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Awards highlight staff achievements


Brigid Veale
9 May 2011
Four awards highlighting excellence in teaching and learning, research, professional staff performance and community engagement were presented at the inaugural Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence on Friday, May 6.

The gala black tie event, held in Lismore, was attended by more than 140 staff from the Lismore, Gold Coast and Tweeds Heads and Coffs Harbour campuses, and community members. Emcee for the evening was ABC journalist and presenter Jane Hutcheon and the guest speaker was Dr Leslie Cannold, an author, commentator, ethicist and activist who was named Australian Humanist of the Year in 2011 by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies.

Winners of the awards were:

Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Associate Professor Ross Goldingay, for authentic, field-based learning about wildlife conservation that illuminates the nexus between teaching and research for environmental science students. This award was presented by Southern Cross University Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC.

Excellence in Research – joint winners Professor Richard Bush and Professor Leigh Sullivan, co-directors of Southern Cross GeoScience, and Professor Brad Eyre – director of the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry. The award, presented by Thomas George MP, Member for Lismore, was awarded for high quality publications and national competitive grants which led to Southern Cross University achieving an Excellence in Research for Australia ranking of five – well above the best in the world for geochemistry.

Excellence in Professional Staff Service – Peter Coyle, for his strong leadership, proactivity and responsiveness in relation to the Coffs Harbour campus. This was presented by Cr Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore.

Excellence in Community Engagement – Professor Peter Croll, for his work establishing the Go Broadband Alliance and securing Coffs Harbour for the early roll-out of the National Broadband Network. This award was presented by Janelle Saffin MP, federal member for Page.

Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the night was very much a celebration of the achievements of the staff of Southern Cross University.

“We strive for a high performance culture and an important factor in achieving this goal is recognition - paying credit where credit is due. Tonight we showcase excellence and celebrate the achievements of our staff. We pay tribute to our academic and professional staff who have achieved the highest standards across teaching and learning, research, professional staff performance, and community engagement,” Professor Lee said.

“In doing so, I want to acknowledge the hard work of all staff in making Southern Cross University the success it is today. Our tagline as a University is ‘a new way to think’ – producing quality graduates who strengthen our region, Australia and the world through their ideas and their passion is a great realisation of new thinking – and it only happens through you, our staff.”

Photo: Federal member for Page Janelle Saffin, MP, presents the award for Excellence in Community Engagement to Professor Peter Croll, with emcee Jane Hutcheon looking on.