semi-.nal to earn a grand final berth.

The women’s volleyball team finished second after its round robin matches and won through to the final with a 3-1 victory over the University of South Australia.

The University of Queensland was too strong in the final though, winning 3-0.

Other notable achievements for USC included 4th placings to the men’s beach volleyball team, the men’s indoor volleyball team and to sprinter Louise Maybuyry in the women’s 400m final.

Writers shortlisted for literary award

The University of the Sunshine Coast was well represented at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in September.

Creative Writing student Andrea Dudley of Maroochydore and her Honours supervisor Dr Ross Watkins of Maleny were among five writers shortlisted for the Emerging Queensland Author–Manuscript Award.

While neither collected the top prize of $20,000, both were excited about being shortlisted and enjoyed attending the prestigious awards event at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Cremorne Theatre at Southbank.

Dr Watkins, a Lecturer in Creative Writing, submitted his 40,000-word doctoral novel, The Arc, while Andrea’s work, from winter or river, is a 64,000-word novel she completed as a student at USC.

Cycling champ attends Ride to Work Day

Oceania and Australian Road Time Trial champion cyclist Shara Gillow was a special guest at USC’s annual Ride to Work Day event on 12 October.

Fresh from competing at the Giro D’Italia, where she won the second stage, Gillow used the occasion at USC to urge more people to take up cycling.

Gillow, 23, of Nambour is based at the Queensland Academy of Sport and works as a sports and recreation development officer.

The Ride to Work Day celebration was open to all USC staff and students and community members who were treated to breakfast, guided warm-down exercises and expert advice for bike maintenance.

Gillow also presented prizes of cycling gear and backpacks, and a $400 bicycle which went to Peter Duffy.

The event was organised by Travel2USC and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s TravelSmart program and Revolution Cycling.

University honours outstanding alumni
Awards presented to three high-achieving graduates

A scientist who now works at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, a mining consultant from Perth and a Brisbane-based social entrepreneur are USC’s 2011 Outstanding Alumni of the Year.

The high-achieving trio are PhD graduate Nubia Ramos of Nambour, Bachelor of Business graduate Dave Gilbert of Ilkley, and combined Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business graduate Chris Raine who grew up in Caloundra.

They were honoured at the University’s annual Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards ceremony on Thursday 15 September.

Nubia Ramos previously gained a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from USC before graduating in September with her PhD.

She recently secured a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at one of the world’s leading medical universities, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Nubia spent six months at the Karolinska Institute in 2010, as part of her PhD research into the genetic make-up of E.coli bacteria in the urogenital tract.

Dave Gilbert graduated with a Bachelor of Business (International Business) in 2006.

The former diesel mechanic is now the Executive General Manager of Operations of AGC, which helps large and small clients—including BHP, Rio Tinto and Gindalbie Minerals—to build, maintain and upgrade oil, gas and mineral resource development projects.

Dave is one of six international managers on the AGC Executive Committee.

He has a staff of 600 people and is responsible for monitoring performance, identifying key issues within the business, and successfully implementing and updating company strategy.

Chris Raine graduated with a combined Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business degree in 2009.

He is the founder and CEO of website and blog Hello Sunday Morning, which is gaining international attention for helping individuals take responsibility for their relationship with alcohol and helping to change Australians’ cultural dependence on it.

It was announced recently that Chris is one of four finalists for the Queensland Young Australian of the Year. The winner will be decided in mid-November.

All three Outstanding Alumni of the Year winners said they felt honoured to be recognised by USC in this way.

USC’s internal structure to change in 2012

USC is about to change its internal academic structure from three faculties to two.

The Faculty of Science, Health and Education, will be extended in name only to include the word "Engineering" and will comprise three schools: Health and Sport Sciences; Nursing and Midwifery; and Science, Education and Engineering.

The Faculties of Arts and Business will be combined and will also have three schools: Business; Communication; and Social Sciences.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said most universities of the same size and slightly larger than USC had a two-faculty structure.

The University has appointed Professor Joanne Scott as the Executive Dean of the new Faculty of Arts and Business.

Professor John Bartlett of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) will become the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.

Five stars for teaching

The University of the Sunshine Coast has continued to shine as a five-star achiever in the 2012 Good Universities Guide.

For the third 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, and for Indigenous participation.

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

Its ratings for graduates’ satisfaction have also remained the highest awarded to any public university in Queensland.

