Community - 2013, Edition 1 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Community - 2013, Edition 1

Community: Edition 1 2013

Vice-Chancellor’s comment

This year began on a very positive note for the University of the Sunshine Coast when Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan paid us a visit on 3 January.

Mr Swan officially announced that USC had been successful in its Education Investment Fund bid and would receive $30 million in funding towards construction of a $37.2 million state-of-the-art Engineering Learning Hub.

This is terrific news for our Engineering programs and for the region’s future.

Work on the Engineering Learning Hub is likely to begin this November, and will be our third major building project for this year.

Construction of USC’s $4 million Gympie Learning Hub and the $24 million Sippy Downs Learning Hub both began late last year and are ongoing.

These new buildings will serve USC well as it continues to grow and offer new study programs, including Law, which will start in 2014.

Our student population has already passed 9,000 and is on track to reach 12,000 within a few years.

This continued rapid growth, however, has placed a strain on our car parking facilities and forced our hand in implementing paid parking this semester.

The introduction of what should prove to be a fairly equitable system for all staff, students, tenants and visitors has, for the most part, gone quite smoothly.

Funds raised will help USC cover the costs of maintaining existing car parks and constructing future ones, including a multi-storey facility.

This planned approach will enable us to meet our future parking needs while helping to preserve the amenity of our campus.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

Around USC

01  An Environmental Science student, who left school in Year 9 but turned her life around to study at USC, has received a prestigious scholarship from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Ashleigh Morris, 23, of Mudjimba was among 40 Australian university students to receive the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award in Canberra in December. The award provides Ashleigh with $53,500 to help her undertake international study and gain work experience in Asia. She plans to study waste management at USC’s partner institution Sataya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga, Indonesia. Ashleigh completed USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway program in 2010.

02  Three bicycle repair stations worth a total of $2,500 have been installed at USC to give students and staff access to the tools they need to help them adopt cycling as a travel mode. Each station has a frame with arms to hang a bicycle and a series of wires attached to multi-purpose tools including spanners, a screwdriver and a tyre lever. The University, in partnership with Spin City Cycles, will hold free bike repair clinics throughout this semester.

03  A new publication, which has the potential to bring about big changes in the way Australian universities operate, was launched at USC in early February. The “Executive leadership of learning and teaching in higher education” handbook outlines how university leaders can inspire enthusiastic academic teaching and, in turn, boost student learning. Written by USC’s Executive Projects Unit director Don Maconachie and co-authors Dr Craig McInnis and Professor Paul Ramsden of consulting company Phillips KPA, the handbook was funded by an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching grant of $219,000.

04  Completing an Executive Master of Business Administration at USC last April has helped scientist Ben Starr of Peregian Beach boost his entrepreneurial success. Ben, 34, is Managing Director of O2 Environment +Engineering, an award-winning business he co-founded in 2009. “USC’s EMBA program provided a solid base in each of the aspects needed to effectively manage a business,” he said. Ben’s company now has offices in Brisbane and Hanoi, Vietnam. It was last year listed as one of Australia’s 100 fastest-growing start-up companies in the 2012 BRW Fast Starters list.

05  USC has introduced a system of paid parking at its Sippy Downs campus. The ticketless system operates from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday all year (except public holidays) and involves motorists entering their vehicle registration numbers into ticketing machines as they arrive at USC. The one-off cost of parking is $3 for a half day and $5 for a full day for a car ($2 for a half day and $3 for a full day for motorcycles). However, students who are regular carpark users can purchase six-monthly permits for $100. The University has also constructed a free carpark for 450 vehicles off Claymore Road, which is about 15 minutes walk from the centre of campus.

$37.2 million boost for Engineering
Federal Treasurer visits USC to announce funding for new project

Engineering is about to take a giant leap forward at the University of the Sunshine Coast following USC’s success in winning a $30 million grant from the Commonwealth Government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan visited the University in early January to announce that the USC Engineering Futures Project had been successful in the highly competitive Education Investment Fund (EIF) Regional Priorities Round.

USC will contribute $7.2 million in addition to the Government’s grant to build and operate a four-storey, state-of-the-art Engineering Learning Hub on its Sippy Downs campus aimed at encouraging more students to study engineering and to develop high-quality graduates.

