First MBA graduate returns with accolades

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First MBA graduate returns with accolades


USC Deputy Chancellor David Jeffries (l-r), award recipient Jenny Morawska, USC Professor Helen Wallace and USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill

17 December 2013

The first person to gain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2000 has this year become the University’s number one fan.

Jenny Morawska, founder and CEO of Sydney-based global management consultancy The Morawska Group, recently returned to USC for the first time since graduating to receive one of two prestigious Outstanding Alumni Awards for 2013.

She was selected for this award for her executive leadership and management skills in running a company that specialises in strategy, structure, sustainable economic and leadership development and business operational excellence.

Ms Morawska has worked with many major international organisations, including the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

But while the Outstanding Alumni event was held to honour Ms Morawska, the high-flying graduate used the occasion to praise USC for its achievements since its “standing start” in 1996.

“There is so much going on here that is cutting-edge,” she said. “The university has been really focused on building and making itself part of the Sunshine Coast.

“Every door at the university was opened for me. There’s a sense of “cordis die” (a call of duty) and a real connectedness … it’s a community. That’s rare in any corporate environment and very rare in the academic world.

“I picked that up from people right across the whole spectrum, regardless of what position they held at the University, whether they were academics or caterers.

“I do a lot of business analysis, so I had a different perspective when I toured the campus. I saw so much potential at this university, especially with the Innovation Centre.

“USC has the people, passion and possibility. The whole university is about people and everyone is connected and working together and linked into that passion. There are huge possibilities for the future.” 

Ms Morawska said her MBA from USC had helped shape her career. Prior to graduating she was Executive Director at Price Waterhouse and Deputy CEO of the Federal Departments of Industry and Finance. After graduating, she was recruited as the General Manager of People and Performance at Westpac, and went on to be CEO of a biotechnology company and The Morawska Group.

The Morawska Group, whose clients include commercial and public sector organisations, has consulted to the ‘Building Capacity for Peace Project’ for the Folke Bernadotte Academy, a Swedish government agency. The project targeted early intervention in the peace-conflict-war cycle.

Ms Morawska also worked with the General Assembly at the United Nations to conduct dialogues for peace with senior government officials and diplomats, senior executives of private sector organisations and international funding bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the World Bank. 

At the Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony in September, a second award went to 2002 Master of Science graduate Dr Amal Johnston for his international research in plant biotechnology. 

Dr Johnston is now a Research Group Leader and Assistant Professor for Germline Biology, Centre for Organismal Studies, at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

About 120 people attended the annual USC alumni event, including other graduates, staff, benefactors and supporters.

Terry Walsh

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