Community - 2012, Edition 3 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Community - 2012, Edition 3

Community: Edition 3 2012

Vice-Chancellor’s COMMENT

"USC is well-placed for this expansion, along with greater outreach activities across the region."

University begins major geographical expansion

This is a very exciting time for the University of the Sunshine Coast as it gears up for a major geographical expansion.

USC will begin offering study programs in both Gympie and central Brisbane from Semester 1, 2013, thanks to plenty of hard work and negotiation this year.

In Gympie, we are currently constructing a $5.5 million Learning Hub on the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE campus and will initially offer programs in Education, Nursing Science and our Tertiary Preparation Pathway bridging course.

A recent agreement between USC and Southbank Institute of Technology will see our academics teaching bachelor degrees in Commerce, Justice and Legal Studies, and Tourism, Leisure and Event Management at the SBIT campus.

I believe USC is well-placed for this expansion, along with planned greater outreach activities across the region. My confidence is buoyed by the University’s sustained growth and our continued success at a national level, especially in the areas of learning and teaching and research.

It was particularly gratifying to see the Commonwealth Office for Learning and Teaching present USC staff with six Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in October.

These citations distinguish Australia’s most inspiring academic and professional staff whose teaching contributions have enriched student learning for a sustained period of time.

The awards also reinforce USC’s great results in the 2013 Good Universities Guide, which awarded USC five stars in several key areas including teaching quality and overall graduate satisfaction.

These are just two examples of USC clearly punching above its weight. There are many more examples inside this edition.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

Around USC

01 USC has won an award for development excellence from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Queensland. USC was named a joint winner of UDIA (Qld)’s Wildcard Award — for significant contribution to the urban development industry and the community. The UDIA is Australia’s peak representative body for the urban development industry. UDIA (Qld) President Matthew Wallace congratulated USC for its commitment to best-practice urban design and sustainable development.

02 Eighteen forestry stakeholders across Australia have contributed to a $500,000 alliance with USC to investigate new methods of improving their industry’s economic and environmental sustainability. The year-long USC Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance recognises the importance of building on the momentum of research in forest operations. The Alliance Director is USC Professor of Forestry Operations Mark Brown.

03 Two USC academics who co-authored a book that revealed the intriguing history of Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet have won a national award. Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Business Professor Joanne Scott and Lecturer in Politics Bronwyn Stevens, along with third co-author Professor Patrick Weller of Griffith University, received the Mander Jones Award from the Australian Society of Archivists for their book, From Postbox to Powerhouse: A Centenary History of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

04 A television commercial that featured hundreds of USC students in a mock protest last year has helped earn USC a Queensland marketing industry award. USC’s ambitious “Help the city students” brand advertising campaign was judged the State winner of the Marketing Communications (Business to Consumer) category of the Australian Marketing Institute’s 2012 Awards for Marketing Excellence. The campaign, produced by advertising agency Engine Group, was spearheaded by a 90-second television commercial.

05 USC Nursing Science student Pauline Lambert has been selected as one of five Emerging Nurse Leaders (ENL) from across Australia. Pauline was named the only Queensland winner for the 2013 ENL program, which is an initiative of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) that aims to identify undergraduate students who have a passion for the profession and the ideas and capacity to inspire their peers towards change.

USC wins six national teaching awards
University’s quality teaching earns prestigious citations

The University of the Sunshine Coast has emerged as a national leader in quality teaching after recently winning an impressive six awards from the Commonwealth Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT).

Federal Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans announced that USC staff were among 152 individuals and groups nationally to receive OLT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for 2012 in early October.

USC’s number of citations this year is above the national average and, when considered as a ratio to academic staff numbers, puts the University in a class of its own.

Only three universities received more citations than USC this year (each winning seven), but those institutions are five to seven times larger than USC in terms of student population.

USC’s recipients were Dr Justin Debuse, Associate Professor Peter Dunn, Dr Mark Sayers, Associate Professor Meredith Lawley, Johanna Einfalt and Janet Turley (jointly), and the University’s International Projects Group.

