Community - 2013, Edition 2 | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Community - 2013, Edition 2


Vice-Chancellor’s Comment
Strong growth in student numbers puts USC in enviable position

This edition of Community will bring you up to date with many of the exciting things that have happened or are happening at USC this year.

The range of stories from across teaching, research and engagement is an indication of how well things are done at our University and reinforces just how embedded we are in the region.

It is worth noting that the Regional Universities Network (RUN), of which USC is a foundation member, has just released a report ‘Engaging with regions, building a stronger nation’.

This major publication, which can be viewed online or downloaded from the RUN website, highlights the enormous range of contributions regional universities make to their communities.

And this Community magazine very much supports this theme. I trust you will enjoy reading it.

As Semester 2 gets underway, it’s worth reflecting on the past six months, which has been a tumultuous time for Australia’s university sector.

A series of government funding cuts have made forward planning a challenging business for many universities.

At USC, we will need to put on hold some new initiatives aimed at supporting students and their learning and we’ll have less funding than anticipated to channel into research and community engagement.

However, because of our continuing strong growth in student numbers, we will not be faced with the same tough decisions being forced on some other institutions.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President 

Around USC

01 The University of the Sunshine Coast pulled out all stops to help make this year’s World Environment Day Festival on 9 June the greenest yet. USC—in conjunction with event partners Sunshine Coast Council and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council—introduced new measures to minimise waste and energy use at the free annual celebration of environment and community. USC Project and Operations Officer Paul Camilleri said the measures, such as new recycling bins and a composter, were designed to minimise the event’s carbon footprint and gather data to assist future events.

02 USC academics have received a $180,000 grant to begin a national roll-out of an online resource called ’Expert in my Pocket’, which will help students and health professionals improve their clinical skills. The project is a joint venture with Deakin University and gained an Innovation and Development Grant from the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The ‘Expert in my Pocket’ resource will provide a catalogue of free, publicly accessible, online video vignettes and supporting materials for training Nursing Science and Paramedic Science students.

03 Seventeen USC students put into practice the theories learned in their Public Relations course to gain real-life work experience and help three community groups. Three teams of Public Relations Event Projects students worked with AGL Action Rescue Helicopter, Buddies Refugee Support Group and Bloomhill Cancer Help to hold fundraising and awareness events in May. USC Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Dr Umi Khattab said the work-integrated program allowed the students to apply concepts learned in earlier courses, work with actual clients and develop ideas supervised by tutors who were industry practitioners.

04 Sport and exercise psychologist Dr Lisa Martin travelled to Berlin in May after being appointed Lead Psychologist for the Australian Paralympic swim team. The team, which included nine support staff and nine athletes, was in Berlin for the German Nationals. Dr Martin was responsible for the provision of psychological services and additional support required by the swimmers. She is pictured above with gold medallist Michael Anderson of the Sunshine Coast.

05 Final-year Business students at USC have come up with some impressive business development plans to help a local travel pillow company expand globally. Joshua Crisp, Eleanor Berry, Shannon Sutton, Ashleigh Baker and Rhys Hurren were judged as having made the best presentation of a plan for Currimundi-based TravelComfort Pty Ltd as part of their assessment for the subject, Small Business Development and New Venture Management. USC Business Lecturer Dr Leone Cameron said more than 70 students completed the 12-week project that provided the company owner, Prue Kelly, with some exciting suggestions to further build her business.

New health clinics add to training opportunities
University opens midwifery and occupational therapy clinics and installs ambulance simulator

The University of the Sunshine Coast officially opened two new health clinics on campus on Friday 19 July.

The training clinics, which will boost midwifery and occupational therapy services across the region, have been established by USC with funding from Health Workforce Australia (HWA) as an Australian Government initiative.

The Collaborative Midwifery Clinic is being run in conjunction with Queensland Health and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS), while USC’s Occupational Therapy, Child and Youth Clinic has partnered with four local schools.

HWA’s Team Leader for Clinical Training Reform Keith Crammond officially opened the clinics on the first floor of the University’s Health and Sport Centre, next to the USC Sports Stadium.

