Book a chat with one of our graduates

This year, for the first time, a team of Southern Cross University graduates are offering you the chance for a unique one-on-one conversation about their study experiences and careers. You'll have the chance to ask questions and get a real insight into where a university education can take you. 

How it works

  1. Choose an area you might be interested in and browse the information about our star graduates.
  2. Fill in the details to book a chat. You can only book one at a time so choose carefully.
  3. A team member will contact you to find out more about what you want to study and help you think through what you might like to talk about with our graduate. You’ll need to indicate what times you are available for a one-on-one chat.
  4. Our team member will then ring you to confirm a time and day for your chat.

This is a totally free service.

If you want to talk to a student adviser about what degree might be right for you, please call our hotline: 1800 626 481.

Law and justice

Woman standing in front of green bushes

Johanna Byrne

Bachelor of Laws

Johanna Byrne knows love. Once a florist – a career of passion and empathy – Johanna experienced the sudden loss of her husband in 2014, leaving her a single mother to seven children.

Amid it all, she left floristry and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2017, quickly becoming an essential figure in the Australian legal system.

After working roles in Legal Aid then corporate law, Johanna was appointed the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights’ State Convenor for Tasmania and the National Indigenous co-chair. “Law is a people profession,” says Johanna.

“I can help people in a different way than what I was doing with flowers.” 

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Man with arms crossed leaning against window

Thomas Lynch

Bachelor of Contemporary Music | Bachelor of Laws

Thomas – Tom – Lynch is the sort of rock star you’d want to end up in the courtroom with.

The passionate yet humble drummer and self-confessed ‘garage producer’ is a solicitor with Kay & Hughes Entertainment Lawyers in Sydney.

He spends his days helping artists of all kinds navigate the colourful life of being a creative who makes a living.

“Law touches every aspect of our lives and I love helping to arm artists with the tools they need to be sure that their work is valued and protected,” says Tom. In his ‘spare’ time, Tom now lectures in Media Law at the Australian Institute of Music.

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Man in suit and tie

Benedict Coyne

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Benedict Coyne’s thriving career is inspired by a dedication to human rights, and environmental and social justice. “Law is a fascinating, complex and multifaceted profession,” Coyne says.

“There are many opportunities to stand up and help to protect the lives of the vulnerable, from marginalised and powerless peoples to threatened ecosystems.”

Benedict recently served as National President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, after graduating in 2016 with Distinction from a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford, UK, building on his Bachelor of Laws from Southern Cross, from which he graduated with Honours, the University Medal and other academic awards.

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Environment and marine science

Man with surfboad and underwater camera

Lucas Handley

Bachelor of Marine Science and Management

Lucas has always been a wild child. Growing up on the border of the Booyong rainforest in northern NSW, his playground was the creek and bushland around the family home.

When the family moved to a nearby coastal suburb, his boyhood interest in the natural world shifted towards the ocean. Marine science was a natural progression for Lucas and it became the backbone for his exploration of science and conservation through film and photography.

“I was already involved in work around the ocean, but the degree I think legitimised what I was doing in film,” he says.

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Man standing near tree

Andrew Egan

Bachelor of Forest Science and Management

Andrew Egan would rather be traipsing through bushland than behind a computer (unless it’s raining), so is happy with his days assessing trees all over southeast Queensland and northern NSW for Queensland Commodity Exports.

“I get the best of both worlds,” says Andrew, who applied for university after biking around Rotorua, New Zealand, where he was inspired by pine plantations being harvested.

“It’s quite impressive watching lots of wood get shifted around. And I just like machines,” he admits. As a new father, working in a renewable industry is also important. “Wood is the ultimate renewable resource and there is going to be more demand for it.”

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Man  in blue suit with Indigenous artwork behind him

Brendan Logan

Bachelor of Coastal Management and Applied Science | PhD Environmental Science (Paleoecology)

For a self-confessed introvert, Brendan Logan spends a lot of his work life talking.

The PhD graduate of Environmental Science describes life as an executive leader as “no two days are the same” — he might start work in Ballina, fly to Sydney, end up in Dubbo, and wake the next morning with a flight to Queensland.

Brendan has two roles with NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment  (DPIE) – managing coastal Crown land, and he’s also one of two Directors of Indigenous and Local Government Allocations for DPIE, working on a unique initiative allocating Crown land to both local government and Indigenous groups and corporations.

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Education and teaching

Man with football on sports field

Nathan Portelli

Bachelor of Arts | Bachelor of Education (Primary)

The word 'champion' might make Nathan Portelli blush, yet the Southern Cross Education graduate is no ordinary footballer.

