Skip to Content

2013 Award Winners

  • 2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
  • Ben Hunter Ben Hunter

    2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    While still a student Ben Hunter worked as an associate to a District Court judge. In 1995 he graduated with the Bachelor of Laws from SCU, and with a Master of Laws six years later from Kings College, London.

    Ben rapidly achieved a highly successful international career specialising in law and banking. In London he worked at Credit Lyonnais as a solicitor with the role of negotiating ISDA Master Agreements. In 2004 he became Vice-President and Associate General Counsel for two major international banks – J.P. Morgan Bank in Sydney and Singapore; and then progressed to this role at the Societe Generale in Singapore. During this time Ben volunteered as a corporate social responsibility ambassador, fundraising for the Students Advisory Centre, which provides support to underprivileged children, particularly for education.

    Ben recently returned to Australia as a consultant, providing advice to start-up companies on regulatory and compliance issues.

  • 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year
  • Rachael MullerRachael Muller
    2013 Young Alumnus of the Year

    Rachael Muller graduated from Southern Cross University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Education. After completing her education degree Rachael was employed at the remote Aboriginal community Imanpa, located 250 kilometres from Alice Springs.

    Rachael was recognised for her outstanding teaching and contribution to the Imanpacommunity by winning the 2013 Northern Territory Young Achievers Award in the category 'Regional & Rural Initiative Award', and the overall 2013 Northern Territory Young Achievers Award. Rachael has now relocated back to the Far North Coast of NSW where she is working at Tregeagle Public School as a classroom teacher.


    Lee PhilipsonLee Philipson

    An aspiring screenwriter and director, Lee Philipson graduated with a Bachelor of Media from Southern Cross University in 2013. Lee is currently the Regional Marketing Manager for cinema group Birch Carroll and Coyle Limited, and also undertakes occasional work with the NBN News team in Coffs Harbour.


    Luke WebbLuke Gerard-Webb

    Luke Gerard-Webb graduated with a Bachelor of Contemporary Music in 2002. Sincehis graduation Luke has packed a lifetime of achievement into a short career as a music engineer, producer and mixer, including work with Billy Ray Cyrus, indie rock band Kisschasy,Vanilla Ice, Australian Idol winners, and Grammy Award-winning mix engineer Brian Paturalski.


    Rhenan NealonRhenan Nealon

    Rhenan Nealon has two degrees from Southern Cross University. He was awarded the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology from SCU in 2013 after graduating with the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science in 2011.

    While studying in 2012, Rhenan co-founded and managed Momentum Sport and ExerciseScience, which designs and supervises sport and exercise science programs for clients in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. He is also currently undertaking a research project focused on type-2 diabetes in an attempt to improve exercise capacity and insulin sensitivity.


    Linda TillmanLinda Tillman

    Linda Tillman graduated with the Bachelor of Business in Tourism from Southern Cross University in 2001. At 32 years of age Linda is the director of her own business, Tilma Management which specialises in regional tourism and events. Linda is also a director of the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) and the executive officer for Riverina Regional Tourism. Her work was recognised when Riverina Regional Tourism won the NSW Tourism Inland Tourism Awards in 2011. They also took home a bronze medal for Riverina Regional Tourism's marketing strategy at the NSW Tourism Awards in 2012. Linda is hoping to build on her current success through her company Tilma Management, with an ambition to become the leading tourism and events consultancy in regional NSW.


  • Arts and Social Sciences Nominees
  • Jim HearnJim Hearne
    2013 School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year

    A researcher, writer and chef, Jim Hearn graduated from Southern Cross University in 2009, with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours). Before studying at SCU Jim was the recipient of the Best Short Film Award, Sydney Fringe Festival in 1999 and recipient of the People's Choice Award at the Tropfest Short Film Festival in 1997.

    He has written five original, feature-length screenplays as well as worked on the script for 'Chopper' and an adaptation of Andrew McGahan's novel 'Last Drinks'. Jim has also worked as a script assessor for the NSW Film and Television Office. 'High Season: A Memoir' was his first book, published in 2012 to great reviews. The Griffith Review Novella Project is one of the most prestigious literary journals in Australia and Jim Hearn was accepted into the 38th edition for his novella, 'River Street'. His submission was also the winning entry of the Griffith Review and Copyright Agency Limited Novella Competition (2012).