The citations, worth $10,000 each, recognise the staff members’ dedication to student learning in information systems, biomechanics and biostatistics, and for providing research supervision, academic skills advice and stimulating educational reform in Indonesian Papua.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the awards highlighted the passion, commitment and professionalism of USC staff, who have now won 23 citations over four years.

Athletes strike gold at Games

USC’s men’s athletics team — comprising just four dedicated sprinters — made much larger teams sit up and pay attention at the Australian University Games in October.

Tommy Connolly, Luke Grimley, Ben Hayward and Christian Mackenzie came away from the Games in Adelaide with an impressive haul of three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Connolly won USC’s first gold medal at this level of competition in the 400m hurdles (55.33 seconds). Grimley followed suit, winning the 400m final in 47.95 seconds. These two combined with Mackenzie and Hayward to win gold in the 4x400m relay, silver in the 4x100m relay and bronze in the 1600m medley relay.

Hayward also won silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m.

Paid parking plan

In consideration of environmental, financial and other factors, USC is looking to introduce a system of paid parking on its Sippy Downs campus from 2013.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the University aimed to adopt a model that was simple, sustainable, equitable, affordable and flexible.

Funds raised from paid parking will be used to help improve existing parking facilities and subsidise construction and maintenance costs of new parking facilities.

More details about the paid parking plan are available on the USC website

Paralympic gold double for Blake

Sport and Exercise Science student Blake Cochrane played a lead role in Australia’s gold rush in the pool at the Paralympic Games in London in August–September.

Cochrane, 21, who deferred from his degree this year to concentrate on his swimming, won his 100m breaststroke SB7 final in a world-record time of one minute 18.77 seconds. He then teamed up with Matthew Levy and fellow USC-based High-Performance Paralympic Squad members Matthew Cowdrey and Andrew Pasterfield to win the men’s 4x100m relay in three minutes 50.17 seconds.

Cochrane’s success and that of other members of the High-Performance Paralympic Squad has left people wondering if there’s something special in the water at the USC pool.

Business expert to lead Gympie Learning Hub
Manager looks forward to promoting University to a broader region

A business management and marketing academic with an extensive business development background is set to lead USC’s new $5.5 million Gympie Learning Hub.

Graham Young joined USC at Sippy Downs in mid-November and will take up his position as Manager of USC Gympie early next year.

Mr Young’s previous job was at the University of Southern Queensland, where he was a Lecturer in Marketing and Business Management and the Fraser Coast Campus Coordinator for its Faculty of Business and Law.

“I was attracted to this job because it’s a start-up operation, something I’m very familiar with after a long time in the IT and computer industry where I started organisations from scratch and enjoyed the process very much,” he said. “My first goal is to get the building commissioned and promote the campus to Gympie and the wider Gympie region, from Kilkivan to Tin Can Bay to Goomeri. I expect the first degree programs at USC Gympie, Education and Nursing, to be very popular.”

Semester 1 classes at Gympie in 2013 will be provided at the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE and James Nash State High School while construction of USC’s facility on the WBIT campus is completed.

Meanwhile, USC will also have a base in Brisbane from Semester 1, 2013, following an agreement signed recently by the University and the Southbank Institute of Technology (SBIT). The agreement will see USC academics teaching on site at SBIT in three popular bachelor programs: Commerce (Accounting); Justice and Legal Studies; and Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management).

Combined degree in Nursing Science and Midwifery

The University of the Sunshine Coast will offer a new combined degree in Nursing Science and Midwifery from Semester 1, 2013.

USC’s Head of School for Nursing and Midwifery Associate Professor Margaret Barnes said the four-year degree had been introduced due to strong demand for health professionals with dual qualifications in nursing and midwifery.

The new degree will add to the University’s extensive suite of nursing and midwifery programs.

Inspiring student earns top medal
Postgraduate student gives his all to help others and gains near-perfect GPA

A University of the Sunshine Coast student who worked tirelessly to assist other students, despite the physical limitations of having cerebral palsy, was honoured at USC’s Graduation ceremony on Friday 5 October.