The 6,500 square metre facility will be linked to the University of Southern Queensland, with visualisation theatres built at both universities to enable collaboration in producing 3D scenarios in civil and mechanical engineering and in developing teaching materials.

USC’s Professor of Civil Engineering Mark Porter said these specialised visualisation theatres for immersive learning at USC and USQ, with support from the University of New South Wales, would set this facility apart.

“Combining visualisation techniques with 3D and virtual reality technologies will allow students to see and interact with complex data in ways that they can understand,” he said.

“The visualisation theatres will allow interaction with life-size 3D simulation of objects and spaces.”

The Engineering Learning Hub at USC will feature cutting-edge learning and teaching spaces, including an interactive lecture theatre for 120 students that can be quickly reconfigured for group work activities or scenario work.

USC’s collaborative partners for this project are USQ, Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, Wide Bay Institute of TAFE, Construction Skills Queensland, School of Mining Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics, Weir Minerals Multiflo (Weir Minerals Division) and Engineers Australia.

Beau to study Chinese stadiums

A former scaffolder who enrolled in a Civil Engineering degree at USC is already constructing his dream career, with a part-time job at a leading Coast firm and nomination for a student delegation to China.

Third-year Civil Engineering student Beau Norman, 21, of Caloundra, will travel to China from 4–14 June with the International Scholar Laureate Program.

He was nominated for the international delegation of engineering students to examine buildings such as Beijing’s 2008 Olympic stadiums and the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station spanning the Yangtze River.

Beau currently works at Shadforths Civil Contractors at Forest Glen, in an undergraduate engineer position he gained 10 months ago while studying full-time at USC.

Campus growth continues
$60 million in construction work provides for USC’s expansion

The University of the Sunshine Coast is currently engaged in one of its busiest periods of campus construction.

Work is ongoing at two building sites — one on the University’s main campus at Sippy Downs and another at its USC Gympie site — while construction of a third building is due to begin later this year.

The $4 million USC Gympie building, which has received funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund, is due to be completed by May, weather permitting.

This 1,800 square metre two-storey building will include a 75-seat lecture theatre, tutorial rooms for 30-50 people, staff offices and study areas for students.

It will be fitted with interactive technology that will connect it to a $24 million Sippy Downs Learning Hub (Building E), construction of which began late last year and is expected to finish in November this year.

This 6,080 square metre building also gained Commonwealth funding under the Structural Adjustment Fund as part of a Collaborative Futures Project involving USC, Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE and the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE.

It will house USC’s Student Life and Learning (formerly Student Services), the Buranga Centre for Indigenous students, a student commons area, the Tertiary Preparation Pathway program and staff offices.

Rooms also will be available for the TAFE colleges and community groups like the University of the Third Age and The Smith Family, which supports the educational endeavours of disadvantaged students.

The third building is a $37.2 state-of-the-art Engineering Learning Hub, with work on this expected to begin in November.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the construction work, totalling more than $60  million, was providing a shot in the arm for the regional economy and giving USC the facilities it needed to continue its planned expansion.

New leader for School of Business
USC has appointed Professor Mike Clements as the new leader of its School of Business

Professor Clements, who has 17 years of experience in industry and 14 years as an academic, was previously Professor of Industry Engaged Learning at Swinburne University and Director of Industry Partnerships at the University of Wollongong.

He has moved from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast to take up the position this year as Head of USC’s School of Business, which offers a wide range of degrees across commerce and business.

“This role at USC is a great opportunity,” Professor Clements said.

“USC is a regional university focused on engaging with business, industry and the broader community and I want to build on the School’s strengths in teaching, research and engagement to further contribute to the economic development of the region.

"I want students’ learning experience to be more work-integrated so our graduates continue to be sought after for their ability to contribute and add value to businesses locally, nationally and worldwide.”

Professor Clements said there were exciting projects underway on the Coast in areas such as health and tourism, and he looked forward to supporting and networking with the many small, medium, family and start-up businesses.

Professor Clements joined academia in his 30s after doing a postgraduate degree, followed by his doctorate.

He was previously in senior management in private industry, working in supply chain manufacturing, operations management and logistics for transport and food manufacturing importation firms.

University appoints Professors of Law

After a rigorous selection process for its inaugural Professor of Law, the University of the Sunshine Coast has appointed two successful candidates to work as a team.