Honorary award for world-class thinker

A successful business woman, who has helped many small companies to think big in terms of their export potential, has become an Honorary Doctor of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Dr Karen Woolley, the CEO of Proscribe Medical Communications and a director of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast for the past four years, received her honorary award at USC’s Graduation Ceremony on Friday 30 September.

Dr Woolley of Noosaville is an adjunct professor of USC and the University of Queensland.

She was judged the Sunshine Coast Business Woman of the Year in 2004 and the Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2005.

She champions the idea of "small giant" business innovation, which is an approach used by companies that aim to be great rather than big.

The University also awarded Honorary Senior Fellowships to Beverley Hinz, Jocelyn Walker, Otto Klaus and John Shadforth at the Graduation ceremony.

Ms Walker was recognised for her work in helping young people into tertiary education by establishing an annual scholarship at Immanuel Lutheran College, while Ms Hinz was honoured for actively encouraging female students to pursue their academic goals, particularly through her work with Graduate Women Queensland.

The award to Mr Shadforth was for inspiring others to pursue their dreams through his not-for-profit Encouragement Foundation, while Mr Klaus was rewarded for his dedication to coaching soccer teams. Otto Klaus, Jocelyn Walker, John Shadforth and Beverley Hinz are now Honorary Senior Fellows.

Reward for excellence

An environmental scientist who’s focused on sustainable fashion and a high school special needs teacher shared the limelight at USC’s Graduation ceremony on 30 September.

Environmental Science graduate Katie Roberts, 27, of Maroochydore and Education graduate Robert Gibbs, 47, of Buderim both received Chancellor’s Medals—the highest award available to graduating students.

The medals recognise their excellence in academic performance, University governance, community service and student welfare during their time at USC.

Medals for academics

The University of the Sunshine Coast has presented Vice-Chancellor’s medals to Emeritus Professor Pam Dyer and Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Dr Lisa Chandler.

Professor Dyer’s medal for service recognised her outstanding contribution to the University and its community from when she started as a lecturer in 1996 to when she retired this year as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr Chandler’s medal for engagement honoured her ability to provide leadership and foster mutually bene. cial connections between University staff and regional partners.

Founding CEO says farewell
Innovation Centre boss parts with quite a few one-liners

There was hardly a dry eye in the house when the founding CEO of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre, Colin Graham, made his farewell speech at the end of September.

That’s because most of the 80 invited guests had tears in their eyes from laughing so much as Mr Graham told numerous jokes and witty anecdotes about his life as a child in Ireland, his early career and about his time at USC.

After 10 years as the Innovation’s Centre CEO, Mr Graham said he believed it was an opportune time for him to pursue his own entrepreneurial business and consulting opportunities.

“I’ve enjoyed so many good wishes today that I think I should’ve left more often,” he announced in a cheeky Irish lilt as he began his farewell speech.

Colin relocated from the United Kingdom at the end of 2001 to launch the Innovation Centre at USC.

Within 18 months, it was recognised as Regional Business Incubator of the Year for Australia.

The centre has gone on to support the start-up and growth of 83 businesses, creating over 350 direct jobs in sectors such as information and communication technology, clean technology, health technology and creative industries.

It grew from having just three businesses in 2002 to over 30 client companies this year, and  is increasingly recognised as an entrepreneurial hub with more than 6,000 people attending the centre’s program of business networking and education events to date.

Mr Graham and his team have helped raise the profile of the Sunshine Coast as an  innovation hotspot by encouraging networking and learning, helping client companies to raise over $24 million in investment capital and providing opportunities for USC students to learn from leading entrepreneurs and to gain valuable work experience and employment.

Study advice for 2012 applicants

The University of the Sunshine Coast will hold its annual Options Evening on Monday 19 December to provide last-minute advice for people intending to study at USC in 2012.

USC’s Acting External Relations Manager Julie Flanagan encouraged all potential students to come along at any time between 4pm and 6.30pm to get their questions answered.

"If you want to know your options at USC, this is your chance to talk one-on­one with academics and admissions and support staff, or to take campus tours with current students," Ms Flanagan said.

"Prospective students can explore study options, learn about new courses and find out how to study overseas as part of a USC degree."

USC sets national standard for sustainable development

It's official … the University of the Sunshine Coast is in a class of its own when it comes to environmental practices.

USC has become the first university in Australia to gain full EnviroDevelopment accreditation from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) for achieving elements of sustainability across six categories—ecosystems, waste, energy, materials, water and community.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan said he was thrilled the University had been recognised for meeting the strict accreditation standards.

Professor Hefferan said USC had taken many steps to reduce environmental impacts  including the use of stormwater run-off for irrigation, and designing buildings which take advantage of natural ventilation.