    Jeff BarnardJeff Barnard

    Jeff Barnard graduated with a Master of Community Development (Emergency Management) from Southern Cross University in 2012. Jeff is currently the Disaster Risk Management Officer for the Dominica Red Cross Society in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Prior to this role, Jeff worked for more than 20 years as a maintenance engineer and manager at the Boambee Bay Resort in NSW. Jeff's current work is in response to a United Nation's imperative to provide training for communities so they can proactively work to reduce the impact of disasters. For the Red Cross in Dominica Jeff has worked to increase staff and community knowledge of natural hazards, climate change and potential mitigation strategies. He has also worked to build the community's disaster response training capacity, partly through the establishment of a family and community disaster plan. Following his contract in Dominica with the Red Cross, Jeff plans to relocate closer to Australia and share his community resilience training with other countries in need, in the Asia Pacific region.


    Scott TrevelyanScott Trevelyan

    Since Scott Trevelyan graduated from SCU in 2007 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, he has exhibited his outstanding printmaking talent in various shows and collaborative projects in Australia and overseas. Scott uses various printmaking techniques as a cathartic tool to overcome the life-threatening injuries and severe acquired brain injury he sustained in a traumatic motorcycle accident in 2002.


  • School of Education Nominee
  • Craig AinsworthCraig Ainsworth
    2013 School of Education Alumnus of the Year

    Craig Ainsworth graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching from Southern Cross University in 1994 and is now a primary teacher at Westport Public School in Port Macquarie, NSW. During the past 10 years Craig has developed a highly successful chess program which has enhanced the educational outcomes for students from a low socio-economic community.

    The program developed and implemented by Craig, has as its wider goal the aim of giving students another avenue through which to build their self-esteem, as well as to achieve success from a combination of dedication and hard work. Over the past 10 years Craig has taken his students to numerous regional and state titles. The teams have twice been invited to Melbourne to take part in the National Interschool Chess Championships where they have finished in the top 10 schools on both occasions.

  • School of Environment, Science and Engineering Nominee
  • Joanne WilsonJoanne Wilson
    2013 School of Environment, Science and Engineering Alumnus of the Year

    Dr Joanne Wilson graduated with a PhD from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University in 1998. Dr Wilson is an experienced coastal and marine ecologist who specialises in scientific studies that inform management. She has 25 years' experience working in tropical and subtropical ecosystems including five years' international experience leading reef conservation projects throughout eastern Indonesia.


  • School of Health and Human Sciences
  • Ann SchefeAnn Schefe
    2013 School of Health and Human Sciences Alumnus of the Year

    Ann Schefe graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing in 1999 and returned to Southern Cross University to study a Master of Health Science, graduating with this award in 2004. Ann's substantive position is Director Nursing and Midwifery for The Tweed Hospital and Murwillumbah District Hospital. Ann has broad experience in the management of health services including hospitals, community health and aged care. She has also worked as Director of Registration Program (Registrar) for the Queensland Nursing Council.

    Ann is also currently the Acting Executive Director of the Tweed Byron Health Service Group and the General Manager of The Tweed Hospital. In this role Ann coordinates acute and community services in the Tweed/Byron Health Service Group which encompasses The Tweed Hospital, Murwillumbah District Hospital, Mullumbimby Hospital and Byron BayHospital.

  • School of Law & Justice Nominees
  • Julie GrangerJulie Granger

    Julie Granger graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts double degree in 2001. Julie is one of only 10 Special Counsels in the litigation and dispute resolution team at the Sydney office of top tier law firm Clayton Utz and has more than 10 years' experience assisting commercial clients to resolve their disputes.


    Ben HunterBen Hunter
    2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

    While still a student Ben Hunter worked as an associate to a District Court judge. Ben rapidly achieved a highly successful international career specialising in law and banking.In London he worked at Credit Lyonnais as a solicitor with the role of negotiating ISDA Master Agreements. In 2004 he became Vice-President and Associate General Counsel for two major international banks – J.P. Morgan Bank in Sydney and Singapore; and then progressed to this role at the Societe Generale in Singapore.


    Leanne MinshullLeanne Minshull
    2013 School of Law and Justice Alumnus of the Year

    Since working as an intern at the Environmental Defender's Office in Lismore NSW, Leanne Minshull has had a distinguished career, and is currently the Deputy Unit Head, Climate and Energy, Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, Holland.