Emeritus Professor Neil Rees and Professor Anne Rees, a husband and wife who were both previously Deans of Law at the University of Newcastle, have made a seachange to the Sunshine Coast for this foundation role.

They arrived on campus in February to begin preparations for USC’s planned Law degree, expected to enrol its first students in 2014.

USC Deputy VC Birgit Lohmann said Neil and Anne Rees had each led law faculties and law reform bodies.

Emeritus Professor Neil Rees was the foundation Dean of Law at the University of Newcastle and was most recently Chairperson of the Victorian Law Reform Commission for five years.

Professor Anne Rees was Head of Deakin University’s School of Law for five years until March this year and full-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission from 2001 to 2004.

Student population over 9,000
Nursing Science remains the most sought-after degree program

More than 9,000 students have enrolled to study at the University of the Sunshine Coast for Semester 1, 2013.

By the start of March this year, there were 9,335 students enrolled at USC — an increase of 8.3 per cent on the same time last year. There are 3,839 new students this semester, including 419 new international students.

The Bachelor of Nursing Science has remained the University’s most sought-after degree, attracting 235 new students.

It is followed by Paramedic Science (161), Primary Education (153), Sport and Exercise Science (144) and Psychology (114).

Strong enrolments also occurred in Occupational Therapy, Arts, Business, Science, Biomedical Science and Nutrition.

While wet weather interrupted USC’s Orientation Week festivities and caused many outdoor activities to be cancelled, large numbers of students still came along for faculty welcome ceremonies and information events.

Smithsonian honour for plant scientist
Academic works to provide DNA barcodes for rainforest plants

A University of the Sunshine Coast scientist recently returned from a fellowship at the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution in America where she worked on creating a DNA barcoded library for South-East Queensland rainforest plants.

Senior Lecturer in Vegetation and Plant Ecology Dr Alison Shapcott was one of four scientists across the state to gain 2011–12 Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships.

Dr Shapcott received funding of $28,000 through the Queensland Government-Smithsonian collaboration to spend 26 weeks at the world’s largest museum and research complex in Washington DC, finishing in December.

She worked with Dr John Kress at the National Museum of Natural History, studying laboratory and analysis methodologies. Dr Kress is Director of the Smithsonian’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet.

“My project responds to the increasing need for reliable plant identification in fields such as quarantine, forensics and environmental impact assessments,” Dr Shapcott said.

“DNA barcoding is a method where unknown samples can be compared against a library of known plant DNA barcodes to confirm a species identity.”

She said the project would assist biodiversity assessments of rainforests.

Dr Shapcott has been researching the population genetics and ecology of rainforest plants since 1985.

She has worked in rainforest communities across Australia from Tasmania to Cape Tribulation and the Northern Territory, and to Brunei and Madagascar. The Fellowship was accepted on her behalf at the 2012 Science and Innovation Celebration late last year in Brisbane, when Dr Shapcott was in Washington DC.

The award was presented by Queensland Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett.

$250,000 microscope delights researchers
A new $250,000 microscope is boosting the quality and diversity of postgraduate research projects at USC

Research Fellow Dr Scott Cummins, whose expertise is molecular and cellular biology, said the Nikon confocal microscope had been well used since it arrived on campus late last year.

Examples include studying germ cells in fish, plant samples in forestry and Dr Cummins’ own research into snails, which aims to better understand ageing in humans.

The microscope provides the latest technology in image contrast, speed and sensitivity.

“It’s about double the normal size of a microscope and has lasers attached,” Dr Cummins said.

“We can now take 3D images, quantify cell types and changes in morphology and use it for gene and protein identification.”

He said the microscope would help postgraduate research students in fields such as biomedicine, forestry and aquaculture.

Sea sponge study gains Discovery grant

An investigation into the cell communication of sea sponges, which could lead to a greater understanding of how cells work in humans and other animals, is being conducted by USC.

Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Biology Dr Scott Cummins, in partnership with Professor Bernie Degnan of the University of Queensland, has won a $454,000 Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council to conduct a study into the chemical signalling of sea sponges.

This is the fourth ARC grant awarded to the USC academic in two years, following on from an impressive ARC Future Fellowship in 2011.

Dr Cummins said the research would examine the evolutionary origin of peptide communication in the Amphimedon queenslandica, which is a sponge native to the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Cummins said the research could reveal how abnormal cell communication causes diseases, which would have implications for the medical field.