Patrick Walden, 23, of Woombye received the Chancellor’s Medal — USC’s highest award for a graduating student — before a crowd of more than 1,200 people at the University’s Sports Stadium.

The medal is presented in recognition of a student’s excellence in academic performance, University governance, community service and student welfare.

The 2010 USC Business graduate achieved a near-perfect grade point average of 6.917 during his Graduate Diploma of Education program, and his dedication to study was matched by his involvement in the University.

He worked as a peer adviser for USC’s Student Services, was a member of the University’s Student Liaison Committee, and helped promote USC’s award-winning Headstart Program.

Patrick said he felt a great sense of pride in receiving the Chancellor’s Medal.

“I have put a lot of time into both my studies and making positive contributions to USC, so it is an honour to be recognised by USC through this prestigious award,” he said.

“I find it satisfying to help others and believe the more you put into an organisation like USC, the more you get out.”

At the October ceremony, Patrick also delivered the Graduate Response. He focused on how much USC had changed since he first started studying Headstart in 2006 as a Mountain Creek State High School student.

Patrick is currently working at Coolum State High School, where he teaches Business and Information and Communications Technology.

University rewards dedication

An Indonesian education adviser renowned for forging alliances that provide a brighter future for young people in developing nations has become an Honorary Doctor of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Dr Willi Toisuta received the honorary award at the USC’s Graduation ceremony on Friday 5 October. Dr Toisuta is the head of Indonesian educational consultancy Willi Toisuta & Associates, which works closely with institutions including USC.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill presented Honorary Senior Fellowships to surf lifesaving and helicopter rescue identity Hayden Kenny and James Nash State High School principal Darrin Edwards.

Five stars for teaching quality and satisfaction

USC has been awarded top marks by the 2013 Good Universities Guide for the educational experience it provides students.

This annual independent guide, produced by Hobsons, gave USC five stars for teaching quality, overall graduate satisfaction, and graduates’ satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university.

It also awarded the University five stars for gender balance and Indigenous participation.

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

USC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said the University was proud of its continued success as a five-star achiever.

Study options advice

Hundreds of potential students, including those who have already chosen USC as a QTAC preference, will visit the Sippy Downs campus on Monday 17 December to get last-minute advice on enrolling to study in 2013.

USC staff will offer one-on-one advice and group seminars about program options, pathways to university, overseas study, scholarships, costs and student services.

Current USC students will share their experiences at the annual USC Options Q&A Evening, from 4pm to 6.30pm.

Ride to Work event moves up another gear
Students and staff saddle up for sustainable transport celebration

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Ride to Work Day celebration is gaining momentum each year.

About 100 students and staff this year answered the call to leave their cars at home for the day on Wednesday 17 October and travel by bicycle, carpool or walk.

The University’s alternative transport committee, Travel2USC, organised the event and provided participants with a free healthy breakfast as they arrived between 7.30am and 10.30am.

A convoy of cyclists, dubbed the “Northern Bike Train” travelled from Peregian Beach through Coolum, Mudjimba and Mooloolaba before reaching Sippy Downs at 8.30am. By the time it arrived at USC’s Art Gallery piazza, the celebrations on campus were well underway.

The Ride to Work Day event was sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Council’s TravelSmart program and Spin City Cycles Mooloolaba. Both organisations provided prizes for registered participants.

Travel2USC is committed to raising the profile of the sustainable transport options available to USC staff and students.

Stressless Day helps students to unwind

Hundreds of students swapped study books for massages, yoga, food and music on Tuesday 23 October in a bid to reduce their stress levels ahead of exams and final assignments. It was Stressless Day, a once-a-semester event that is growing in popularity at USC.

Student Equity and Diversity Officer Marjorie Blowers said the day helped students and staff learn how to manage life’s pressures and achieve a balance. She said 220 healthy barbecue meals were served, while students took home about 80 relaxation CDs, enjoyed 50 free massages and chatted with counsellors.

