Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards for Excellence - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards for Excellence

Each year, through the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Awards for Excellence, exceptional achievements are recognised and rewarded in the key areas of:

  • learning and teaching
  • research
  • engagement
  • service

In 2020, there were five recipients of the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Awards for Excellence and two commendations.

Anita Hamilton
For Excellence in Learning & Teaching

Dr Anita Hamilton

Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Dr Hamilton is recognised for her innovative practice in developing new teaching approaches that deliver engaging, high quality curricula to achieve improved learning outcomes. Dr Hamilton also has an extensive research portfolio in relation to the scholarship of teaching that influences teaching practice nationally and internationally. Dr Hamilton's leadership has been displayed through her commitment to a variety of roles and committees that have engaged staff and contributed to the advancement of teaching at USC. Throughout a difficult 2020, Dr Hamilton has shown leadership by promoting a collegiate, positive and productive academic culture at USC.

Celine Frere
​​​For Excellence in Research

Associate Professor Celine Frere

Associate Professor of Animal Ecology
School of Science, Technology and Engineering

Dr Frere is recognised for exceptional research achievements in the Ecology and Environment field. Dr Frere received outstanding external recognition in 2020 with the award of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and the Queensland Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year Award, along with a number of significant research contracts. Dr Frere has a strong and influential research profile while maintaining important teaching commitments that inspire our students in the field. Dr Frere is also recognised for exemplary external engagement activities, especially koala rescue work, which has enhanced the reputation of the University locally, nationally and internationally.

Ben Gilby
​​For Excellence in Research (Early Career Researcher)

Dr Ben Gilby

Senior Lecturer in Animal Ecology
School of Science, Technology and Engineering

Dr Gilby is an exemplary early career researcher with a strong research profile involving significant grant funding, higher degree by research student supervisions, publications in top ranked journals as well as a strong teaching and engagement profile that excites our students and elevates the reputation of the University. Dr Gilby has managed a balanced and comprehensive teaching, research and engagement profile as well as made significant contributions to education across the broad region of our campuses from Fraser Coast to Sunshine Coast to Moreton Bay. Dr Gilby is acknowledged as a "rising star" in the field.

David Dixon
For Excellence in Engagement

​​​Mr David Dixon

Senior Creative Developer, Visualisation​

Mr Dixon has received this Award for his leadership in a partnership project that resulted in the development of ChemCave VR and portable virtual reality educational tools. Mr Dixon took a local community engagement partnership and expanded it to an international audience and has been recognised on the world stage for learning innovation and research in visualisation. Mr Dixon's presentations and published articles, showcase the possibilities for VR in Education in the region and beyond.

For Excellence in Service

Student Wellbeing Team

Alex Sharp, Anna Jones, Carla Hopper, David Duncan, Eilish Hobbs, Karryn Bratby, Kathy Cool, Meredith Young, Sharon Andersen, Caryn Andersen
Student Services and Engagement

The Student Wellbeing Team are recognised for their responsive and outstanding service to USC students experiencing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The rapid adaptation of the student wellbeing counselling service model to accommodate increased demand for services and to respond to new types of enquiries, enabled the team to help students in distress. The emergency relief initiatives implemented in 2020 highlight how the team has gone beyond their usual role requirements to deliver exceptional service. The team's inclusive and respectful responses during this time of significant disruption has supported the success of USC students.​

For Excellence in Engagement

Dr ​Wayne Graham
Senior Lecturer in Management/Head, USC Caboolture
School of Business and Creative Industries

Dr Graham is commended for his achievements in engagement that have benefited the University and formed important connections within the community. Dr Graham is recognised for his scholarly engagement and productive and important partnerships with Moreton Bay Regional Council and Caboolture Hospital. Dr Graham is an exemplar of how to build relationships with organisations and undertake research with real impact for our community and our region. In particular, the series of workshops Dr Graham delivered to assist businesses in their Covid-19 recovery made a real difference in the community.

For Excellence in research (early career researcher)

Dr Martina Jelocnik
Research Fellow
Genecology Research Centre

Dr Jelocnik is commended for her significant achievements in research as an early career researcher. Dr Jelocnik is recognised as being on an upward trajectory evidenced through an ARC DECRA Fellowship, along with other grants and quality publications. Dr Jelocnik's commitment to deep engagement together with integrated teaching and research at USC is commendable.