Nathan has played semi-professional football and represented Southern Cross in the Queensland Universities Rugby League team.

Now, his passion is teaching at Kororo Public School on the Coffs Harbour coast, a highlight of which is helping students build a robot and compete with school children worldwide in Australia’s FIRST LEGO League.

“Footballers can be nerds too!” jokes Nathan. “There’s nothing better than turning a child’s average day into an amazing day with just a few little comments. That’s so powerful.”

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woman with glasses

Holly Millican

Bachelor of Arts | Bachelor of Education (Primary/Secondary)

If it takes becoming a rising YouTube star to get students interested in maths, Holly Millican isn’t afraid.

“Maths doesn’t need to feel like an ominous hour-long period that students dread,” says Holly.

The Southern Cross Education and Arts graduate, currently completing a Master of Education, teaches at South Grafton High School.

Her first video, showing some of the ingenious ways she makes maths fun won a prestigious state prize that gave her the opportunity to work with the maths teacher and YouTube personality, Eddie Woo.

It also kickstarted her emerging YouTube channel inspiring other maths teachers. Who said maths isn’t glamorous?

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Health

Woman with park behind

Kristy Harris

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s to think outside the square,” says Kristy Harris, founder of Empowered Kids, who pursued her Southern Cross Bachelor of Occupational Therapy as a mother of two girls – a number that became three while she was a full-time student.

“I’ve seen something I’m passionate in and I’ve pursued it and through that, I’ve connected with my own kids as well as my business helping kids,” Kristy says.

“To see a child who has significant challenges work really, really hard and overcome them and pursue a bright future, that’s what excites me.”

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Woman standing on a beach with surfboard

Bec Woods

Bachelor of Clinical Science | Master of Osteopathic Medicine

For Bec Woods, 'The Glow' — that little voice that says, there, that’s it, that’s why you’re here — once came when surfing, which she did competitively for nine years on the World Tour.

She attributes her enduring career to an osteopath who helped her through a potential career-ending injury early on. This led her to osteopathy at Southern Cross University.

“It’s amazing to have knowledge and techniques that can help transform the lives of people who live with pain,” she says, now in her first year at a Newcastle Osteopathy practice and getting the glow every time a patient meets their healing goals.

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Man holding rugby ball

Dr Nicholas Gill

PhD Exercise Physiology

The secret to Dr Nic Gill’s success is… “stick to the basics.” His career, however is anything but.

'Gilly', as he’s known, has been the head strength and conditioning coach for New Zealand’s All Blacks for “a wee while” of 11 years, and when he’s not training a team of grown men on the world’s playing fields, he’s competing in Ironman Australia events, lecturing as the Associate Professor of Human Performance at the University of Waikato or spending time among his family’s avocado orchard – growing avocados and kiwifruit are his 'basic' passions.

“Stick to the basics and do them better than anyone else is doing,” Gilly says.

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Man doing exercises

Blake Duncan

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

When Blake Duncan knew he would not make it as a young rugby player, he chose the next best thing: training elite athletes.

“I think I’ve got the best job in the world,” says Blake, now the Rehab Strengthening and Conditioning Coach of the Brisbane Broncos.

“For me, it’s the pinnacle of sport and that’s exciting. The challenge is making sure that everything I do is 100% because I’m working with athletes who need to be at their best.”

It’s a dream career, making his beloved sport his life. And, he confesses, “I don’t miss waking up sore on Mondays!”

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Woman helping two children

Chantelle O’Connor

Bachelor of Speech Pathology

“There is so much variety within the scope of a speech pathologist,” says Chantelle O’Connor, who might start her day at her clinic in Burleigh, Queensland and then hit the road, visiting children in schools, elder clients in aged care facilities and a few home stops later in the afternoon.

“I can be channelling my inner Play School presenter in the morning to engage a non-verbal child, then assisting an elder to swallow safely at lunch time,” she says.

Staying up-to-date with popular movies and games is also a bonus, as she discusses narratives with teenagers experiencing literacy difficulties. “It’s certainly never boring!”

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Tourism and hospitality

Woman standing in hotel foyer

Militsa Antonova

Bachelor of Business in International Hospitality Management

Growing up in the small Bulgarian town of Sevlievo, surrounded by mountains and nature, Militsa Antonova dreams big.

Graduating from Southern Cross, she took on an internship that led to her dream job as Marketing Executive and now Complex Marketing Specialist at Marriott Hotels.

