10 December 1999

James Reynolds, who will graduate MBA (Executive) on Monday, December 13, is believed to be The University of Queensland's first Aboriginal MBA graduate.

Mr Reynolds said he was proud to be the course's first Aboriginal graduate, but hoped there would be more young Aboriginal people interested in careers in business and finance.

"Thanks to the work of many Aboriginal activists and academics over the past 30 years, we have more opportunities not only for higher education, but also for careers in areas like business, law, medicine, and science," he said.

Mr Reynolds is among students from the University's Faculty of Business, Economics and Law who will graduate at ceremonies at the University's Mayne Hall, St Lucia on Monday at 4pm and 6.15pm.

A senior program officer in the Queensland Public Service, he began part-time MBA studies in 1996 after graduating Bachelor of Economics at UQ in 1995.

Working in corporate governance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local governments while he studied, Mr Reynolds said he started the MBA to develop his own knowledge and skills particularly in the areas of management and business development.

"I've been studying for nine years and it's not easy to do, especially part-time," he said. "But it is rewarding. I have gained the skills to think independently, analyse situations, and to apply my knowledge. I would encourage others to give it a go." Contact: James Reynolds telephone (w)3224 2591, email email jreynold@datsipd.qld.gov.au

o Commonwealth Bank Queensland General Manager sales and service Don Nissen will be the guest speaker at the 4pm ceremony for commerce graduates.

Mr Nissen joined the Commonwealth Bank in 1960, holding managerial positions in Charters Towers, Gympie and Mount Isa before being appointed regional manager for Central Queensland then general manager for Northern New South Wales.

He is chair of Energex Limited and the Brisbane Cricket Ground Trust, a member of the Premier's Business Round Table and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

o At the 6.15pm ceremony, Deputy Under Treasurer of the Queensland Treasury Department Mark Gray will address economics and management students.

Mr Gray graduated from The University of Queensland with first class honours in Economics and has worked in Treasury for 16 years. He has previously worked with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and the Commonwealth Government in Canberra.

In his current role, Mr Gray is involved in all aspects of the financial and economic management of the State, including preparation of the State Budget, borrowing, debt management and investment policies and economic development issues.

An Adjunct Professor of Economics at UQ, he is a director of several companies, treasurer of the Queensland Council of the Securities Institute of Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Media: Further information, University Graduations Officer Tim Tout, telephone 3365 9194.