Hendra virus detection project begins
Molecular engineering academic gains State Government grant

A single-use, disposable dipstick could soon be developed to rapidly detect some of the world’s deadliest viruses — including Hendra virus — thanks to new research at USC.

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Engineering Joanne Macdonald, 37, has received a $120,000 grant from the Queensland Government to develop a diagnostic tool that uses molecular circuitry to detect a range of viruses.

These include Hendra, Australian bat lyssavirus, Nipah, Kunjin/West Nile, Murray Valley encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis.

Dr Macdonald said the target viruses were chosen due to the severity of their symptoms and because they had either been detected in Queensland or efforts were being made to keep them out of the State.

“What happens now is that patients are swabbed for viruses and a sample is sent to the lab to run a multitude of tests involving very expensive electronic devices,” she said.

“What I would like to do is design a system where we use molecules themselves to detect viruses, and the results are provided on a little device right there at the doctor’s surgery.

“Think of it like a pregnancy test stick, although this is a stick which could test for about 20 viruses and the results are displayed as a single word or code.”

Dr Macdonald said she anticipated the system would supply patient results within 90 minutes and that this early detection would help contain outbreaks and improve both patient and animal care.

The talented researcher arrived at USC in late-2011 after relocating from Columbia University in New York. She has plans to develop a postgraduate program at USC to train scientists in the emerging field of molecular engineering.

USC co-leads global climate change project

The University of the Sunshine Coast is co-leading a three-year international research project on climate change adaptation and water governance, which recently won a grant of one million Euros.

USC Associate Professor Neil Powell said the University had joined forces with the renowned Stockholm Environment Institute for this project and would draw on Sunshine Coast and Australia-wide research and case studies on sustainability issues.

USC will receive about AUD$400,000 of the grant, which has come from three European philanthropic organisations, Volkswagen Foundation, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Compagnia di San Paolo.

The project, which began in October, involves 10 research partners from Sweden, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, United States, Canada and Australia.

Dr Powell recently joined USC as a Collaborative Research Networks Professorial Fellow in Sustainability and will coordinate the grant project.

Engineering student wins award

A USC Civil Engineering student whose research findings aim to improve long-term stormwater management on the Sunshine Coast has claimed an impressive industry award.

USC Honours student Liam Owen, who is majoring in Environment and Water, won the Michael Woodhouse Memorial Award for his final-year research project.

It is the most highly prized student award offered by Engineers Australia in Queensland for water engineering.

Mr Owen, 41, won the $500 bursary after his presentation beat the competition of university students from across the state at the Engineers Australia event in Brisbane showcasing “Queensland’s most promising future water engineers”.

“It’s a fantastic honour,” said Mr Owen after the 17 October event where he outlined his investigation into the long-term viability of new stormwater management techniques on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Owen studied while working at Sunshine Coast Council as a technical support officer.

Innovation Centre welcomes new firms

Four high-growth companies open offices at USC facilityThe Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast officially welcomed four new entrepreneurial businesses to its premises at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Friday 12 October.

The new high-growth companies are: publishing and consulting business eContent Management; a recipe website for people with food allergies and intolerances, Allergy; a mining industry recruitment and labour services firm Cloud Recruiting; and executive coaching company Developing Elite Professionals.

A special celebration was hosted by USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill, Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Chris Thompson and Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast CEO Mark Paddenburg.

Mr Paddenburg also acknowledged the rapid expansion of Future Oceans (formerly Fumunda Marine). This Innovation Centre-based company designs and manufactures underwater acoustic alarms used to alert whales, dolphins and porpoises to the presence of commercial fishing gear.

The Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Mayor congratulated the new and expanding companies on their endeavours before cutting ribbons to officially open their offices.

This was followed by a networking barbecue with existing Innovation Centre companies, partners and guests.

Since its opening in 2002, the Innovation Centre has been home to 93 businesses, creating more than 400 jobs in the region and helping to raise more than $26m in venture capital.