The project will include field work on Heron Island in Central Queensland and laboratory work at both UQ and USC.

USC’s genetic research above world standard
University celebrates its highest Excellence in Research ranking

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s strong emphasis on genetic research in areas such as aquaculture and forestry has been recognised nationally.

USC scored an impressive rating of 4 (above world standard) out of 5 in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences category of the biennial Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings released recently.

This is a first for USC, which only began a concerted focus on building its research capacity about six years ago. The University also scored a rating of 3 (at world standard) in the Biological Sciences category.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco said being recognised in this way was a significant milestone for the University.

“We are delighted to have earned an ERA rating of above the international benchmark in Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, which is allied to our research focus areas of aquaculture and forestry,” he said.

“This is a clear sign that our strategy of focusing and building research capacity in these fields is working well, and we will stick to our plan, so as to ensure that we build world-class research in the field.”

Professor De Marco congratulated USC’s scientists, particularly those in the University’s GeneCology Research Centre, for their contributions to this spectacular outcome.

This centre’s key research areas include aquaculture; tree, forest and horticulture science; molecular and cellular biology; microbiology; chemistry; ecology and conservation; biodiscovery; computational biology and genetics; and molecular engineering.

The Excellence in Research for Australia ratings are based on a range of criteria, including competitive research funding success and the quality of research publications.

Sex change for lobsters

Research into the manipulation of hormones to change the sex of crustaceans — which could help boost seafood production and provide new controls for invasive crustaceans — has begun at USC.

Research Fellow in Aquaculture Dr Tomer Ventura has won a $371,000 Discovery Early Career Research Award from The Australian Research Council to investigate how the spiny lobster’s androgenic gland can be managed to induce gender change.

“Crustaceans are quite unique in that they have an androgenic gland, which governs masculinity and the maintenance of masculinity,” Dr Ventura said.

“By intervening and switching off the androgenic gland hormone, you are able to transfer genetic males into functional females. On the other hand, by introducing the hormone, you could induce masculinity in genetic females.

“This technology does not involve genetically modified organisms and uses natural compounds that are biodegradable and do not threaten human health.”

Dr Ventura said his three-year project could have implications for the aquaculture industry and could also be applied in the development of tools for invasive crustacean control.

“Male lobsters grow bigger faster, so naturally it would be commercially valuable for the industry to produce populations that are all male,” he said.

“But imagine that you have an invasive crustacean species that you would like to manage. If you introduce a large number of males, you will minimise the reproduction of these species.”

Dr Ventura recently completed his doctorate at the Ben-Gurion University in Israel on the sexual manipulation of the commercially valuable freshwater prawn and began work at USC’s GeneCology Research Centre in August.

“This investigation into the gender manipulation of the spiny lobster will incorporate findings from my PhD and require me to travel to the University of Tasmania to work on lobster aquaculture with project collaborator Associate Professor Stephen Battaglene and his team at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science,” he said.

Dr Ventura said his project had also received funding from the Collaborative Research Network and from USC and its Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.

Love of science takes off at Space challenge
High school students revel in space-themed activities at USC

Rockets were launched up to 120m into the sky and small quadrotor helicopters navigated around a room at USC during an exciting week-long ‘2012: A Space Challenge’ late last year.

The event was jointly staged by USC and Education Queensland and involved 725 Year 8 students from 33 secondary schools from as far as Springwood, Toowoomba and Bundaberg, including four aerospace schools in South-East Queensland.

The Space Challenge, held in early December, involved students from each school participating in interactive space-themed activities that challenged them to find innovative solutions to space exploration challenges.

USC’s Head of School of Science, Education and Engineering Professor Noel Meyers said the event was offered by the University to energise children’s passion for scientific discovery and engineering solutions.

Professor Meyers said it recognised the critical need to engage and retain students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths disciplines.

“Australia is facing a looming shortfall in scientists and engineers,” he said. “Unless we recruit current and future generations to the sciences and engineering, Australia faces an imminent decline in our standards of living and economic abundance.”

USC runs leadership program for YOUI

Sunshine Coast-based insurance company, YOUI, recently contracted the University of the Sunshine Coast to provide an 11-day leadership development program for its management team.

The program, which began in February, focused on improving and developing individual leadership and management skills.

