9 December 1997

Students from the University of Queensland's Gatton College will graduate at a ceremony at Gatton College's gymnasium on Friday, December 12.

School of Land and Food Systems students will receive their degrees at 2pm while Faculty of Business, Economics and Law students will receive their degrees at 5pm.

- Member of the University Senate, Ernst and Young senior consultant and company director Norbury Rogers will deliver the welcome address at both ceremonies. Mr Rogers has been a member of Senate and the University's Finance Committee since 1990. He is chair of the Gatton College Advisory Council and a representative on the Commerce and Economics Faculty Board. Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University in 1964, he retired as a partner of Ernst and Young in 1993 after 38 years of service. Currently, he is chair of the University's technology transfer company, Uniquest Limited. Mr Rogers remains active in the Institute of Chartered Accountants' affairs. He is currently a member of the Professional Standards Committee in Queensland, the State Disciplinary and Investigation Committee and the Membership Services Committee.

- Futurist Dr Peter Ellyard will address graduates at the 2pm ceremony. Executive director of the Australian Commission for the Future from 1988 to 1991, Dr Ellyard has been a senior adviser to the United Nations (UN) system for 20 years, currently a senior consultant to the UN Environment Program, the UN Development Program and to UNESCO. He is executive director of Preferred Futures Pty Ltd which assists governments, trade unions, professional and community organisations and educational institutions to prepare their organisations and programs to meet the requirements of the 21st century. He is constantly called upon to assist government agencies, foreign governments and companies to plan for the future. He was special adviser to the secretary general of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the leader of PNG 2020, developing a vision for Papua New Guinea in the year 2020. He is also an adviser to the Malaysia 2020 progam. He recently completed Education 2010, a vision for education in the year 2010 for Victorian State School Principals. In 1996, he launched his patented technology that turns a variety of organic waste into compost and other products for use in land restoration, sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture/horticulture. The landmark technology results in the immediate reduction of 90 percent of components going into landfill and it is expected that landfills would no longer be needed within a decade of its widespread use. For more information, contact Dr Ellyard on telephone 03 9813 2199 or 02 9231 1900.

- Greg Clarke, Brisbane-based director of McGees National Property Consultants, will address graduates at the 5pm ceremony. Adjunct professor of property in the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Property Management in the Business, Economics and Law Faculty, Mr Clarke was national president of the Australian Institute of Valuers and Land Economists from May 1996 until May 1997. He has been recognised by the property industry for his professionalism, vision and leadership, receiving the Kenneth Campbell Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the institute in 1994.

- Bachelor of applied science (horticultural technology) graduate Shaun O'Brien will deliver the valedictory address at the 2pm ceremony.

- Jeanie-Marie Schauer will deliver the valedictory address at the 5pm ceremony. The bachelor of business (hospitality management) graduate represented the Hospitality, Tourism and Property Management Department at several hospitality industry conferences while studying at Gatton College.

The former John Paul College student achieved excellent results in her course which included vocational work with Fitzy's in Logan City and the Hilton Hotel.

Ms Schauer worked for the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student Association while at University. She can be contacted on telephone 0754 62 4095.

- Australian persimmon growers have developed a $2 million export opportunity with Singapore thanks largely to a marketing strategy devised at the University of Queensland's Gatton College.

Natural and Rural Systems Management Department senior lecturer Dr Ray Collins developed the strategy as part of the PhD he will be awarded at this evening's ceremony. The strategy empowers growers to take responsibility for their product from the farm through to the final market place, cutting out opportunistic and occasionally unscrupulous 'middlemen'.

It involved the formation of the Australian Persimmon Export Company (APEC), representing 40 growers from five states (or 75 percent of the Australian industry). The company now owns two persimmon brands - Sweet Gold and Golden Star - which have become the best-selling brands in Singapore during the Australian supply months from February until June each year.

Based on co-operation between growers rather than competition, the strategy also involves a roster of growers who take turns to live in Singapore for up to a fortnight during the supply months. The nominated person works out of the importer's office and checks each day's shipment before the persimmons are seen by buyers.

He or she takes a sample of each growers' consignment, prepares a detailed quality report and faxes it to the particular grower. The strategy ensures the customer gets what he or she wants, engendering brand loyalty in the process. For more information, contact Dr Collins (telephone 0754 60 1328).

For more information, contact Protocol Officer Karen Welsh (telephone 07 3365 2737).