2014 Award Winners

  • 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
  • Lisa Charet Lisa Charet
    2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Lisa graduated from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering with a Bachelor of Applied Science in 1999, and has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Sydney University. She has more than 25 years' experience working in a diverse range of roles, and extensive management and leadership experience.

    Upon graduation from SCU, Lisa joined Sydney Water's Graduate Program as a water and wastewater scientist. Lisa advanced rapidly through various positions culminating in the role as executive officer and manager of Sydney Water's Environment and Heritage team. Lisa led the development of sustainability indicators for Sydney Water, and led the transformation of Sydney Water's environmental reporting to a streamlined sustainability report which calculated Sydney Water's ecological footprint. The report was independently ranked in the top Environmental report sin the world and was a finalist in the Banksia Sustainability Awards.

    For the past ten years Lisa has held key positions with the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and is currently the district director, family and community services for the Western Sydney District where she manages a staff of over 1,000 and a budget exceeding $350 million. Recently Lisa won the Institute of Public Administration Award for Individual Excellent for Collaboration. The award was in recognition of Lisa's "development of innovative, person-centred delivery and improved outcomes for vulnerable children in need of care and protection and out-of-home care".

  • 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year
  • Benedict CoyneBenedict Coyne
    2014 Young Alumnus of the Year

    Benedict graduated with a Bachelor of Law from Southern Cross University in 2010, obtaining first class honours and being awarded the University Medal. Benedict is currently a candidate in the Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford.

    Benedict is a human rights lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and has a strong personal commitment to social justice and human rights advocacy. He is continuing his third year as a Queensland State Convenor of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights; and his second year as an Ordinary Member of the ALHR national committee.

    Benedict is also a member of the Law and Justice Institute of Queensland, the International Commission of Jurists Queensland and the Brisbane Pro Bono Lawyers Network. He was nominated for and was first runner-up in the 2013 Australian Lawyers Alliance Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award.

  • Arts and Social Sciences Nominees
  • Luke WebbLuke Gerard Webb
    2014 School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year

    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Luke graduated with a Bachelor of Contemporary Music in 2003. Luke has packed a lifetime of achievement into his career as a music engineer, producer and mixer. He has worked with artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, indie rock band Kisschasy, Vanilla Ice, Australian Idol winners, and Grammy award winning mix engineer Brian Paturalski.

    Luke has worked as a mixer and engineer on singles that have hit number one in the Australian charts, as well as at prestigious events such as the Sochi Winter Olympics Games, ARIA Awards, the NRL Grand Final, and national broadcasts of Australia Day celebrations. Luke currently works and resides in Los Angeles.

    Joshua BlairJosh Blair
    Nominee - School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Josh Blair graduated with the Bachelor of Arts from Southern Cross University in 2000 and is also a graduate from the Berklee College of Music (USA).

    He is a freelance recording/mixing engineer and producer. He has enjoyed a globe-trotting career, working in studios in the US and and the UK. He is based in London. Josh has worked with artists as diverse as Mark Ronson, Delta Goodrem, Mos Deaf, Queen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Simply Red, Primal Scream and Beyonce. He has also worked on television advertisements for companies such as Carlsberg, Strongbow and Marks and Spencer and in a variety of film. In 2013, Josh was nominated for a Grammy award for his work with artist Bruno Mars.

    Chris ConnersChristopher Connors
    Nominee - School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Christopher with a Bachelor of Multimedia (Instructional Design) in 2005. Christopher is the CEO of Urban Golf, a company dedicated to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through the unique medium of off course golfing.

    After travelling overseas for several years that Chris returned to Australia to start his own business in alternative golfing and events, Urban Golfing. His company is endorsed by the PGA, Golf Australia and the Australian Sports Commission as a way to involve the younger generation in organised sporting activity. Christopher was also instrumental in creating the event, World Urban Golf Day, which now takes place in 60 cities in over 12 countries promoting and celebrating Urban Golf and raising money for Father Chris Riley's Youth off the Streets charity.

    Tara EglingtonTara Eglington
    Nominee - School of Arts and Social Sciences
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    An outstanding novelist with two published books, Tara Eglington graduated with a bachelor of media from Southern Cross University in 2009.