Mr Crammond said the HWA’s clinical training funding program aimed to expand clinicial training places, improve clinical supervision, increase the use of simulated learning, and provide for capital works that support clinical training.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said USC was grateful for the $171,000 it received from HWA to refurbish a large area of the Health and Sport Centre to house the new clinics.

Head of School of Health and Sport Science Professor John Lowe said students were now able to undertake clinical practicums on campus in this refurbished area, which also hosts the USC Weight Management Clinic and Queensland Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic.

“This means students can learn in a real-life environment, working side by side with clinical experts from health industries as well as USC academics,” he said.

Meanwhile, USC has installed an $80,000, fully-fitted stationary ambulance simulator to help train its Paramedic Science students.

This training will complement the extensive on-road ambulance training that Paramedic Science students already receive from the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Associate Professor of Paramedic Science Bill Lord said the ambulance simulator was well-designed to give students practical experience with all emergency equipment and accessories.

Open Day on 11 August
THE University of the Sunshine Coast will hold its annual Open Day on Sunday 11 August from 10am to 3pm

The popular event at USC’s Sippy Downs campus will enable prospective students and their families to gain information on more than 100 study programs, including new degrees in Law and in Creative Industries.

Visitors can also attend seminars on career prospects and enjoy interactive activities, displays by student interest groups, demonstrations and entertainment.

An Open Day program is available on the USC website.

Top achievers earn Chancellor’s Medals
University presents awards to outstanding graduates

Marcus Beach 18-year-old Chelsea Wallis and Maroochydore builder Bill Vaile have each received the University of the Sunshine Coast’s highest award for a graduating student, the Chancellor’s Medal.

At the Graduation ceremonies in April, Chelsea (Business) and Bill (Environmental Science) also were awarded University Medals for achieving near-perfect grade point averages.

The Chancellor’s Medal recognises a graduate’s outstanding achievements in academic performance and contribution to University life and/or the community.

Chelsea, who started at USC at 15 after jumping two levels to graduate high school early, said the medal reflected more than her academic endeavours.

“I’ve tried to contribute to uni as much as I can through extracurricular and leadership activities,” she said.

“I’m very proud to have been on the USC Student Liaison Committee and worked as a peer adviser, which was a great employment experience and enabled me to help other students.”

Chelsea has returned to USC after studying at the University of Queensland earlier this year, and hopes to pursue USC’s new Law degree in 2014.

Bill said he was using his USC studies to change careers after his family had reorganised their construction business and their lives around his commitment to study a Bachelor of Environmental Science.

He was delighted to reveal his awards to his wife Mary-Ann and his daughter Claudia in the audience at the Graduation Ceremony.

Bill is now studying a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education at USC.

Former tourism chief gains USC honour

A retired pharmacist who spent decades fostering the development of the Caloundra community became an Honorary Senior Fellow at USC’s Graduation Ceremony in April.

Mike Wilkinson has been involved in Caloundra community and business organisations, particularly tourism, since he moved to the region in 1975.

He was president of Caloundra Tourism from 2002 until 2010, when it was taken over by the regional Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, and he remains a member of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce committee.

Refugee graduates with Justice degree

A west African refugee graduated from USC in April with a Bachelor of Justice and Legal Studies—and a new lease on life.

Napoleon Kenmon, 23, left war-torn Liberia with his mother and siblings in 2009 and moved to Brisbane, before relocating to the Sunshine Coast to study.

He said he was grateful to the Australian Government, which granted him a permanent humanitarian visa, to USC for its support, and to the local community for welcoming him.

Napoleon is now studying a Bachelor of Laws at Griffith University.

Celebration of conservation as habitat thrives
Collaboration ensures successful translocation of heathland

One of the world’s largest and most successful habitat translocation projects was finalised and celebrated at the University of the Sunshine Coast in May.

Almost 15 hectares of wet and dry heathland — home to several rare and threatened plants, frogs, lizards and birds — had been carefully moved from what is now the Brightwater estate at Bundilla to the USC campus at Sippy Downs.

Most of the heavy lifting for the collaborative project involving property developer Stockland, the Sunshine Coast Council and the University occurred in 2007-2008, but the plants have been under close scrutiny since to determine how well they survived the move.