Everybody’s gone surfin’ … surfin’ USC

Learning to surf is fast becoming one of the most popular lessons for international students at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The University, in conjunction with Robbie Sherwell’s XL Surfing Academy, have offered reduced-rate learn-to-surf classes to USC students and staff since 2008.

USC Sport Manager Nathan Gordon said these once-a-month introductory lessons were popular among international students.

“Most of the participants are from the United Kingdom or the United States who are here for a short time and have surfing on their list of things they want to achieve before they leave Australia,” he said.

A recent session saw students from Europe, Asia and North America waxing down their surfboards before hitting the break at Alexandra Headland. All managed to catch waves and most celebrated by punching the air.

Olympic swimmer scoops sports award
Courageous effort earns USC’s top sporting award

Olympic swimmer Tessa Wallace of Caloundra was recently crowned the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2012 Sportsperson of the Year.

Wallace, 19, became the Australian 200m breaststroke champion at the 2012 Olympic trials in Adelaide in March and was a semi-finalist in this event at the London Olympics.

To make the Australian team was a huge achievement for the Bachelor of Communication student, who overcame a serious knee injury and a bout of Ross River fever that almost forced her to quit the sport.

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

The other recipients were international kayak competitor Stacey Higgins and outrigger canoeists Mitchell Olds and Jenaya Davis.

Half Blue awards went to Queensland surf lifesaving champion and Coolangatta Gold winner Ali Day, mixed touch player Ashleigh Solomon and sprinter Luke Grimley.

Grimley was also a member of USC’s men’s athletics team — along with Ben Hayward, Christian Mackenzie and Tommy Connolly — that won a swag of medals at the 2012 Australian University Games. This team was named the University’s 2012 Team of the Year.

For the second year in a row, Cameron Sullivan received a special USC Green Award for his efforts as touch football coordinator at USC.

Guest speaker at the ceremony was Paralympic swimmer Blake Cochrane, who spoke about his experiences of winning two gold medals at the London Games in August–September.

Food film wins Ecoflicks contest

A film produced by a USC academic which challenges people to consider how far some food has to travel before it reaches our dinner plates has won a short film competition run by the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association.

Lecturer in Tourism and Marketing Sarah Pye’s film, Food Miles Challenge, won the Ecoflicks 2012 Open category ahead of 13 other entries. The film also appeared online and gained the People’s Choice award in the competition.

Ms Pye said her movie highlighted positive ways to reduce carbon emissions through changing food consumption habits.

Drama for 2013 and Law for 2014

Budding performance makers, drama teachers and arts workers will step into the spotlight at USC next year when a new Arts major is introduced.

The Faculty of Arts and Business has received Academic Board approval to offer USC’s first Drama major, starting Semester 1, 2013.

Executive Dean Professor Joanne Scott said the eight-subject major aimed to produce multi-skilled graduates ready to participate in the performing arts, media or event industries.

Meanwhile, USC’s Council has given in-principle support for the introduction of Law in 2014.

More details on this planned program will be announced next year.

Supporters sign up for Starfish Program
USC launches new venture to assist students financially

An exciting new fundraising venture to help individual University of the Sunshine Coast students achieve their goals is quickly gaining momentum.

The USC Starfish Program was initially launched to USC staff in September and is about to be opened up to alumni to participate.

USC staff member and graduate Bruce Williams said the program provided a meaningful way for people to contribute to the well-being of students.

Funds raised will go directly to providing study support bursaries to students who might otherwise be unable to complete degrees at USC due to financial pressures.

Mr Williams said the Starfish Program concept was based on a parable about a boy making a difference to beached starfish by returning them to the sea one at a time.

“At USC, we care about our students and recognise that by giving, we can all make a difference—one student at a time,” he said.

Mr Williams said University staff had responded positively to this initiative.

“USC is now inviting the University’s alumni to join our staff in giving our students the freedom to learn by participating in this important program,” he said.