USC Human Resource Management academic Dr John Whiteoak said working with one of the region’s largest employers had been an exciting opportunity for the University.

YOUI established its national headquarters on the Sunshine Coast in 2008, and now has more than 800 employees at its centre on Lake Kawana Boulevard, Birtinya.

Dr Whiteoak said the tailored training program covered topics like communication, team building, personal effectiveness, planning, project management, financial analysis and change management.

Team enjoys field trip to New York

A team of Creative Advertising students from the University of the Sunshine Coast spent 10 days of their recent semester break visiting New York.

In an exciting field trip organised by USC’s Head of School of Communication Dr Rod McCulloch, six students inspected some of the world’s most famous advertising agencies based in the Big Apple.

Final-year Arts/Business student Phoebe Broadley of Buderim was among the group, and described the trip as fascinating.

“We gained insights into how the industry is operating now and into the future, and also what is required of us to make it in the world of advertising,” she said.

Veda fast-tracks her science degree at USC
Love of animals inspires application to Dean’s Scholars Program

Mountain Creek teenager Veda Malpress is fast-tracking her scientific career in helping endangered animals by enrolling in an accelerated Honours program at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Veda, 16, gained an OP1 at Mountain Creek State High School last year and is excited about starting her Bachelor of Science (Accelerated) this semester.

She was accepted into the University’s Deans Scholars Program for high-achieving science students and is likely to finish her Honours degree well before she turns 20.

The prospect of doing four years of study in three years does not faze Veda, who earned the Principal’s Commendation Award at her school for maintaining the highest academic achievement across Years 11 and 12.

Veda said her childhood desire to become a veterinarian changed recently when she decided that threatened native species in the wild needed her help more than pampered pets in suburbia.

“Animals are my passion,” she said. “Ever since I was five I wanted to be a vet. But then I realised that I wasn’t as interested in looking after cats and dogs as being outside studying native animals.

“The Deans Scholars Program at USC offered the perfect doorway into the field of work that I want to get into. There are so many options and field opportunities, especially in helping save the environment and endangered species.”

OP1 student aims for teaching career

OP1 students may traditionally go into medicine, but Eumundi 17-year-old Georgia Grayson is only interested in one career — teaching children.

The St Andrew’s Anglican College graduate said she was surprised to get the top score last year, but it wasn’t a difficult decision to choose a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

“I know that going into a classroom every day to teach will make me happy,” Georgia said. “Becoming a doctor just wouldn’t suit me.

“I chose this degree because I love kids. I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a long time and I want to create opportunities for change in young people’s attitudes.

“USC will give me the uni lifestyle while I’m staying close to family and living at home.”

High achievers hail from Nambour area

An increasing number of high-achieving students from Nambour and neighbouring suburbs are choosing to pursue their tertiary studies at USC.

This year, 12 school-leavers from schools at Nambour and nearby Woombye received prestigious undergraduate scholarships from USC for high academic achievement.

Among them were OP1 students Kathryn Hooper and Lachlan Haycock, who graduated from Burnside State High School and St John’s College respectively in 2012.

Kathryn has started an Occupational Therapy degree and is looking forward to working in a career that will involve physically improving the lives of people of all ages.

Lachlan has enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, keen to focus on Indonesian language and Modern History, which were his favourite subjects at school.

Other Nambour district schools represented at the USC Undergraduate Scholarship Presentation Ceremony in February included Nambour State High School, Nambour Christian College and Suncoast Christian College.

Scholarships reward talented new students
Donations to USC fund annual Academic Excellence scholarships

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

They were among 54 students who gained scholarships — ranging in value from $3,500 to $12,000 — at USC’s Undergraduate Scholarships Presentation Ceremony on 18 February.

Justine Campagna of Innisfail State College and Julia Massingham of St Mary’s College Maryborough received Tim Fairfax Regional Scholarships, presented to support students from regional or remote areas in Queensland.

Georgia Grayson of St Andrew’s Anglican College, Lachlan Haycock of St John’s College Nambour, and Mountain Creek State High School graduate Veda Malpress received the three Renouf Family Scholarships for 2013.

These scholarships are presented in memory of Sir Clem Renouf’s parents.

Three USC Chancellor’s Scholarships went to Kathryn Hooper of Burnside State High School, and Zandri Lategan and Jonathan Mattiske of Suncoast Christian College.