    Tara's career as an author started with her first novel How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You in 2013. Tara's first novel was then quickly followed by the How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You, both of which were published in 2013 by Harper Collins.Tara works for Harper Collins Publishers as a national accounts assistant, with ambitions to extend her career in the direction of academia through a PhD or alternatively a full-time career as an author.

  • School of Education Nominee
  • Lee MacMasterLee MacMaster
    School of Education Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Lee MacMaster graduated with a Master of Education (with Distinction) from Southern Cross University in 2009. Lee has many years in the education industry as a teacher, assistant principal and now college principal at St Andrew's Catholic College in Redlynch Valley near Cairns, Queensland. St Andrew's Catholic College is a large school with 1670 students and 192 staff.

    Lee has worked extensively on numerous state and national curriculum panels, and also been a member of various committees and working parties with the NSW Office of the Board of Studies. In addition to this Lee has served as the NSW Catholic Education Commission representative on the NSW Education Policy Committee and as a Principal Representative on the QLD Catholic Education Commission ACARA Curriculum Policy Committee.

    In addition to his teaching and educational achievements Lee is a nationally accredited Football referee, and a life member of the Far North Coast Football Referees Branch, referring at state and national levels. He continues to contribute to the football community through coaching and mentoring young referees and through ongoing refereeing at the National Premier League level.

    Wilma CrowtherWilma Crowther
    Nominee - School of Education Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Wilma Crowther graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching from Southern Cross University in 1994, and followed that up with an Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) in 1997. Wilma is now studying her Diploma in Nursing and is due to graduate from this degree in 2014, with plans to follow that degree with a Masters of Education at Southern Cross University in 2015.

    Wilma's career has been diverse and multi-faceted. She has worked for the NSW Department of Education and Communities as a teacher in schools at Moree, Condobolin, Forbes and then at an isolated two-teacher school in Bogan Gate. Following her time at Bogan Gate she was transferred to Kandos Public School and taught there up until 2012, when a family illness meant that she relocated back to Lismore to provide support and assistance.

    Gabriel CooperGabriel Cooper
    Nominee - School of Education Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Graduating with a Bachelor of Education (primary) in 2006 Gabriel has had an interesting teaching career in Australia and abroad. After several years teaching at a variety of schools and areas in western NSW Gabriel took the unique opportunity of applying for a position at an International School in Mosa West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea in 2009.

    Gabriel worked in PNG for four years, teaching in a very challenging environment where most of her students had English as a third or fourth language. She returned to Australia in late 2013. In 2014 Gabriel accepted a position working for Save the Children Australia in Naaru at the Offshore Processing Facility as a senior primary teacher. Gabriel is currently on the resettlement team for families and children who have been deemed true refugees and in her roles Gabriel actively works to provide refugees with a quality of education so that they may enjoy the benefits of a fruitful, happy and productive life.

    Lauren HankinsonLauren Hankinson
    Nominee - School of Education Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Lauren Hankinson graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in 2001 and followed that up with a Master of Education in 2005, both from Southern Cross University.

    At 33 years of age Lauren is primary school principal at Urbenville Public School, located near the QLD/NSW border within the World Heritage listed Border Ranges National park. Lauren is passionate about 21st century learning and presented a paper entitled "How virtual is your classroom? Connecting with the School Community in the 21st Century" at the Spectronics Inclusive Technologies Conference in 2014. She has a focus on positive communication between schools, teachers and parents in order to develop and grow children's education, and was recently a finalist in the National Excellence in Teaching (NEiTA) awards.

    Matthew NealMatthew Neal
    Nominee - School of Education Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    A primary school teacher at Repton Primary School, Matthew Neal graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from Southern Cross University in 2011, and was awarded the University medal for exceptional academic achievement.

    Matthew was selected for the highly competitive TunED Up Teacher Training program offered by Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The award-winning program seeks to address the 'knowledge gap' in relation to music in primary school teacher training.

    Matthew is also active within his community, working to organise the 2015 centenary celebrations for Repton Primary School with the Parents and Citizens Committee, along with his involvement at the Bongil Bongil Community of Schools "Community well Being Day" where he was a guest presenter. The event is designed to support students in building confidence, personal development and resilience.