The celebration marked the official handover of the compensatory habitat from Stockland to the University. Speeches were delivered by Stockland’s Planning and Design Manager Marc Wilkinson, Mayor Mark Jamieson, USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill, USC plant ecologist Dr Alison Shapcott and Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie.

Professor Hill said the high survival rate of plants and the thriving populations of animals in the compensatory habitat made this a wonderful showcase of what could be achieved by such an ambitious venture.

“This joint project represents one of the largest and most successful habitat translocation projects undertaken anywhere in the world,” he said.

“It was a major experiment in state-of-the-art translocation methods and has led to the creation of a site on campus that will be a valuable resource for research and teaching.” 

Energy research is fuelling great opportunities

Doors are opening left, right and centre for USC PhD student Krystina Lamb who is researching whether a new type of alcohol fuel cell could help provide a viable energy alternative.

Ms Lamb, 24, recently received a prestigious Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) award and gained a fully funded placement to attend a school at one of the world’s most renowned X-ray science sites in Japan.

The AINSE Postgraduate Research Award is worth $7,500 annually and is offered to only 15 Australian and New Zealand recipients each year.

It will enable Ms Lamb to work in Sydney alongside Dr Vanessa Peterson, an experienced co-supervisor of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

In September, Ms Lamb will travel to Hyogo, Japan, for her placement with the Cheiron School at the SPring-8 (Super Photon Ring) facility as part of the Asia-Oceania Forum for Synchrotron Radiation Research.

She said she was thrilled that her work has been recognised by the neutron and synchrotron science research communities, both in Australia and overseas.

“I feel that we, as a society, need to develop a renewable energy source which can deliver energy on demand and with efficiency,” Ms Lamb said.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Roland De Marco congratulated Ms Lamb on her successes.

Iranian student wins Research Week contest

PhD student Motahareh Nobakht of Iran won USC’s annual Three Minute Thesis competition in July with a dynamic presentation about the potential healing properties of kino, the resinous gum of eucalyptus trees.

She explained how she was testing to determine if kino could be an effective anti-microbial agent or antibiotic. Runner-up was Ben Lane with his presentation on ‘Attention training to improve body image’.

The contest was one of many held for research academics and students as part of USC’s annual Research Week.

Project takes aim at snail invasions
New research to help reduce damage to crops

A USC researcher has won a $149,000 grant to use genetics to control snails and slugs in agriculture and backyards.

USC Research Fellow Dr Michael Stewart, whose team includes Dr Scott Cummins and Dr Tianfang Wang, received one of five grants awarded from 170 applications to the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Dr Stewart said the Innovation Investment grant would support his work on new pest control tools to stop snail and slug invasions in farms and gardens. His 18-month project, now underway, is titled, ‘Harnessing molluscan neurohormones to develop new molluscicides’.

“My previous research into the Mediterranean snail Theba pisana identified 30 key neurohormones that were unique only to molluscs,” Dr Stewart said.

“The goal is to learn ways to manipulate how these animals operate at the molecular level, which could lead to the development of new, powerful, target-specific molluscicides.” 

Psychology student assesses pros and cons of perfectionism

The potential perils and benefits of perfectionism are being placed under the microscope as part of a research project by the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Master of Psychology (Clinical) student, Emily Hughes, 24, is investigating the impact that perfectionism has on health.

The study, which included a survey of more than 1,700 participants in Australia and New Zealand, is looking at how both sides of perfectionism affect health behaviours such as depression, anxiety, body image and eating habits.

Ms Hughes of Alexandra Headland said two factors — persistence and perseverance — were being studied to determine whether perfectionism was a positive or negative experience for individuals.

“I am looking at the influence of persistence as a characteristic in individuals experiencing perfectionism and the links it has to positive health behaviours such as lower levels of stress, depression, a healthy body image and eating patterns,” she said. “I am also looking at the influence of perseverance as a perfectionism characteristic and its links to negative health behaviours around diet and body image or shape, eating disorders and self-perception.

“By identifying these characteristics and the links to negative and positive health behaviours, we hope the study will help to identify individuals at risk of developing eating or negative health disorders and assist with early treatment.”

