Former tourism chief earns USC honour

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Former tourism chief earns USC honour


21 March 2013

A retired pharmacist who spent decades fostering the development of the Caloundra community will become an Honorary Senior Fellow of the University of the Sunshine Coast on Friday 5 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 its inception in 2002 until 2010, when it was taken over by the regional Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, and remains a member of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce committee.

He will receive the fellowship at the USC Graduation Ceremony, the first for 2013.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said Mr Wilkinson was a worthy recipient of the honorary award, the only one to be presented at this ceremony.

“Michael’s leadership of Caloundra Tourism was a remarkable period of growth and development that many look back on with great respect and admiration,” Professor Hill said.

Mr Wilkinson, who owned and operated a pharmacy in Bulcock Street for 24 years until 1999, said he was “chuffed” with the unexpected honour.

The 73-year-old from Aroona graduated from Sydney University with his pharmacy degree in 1960. In the 1970s he managed pharmacies in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Wilkinson, who has been a judge of the Queensland Tourism Awards, the Sunshine Coast Business Awards, the Whitsunday Tourism Awards and the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards, said he was proud that his tourism-related endeavours had helped boost Caloundra’s profile and success.

“Another highlight was presiding over the Caloundra Art and Crafts Festivals in the late ’70s and early ’80s to raise money to build the Caloundra Arts Centre – which we did,” he said.

He continued as president of both the annual festival and the Caloundra Arts Centre Association until 1987.

Mr Wilkinson was a foundation member and past president of the Caloundra Toastmasters Club, worked with the Caloundra Lions Club and was editor of the Caloundra Buzz magazine, an initiative of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.

— Julie Schomberg

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