“Travelling is about experiencing, learning, supporting local communities and immersing yourself in new cultures,” says Militsa, who works at two luxury Melbourne properties and sees the hotel world moving into a period of colourful change in coming years.

She gets through her busy days with a little Bulgarian saying: “if there is desire, there is a way.”

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Engineering and science

Woman with long, dark hair

Lisa Hansberry

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering

From yoga instructor to the worlds of engineering and construction, Lisa Hansberry’s two careers are more similar than most would think.

“With engineering, we’re working with different materials to create effective and harmonious objects and structures for our cities and those who live in them,” says Lisa, who is a Project Engineer at Ardill, Payne & Partners, founding president of the Southern Cross University Engineering Society, president of the Northern Rivers Group of the Engineers Australia, Newcastle Division, and Newcastle Division Committee Member.

“Similarly, yoga is all about connection. And in both careers, each day provides something interesting to work on, and people to collaborate with."

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Bearded man

Jake Rozyn

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering

“Leave this world in a better state than I found it,” is Jake Rozyn’s life mantra, and as the Co-Director and Environmental Engineer with ENV Solutions in Ballina, Jake and his team are working on just that.

Jake is an expert in waste management, which may not sound glamorous, but developing solutions to real world problems is.

“The world is currently at a tipping point,” Jake says. The Engineering graduate specialises in sustainable methods of reusing the many materials humans discard daily.

“Engineering students can be at the forefront of ensuring the planet is in good shape for their generation and future generations.”

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Arts, humanities and social sciences

Woman with long brown hair

Jules Allen

Bachelor of Social Science

“There is no them and us; it’s just us,” says Jules Allen whose biography is dazzling — featured on the ABC’s Australian Story, a contestant on Masterchef and guest on The Project.

Yet the core of Jules’ work has been fostering 32 children and advocating for love and justice for those most vulnerable.

Jules has worked alongside Deborah Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman, collaborated with major Australian charities and is an ambassador for Adopt Change and Foster Care Australia.

And if she wasn’t busy enough, Jules has recently debuted as a playwright, presenting a story highlighting the flaws and need in Australia’s foster care system.

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Business and law

Woman waiting cross road

Lisa Mizeko

Bachelor of Business | Bachelor of Laws

What makes the economy tick? Many questions motivated Lisa Mizeko to take on a double degree in Business and Law – and her curiosity has helped Lisa thrive in a career in which economics, business and law meet.

“I have always found the links between business and finance fascinating and now I work with many different people bringing those links,” she says.

Originally from South Africa, as a Southern Cross student, Lisa went to China, Singapore and Hong Kong on study tours and an exchange program, which gave her international experience to bring to her current role as an External Auditor for KPMG in Brisbane.

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Nursing 

Woman in medical room

Katie East

Bachelor of Nursing

The sun has barely risen most days before Katie East hits the road to one of her many roles – as a nurse practitioner candidate at Brisbane’s Redlands Emergency Department, a clinical nurse at Gold Coast Emergency Department and as an emergency nurse at Southport Watchhouse treating prisoners in custody.

Before leaving, she walks the dog and may even surf. “Work-life balance is important,” says Katie, for on top of all that, she holds several roles within the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia and travels around Australia teaching trauma to nurses.

“Nursing has given me the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I wake up every morning excited.”

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Job outcomes

Twenty years ago, many of today’s jobs did not exist. The evolution of work is rapidly changing, with automation, climate change, migration and many others affecting not only how we work, but what we do. Career resilience is the name of the game.

Cyber security specialists, sustainability experts, artists, environmental lawyers, high performance trainers, urban renewal engineers, teachers or health professionals – Southern Cross graduates are not only job-ready but they have transferrable skills to apply across industries and into the jobs of the future.

Industry connections

A modern university degree is all about setting you up for a great career and introducing you to the industries where you might find a job once you graduate.

Thanks to our extensive and long-standing industry connections in the creative arts, in tourism and hospitality both in Australia and abroad, in businesses – from local firms to multinationals, in schools, environmental agencies, engineering firms, hospitals and more, work placements are a core feature of most Southern Cross degrees. You’ll not only gain critical on-the-job experience, you’ll start to build the professional networks you need for the future.

Student support

Sometimes things don’t always go accordingly to plan and you need a bit of extra support.

It might be developing academic skills to complete assignments, or assistance with learning technologies. An after-hours tutor, study buddy or mentor can show you the ropes and get you through those tricky times. You might need careers advice or housing assistance or even just someone to talk to confidentially. Whatever the support you need to succeed and thrive at uni – we’ve got you covered. Southern Cross has been consistently rated among the best in Australia for its student support.