Dr Kevin 'Kev' Carmody
Outstanding Alumnus of the Year | Indigenous Service Alumnus of the Year
Bachelor of Arts, 1980
Dr Kevin 'Kev' Carmody's transition from rural back country labourer to industry icon was not an expected one for him – only when he got the chance to study at USQ, which in the late 1970’s was under the moniker of the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education did he begin to embrace his talent. Through his studies he eventually progressed to working on his PhD, the history of the Darling Downs between 1830-1860. Kev’s background and love for his culture was best displayed here, where he used music and oral tradition to voice his passions. The rest was history – Kev’s career was that of a touring singer/songwriter, performer, fundraisers, university campuses and Aboriginal music festivals. His seven studio albums contain songs designed to promote awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture and perhaps his most well-known song, ‘From little things big things grow’ is considered a prominent song for change. His contribution to Australia’s musical culture has been recognised with a number of industry awards including the 1993 Country Music Association of Australia Heritage Award, 2009 Queensland Great Award, as well as being an ARIA Hall of Fame inductee.
Air Marshall (Rtd) Geoff Brown, AO
Highly Commended Professional Alumnus
Bachelor of Engineering, 1979
Geoff Brown's stellar military career in serving Australia began when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1980. After 11 years of serving as a pilot and an instructor, Geoff rose from various leadership positions before culminating in Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal, a position where he proudly remained from 2011-2015. As Air Marshal, he had the immense responsibility of organising projects worth up to $3.5 billion dollars and was tasked with strategizing and developing plans and projects as well as influencing and interacting with the government and stakeholders. Geoff made the effort to ensure the future air force would be fully equipped with technology and equipment, ordering and commissioning over 150 new aircraft while also reducing expenditure and the Air Force’s Sustainment budget by $200 million per year. Geoff was also a leading champion for organisational change in the areas of recruitment and training, gender and cultural equality and safety and technology. For his service he has been given the title of Officer of the Order of Australia. Today, Geoff continues to collaborate with and advise government leaders and international stakeholders as Director of the Williams Foundation and Mentor at the Centre for Strategic Defence Studies.
Dr Tracey Brickell
Research/Academic Alumnus of the Year
Master of Psychology, 2000; Doctor of Psychology, 2003
Dr Tracey Brickell is a Senior Scientist and Scientific Director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Maryland, USA. She is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Maryland, USA. Dr. Brickell has published more than 39 manuscripts, 100 abstracts, and 120 conference presentations. Dr. Brickell is currently responsible for the scientific direction of two nationwide (U.S.), multi-site, 15-Year longitudinal traumatic brain injury research projects that are part of a mandate by the U.S. Congress. The studies examine outcome from traumatic brain injury incurred by service members and veterans during deployment to the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the long-term effect of traumatic brain injury on the service member’s family. The studies are funded at more than USD $45-million and supported by over 40 research support staff.
Highly Commended Research/Academic Alumnus
Master of Applied Linguistics, 2010; Master of Education, 2013; Master of Education (TESOL), 2016
Following his graduation from USQ’s Master Degree in Applied Linguistics, Brett Cumming has since spent his time devoted to teaching others, both domestically and overseas. He worked full-time as an Associate Professor at a Japanese Prefectural University for five years, while also performing other lecturing, administrative and research duties. Continuing his passion for educating others, Brett wrote 12 published papers and numerous book reviews, co-authored two textbooks and presented at international Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) conferences, while writing regular newspaper columns on bilingualism for overseas publications. Brett has received a Master of Education and a Master of TESOL, both from USQ, and completed the coursework for a Doctorate of Education, with a focus on writing in a second language. His dozens of academic publications and public speaking roles in both English and Japanese show his dedication to education, many of them focused on the barriers of bilingualism and career development through TESOL. Currently he works as an examiner and language instructor at Griffith University’s English Language Institute and as a lecturer at Griffith College, both based on the Gold Coast.