These scholarships are funded by numerous gifts to the University and recognise, reward and encourage academic excellence.

Various businesses, community organisations and individuals presented seven other major scholarships, and the University awarded 40 Vice-Chancellor’s Merit scholarships valued at $6,000 each.

Among the donors are the Caloundra RSL Sub-Branch, the ANZ Bank, Rod and Jan Forrester, the Sunshine Coast Daily, the Poole Group, and Les and Mary Hall.

To contribute to scholarships and bursaries for students at USC, contact USC’s Development Office Director Russell Ousley on +61 7 5459 4418.

Education students encouraged to consider rural work

Bursaries worth a total of $79,200 were presented to 57 pre-service teachers studying Education degrees at USC last November.

The 2012 Rural and Remote Education Bursaries were funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation (TFFF) and awarded to pre-service teachers who undertook work placements in rural and remote areas as part of their USC degrees.

The bursaries are provided to encourage more graduates to consider working in rural and remote schools. TFFF’s chairman Tim Fairfax AM joined USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill in making the presentations.

Bursary recipient Shenai Camilleri, a Castaways Beach resident who is studying a combined degree in Education and Arts, spoke about her experiences during recent placements at high schools on Thursday Island and at Charleville.

Another 26 USC Education students, who were participants in the University’s annual Coast to Country rural education program, also received bursaries totalling $15,000.

This program provides a bus tour to schools and communities in Queensland’s Western Downs each semester to enable Education students to see first-hand what it is like to live and work in rural townships.

Graduate gains PM’s award for research
Former USC student developing clinical therapy to repair eye injuries

A USC Science graduate has received the inaugural Prime Minister’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award to support her world-leading eye research in Germany for two years.

Dr Laura Bray, 24, met Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce and received the $118,000 award at the 2013 Prime Minister’s Australia Awards Presentation Dinner in Canberra on 6 December 2012.

“It’s exciting because this was awarded to only one female researcher in Australia,” said Dr Bray, who is developing a new clinical therapy for patients suffering from painful eye disorders.

“It will allow me to do two years of post-doctoral work at the world-class Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden.” She left for Germany in early March.

The Bray Park resident was a teenager when she completed her Bachelor of Science at USC in 2007 and is now a medical engineer at Queensland University of Technology. She recently visited the USC campus to receive a 2012 Outstanding Alumni of the Year award.

“Being able to know my lecturers at USC, and have productive one-on-one time with them, meant that they invested in me personally and gave me a head-start in a successful career,” Dr Bray said.

Dr Bray’s research aims to improve outcomes for patients with severe injuries to their eye surfaces. There is currently no long-term treatment option worldwide.

“I am researching the use of fibroin, a protein found in silk fibres, to repair injuries to the surface of the eye,” Dr Bray said. The protein can be readily isolated from silkworm cocoons.

Entrepreneur earns Oxford scholarship

University of the Sunshine Coast graduate and social entrepreneur Chris Raine of Caloundra has been awarded one of five annual Skoll Scholarships to undertake a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Oxford University.

The scholarship program at the historic UK university was set up by the president of eBay, Jeff Skoll, and is valued at $72,000. It will cover Chris’s entire tuition fees.

Chris, 26, was chosen as Queensland’s 2012 Young Australian of the Year for his work in establishing a free online program, Hello Sunday Morning, which encourages young people to change their attitudes and approaches to binge drinking.

He developed the program in 2009 — the same year he graduated from USC with a combined Arts/Business degree — after writing an online blog about his own experiences of going without alcohol for a year.

Hello Sunday Morning encourages others to try out their own periods of sobriety. So far, almost 10,000 people in Australia and New Zealand have taken up the challenge.

Chris said he believed the prestigious Oxford MBA scholarship was offered to him because of the unique approach his program takes to the complex issue of binge drinking, which has a huge effect in both Australia and the UK.

“The Skoll Scholarship is like the Rhodes Scholarship for social entrepreneurs,” he said.

“I am incredibly humbled to be one of the few people in the world awarded this opportunity and I’m looking forward to learning about the latest in business theory and social innovation.”

Chris, who received a USC Outstanding Alumni of the Year award in 2011, will begin studying at Oxford in October. He believes the MBA will provide him with the networks and business skills he needs to expand his program internationally.

