Thank you to those who nominated a USC graduate for the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Awards and for highlighting their achievements to the University.
Congratulations to the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award winners.
The shortlisted nominees are ...
Nic Blair has seen success as an entrepreneur after founding a number of startups including Search Factory, a digital marketing agency acquired by global media group Dentsu Aegis Network; Brus Media, a mobile app marketing agency; and Bump Shoes, an online retailer of custom shoes. Nic has featured in the Smart Company 30 Under 30, BRW Fast Starters and Deloitte Technology Fast 50. He has been a finalist for EY Young Entrepreneur and Lord Mayor’s Business Awards. In 2019, he was awarded both the Brisbane and Australian Young Entrepreneur in Marketing & PR by Business News Australia.
After leaving USC in 2010, Frances Cayley returned as a tutor in Property Economics while working in the Property Branch at Sunshine Coast Council. By 2016, Frances was appointed to senior management as the Head of Property, responsible for management of the $1 billion Sunshine Coast wide property portfolio and leading the Property Branch. Frances then began a 4-year journey of feasibility studies and design development for the Sunshine Coast City Hall to be built in the new Maroochydore City Centre. Seconded from the Head of Property role, Frances is now the Project Director of Sunshine Coast City Hall and is leading the delivery of contemporary workplace development for Council.
Darren Clark is an influential professional learning presenter, teacher, curriculum leader, pedagogical coach, tertiary tutor and assessment endorser with 30 years of experience in P-12 education. He is dedicated towards developing numerate students and teachers through neuroscience, metacognition and mind-set. In recent years, Darren has been instrumental in leading Sunshine Coast Schools to some of the highest levels of numeracy improvement in the State. He has previously spent 3 years transforming numeracy pedagogy in the Bronx region of New York and presented to schools in China last year.
Ali Couwenberg (née Marshall) is a senior marketing professional with over ten years’ experience within the property industry. As a lead marketer for international property and infrastructure group Lendlease, Ali’s career highlights include launching a $350 million new build retail asset and she is currently leading the marketing and placemaking on Melbourne Quarter, a $2.9 billion development and sustainable urban regeneration project in Melbourne’s CBD. Ali has a proven track-record of driving long-term marketing plans along with delivering places with a ‘customer first’ mindset and has a passion for educating and empowering females to explore employment opportunities in the industry.
Marina De Jager
Marina is the founder and director of the Imagineers Festival. Passionate about arts on the Coast, she serves on the Sunshine Coast Council Regional Arts Plan as an Ambassador, the Anywhere Festival Board and regularly takes part in local arts productions. Marina teaches at Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence and throughout 2020 has mentored USC students creating the Imagineers in Isolation Podcast. Next year, Marina will take part in the Festival Academy program in Germany, selected as one of 35 worldwide emerging festival directors. Marina bridges the gap between education and community, working as the Events and Community Engagement Manager at Montessori International College.
Throughout her career, Kim has championed the cause for positive social change and the empowerment of citizens through education and community engagement, pioneering Community Development and Education projects around the world. This includes emergency earthquake relief work in the Philippines, volunteering at a hospital in the Himalayas, working with refugees in Northern Iraq, and opening schools for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In 2003 she co-founded language school, Sea English Academy International, and conducted English language courses and teacher training programs in 16 countries around the world. In 2013 she moved to Saudi Arabia, where she was the founding Dean of the first women's vocational college in Saudi Arabia.
Since 2014 Mo has compassionately led and grown his creative agency ‘Mo Works’ into a thriving business with a multicultural team of 17, able to create brands, develop digital products and launch them to market. Mo’s ongoing commitment to his business’s international excellence led to winning the prestigious Governor of Victoria Export Award (GOVEA) for Professional Services and The Docklands Business Awards for Professional Services as recognition for their work for the Docklands community and supporting its local businesses. Mo takes every opportunity to share his experience and creative expertise with his local and global communities.
Dr Krystina Lamb
PhD 2016, BSc(Hons) 2012, BSc 2011
Krystina Lamb is a leader in renewable and hydrogen energy technology research, currently working at the world class National Hydrogen Materials Reference Facility at Griffith University. After graduating from USC in 2016 with a PhD, she has had a significant impact on promoting hydrogen technology in Australia. In August 2018, she and her team at CSIRO demonstrated a world-first technology of producing ultrahigh purity hydrogen from ammonia to a crowd of over 200, including members of parliament, government and industry representatives and the media. This technology is helping to unlock the potential of renewable hydrogen energy for a sustainable future.
Since graduating from USC in 2010, Raphael moved to Sydney and found his calling creating initiatives such as cycling and walking across the USA and Australia to raise awareness and funds for research for melanoma skin cancer. In 2017, Raphael returned to the Sunshine Coast to create his current business 'bakslap', a sunscreen application device. Their first product was designed, manufactured and launched with the involvement of over 30 USC students. Giving back and sharing his knowledge is at the core of his business, resulting in a Sunshine Coast Business Award, working on campaigns with Facebook Australia and creating new national skin cancer awareness events.
Cameron is a Solicitor practising in the areas of Employment, Litigation and Administrative Law working alongside employers and businesses to help achieve good outcomes and resolve issues with minimal concern. Previously he was a Legal Advisor to the Workers' Compensation Regulator for the Queensland State Government and is in his final semester studying a Master of Laws at the University of Queensland. Cameron has close ties with several organisations that aim to assist ex and current Australian Defence Force members to gain access to study and succeed in that pursuit. He is also a long-time volunteer for organisations assisting ex-Defence Force members including WithYouWithMe, Mates for Mates, RSL and Legacy.
Under Colin’s leadership as Executive Director of the Anitua Group on Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), the organisation was transformed into the most successful and largest landowner Group of Companies in PNG, growing to more than 4,500 staff and 20 companies operating all over PNG. Colin also demonstrated his commitment to the people of PNG through training, personal development and initiatives that resulted in domestic violence on Lihir being greatly reduced. After many years overseas, Colin has returned home and has started a successful health and fitness centre on the Sunshine Coast with plans to franchise in the future.