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More than awards, it’s a celebration of the Southern Cross University community


Sharlene King
28 October 2019

Layla Buckley exemplifies the type of emboldened citizen Southern Cross University sends out into the world: a person equipped for a diverse and global career that enriches society.

The 24-year-old marketing specialist with Feros Care was part of a team tasked with raising the organisation’s brand awareness while challenging ageing stereotypes and starting bold conversations around Australia.

The result: Fearless Films, a series that showcased nine NSW Northern Rivers’ seniors, aged over 75, living their lives boldly.

“With my hand on my heart, I can honestly say it has been an incredible journey thus far,” said Layla of the project produced in collaboration with Screenworks.

                View Fearless Films season 1.

Not only has the Fearless Films series earned awards and accolades for Feros Care – winning the QLD ACSA (Aged and Community Services Australia) Award for Service Innovation and Regional Provider of the Year; and a finalist for Best Social Good Campaign at the 2019 Social Media Marketing Awards – it has also won hearts.

After delighting audiences at film festivals across the country, including Young At Heart Film Festival, Virgin Australia featured Fearless Films in its domestic and international in-flight entertainment from April to June 2019.

“The project was so successful in smashing stereotypes in the community that we are set to do a second season, this time with a focus on people living with disability who are living fearlessly. It’s been a career highlight for me and is continuing to create waves in the community to this day,” Layla said.

Now Layla, a law and business double degree graduate, is a finalist at the inaugural Southern Cross University Impact Awards in the Young Alumnus of the Year category.

Pushing boundaries, creating and making change, leading the thinking, the science, the teaching and the human relationships that aspire to make a better world; universities are far more than buildings and laboratories. Universities are people.

To mark the University’s 25th anniversary, the Impact Awards celebrate the people – both staff and alumni – who have made the institution what it is today.

“Southern Cross University has a strong and distinctive character and reason for being,” said Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker.

“We stand for what matters: to students, to individuals, to the community and to the world. We are a place where novel ideas are welcome and lasting careers are created. And we are dedicated to regionally-significant teaching and research with global impact.

“Our graduates, who number more than 65,000 students over the past 25 years, are contributing to society in special ways in more than 80 countries and in every state and territory of Australia.”

The Impact Awards recipients will be revealed at a gala event on 30 October 2019. Visit the Impact Awards page for the full list of finalists.

The categories are:


  • Professional Service
  • Early Career Research
  • Student Experience
  • Community Impact
  • Teaching Excellence
  • Social Justice
  • Research Partnership



  • Alumnus of the Year
  • International Alumnus of the Year
  • Young Alumnus of the Year