National EnviroDevelopment Manager Kirsty Chessher said the University’s accreditation in all six areas of sustainability was an exceptional achievement, which has set the bar for green practices in university campuses.

"This is a terrific achievement for the University of the Sunshine Coast and establishes the university as a real leader in the field of creating environmentally sustainable centres for higher learning," she said.

Chief scientist launches major research project
USC joins other universities for collaborative research

Australia's Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb visited the University of the Sunshine Coast in early September to launch its exciting $5.45 million Collaborative Research Network (CRN) project.

This important three-year project—called the Research Futures Project—will see USC join forces with University, the University of Tasmania and the University of Queensland to undertake nationally significant research.

It also will involve USC working with Queensland University of Technology to establish a Centre for Leadership in Research Development to help USC and other smaller universities further develop their research capacity.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco said the Research Futures Project was one of only 12 projects nationally to receive CRN funding from the Commonwealth Government.

"This will be a shot in the arm for research at USC, boosting our current research strengths in areas such as water, sustainability, forestry and aquaculture," Professor De Marco said.

"The project will signi.cantly increase the quantity, quality and impact of USC’s research outcomes and outputs."

USC also recently joined forces with five other regional universities across Australia in a bid to create a stronger voice for regional tertiary institutions and their communities.

The Regional Universities Network (RUN) was launched in mid-October with USC as a core partner alongside the University of Ballarat, University of Southern Queensland, Southern Cross University, University of New England and Central Queensland University.

Science student gets ball rolling

The Innovation Centre auditorium was transformed into a 15th century carnival of colourful masks and flowing gowns for USC’s first masquerade ball on Saturday 29 October.

The event was the brainchild of Biomedical Science student Elizabeth Anthony, 20, who took on the task of organising the function shortly after moving from Melbourne to Maroochydore.

"Because I was new to the University and didn’t really know anyone, I decided that organising a ball would be a great way to meet people and make new friends," she said.

Ms Anthony said more than 110 people attended the ball, which featured a three-course meal and dancing.

Glasshouse to boost tree research on campus

Important research into producing fast-growing native trees that can help mitigate climate change now has a new home at  the University of the Sunshine Coast.

A 200 square metre glasshouse that will be used by USC, the CSIRO and the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) has been constructed on campus.

The $500,000 facility has been fitted out with an automated mechanical ventilation system, and plants and equipment are expected to arrive soon.

USC’s Professor of Agricultural Ecology Helen Wallace said the polycarbonate glasshouse contained four 50 square metre chambers—one for each of the three partners for their individual research and one for joint projects.

Professor Wallace said the facility  would be used for a variety of research activities, particularly the propagation of endangered native plants, hardwood trees and rainforest trees.

Kiteboarder is sportsperson of the year

High-flying kiteboarder Andy Yates of Bokarina was recently crowned the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2011 Sportsperson of the Year.

The Bachelor of Science student clinched the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association world title in December last year after winning three of the 10 world tour events in France, the Canary Islands and New Caledonia.

As well as winning the trophy for Sportsperson of the Year, Yates was also one of three students to gain Full Blue awards at the USC Sports Awards Ceremony in late October.

The other recipients were Paralympic swimming world record holder Blake Cochrane of Sippy Downs, and talented mixed touch player Cameron Sullivan of Sippy Downs.

Half Blue awards went to touch player Stephanie McManaway of Sippy Downs and sailing champion Mitchell Kennedy of Buddina.

The University’s Team of the Year was its mixed touch team.

National award for raising aspirations

The University of the Sunshine Coast has won a national award for its efforts in raising the educational aspirations of people from north Brisbane to Hervey Bay.

USC recently received its first Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) National Program Award, valued at $25,000, for its project entitled "Regional Access, Inclusion and Success in Education" (RAISE).

The University was one of only 10 across Australia, and one of three in Queensland to receive ALTC Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning for 2011. Its success was in the category for "educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations".

USC’s application highlighted five of its outreach initiatives: its Headstart program for high school students; an alternative entry program called Tertiary Preparation Pathway; its provision of a Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE USC); a Creative Writing Excellence program in schools; and an Integrated Engineering Learning program in schools.

University researchers win prestigious national grants
Researchers celebrate winning sought-after competitive grants

Two research projects at the University of the Sunshine Coast that could help unlock the secret to extending life and develop new fuel cell materials have won prestigious national competitive grants.