  • School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
  • Simon McArthur Simon McArthur
    School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Simon McArthur holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Natural Resource Management University of New England, Northern Rivers (1989), an MBA from Southern Cross University (2006), a PhD in Tourism and Visitor Management from the University of Canberra (1999).

    He is director of Simon McArthur and Associates, a company he established in 2012 and which specialises in cultural and environmental tourism within Australia. He is also director, Total Tourism Solutions which he established in 2012, consulting on large international projects in the Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, using a co-operative pool of experts based across the world.

    He is a the former manager of Tourism and Economic Development Services for Newcastle City Council 2009-2012, director strategic projects of the Mawland Group in 2009, and the general manager of Q Station from 2006 to 2009. From 1998 to 2008 he was project director, of the Mawland Quarantine Station Re-development. He was runner-up in the International Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for his work on the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games. This led to a slew of opportunities to return to South America where he worked in various tourism development companies to create experiences in Central and South America.

    Lisa Charet Lisa Charet
    Nominee - School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
    2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Lisa graduated from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering with a Bachelor of Applied Science in 1999, and has an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Sydney University. She has more than 25 years' experience working in a diverse range of roles, and extensive management and leadership experience.

    Upon graduation from SCU, Lisa joined Sydney Water's Graduate Program as a water and wastewater scientist. Lisa advanced rapidly through various positions culminating in the role as executive officer and manager of Sydney Water's Environment and Heritage team. Lisa led the development of sustainability indicators for Sydney Water, and led the transformation of Sydney Water's environmental reporting to a streamlined sustainability report which calculated Sydney Water's ecological footprint. The report was independently ranked in the top Environmental report sin the world and was a finalist in the Banksia Sustainability Awards.

    For the past ten years Lisa has held key positions with the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and is currently the district director, family and community services for the Western Sydney District where she manages a staff of over 1,000 and a budget exceeding $350 million. Recently Lisa won the Institute of Public Administration Award for Individual Excellent for Collaboration. The award was in recognition of Lisa's "development of innovative, person-centred delivery and improved outcomes for vulnerable children in need of care and protection and out-of-home care".

    Desmond HerthertonDesmond Hetherton
    Nominee - School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Desmond graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Fisheries and Aquaculture Management) in 1998 from Southern Cross University.

    Desmond currently is the health safety environment and training superintendent at Downer Edi Mining in Brisbane QLD.

    Desmond's career started at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water located in Bundaberg QLD. He then progressed through a variety of roles in 9 years with the department, cumulating as senior natural resource officer in 2007. In 2007, Desmond moved to Peabody Energy Australia taking on a new challenge as training and safety co-ordinator in the Mining Industry.

    Nicholas SadgroveNicholas Sadgrove
    Nominee - School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Nicholas Sadgrove graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) from Southern Cross University in 2007. He also holds a PhD from the University of New England (UNE). During the course of his PhD Nicholas published 14 journal articles in international journals.

    Residing in Armidale, Nicholas is pursuing an academic career and currently works as a research assistant at UNE. In his time at UNE, he made a significant research finding which was the discovery of an antibiotic previously unknown to modern science but used extensively by Indigenous Australians. His work is enabling Aborigines to communicate the value of their medicinal plants to the scientific community. Nicholas is focused on pursuing a career in the direction of chemobotanical discoveries, complementing taxonomy and creating pharmaceutical projects that may lead to drug discovery.

  • School of Health and Human Sciences
  • Sofie MikoszaSofie Mikosza
    School of Health and Human Science Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Sofie is a graduate of Southern Cross University's Bachelor of Naturopathy degree, graduating with this award in 2008. After graduating Sofie worked as a researcher and contributor to the book 'Woman Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle' by Ruth Trickey.

    Following this Sofie worked for several years as a practitioner in a women's health clinic and lectured in clinical nutrition at Endeavour College of Natural Health and RMIT University in Melbourne. Sofie has now returned to study post-graduate medicine (MBBS) at Deakin University, with an expected graduation date of 2017. Sofie volunteers with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

    Debra JacksonProfessor Debra Jackson
    School of Health and Human Science Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Professor Debra Jackson graduated with a Diploma of Health Science in Nursing in 1991 and then decided to continue her studies with Southern Cross University graduating with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing in 1992.