Ms Hughes said her research received support from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

“We have been blown away by the volume of responses,” she said. “Perfectionism is clearly a characteristic which many people, including university students, can relate to.” 

Seachangers are living the dream

RESEARCH by a USC Psychology academic has found the vast majority of seachangers are happy with their move to the Coast and have no intention of leaving.

USC Lecturer in Psychology Dr Prue Millear’s study was titled, ‘Making a seachange to the Sunshine Coast: Does the reality match the dream?’

“About 83 percent of people surveyed felt that their reasons for moving had been mostly or completely met,” she said.

“Another survey question found that 70 percent of people were unlikely to move away.”

Dr Millear, who moved to the Coast in 1991 from New South Wales, said her survey drew 228 respondents aged between 18 and 73, with the average age 35.

Three-quarters were married and two-thirds were parents.

“We found that people moved here for many reasons, mostly around finding a better lifestyle for themselves and/or their families.”

The research found the happiest people were less lonely, more optimistic and made friends quickly to become part of their new community.

New building gives boost for Gympie
Gympie students welcome new facilities in $5.5 million building

High-tech facilities and a brand new building have been provided to students starting Semester 2 at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new facility at Gympie.

USC Gympie’s $5.5 million building, which will be officially opened in August, was constructed on the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE (WBIT) campus at Gympie during the first six months of this year.

Funding for the project came from the Commonwealth Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund, and WBIT provided rooms for USC to use during Semester 1.

USC Gympie manager Graham Young said there was plenty of excitement when students first gained access to the new building during Orientation in mid-July.

“Students walked through the new doors of USC Gympie and experienced the full benefit of the diverse range of facilities on offer, including interactive learning technology software,” he said.

“The state-of-the-art facilities include a 75-seat lecture theatre, tutorial rooms for 30-50 students, staff offices, student study areas, a high-tech nursing simulation space and a skills development laboratory.”

There are more than 70 students currently studying one or more courses at USC Gympie. Study programs on offer include Nursing Science, Primary Education, Headstart and the Tertiary Preparation Pathway programs.

Degrees in Business and Commerce will be offered in Gympie from 2014.

University is leader in sustainability

The University of the Sunshine Coast has been formally recognised as a Queensland leader in sustainability after being named a finalist in the 2013 Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

USC was one of three finalists from 42 nominees in the “Leadership in Sustainability” category of the awards, announced at a gala event hosted by Premier Campbell Newman and Environment Minister Andrew Powell in Brisbane on Friday 14 June.

The other finalists were Bundaberg Regional Council and Mackay Regional Council, with Bundaberg winning the category for its waste minimisation efforts during recovery from reecent flooding.

At the awards event, USC was praised for its long-term approach to sustainability, which has involved making the environment a primary consideration at every stage of its development.

A crowd of almost 500 people heard how USC had maintained its grounds as a flora and fauna reserve and instilled a philosophy of sustainable operations through its Master Plan to minimise the University’s impact on the adjacent Mooloolah River National Park.

Wallabies train and meet fans at USC
Rugby team uses University facilities to prepare for Test

Australia's national rugby union team, the Wallabies, visited USC in June as part of preparations for the British and Irish Lions Test Series.

The Wallabies had been based at Kawana’s Stockland Stadium ahead of the first Test in Brisbane and used USC’s playing fields, gym and pool for a training session.

The session included a special community event, at which the Wallabies met fans and signed autographs. Hundreds of people from across the Sunshine Coast attended.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan said the University was delighted to host the Wallabies while they trained on the Sunshine Coast.

He said the team’s visit to USC had been arranged in conjunction with Australian Rugby Union, Sunshine Coast Rugby Union and Sunshine Coast Council.

“This gave us a great opportunity to showcase our sporting facilities, which are among the best of their type in Queensland and well-suited to the gymnasium and pool work the team required,” he said.

Student enjoys ‘Best Job on Campus’ role

Former Japanese reality TV star and final-year USC Business student Iori Forsyth stepped behind the camera last semester to focus on university life.

Iori, 24, was one of only five Australian students to be selected as a Co-op Campus Ambassador through a national “The Best Job on Campus” competition run by bookshop company The Co-Op.