USC is celebrating Australian Research Council’s (ARC) recognition for two of its researchers in particular, plus USC’s involvement in three collaborative projects that also earned ARC grants on Tuesday 1 November.

Senior Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Biology Dr Scott Cummins gained a $145,000 ARC Discovery Project grant for his project titled: "Sleeping snails: investigating hypometabolism to reveal critical factors that aid life extension".

Dr Cummins said the research would involve defining the genes and peptides integral to snail hypometabolism — a process in which the snails’ metabolism almost stops.

He said this research could help control snail pests as well as provide new insights into life extension in biology in general.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco is a joint chief investigator in a project called "New mesoporous materials for use in high temperature proton exchange fuel cell membranes".

This Curtin University-led study gained a three-year ARC Discovery Project grant of $420,000, with $40,000 each year going to support a PhD student at USC.

In addition, USC is a partner in three successful ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities grants.

Science graduate wins water industry award
Innovative work in water analysis brings rewards for USC graduate

A University of the Sunshine Coast PhD graduate with an outstanding track record of innovation in scientific water analysis was recently named Queensland Water Industry Woman of the Year.

The major award was one of two involving Unitywater senior microbiologist Dr Tracey Wohlsen, of Caloundra, at the prestigious Australian Water Association (AWA) State Awards in August.

Dr Wohlsen’s microbiology laboratory team at Unitywater also won the Queensland Program Innovation Award for its groundbreaking method of detecting E.coli bacteria in sewage and saline water samples in half the time previously taken.

"It’s exciting that microbiologists are being recognised for the hard work we do in our water testing laboratories," said Dr Wohlsen, who has worked in the public sector for 20 years.

"I was nominated via Sunshine Coast Council and Unitywater, so I’m honoured to be recognised by local industry as well as this national organisation."

She said the University of the Sunshine Coast helped boost her career after she completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Science in 2007.

Her thesis explored new microbial detection of protozoa in surface waters.

Dr Wohlsen now regularly mentors USC methods for water quality analysis and Honours students "to give other people the chance that USC gave me".

First USC alumni event in Germany

Graduates and former Study Abroad and exchange students met at the Goethe University in Frankfurt for the first USC alumni event in Germany.

Hosting the reception was Dean of Business Professor Evan Douglas, who was visiting Germany with USC’s Executive MBA students on a study tour including the Mannheim Business School.

More than 30 guests enjoyed hearing the latest University news as well as reconnecting with their classmates.

"It was really good to see old friends and make new ones to share what we experienced at USC and in Australia," said alumna Laura Bast.

"It was also good to hear that USC is expanding and giving opportunities for alumni."

MBA boosts career for regional manager

When Aaron Bourke decided to study a Master of Business Administration at the University of the Sunshine Coast, his aim was to get ahead in his career.

"I’ve definitely achieved that," said the 34-year-old former elite swimmer from North Rockhampton who notched up three promotions in his company in the four years of his part-time Business studies at USC.

Mr Bourke, who graduated with his MBA this year, is Regional Manager of Flexihire, part of the BOC Group, based in Rockhampton.

"The MBA opened up a whole new set of tools for me to use at work," he said.

"I’d previously used commonsense and what I’d learnt from other people but USC has given me a library of information and knowledge that I can refer to."

Nursing student gains her ‘wings’
Flying Doctor placement inspires Nursing Science student

Studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast has given wings to the career aspirations of final-year Nursing Science student Christine Pointon.

Ms Pointon, 41 of Buderim, recently completed a two-week placement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) based in Bundaberg and servicing the Queensland outback.

"It was awesome," she said. "It was such a privilege to get a placement like this with an Australian icon."

"I worked under direct supervision of the flight nurse, and the patients were usually ICU (intensive care), coronary care or neo-natal. We flew to places like Cunnamulla, St George, Charleville, Warwick, Emerald and Rockhampton. Most of the transports were to Brisbane, especially coronary care or obstetrics."

Ms Pointon said it was interesting to observe how the crew balanced health and aviation safety concerns at all times, carefully considering the possible effects of pressurised air on patients’ conditions or injuries.

Ms Pointon, who also did placements at hospitals in Bowen and Nambour as part of her degree, said studying Nursing Science at USC was part of her 10-year goal to join the RFDS.

"To be a flight nurse, you must be a registered nurse and a midwife, and you need to have intensive care and emergency trauma experience," she said.

"I plan to work locally as a nurse to get my foundation general nursing skills and to continue studying midwifery and advanced practice at USC."

Ms Pointon recently became the inaugural recipient of the Joy Croker Centaur Memorial Silver Medal for Academic Excellence by a Nursing Student at USC.