International Alumnus of the Year
Bachelor of Engineering Technology, 2001
Shane Elson’s career in Engineering began in 1994 and continued when he graduated from USQ with a Bachelor degree in Engineering Technology in 2000. Since then, his 20 years in both private and government engineering offices gave him the skills he needed to uproot his life in Australia and move to Indonesia with his family, starting his own engineering consultancy, Innovative Solutions Indonesia, as well as a locally based non-profit in South Kalimantan. Living onsite, Shane partnered with local professionals and employed local staff in order to help those in greatest need in isolated rural villages. Providing clean and affordable drinking water, public health education while continuing to develop a sanitation solution, Shane was motivated by both his passion for engineering and his high value of the human life founded in his faith in Christ. Overcoming the struggles of language and culture, Shane helped to establish a clean drinking water program for seven villages (as of July 2017) in order to provide non-contaminated, affordable water and drastically lower mortality rates. He received the Technologist of the Year in 2016 by Engineers Australia at both the Queensland state and Australian national level. Shane will receive his second Master degree, his first from USQ, in 2017.
Highly Commended International Alumnus
Master of Project Management, 2007; Master of Business Administration, 2009
David Fairman is the Chief Information Security Officer for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). In this role he is responsible for the strategy, oversight and governance for Information Security and Cyber Security globally across RBC. Prior to joining RBC, David was with JP Morgan Chase & Co holding the positions of Deputy Technology Controls Officer and Global Head of Technology Risk and Control Practices. Prior to JPMC, David was with RBS, holding several roles including CISO RBS Americas and Head of Information Security EMEA. In his tenure at RBS, he lived and worked in the UK, The Netherlands and the USA. David was raised and educated in Australia where he received his B.S. in Software Engineering and Computer Science. He then completed two Masters, one in Business Administration and the second in Project Management. David began his career in Information Security while serving in the Royal Australian Air Force’s Electronic Warfare and Communications group where he gained valuable experience in the technology, policy and process aspects of security and risk management. Subsequently, David worked in a variety of roles ranging from security architect, engineering, operations and consultant, mainly in the Utilities and Financial Services industries. In 2015, David was named as one of the Top 10 CISOs to know, and in 2016 was published as a co-author of ‘Cyber Risk’ by publisher Risk Books.
Professional Alumnus of the Year
Master of Professional Studies, 2012
Michael’s passion and love for all things wine is evident in his vast 37 year experience in the industry, which includes consulting, education and vineyard design. Although he graduated from USQ in 2012 with a Master of Professional Studies (Viticulture), his talent has been put to expert use since 1999, where he still works with Symphony Hill Wines. Since 2007, he has also been engaged with the Queensland College of Wine and Tourism (QCWT). Michael is a contract wine maker for 15 other wineries and has helped train many other students in viticulture and winemaking. As one of the Granite Belt’s premier wine makers, he has received the Samuel Bassett Award in 2014 for “A significant contribution by an individual to the Queensland Wine Industry”. Michael’s national impact has been recognised through the Churchill Fellowship he received in 2012 which allowed him to research 50 European Wine Regions and integrate those findings into his “Vineyard for the Future” project at QCWT which will provide over 100 alternative wine grape varieties throughout Queensland to be trialled. In addition to his slew of accolades and experiences internationally and domestically in the industry, Michael has designed and implemented at least 100 vineyards throughout Queensland and New South Wales, and has received over 95 Gold Medals and 76 trophies in the past decade alone. Currently involved in researching lower alcohol wines for the changing Australian cuisine and designing alternative variety vineyards around Australia, Mike consults on 33 vineyards and 15 wineries at present and is involved in mentoring new industry employees and enthusiasts.
Mayor Mark Jamieson
Community Service Alumnus of the Year
Bachelor of Business, 1996
Since his graduation from USQ in 1996, Mark Jamieson has been actively involved in shaping stronger regional communities through his leadership roles in both the public and private sector. Following over two decades in senior roles in media and publishing, Mark was appointed Chief Executive of APN Australian Publishing in 2006, where he was accountable for over $1 billion of newspaper assets. Mark was first elected in 2012 as Mayor of the Sunshine Coast Council. As Mayor, Mark is leading a progressive agenda which has at its heart creating opportunity for residents and communities. Under Mark’s leadership, the Sunshine Coast Council is driving an innovative economic development strategy which is focused on improving employment options and building income levels for the residents of the Sunshine Coast. Mark’s drive and passion to deliver a stronger future for his community is evident in the results the Sunshine Coast is now achieving - the region has been rated as having the second strongest performing economy in Queensland; unemployment rates have been lowered by more than half what they were when Mark was first elected; household income levels are now close to the State average; and the region has achieved national recognition for several of its environmental programs. Mark actively supports a number of not for profit organisations including domestic-abuse prevention organisation White Ribbon, Sunnykids, Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Beacon Foundation which assists in providing youth education and employment opportunities.
