Southern Cross University honours former students

Published 20 September 2006

Eight former Southern Cross University students, in fields ranging from business to sports science, are in the running to be named the Alumnus of the Year at the University graduation in Lismore on Saturday (September 23).

The Alumnus of the Year award, first introduced in 2004, celebrates what can be achieved with a Southern Cross University education. Alumni are selected according to leadership, stimulation of new ideas and services in their field, innovation and creativity, dedication and community service.

The winner will be presented with their award by Southern Cross University Chancellor, the Honourable John Dowd AO QC, during the 11.30am graduation ceremony at the Lismore campus.

The eight nominees for the Alumnus of the Year 2006 are: Matthew Brearley, Dr Leslie Burnett, Bill Coulter, Mercia Fernandes, Sam Hawksley, Glenn Jeffery, Allan Jones and Glen Mylne.

Matthew Brearley graduated with a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Human Movement Science in 1999. He was awarded first class honours in 2000 for research profiling the genetic and physiological traits of elite and recreational Australian endurance cyclists.

He works as a sport science and research coordinator at the Northern Territory Institute of Sport in Darwin, and has submitted a PhD on athlete responses to physical activity in the harsh tropical climate.

Dr Leslie Burnett graduated from Southern Cross University with a Doctor of Business Administration in 2002. He is the director of Pacific Laboratory Medicine Services (PaLMS), the pathology service of the Northern Sydney, Central Coast and North Coast Area Health services. He holds a number of national and international professional roles and recently retired as the president of the National Coalition of Public Pathology.

In 2005, Dr Burnett received the Management Sciences Award from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry in recognition of ‘achievements of an individual who has made outstanding contributions in management sciences to the clinical laboratory and the health care industry’.

Bill Coulter graduated with a Bachelor of Business in 1998. He is the general manager of the Ballina RSL Club and has played a vital role in establishing the Memorandum of Understanding between the University, the Ballina Shire Council and the Ballina RSL. Mr Coulter also instigated an annual Ballina RSL Club Scholarship, valued at $15,000, for a student in the Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management course.

He has received a number of industry awards on behalf of the Ballina RSL Club for business excellence and is a strong supporter of his staff in their pursuit of educational and career goals.

Mercia Fernandes came to Southern Cross University as an international student from Mumbai in India. She completed her Bachelor in Zoology and Botany at the University of Mumbai and has graduated from Southern Cross University with two degrees (Honours in Environmental Science and the Masters in Environmental Science).

She has travelled widely in eastern Australia and currently works for a private, independent, Australian energy saving company. She is hoping to do a PhD with Southern Cross University, and aims to help Australia become a more environmentally friendly country as well as help her own country of India.

Sam Hawksley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1994. As a guitar player he has performed with some of Australia’s leading musicians including John Farnham, The Seekers, Lee Kernaghan, Vanessa Amorossi and Delta Goodrem. Mr Hawksley has written songs for Adam Brand, Nessa Morgan, French artists Lenou and Elsa and the children's TV show New McDonald's farm.

His song, Come Back Baby, reached ‘number one’ on the Australian country music channel.

Glenn Jeffery has had a long association with Southern Cross University, graduating with an Associate Diploma in Small Business in 1981, a Bachelor of Business in 1987, and a Graduate Diploma in Social Science in 1994. He has been employed at the University for the past 21 years in a variety of roles from student accommodation officer to his current position as prospective student adviser.

Mr Jeffery makes an outstanding contribution in his role promoting the University through high school visits, career expos and information sessions.

Allan Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science in 2005, and now has a position with the Department of Education and Training in the area of corruption prevention, education and risk management. His expertise in the area of corruption prevention is now recognised nationally and internationally.

Mr Jones presented at the Public Sector National Conference for Fraud and Corruption Prevention, and has recently returned from providing advice to the Brunei Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Glen Mylne graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 2001 and was admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of NSW, as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and as a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia. He has his own law firm in Surfers Paradise, and has a particular interest in veterans’ and commercial law. He was instrumental in the creation of the Veterans’ Law units, now offered in the University’s law programs.

Mr Mylne has served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps in Malacca, Malaysia and Vietnam. He also flew helicopters as a medical crewman.

The Alumnus of the Year award will be presented during the 11.30am graduation ceremony in the Whitebrook Theatre, Lismore campus, on Saturday, September 23. All the nominees will also be honoured with a plaque in the Southern Cross University Alumnus Court.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.