Mr Williams said the financial stress experienced by many students often had a significant impact on their capacity to study.

He said people who invested in students by becoming USC Starfish supporters would give those students freedom to transform their lives through education, to find success and to give back to the community.

“This is a chance for people to be part of something really special,” he said.

For details on how to donate, visit or email

Development Office builds on Foundation’s work

The former general manager of marketing and fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Russell Ousley, has taken on the role of Director of USC’s newly named Development Office.

Mr Ousley, 43, has spent more than 17 years of his 25-year working career developing marketing and fundraising programs and delivering business growth for not-for-profit organisations in education, arts, environment, health, disability and overseas aid.

As well as his position with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Mr Ousley’s career has included working for the Development Office of The University of Queensland and being a Director of Development at Moreton Bay College.

While the title of Director of Development is new to USC, the role replaces the former position of Foundation Executive Officer, previously held by Andrew Pentland. This is part of a bigger change, which involves the Foundation Office being renamed the Development Office.
“Development is a term used broadly by universities to encompass the responsibilities of creating and managing productive relationships which help the university to prosper,” Mr Ousley said. “Despite the change in name, the focus of the Development Office will be to extend on the work of the Foundation Office over the past 12 years.

“Our aim will be to continue to build on the relationships created by the Foundation Office which helped raise more than $10 million for: scholarships, bursaries and prizes; the Art Gallery; the USC Pool; Health and Sport Centre; and various campus beautification projects such as sculptures.”

Mr Ousley said the Development Office would retain responsibility for growing goodwill among several of the University’s key stakeholders, including USC’s alumni (graduates).

He also said the USC Foundation Board, a dedicated and respected group of community members, would continue in its role of helping to guide and deliver successful development campaigns for the University.

“I am very much looking forward to working with this group to continue their great work,” he said.

Degree arms Tara for community role

2012 Master of Health Promotion graduate Tara Gamble is now working with communities north of Brisbane to help reduce the harms associated with drug and alcohol misuse.

Ms Gamble, 34, is an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Worker with DRUG ARM and is also the organisation’s Team Leader of Prevention for South-East Queensland.

She said her degree had given her the skills she needed for her role, which involves working with communities to develop projects to reduce drug and alcohol use.

Graduate selected for Mississippi research

USC’s 2007 Outstanding Alumni Award winner Craig Hansen, 44, has become a sought-after health researcher in the United States.

The former guitar teacher graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science (Public Health) in 2001, Honours in 2002, and a PhD in Environmental Epidemiology in 2006.

He has since worked for the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and for the US Food and Drug Administration before recently becoming the Associate Director of Data Management for the Jackson Heart Study in Mississippi.

“The Jackson Heart Study is a well-known cohort study of African Americans looking at cardiovascular disease,” Dr Hansen said.

Update your contact details

USC’s Alumni Relations Office is keen to ensure it has the current email addresses of graduates, so they can receive alumni newsletters and invitations to events.

Please contact to update your details.

University celebrates outstanding alumni
Crowd gathers to celebrate high-achieving graduates

Three inspirational graduates were honoured at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2012 Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony on 13 September.

More than 120 guests–including alumni, staff, benefactors, family and friends–gathered to celebrate the achievements of an eye tissue engineering researcher, the dealer principal of Coastline BMW and the manager of USC’s International Projects Group.

During the presentation ceremony, citations for the award recipients were read out. Summarised versions are below:

Dr Laura Bray (nee Sinfield) who graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science at 18 and completed her PhD at QUT this year at 24, is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Queensland Eye Institute. Laura’s research, in the area of ocular tissue engineering, could potentially remove the need for eye donors for corneal transplants. It involves using protein isolated from silkworm cocoons that, if successful, could have far-reaching impacts in the treatment of severe eye injuries as well as common eye diseases.

