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Q&A with Michelle Hamer

Michelle Hamer was raised on the Sunshine Coast. As well as running two businesses and lecturing and tutoring at USC, she serves on USC’s Foundation Board and is passionate about the exciting role the University plays within the community.

Q: You are a long time resident of the Sunshine Coast—do you feel USC has had a significant effect on the region? How so?

A: Having spent over 40 years on the Sunshine Coast, I can definitely say that USC has had a major impact. When I grew up here, you had to leave the Coast to go to university. In general students didn’t have a grasp on the significance of a university education because it wasn’t close by and in our faces. Now that USC is in the region, students are thinking more about higher education and the ‘why and how’ of their lives. For those students who choose university, USC enables families to stay together if they want to.

Q: What is your view of philanthropy in a region like the Sunshine Coast?

A: I feel it is very important that the people of the Sunshine Coast believe they can be as much a part of USC’s Building Excellence campaign with a gift of $50 as they are with a gift of $500,000. The Sunshine Coast has not historically been a wealthy region, though capacity for wealth has grown in recent years. I see philanthropy as participating in what you believe in, at whatever level you can. I think that most Sunshine Coast residents really believe in higher education and want to be a part of it on some level.

Q: You volunteer for several organisations. How do you decide what activities to become involved in?

A: I firstly have to believe in the mission and activities of the organisation. I then look at the other members of the board to see if I can broaden perspective or add value to the group. For example, I do not come from a family with a great history in higher education or philanthropy—but that allows me to give a unique perspective to the USC Foundation board. Lastly I am careful to only commit to three organisations at a time so that I can maximise my impact on those I’m involved with.

Q: Do you think a university education can really change a life?

A: Yes I absolutely do. Lots of people say to me “I’d really like to go to Uni, but it’s such a big commitment.” Well you can do it—just start with one subject. USC is a very accessible institution, yet it opens great doors of opportunity.

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USC receives its first bequest

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s first bequest was recently realised in the will of late Sunshine Coast resident Marjorie Harrold.

Mrs Harrold is the late wife of Dr Arthur Harrold, who received an Honorary Doctorate from USC in 1999. She was passionate about giving back to her community and was generous to a number of  organisations in her will.

The bequest was coincidentally timed to coincide with the launch of USC’s new bequest society called Beyond Tomorrow. “Bequests can play a significant role in advancing a University and its students,” said Andrew Pentland, USC Foundation Executive Officer. “Mrs Harrold chartered new territory through her bequest. It’s a meaningful legacy for the University and our students.”

Inquiries about leaving a bequest to USC can be made in strict confidentiality to Andrew Pentland on telephone <+61 7="" 5459="" 4418=""> or email>.


Campaign concertNick Bevacqua of the Bevacqua Group was a major sponsor of the Australian String Quartet's popular USC performance.

Nick Bevacqua of the Bevacqua Group was a major sponsor of the Australian String Quartet’s popular USC performance in August. Funds raised were in support of the new Health and Sport Centre.


Become involved

For more information on giving to the Building Excellence Campaign, please contact University Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Pentland via telephone <+61 7="" 5459="" 4418="">, email> or by mail to University Foundation, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC Qld 4558.

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