Nominate an outstanding graduate for awards

If you know an outstanding University of the Sunshine Coast graduate, why not nominate them for the 2013 Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards?

Each year, these awards recognise graduates who have attained significant achievements in their fields of endeavour since their graduation from USC. This could include professional, academic (including research), community and/or other achievements.

Nominations can be made by USC alumni, staff, students and members of the community, such as colleagues, family and friends. Self-nominations are accepted if a written letter of endorsement is included.

Nominations will close on 28 June and the awards presented at the Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony on 12 September. For more details, visit or contact Alumni Relations Officer Anita Edmonds at or telephone +61 7 5459 4564.

Update your 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 contact details.

Art collection donated to University
Architect gives USC artworks that provided career inspiration

Renowned Sunshine Coast architect and philanthropist John Mainwaring has donated his substantial personal art collection to the University of the Sunshine Coast

USC Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich said the collection was of great significance to both the University and the broader community.

“In addition to more than 105 artworks, John has written volumes about how his collection influenced his distinctive sub-tropical architecture,” she said.

“This historical context is valuable for USC’s design, education, public policy, town planning and engineering students, and also for the broader community.”

The collection, which includes contemporary paintings and abstract art, is currently touring Australia in an exhibition called An Architect’s Eye. It was previously housed in Mr Mainwaring’s office in Brisbane and his homes at Noosa and Brisbane.

Mr Mainwaring said he wanted the pieces to “live on” as a unified collection after they had provided him with so much inspiration.

“I studied art before architecture and collecting art has been an integral part of my attitude towards life and my design philosophy,” he said.

Prominent artists in the collection include Lawrence Daws and Blair McNamara (Sunshine Coast), Sally Gabori (northern Queensland) and Rammey Ramsey and Boxer Milner (northwestern Australia).

Boost for design career

Working as an intern at the USC Gallery this year is set to give final-year Design and Communication student Alex Poulton a big step up in her career.

The internship is part of a $3,500 annual scholarship that was recently awarded to Alex by the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS).

The 20-year-old, who is majoring in Graphic Design and Creative Advertising, said she was thrilled by the opportunity to get her hands dirty doing behind-the-scenes work at the gallery.

“I am passionate about design, so the opportunity to be involved in the organisation and planning of exhibitions was what first made me apply for the scholarship,” she said.

Gallery Curator Dawn Oelrich said the ADFAS scholarship was designed to empower students by giving them opportunities to develop skills and industry contacts.

As part of the internship, Alex will be responsible for assembling the monthly GO Journal mini exhibitions, which feature photographs taken by USC students who have studied overseas through the University’s award-winning Global Opportunities (GO) program.


JADA - Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Awards
Thursday 14 March—Saturday 20 April

This touring exhibition of the finalists in the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Awards, the biennial flagship of the Grafton Regional Gallery, showcases excellence in contemporary Australian drawing. Judged in 2012 by University of Queensland Art Museum director Dr Campbell Gray, the finalists present exciting and evocative examples of the best drawing in Australia. The winning work by Brisbane artist Miles Hall called “Eyes closed, searching for noon and night”, features among the other finalists. Other artists whose work is included in the exhibition are David Fairburn, Wendy Sharpe, and Sunshine Coast artist Ian Gunn.

True Stories from the Studio: new work by the faculty of SCIT
Friday 26 April—Saturday 1 June (Official opening Thursday 2 May)

TrueStories from the Studio brings together a collective of painters, print-makers, sculptors, ceramic artists and friends who also happen to be art teachers at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, Tewantin. For each of the artists, teaching provides a means of substantial connection to the world outside their studio practice and against the inevitable solitude of the work life of a studio artist. This exhibition provides answers to the artists’ wide-ranging investigations and interactions with their media of choice.

Mid-year Design Student Exhibition
Thursday 6 June—Saturday 6 July

A popular degree at USC, Computer-Based Design, prepares students for a variety of careers including graphic design, advertising, publishing, web design or multimedia design and development. In this exhibition, advanced-level students will present large format prints on paper, canvas or vinyl that demonstrate the innovation and creativity practised in their course. Concentrating on digital illustration, students are encouraged to experiment with photography, painting and drawing skills combined with computer software to produce a dynamic body of artwork. The Proost-De Deyne Family supports the purchase of artworks selected for the USC Student Collection.

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.