Tristan Kurz is the director and dealer principal of Coastline BMW in Currimundi, which turns over $55 million dollars annually and employs more than 50 people. Tristan has won many national awards, including the BMW Individual dealer of the year, the BMW Finance dealer of the year and the Australian MINI dealer of the year. Tristan is also a corporate role model for his dedication to community and charitable causes. His company has supported several fundraising initiatives at USC, including the Art Gallery and the USC pool, as well as local high school students and charities. His volunteer role for five years as the first graduate on USC’s Foundation Board, paved the way for future alumni to give back to USC.

Suzie Burford has been the Manager of the International Projects Group (IPG) at USC for the past four years. In this time, Suzie has grown the IPG from a single-person operation with one grant of $135,000, to up to 20 project staff, running 25 projects and successfully applying for grants totalling $5.34 million. IPG’s programs aim to create positive impacts for international communities including Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Rwanda and Russia. These programs involve professional development and human resource capacity-building for foreign educators, nurses, IT specialists, government executives and officers.

Video highlights and photos of the awards ceremony can be viewed at

Students to play Santa in Tanzania
Nursing Science students to deliver Christmas cheer to young orphans

The University of the Sunshine Coast has teamed up with Buderim’s own version of Santa’s workshop to bring smiles to the faces of orphaned children in Tanzania this Christmas.

A group of 20 USC Nursing Science students will deliver handcrafted wooden toys made by members of Buderim Men’s Shed to children at Upendo Orphanage and Nursery School in Moshi on Christmas Day.

The orphanage is one of the facilities the students will visit during a four-week trip to Tanzania, starting mid-December. Other venues include the Rau Day Care Centre, St Joseph Hospital and Mawenzi Regional Hospital.

USC’s Senior Lecturer in Nursing Dr Leonie Williams said the students, aged 19 to 53, were looking forward to seeing the children’s reactions on Christmas Day.

She said students would work as volunteers in hospitals and health centres and gain an insight into the tough lives and working conditions in an underdeveloped nation.

“This type of work prepares students for disaster relief and gives them an understanding of the hardships should they choose to work in a third-world country,” she said. “The hospital I was working in when I was over there last time had no running water or insect screens in the wards, and candles were used for night lights.”

Gallery exhibitions

Rex Backhaus-Smith: Painting Life
29 November—20 December

This exhibition presents a combination of new and older works by Mr Backhaus-Smith, based on his visits to outback Australia. The Queensland-born and Sunshine Coast-based artist has had a professional career spanning more than 40 years. He has exhibited widely over many years, including several major international exhibitions. Backhaus-Smith weaves dream-like stories into his paintings with a lyrical surrealism in the hope that others share his enduring passion for the land. He uses figures, colour, symbols and a little humour to entice the viewer to share his outback experiences.

Paul Thomas: Images of Vietnam
7 February—9 March

In the two years since leaving the University of the Sunshine Coast, Emeritus Professor Paul Thomas AM has had the opportunity to nurture a life-long passion for photography. This exhibition will present his travel diary of the extraordinary people and places in Vietnam.

University of Missouri-St Louis poster exhibition
7 February—9 March

In collaboration with USC, the University of Missouri-St Louis in the United States will present a series of beautiful hand-silkscreened posters.

Donors help art collection expand

A significant increase in donations has boosted the value of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s art collection to more than $2.2 million.

USC Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich said the first official valuation of the collection since 2006 was undertaken earlier this year.

“Since 2006 we have had fantastic donations to our collection, which focuses on contemporary Australian art with an emphasis on Queensland artists,” she said.

“I have recently processed another 29 donations, which add further depth and interest to our growing collection.”

Ms Oelrich said the University was grateful for the support of the community, including artists and other benefactors, who have contributed a total of $1.23 million in art donations since the campus started in the mid-1990s.

“It represents the most significant public art collection in the region and many of the works can be viewed throughout the University campus,” she said.

The collection includes paintings, sculpture, photography, new media and Australian Indigenous paintings.

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a registered recipient for donations through the Federal Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

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 2012 University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery exhibition program is proudly supported by the Proost-De Deyne Family, owners of Big Kart Track Sunshine Coast.