Over six months, she documented her life as a student with blog posts, status updates, pictures and videos and was paid to do it.

Iori, who is now working for Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd after completing her Bachelor of Business in June, has been in front of the camera lens since she was six years old in the Japanese equivalent of Keeping up with the Karadashians.

Iori’s Co-op Campus Ambassador blog can be found at and her Japanese blog is at 

Athletes claim gold medals at Northern Uni Games

The University of the Sunshine Coast is celebrating a new crop of sports stars, following some impressive performances at the Northern University Games in Brisbane in early July.

USC competitors won three gold medals and one bronze at the multi-sport event that involved 1,500 students from universities across Queensland and northern New South Wales. Sixty-eight USC students competed in a variety of sports.

USC’s beach volleyball pairing of Jessica Wheatley of Buderim and Angela Johnson of Burnside finished second in a pool of seven teams, but then staged a 2-0 upset win over top-ranked QUT in the final.

Individual gold medals went to USC squash player Noel Campbell of Mooloolaba and golfer Sean McGill of Buderim.

Campbell finished second after the round-robin tournament (with 10 wins from 11 matches) then outclassed his University of Southern Queensland opponent with a 3-0 victory in the final.

At Victoria Park Golf Course, McGill scored rounds of 64, 61, 67 and 61 throughout the week to finish with the best gross result of the 18-player field with 253.

USC’s women’s touch team finished third, winning 5-4 against the University of Queensland in the bronze medal play-off, while the men’s touch team just missed out on the medals, finishing fourth overall.

Study program inspires whole family
Anja’s career move leads relatives along Tertiary Preparation Pathway

When Anja Jennings stopped waitressing at 19 to enrol in a study preparation program at the University of the Sunshine Coast to pursue a career in education, she had no idea of the snowball effect it would have on her family.

Now 26, the Buderim teacher and mother of two is studying her third degree and working at USC and her success has inspired her brother, father, partner and brother-in-law to follow their dreams through USC too.

“I just love it here,” Anja said. “I guess I got the study bug. The University’s TPP program was absolutely life-changing.”

TPP is Tertiary Preparation Pathway, a program that equips people aged over 17 with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in undergraduate studies. The program is flexible, offers an experience of university life before committing to a degree, and is free of charge for Commonwealth-supported students.

Anja said completing TPP gave her the confidence and courage to enrol in USC’s Bachelor of Arts, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Education and now a Master of Social Work.

Since completing TPP, Anja has encouraged family members to do the same. She is now a TPP tutor at USC.

Her brother Murdoch Jennings finished TPP, a USC Bachelor of Arts, and is now studying Honours at the University.

Her father Tony Jennings, a former police officer, finished TPP and is now studying a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science.

“My partner Caine Lanigan was working at a shopping centre when he decided to do TPP,” Anja said. Now he’s studying a Bachelor of Computer-Based Design to work in 3D modelling.”

Her brother-in-law Jamie Unsworth has just started TPP after working in retail.

USC’s first dramatic play well received

USC’s first theatrical production, The Romeo and Juliet Project, was presented on campus in early May. Directed by USC Lecturer in Drama Dr Jo Loth, three productions were held over two days in Lecture Theatre 1.

“It was a huge success with 360 staff, students and community members attending,” she said. “The show was very well received.”

Dr Loth said the play was performed as a condensed, contemporary, ensemble performance of Shakespeare’s classic.

“We had a cast and crew of 20 staff and students, including several studying a new Drama major at the University. Thirty staff and students also volunteered to support it.”

Dr Loth said the next theatrical production was likely to be staged in early 2014.

Scholarships give rugby players a lift
Rugby community presents scholarships to USC students

A 20-year-old USC student working to become both a paramedic and a top-level rugby union player has been awarded one of two USC Encouragement Foundation Rugby Scholarships.

Erica Fowler of Peregian Beach is also believed to be the first female rugby sevens player in Australia to receive such a sport scholarship, which will provide $3,000 for each year of a degree.

Tony Riddle, director of Sunshine Coast Rugby Union and chairperson of the Stingrays Club committee, said it was very encouraging for women in the sport.

