Alumnus of the year
Each year Southern Cross University recognises past students for their contribution to their profession and community through awards in categories such as Alumnus of the Year, International Alumnus of the Year and Young Alumnus of the Year.
The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management proudly nominates students each year and congratulates them and all the Alumnus winners.
Outstanding Alumnus of the Year nominee – Keith Baker
Keith graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism in 1993 and has spent the next twenty years serving various sectors of the tourism industry in numerous paid and volunteer capacities. He was the ministerial representative on the Board of Directors of YHA NSW for three years and followed this serving on the board of Youth Hostels Australia for eight years. During this time he served as a member of its marketing and membership services committee and as Chairman for six years. He was also a member of the Australian Institute of Tourism Officers for seven years and serviced as President, Secretary and committee member during this time. Keith also volunteers for the ANKALI Project, part of the Albion Centre in Sydney and also volunteers for the NSW Justice's Association at two local community desks on a regular basis performing Justice of the Peace duties.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee – Linda Tillman
Linda graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism in 2001 and is the director of a small rural based business that specialises in regional tourism and events called Tilma Management. Linda is also a director of the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) and is the executive officer for Riverina Regional Tourism. Over the past four years Linda has assisted tourism operators, regional tourism organisations and local governments with grant submissions resulting in the allocation of more than $720 000. Linda supports the Inland NSW Tourism Awards and NSW Tourism Awards and has been a judge for both of these awards since 2008.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee and SCU winner: Abram le Cerf
Abram le Cerf graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Tourism Management in 2006 and has held a diverse range of roles including general manager at Gourmet Multi Cuisine Restaurant, lecturer at The Maldives National University, and social and environmental manager at Six Senses Laamu, Maldives. In his time as a lecturer, Mr le Cerf coordinated the development of the Maldive's first nationally administered Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Management.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee: Nadine Smith
Nadine graduated in 2005 with First Class Honours in Bachelor of Business in Tourism. She is a Communications Officer with On Track Community Programs. Between 2008 and 2010 Nadine worked as an Arts worker in Far North Queensland facilitating hip hop workshops and supporting performances with young people from remote Indigenous communities. She worked for Stylin' Up Regional, a program that brought more than 150 young people together for creative development. It led to a performance at the Stylin' Up Festival in Inala, Brisbane. In 2010 and 2011, Nadine managed a project for Indigenous young people from Northern New South Wales to compete and perform at Stylin' Up. Northern NSW contingents won the dance competition in both years.
Alumnus of the Year nominee and SCU joint-winner: Matt O'Hara
Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Club Management in 1998. He is the chief executive officer of Oak Flats Bowling and Recreation Club, an organisation with 75 staff, 11,000 members and an annual turnover of $9 million.Under Mr O'Hara's leadership, the club experienced a significant increase in profitability and was named Club of the Year by ClubsNSW in 2011. The Club was the only club in NSW to become a silver member of the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage Sustainable Advantage Program. On a personal note, Matthew was elected as State Councillor for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Zone of ClubsNSW and raised more than $100,000 for local charities.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee and SCU winner: Tanya Camplin
Tanya graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism in 2001. From 2003 to 2009 Tanya served as a Councillor on the Wangaratta City Council and was Acting Mayor on three occasions. During this time Tanya was involved on many committees and contributed to a number of achievements by the Council. She also participated in two leadership programs and has been recognised by her local community for her contribution. Tanya worked as Community Relations Manager with Northeast Health Wangaratta for 7 years and was responsible for coordinating volunteers and raising funds for the hospital which involved considerable community involvement.
Alumnus of the Year nominee and STHM winner: Martin Winter
Martin graduated with a Masters of International Tourism Management in 1998 and is currently CEO of Gold Coast Tourism. Martin also sits on the board of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and is Chairman of the Asia Pacific chapter, which represents the interests of countries in the APEC region. He is also a board member of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council. Martin has a strong history of involvement in tourism and education throughout Australia and overseas. He led a team to establish the first international hotel school in Brazil, in a joint venture with the national university. This was a ground breaking public-private initiative that provided internationally recognised qualifications and has been emulated in many other countries since.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee: Rachel Bernauer
Rachel graduated with a Bachelor of Business in 2000 before starting work with Tourism Australia and has been a key staff member for their student volunteer program since 2003. During this time Rachel has demonstrated her leadership qualities by mentoring more than 15 students and nurturing and supporting the development of new talent. In June 2004 she was presented with a Tourism Australia - Living the Brand Award by the Managing Director. Rachel was nominated for this award by her work colleagues as recognition of her dedication, commitment and valuable contribution to tourism.