Highly Commended Community Service Alumnus
Bachelor of Nursing, 2013
Allysha has dedicated her life to assisting others and helping the community around her, both in Australia and overseas, including several third world countries. She has visited Nepal eight times in order to provide support and work with the Children’s Welfare Centre. During one of her trips to Kathmandu in 2015, she arrived just three days before an earthquake devastated the city, and although she was given the chance to be flown home, she chose to stay and help relief workers rebuild, including providing food and shelters, co-funding a pop-up organisation in order to provide care and schools for those affected. Additionally, she lived in slum communities in Kolkata in order to learn about the people and educate women about their rights, assisted servants in India and worked in a palliative care hospital. In Australia, she works with a number of communities including the Waiters’ Union and Catholic Worker Movement. She is currently studying for her graduate Bachelor’s Degree in Midwifery.
Chapter Volunteer Alumnus of the Year
Postgraduate Certificate in Business, 2010; Master of Business Administration, 2011
Suresh Muttiah commenced his role as the Chapter President in 2016, at a time when the Chapter was in need of strong direction and leadership in order to re-engage members. He has worked tirelessly to reconnect members to the USQ Alumni Relations Office and as a result the chapter now regularly holds both social and professional development events to keep its members engaged. His enthusiasm and passion for the chapter has resulted in establishing close ties with the Institute of Chartered Account Sri Lanka (ICASL), a partner institution where many Sri Lanka-based alumni study. Suresh has actively sought the help of both the USQ Alumni Relations Office as well as ICASL to grow the membership and take advantage of all social and professional development opportunities that are available. His dedication to ensuring the chapter has a significant presence at the ICASL graduation ceremonies is key in securing further membership.
Young Alumnus of the Year
Bachelor of Visual Arts, 2008; Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), 2009
Since 2008, Cara’s Bachelor of Visual Arts degree has led her to produce a lifetime’s worth of work while inspiring others to do the same. Cara’s artistic and community endeavours have been hampered by health concerns, but this has only strengthened her resolve to produce as much work as possible. In 2010 she learned she had a benign brain lesion, and a few weeks later she was electrocuted accidentally, which caused heart complications and further lesions, resulting in a constant migraine condition. Regardless, she has persevered in her love of art. Travelling internationally, she has spoken at conferences while collaborating and exhibiting installations, including a solo exhibition in Seattle. During this period she reached Anthill’s 30under30 award for outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours for her art practice among young Australians. Taking on the role of Executive Co-Director at Electrofringe, a non-profit arts organisation during 2011-2013, Cara curated and produced a five-day festival with a visitation of over 15 000 people. She was involved in the Regional Arts Initiative which included touring exhibitions, concerts and professional development courses. Cara was also Curator and Acting Manager at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, a public art gallery that saw a 35 per cent visitation increase through marketing and high quality exhibitions. She currently works at Cruden Farm, the renowned estate of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.
Highly Commended Young Alumnus
Master of Project Management and Master of Business Administration, 2010
Penelope Twemlow has made a name for herself in several fields due to her professionalism, skills and advocating for women’s advancement in male-dominated fields. Her career covers a vast array of positions from serving in the Royal Australian Navy for 10 years to holding positions including General Manager, Director and Chief Executive Officer in various managerial roles. She holds 17 years’ experience in both public and private sectors. Penelope is the Founder and Chairperson of Women in Power, an organisation whose mission it is to advance the roles of women in Electrotechnology industries. She also holds the role of Chair of the Queensland Government’s Electrical Safety Education Committee and volunteers with Team Rubicon, which combines the skills of experienced military personnel with first responders in order to deploy emergency response teams as rapidly as possible. Penelope is also an Ambassador for White Ribbon to prevent domestic violence, Beyond Blue for mental health, and empowering women through the YWCA. She aims to provide support and raise funds for the homeless and assisting services for veterans who have returned from duty. Of her many accolades, she is the winner of the 2016 Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Award for Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit, as well as the 2016 APAC CEO of the Year.