    Professor Jackson has made a unique and deep contribution to nursing education, research and scholarship and is currently a Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Debra has in excess of 300 publications, has authored or co-authored 33 book chapters and co-edited three nursing textbooks. To date, she has also attracted more than $3.2 million in funding for her research activities.

    Through her work Professor Jackson has made some notable contributions to the community, particularly in the field of family health. Recently Professor Jackson led a project to enhance pro-social parenting and longer-term outcomes with Corrective Services. Professor Jackson also takes an active role in mentoring upcoming research students, having mentored more than 30 students towards the completion of their research degrees.

  • School of Law & Justice Nominees
  • Benedict CoyneBenedict Coyne
    2014 School of Law Alumnus of the Year
    2014 Young Alumnus of the Year

    Benedict graduated with a Bachelor of Law from Southern Cross University in 2010, obtaining first class honours and being awarded the University Medal. Benedict is currently a candidate in the Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford.

    Benedict is a human rights lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and has a strong personal commitment to social justice and human rights advocacy. He is continuing his third year as a Queensland State Convenor of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights; and his second year as an Ordinary Member of the ALHR national committee.

    Benedict is also a member of the Law and Justice Institute of Queensland, the International Commission of Jurists Queensland and the Brisbane Pro Bono Lawyers Network. He was nominated for and was first runner-up in the 2013 Australian Lawyers Alliance Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award.

    Natasha MasonNatasha Mason
    Nominee - School of Law Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Natasha Mason graduated from Southern Cross University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies and now works as a paralegal at Everingham Solomons Solicitors in Tamworth. Prior to this Natasha worked as a legal secretary for Trenches McKenzie Cox in Lismore.

    Natasha and five friends travelled to Ghana, Africa in March 2014 for three weeks to help build accommodation for an orphanage, the Royal Seed Home. In doing so Natasha and her friends successfully crowdfunded $23,000 for the Royal Seed Building Project.

  • Southern Cross Business School
  • Marc ThompsonMarc Thompson
    Southern Cross Business School Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Marc graduated from Southern Cross University with the Master of Business Administration in 2002, and is currently director of client services for Asia, Middle East and Europe at Gallup Consulting, a company which provides data-driven news based on U.S. and world polls, daily tracking and public opinion research.

    Marc has had an exceptional and diverse career. At only 32, he was promoted to general manager, marketing, business development and fundraising at Red Cross, and his team won national awards for their response to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, previously Marc had set up successful at-risk youth programs such as Save a Mate and a program called LifeWorks which helped to counter high rates of youth suicide in the Tiwi Islands. In a career shift in 2006 Marc left Red Cross and worked at Adrenalin, a small business that was a finalist in the Telstra Small Business Awards and which was awarded Australia's best Tourism website, in his time at Adrenalin Marc took the business from $4 million to $11 million in revenue before moving onto his current role at Gallup Consulting.

    Anthony BakerAnthony Baker
    Nominee - Southern Cross Business School Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Anthony Baker graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting/Management double major) from the NRCAE in 1986. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Law from Australian National University.

    Anthony is executive director of the Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, in the Philippines.

    Anthony's career has been at the intersection of finance and policy over more than two decades. Prior to his current role he held a number of influential and pivotal positions including, director, Victorian State Department of Premier and Cabinet, Government Branch through to his more recent positions as chief of staff in the Office of Lindsay Tanner and then Penny Wong, consecutive Federal Ministers of Finance and Deregulation, Australia. His experience at the state and national level has now translated into his current position at the Asian Development Bank where he represents the interests of Australia and ten other countries on the Bank's Board of Directors.

    M J GohMia Jing (MJ) Goh
    Nominee - Southern Cross Business School Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    MJ graduated from Southern Cross University with the Master of Business Administration in 2000. MJ is a Military veteran, C-level manager and fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and was also an instrumental member of the group who established the Southern Cross University Alumni Association of Singapore in 2002.