This was presented by Dr Deborah Prior of the Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses at the University’s Semester 2 scholarships, bursaries and awards presentation ceremony on Friday 14 October.

Applications abound for Study Support bursaries

The first USC Study Support Bursaries, funded by pooled community donations, were presented to 25 students in October.

These $4,000 bursaries are designed to help students, particularly those from low socio­economic backgrounds, by giving them the chance to spend less time in paid employment and more time focussing on study.

The USC Study Support Bursary Fund is a pooled fund, so the number of bursaries provided each semester will depend on the amount of money donated.

About 175 students made applications for the first round of bursaries.

Contributions can be made by contacting the University’s Foundation Office on +61 7 5430 1104 or email

GHD provides scholarships

Engineering consulting company GHD has this year provided two new $5,000 scholarships for final-year Engineering students at USC.

GHD’s Sunshine Coast manager Bruce Johnson and the company’s Roads, Transport and Highways regional manager Bill Thew presented the awards to Gina Leach and Matthew Chilton at USC’s recent Engineering Awards ceremony.

"We are committed to supporting students at USC and look forward to working with the University’s Engineering program into the future," Mr Johnson said.

Seven awards totalling $22,000 were presented to USC engineering students at the ceremony.

GHD also helped organise an Engineers Australia dinner in October to celebrate USC’s success in gaining provisional accreditation for its Civil Engineering degree.

Students take travel to art
If there’s an art to travel, USC students are putting themselves well and truly in the picture

The USC Gallery has this year continued to present collections of photographs taken by students while they studied abroad through the University’s award-winning GO (Global Opportunities) Program.

Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich said the GO Journal was initiated in 2009 to inform and encourage students to take up the GO Program and to make use of the opportunity to study overseas for one or two semesters.

“The GO Journal is a visual documentation of the students’ experiences and their images as they explore the seasons, climate, culture, cuisine, terrain and the people they encounter on their adventures,” she said.

Ms Oelrich said about 10 "mini exhibitions" of photographs are shown each year and they are coordinated by the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine ArtsSociety (ADFAS) scholarship interns.

About 85 USC students took part in the GO program this year, studying in 14 different countries. Many received USC or government travel grants, including $5,000 subsidies from the Department of Education, Employment andWorkplace Relations.

Vice-Chancellor’s portrait has special significance

University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill is not the sort of person who likes to be fussed over.

But he had to grin and bear it recently when a small crowd of 40 invited guests gathered in his honour in the USC Chancellery for the unveiling of his of. cial portrait.

The painting by Blue Mountains artist Christopher McVinish features Professor Hill in a sitting pose in front of a stunning Western Desert painting, Marrapinti, by Indigenous artist Naata Nungurrayi.

This artwork, which took pride of place in Professor Hill’s of. ce when he was USC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2005 to 2010, holds special significance for him.

Professor Hill said on accepting the commission to do the portrait in February, Mr McVinish asked him what aspects of his life he wanted included in the painting.

"There were three things," he said.

"One was my academic background as a geographer, so I was hoping to have a map or a globe or maybe a satellite image. The second was my association with Indigenous Australia and the third was my vision for USC to have a broader geographical footprint."

Professor Hill said the inclusion of the Western Desert painting from his old office was an inspired choice by Mr McVinish.

"Indigenous desert artworks are all maps, so essentially I got all three in one," he said.

USC Gallery exhibitions

Unfold: Minds, Open For The Future
10–19 November

Incorporating digital prints, graphic design, animation, illustration, web sites, 3-D modelling and interactive CD-ROMS, this exhibition will showcase the culmination of three years of study by advanced-level Design students at USC. The students will present their portfolios of digital design and commercial graphic art in readiness for a career in design.

2 February–3 March 2012

The word “Berbagi” is Bahasa Indonesia, the of.cial language of Bali, and it means "sharing". The exhibition Berbagi is curated by Queensland paper maker and fibre artist, Di Tait, and is the result of a series of paper-making and paper sculpture workshops that were held in Bali in 2011. Ten Queensland artists and two Bali-based international artists have combined to present the two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks created from the experience

Gallery closed for summer

The USC Gallery will be closed from 21 November 2011 and will re-open to the public on Thursday 2 February 2012. Some major maintenance projects, including the installation of a new storage system and upgrading the gallery lighting, will be carried out during this time.

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.

The 2011 University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery exhibition program is proudly supported by Coastline BMW and the Kurz family.