Alumnus of the Year nominee and STHM winner: Anna Guillan
Anna is the co-founder of the NELUNE Foundation, a government registered charitable fund raising organisation. The mission of the NELUNE Foundation is to help patients fight cancer with dignity. The NELUNE Foundation's aim is to provide psychological and practical support for public hospital and underprivileged cancer patients in the community.
Anna graduated with a Master of Business Administration in Hotel and Tourism Management in 2009. She is committed to providing positive work opportunities for graduates, ensuring that they start their career in a respectful, learning environment. From 1999 to 2008, Anna provided opportunities for about a dozen interns within the Hayman sales and marketing department. She also participated frequently in industry mentoring programs including the Young Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Mentoring Program and was a guest lecturer in marketing at Southern Cross University.
Alumnus of the Year nominee and STHM and SCU winner: Lisa Messenger
Lisa graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management and has gone on to establish her own publishing company, and is currently Managing Director of Messenger Marketing, Messenger Publishing, Messenger Magazines and Messenger Print Brokerage. She has also worked globally in events, sponsorship, marketing, PR and publishing. This success led to her being named a finalist in the both the 2005 and 2006 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards as well as being named finalist for the Champion of Champions Award and the My Business Awards for Fastest Growing Business in both 2007 and 2008. In 2008 Lisa was named Entrepreneur of the Year by think tank movement Thought Leaders. She has recently been inducted into the Who's Who of Australian Women.
Young Alumnus of the Year nominee: Teagan Smith
Teagan graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management and is now employed as a Senior Aboriginal Enterprise Development Officer for Orana Business Advisory Service, which covers the Central West, Murrumbidgee and Murray areas. Prior to this Teagan was an Aboriginal tutor/mentor at Canobolas High School where she made significant contributions in the area of indigenous student attendance, uniform, commitment to studies, behaviour and academic achievement. Teagan now continues this role as a tutor and mentor with the hospitality students at the local TAFE free of charge. Teagan is also an active member of the Rotaract Club of Dubbo and continues her community service in with this and other charitable and community based organisations.
Alumnus of the Year nominee: Nadine Smith
During her undergraduate tourism degree, Nadine completed her semester-long internship with the Richmond Valley Council in 2003. Due to her success with this position, and the leadership potential shown, she went on to secure a position at RVC as Acting Coordinator of the Casino Visitors Centre. In 2005 she received the Rod Murdoch Memorial Award for individual achievement for her outstanding contribution to tourism in the area of product development and research. Nadine completed her Honours, titled 'Business collaboration in the context of drive tourism: A study of the Rainforest Way touring route' with SCU, which has been used in the establishment of the Rainforest Way tour drive. Nadine has led the establishment of the Creative People's Collective in Lismore, a non-profit organisation that provides various programs and involvement in the community for young people, with the key aim of creating opportunities for young people to participate in and have a voice through the Arts
International Alumnus of the Year nominee: Ambuay-Ngernta Sompong
Sompong completed his Masters in International Tourism Management in 1998 and has since worked extensively in establishing and promoting postgraduate tourism education and development in Thailand. As a result he has been an external member of the Curriculum Development Committees for the Bachelor in International Hospitality program at Payub University in 2002; the new Bachelor in Ecotourism at Baan Somdej University in 2005; the new Masters in Tourism at Sripathum University in 2006; and at Bachelor in Tourism degree at Ubon Ratchathanee University in 2007. Sompong initiated the Masters of Management Program in Tourism and Hospitality Management at Mahidol University International College (MUIC). More recently he was appointed to the position of Chair of the Tourism Industry Management (TIM) Division.
Find out more about SCU Alumni.
Updated: 17 May 2013