Erica and fellow USC recipient Luke Kimber, 18, of Eudlo, attended a presentation at the Sippy Downs campus in April.

The Encouragement Foundation funds up to three scholarships a year to help talented rugby union players study at USC and be available to play for the Stingrays at the colts or open level.

Erica, in her second year of Paramedic Science, has played for the Stingrays Women’s Sevens and the Noosa Dolphins Phinettes Women’s team and competed at the Noosa International Sevens and Byron Bay Sevens.

Luke, in his first year of Sport and Exercise Science, started playing rugby at the Nambour Rugby Union Football Club as a nine-year-old.

Last year he captained St John’s First XV to the grand final of B division and co-captained the University Rugby Club’s Under 16-17 team to its grand final.

Rotary support exceeds $100,000

Three USC students were awarded this year’s Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships, totalling $12,000, in May as Sunshine Coast’s Rotary clubs celebrated a special moment in their long-term support for the University.

Laura Simmons (Environmental Science), Benjamin Lane (Psychology) and Eva Hatje (Science) received their $4,000 scholarships at a presentation at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium.

The scholarships were presented in front of 180 guests at the Rotary clubs’ annual joint committee meeting and dinner event.

Eva is doing a PhD about bacteria from farmed Atlantic salmon, Benjamin’s PhD is on mental illness and Laura’s PhD is examining plant ecology.

This year marks a significant milestone between the combined Rotary Clubs of the Sunshine Coast and USC, with just over $100,000 raised since 2001 by the clubs to support these scholarships.

Strategic agreement with water company

Future engineers and scientists whose careers will involve ensuring continued quality water supply and sewerage services for the region are set to benefit from an agreement signed in June by Unitywater and USC.

The agreement will see Unitywater provide a range of measures to support USC students who are studying degrees that could lead to employment in the water industry. These include a new Unitywater Scholarship in Engineering starting in August this year, paid vacation work and an entry pathway into Unitywater’s Graduate Program.

USC and Unitywater will also work together to identify innovative science and engineering research projects that could help further improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of Unitywater’s operations.

“This agreement reflects the mutual benefits between the University, which educates engineers and scientists of the future, and Unitywater, which requires their talent to continue providing quality water supply and sewerage services to this growing region,” said Unitywater CEO George Theo.

Communication graduate is now making the news
USC graduate promoted to national news producer role

A former champion surf lifesaver who gained her first job in television in 2003 after a successful internship during her University of the Sunshine Coast degree is now making the national news in Sydney.

Tanya Weingarth is Supervising Producer of Network Ten’s Weekend National News, working in the bright lights of Ten’s Pyrmont studio after years as a journalist/producer travelling across regional Queensland with Channel 7—and all before she turns 30 in August.

“This is definitely my dream career. I love what I do and every day is different,” said the former Maroochydore resident.

“News is so exhilarating and the stressful situations are the most enjoyable.”

The Bachelor of Arts (Communication) graduate said her USC experiences had given her the knowledge base and industry connections to follow her ambitions.

“USC gave me a chance to shine,” she said.
“I don’t think I’d have a job in the media if I wasn’t chosen for that USC internship at Seven Local News in 2002.

“Being selected to do it blew my mind and being able to do it was where my love of television news started.”

Ms Weingarth studied at USC while reaching an elite level in surf lifesaving competition as a member of the Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club.

She won the XXXX Open Ironwoman Premiership series in 2002/03, highlighted by coming second in the Open Ironwoman at the Queensland titles to legend Karla Gilbert.

“I graduated and got a job with Seven in 2003 and started full-time as a sports journalist in Bundaberg. I became a producer in Hervey Bay, then Townsville, then back at their head office on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

“I liked reporting on camera but I wanted more involvement in the whole bulletin rather than just one story.”

She moved to Sydney in 2010 for a job at Network Ten, employed by a news director who had mentored her in Queensland.

“I loved the metro newsroom and worked my way through different positions, from story producer to foreign editor to producer of weekend national news.”

Ms Weingarth recalls her University days with gratitude.

“That relationship between USC and Seven was priceless and academics such as Stephen Lamble and Rosanna Natoli were incredible,” she said. “It was the best uni for me, absolutely. If I went to a bigger Brisbane uni I wouldn’t have had those opportunities.” 