    Leanne graduated from SCU in 1995 with a Bachelor of Laws and also holds a Master of Labour Law and Relations from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Industrial Relations) from the University of New South Wales. Since graduating from SCU Leanne has pursued a diverse career that has included working as a political advisor, a ministerial chief of staff, a national corporate campaigner for the Wilderness Society and as national campaign director for Make Poverty History.


  • Southern Cross Business School Nominees
  • Franco GandolfiDr Franco Gandolfi

    Dr Franco Gandolfi was born and raised in Switzerland where he studied commerce and banking at the Institute of Commerce and Economics. After earning his Masters degree in Switzerland he was offered a scholarship by the Swiss government to undertake further studies in Australia. Dr Gandolfi extended his qualifications by undertaking a Masters degree in Education with the University of Sydney before completing his Doctor of Business Administration with Southern Cross University in 2001.

    Dr Gandolfi pursued an academic career, rising quickly to the position of Campus Dean and Senior Lecturer at Central Queensland University's (CQU) International Campus in Sydney. Dr Gandolfi joined Cedarville University, Ohio, USA and then Regent University, Virginia, USA developing and launching a Master of Business Administration (MBA). It was during Dr Gandolfi's time at Regent that he received his full professorship, becoming the youngest full professor in the School. Dr Gandolfi was subsequently invited to become an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Washington, USA and since July 2012 has been the Dean of Business at the California Baptist University.


    Roy MumuRoy Mumu

    Roy Mumu graduated from Southern Cross University with the Master of BusinessAdministration (MBA) in 2006 through the SCU Air Niugini MBA program. Roy is a registered engineer and government official in Papua New Guinea (PNG), currently occupying the position of Secretary of Transport for PNG.

    Five years after graduating from the PNG University of Technology Roy set up a major project office in Port Moresby in 1985 as a civil engineer. He was promoted in 1993 to the position of Deputy Secretary (Policy, Planning, Finance and Administration) in the PNG Department of Works and then subsequently became the Deputy Secretary (Corporate Services). In 2002 Roy was encouraged by the late Dr Les Holland (himself a Southern Cross University MBA and DBA graduate) to further his career by enrolling in the MBA program. After achieving this award in 2006, Roy became the Chief Executive Officer of PNG's National Roads Authority in2007, assuming his current position as Secretary for Transport in 2013.


    Dr T ChandrooDr Thirumalai Chandran @ T Chandroo
    2013 Southern Cross Business School Alumnus of the Year

    Dr Chandroo graduated from Southern Cross University in 2009 with a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). In addition to his DBA from Southern Cross University Dr Chandroo has a PhD from Preston University in Wyoming, USA, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of East London. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.

    He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Modern Montessori International (MMI), an international group of companies with more than 100 teacher training centres and preschool centres and more than 500 staff globally. MMI won the most preferred brand award by Superbrands for Singapore in 2012. In October 2010, Dr Chandroo was awarded the Outstanding Entrepreneur Award for the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA).

    Dr Chandroo is also an avid philanthropist, contributing generously to the community and actively giving of his time and expertise to a variety of charities.

  • School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Nominee
  • Keith BakerKeith Baker
    2013 School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Alumnus of the Year

    Keith Baker graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism in 1993. He had been working in the tourism industry for some time as tourism manager for Inverell Shire Council. During this time he enrolled in an Associate Diploma of Administration (Tourism Management) and received the NSW Young Achiever in Tourism Award in 1988.

    The receipt of this award helped Keith's career and he subsequently progressed to regional manager with Tourism NSW, based in Tamworth and that was when he completed his studies with SCU. After finishing his studies Keith moved to Sydney to work at the Tourism NSW head office in a variety of leadership roles.

    Keith currently works as Partner & Destination Specialist at SEPIA Consulting. In addition to a highly successful career in tourism, Keith is actively engaged in the community. For the past three years Keith has volunteered for the NSW Justices Association, the ANKALI Project – part of the Albion Centre in Sydney, which provides emotional support and social support to people living with HIV. Keith has also held the position of Chair of the External Course Advisory Committee for the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney and is a guest lecturer there. Keith served for 10 years in the Leo Organisation including as Chairman of the Australian International Committee.

Updated: 17 April 2014