    Currently MJ is the group business manager of a transnational SME with the role covering business policy, corporate governance, risk & compliance, strategic implementation, country management and supply chain management. Prior to his current role MJ worked for more than two decades in the Ministry of Defence in Singapore, retiring as Major in 2003. Following his retirement from the Military MJ joined the commercial sector and worked as Associate Vice President, Corporate Services Manager at Merrill Lynch from 2005 to 2007, then in a variety of high level corporate positions until his existing role as group business manager at Fast Flow Group.

    Pradipta KumarPradipta Kumar Mohapatra
    Nominee - Southern Cross Business School Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Pradipta graduated with the Master of Business Administration in 2002 from Southern Cross Business School.

    One of the high points of Pradipta's career would not normally be associated with success. On the 12 October 2013, Cyclone "Phailin" struck the coast of Odisha with wind speeds of up to 230 km/h. In his role as Special Relief Commissioner and Principal Secretary to the Government of Odisha, a state in Eastern India Pradipta was instrumental in minimising the death toll due to the cyclone to only 21 people, which is exceptional when compared to the Super Cyclone of 1999, which saw more than 12,642 lives lost. The model which Pradipta and his office used in managing this natural disaster has now been taken as a model for use by the United Nations.

    Prior to his current role, Pradipta has held numerous positions in government in India. These positions has been in areas as diverse as Revenue Divisional Commission of Central and Northern district, and when he was simultaneously Secretary of Information Technology, Science and Technology, Information and Public Relations and Sports and Youth services in Odisha.

  • School of Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Courtney Allison-YoungCourtney Allison-Young
    2014 School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Courtney Allison-Young graduated with a Bachelor of Sport Tourism Management from Southern Cross University in 2009. Courtney is currently an event manager with Great Big Events in Sydney, NSW.

    Courtney received the Tourism NSW Minister's High Achievers Award during her first year of study for achieving one of the highest academic results across all first year tourism and hospitality students. Following this Courtney undertook a 12 month exchange in Canada on a University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific Scholarship. After graduation Courtney worked with Corporate Challenge, Swimming Australia and Archery Australia. In 2012 she was selected to work as a member of the Australian Olympic Committee on the 2012 Olympic Games.

    Glen WalkerGlenn Walker
    Nominee - 2014 School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - Young Alumnus of the Year

    Glenn Walker graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Sport Tourism Management in 2003. He has this year returned to Southern Cross University to study his Masters of Business Administration.

    Glenn is the General Manager of Skateboarding Australia and in this role has helped to shape and create an exciting future for skateboarding in Australia. He has significantly increased funding, resources and sport participation for skateboarding in Australia. Glenn has grown the operational budget from $500,000 to $1.4 million in four years, secured a $2 million federal government grant, taken Skateboarding Australia's workforce from two to eight people and introduced more than 25,000 participants to skateboarding in the last four years. Through his commitment to sport and sport participant Glenn has worked to enhance many lives touched by the sport and street culture of Skateboarding.

    Katherine SellersKatherine Sellers
    Nominee - 2014 School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Alumnus of the Year
    Nominee - 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    Katherine Sellers graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Business in Hotel and Resort Management in 2009. Whilst studying at SCU Katherine wrote the winning submission in the QLD Tourism Award Deluxe Accommodation category for Peppers Palm Bay Resort, which led to her being invited by the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania to be on the judging panel for the Tasmanian Tourism Awards from 2009 to 2011.

    Katherine has been working in the Tourism and Hospitality industry for some time in roles including assistant hotel manager, front office supervisor, travel consultant and in Sales and Marketing. Katherine currently works as summer lodge manager for SkiLib Alpine Cooperative, located on Mt Buller. In her time here Katherine has increased bookings by 30% and being actively involved in promoting Mt Buller as a summer tourism destination.

    Katherine is an inaugural member of Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH), Tasmania, which aims to provide an organised voice for women in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. In addition to this Katherine has extensive volunteer experience, giving generously of her time to support MTB, Tennis, Motor Racing, the Sydney Olympics and other sporting and cultural events.

Updated: 10 November 2014