Event to celebrate outstanding alumni

The University of the Sunshine Coast will hold its annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony on Thursday 12 September.

This event recognises the significant achievements of USC graduates in their fields of endeavour, ranging from professional and academic achievements to research and community work.

All graduates are welcome to attend the celebration, which will be held at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium from 6-8pm.

USC’s Alumni Relations Officer Anita Edmonds said the annual awards night provided a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the University and network with fellow graduates and friends of USC.

There is no charge to attend and refreshments and finger food will be served. For more details, contact Anita Edmonds on, telephone +61 7 5459 4564, or visit 

Campus tour for USC graduates

Graduates of the University of the Sunshine Coast have been invited to a special afternoon tea and a behind-the-scenes campus tour from 3-5pm on Saturday 19 October.

The tour is for alumni, their friends and family to experience the dramatic changes that have occurred on campus since its early days.

USC’s Alumni Relations Officer Anita Edmonds said even recent graduates of the University would be surprised by some of the exciting new developments.

“Details about this event will be emailed to alumni in coming weeks,” she said.

To register your interest or find
out more contact Anita Edmonds on or Tel: +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.

Choir strikes chord with community
Lecturer and conductor welcomes all to new University group

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s new choral group, USC Singers, is bringing the inner baritones, altos and wannabe singers out of the community and on to campus.

The group, led by USC Lecturer in Secondary Education and Professional Learning and part-time conductor Dr Janet Wyvill, already has more than 50 members aged 17 to 70 who are keen to test out their vocal chords.

Dr Wyvill said everyone was welcome at USC Singers including staff, students and members of the community, especially those who think they can’t sing or have been told that in the past.

“If you can speak, you can sing,” she said. “The only pre-requisite is a passion for singing. The rest I can teach."

“The whole point of the choir is for it to be community-focused and inclusive. There are no auditions. It is open to all and completely free.”

With rehearsals held in USC’s Innovation Centre Auditorium and plans to conduct in-house and community performances, the USC Singers’ repertoire is expanding to include works like Mozart’s Ave Vernum Corpos, Faure’s Sanctus (from Requiem),  Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (in German), Gershwin’s Clap Yo’ Hands and Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing.

USC Singers hold rehearsals every Wednesday night. For details contact or telephone 5456 5162.


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.

iNASA: David Howard (the adventures of two little astronauts)

iNASA is a suite of 30 quirky stories, a set of episodes in a long tall tale about contemporary civilisation and life, described as “vaguely autobiographical” by Sunshine Coast painter David Howard. The term NASA acts a metaphor for Western culture. Each work is in itself a complete mini-narrative. A space-suited pair face change together; become tribal and endangered; entangled, scared and lost; float about and fall in love in a vibrant real and imagined landscape, under the gaze of an intriguing third figure.

Engage Research Lab: People and technologies to change the world

This exhibition highlights the work of USC’s Engage Research Lab, which investigates and develops interactive technologies such as computer games, smartphone and tablet applications, social media and artworks, so users can become involved, informed and inspired to change the world. They are committed to research that is collaborative and has measurable benefits to the community.

Creative Generation: Excellence in Visual Art Awards Regional Exhibition 2013

THE annual Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art recognises and promotes excellence in senior visual arts education throughout Queensland’s state and non-state schools. Held in conjunction with the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment, the exhibition showcases the best of this region’s senior high school art work.

Creative Power: The Art of George Baldessin

THIS exhibition, a Maitland Regional Art Gallery Touring Exhibition, presents the work of George Baldessin (1939-1978), one of Australia’s most influential and important printmakers from the 1960s and ’70s. The exhibition, curated by Tess Edwards Baldessin, includes a selection of prints and drawings that show the development of Baldessin’s various themes as well as his individual style. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program.

Raymond Coffey: Homeless Series

BRISBANE artist Ray Coffey’s series of exquisite charcoal drawings reveal the hardship and humanity of homeless people. His work questions the path that people take and the situations they find themselves in, often not of their own making. His work has been carried out as a result of conversations with homeless men and women in Brisbane about the circumstances of their lives.