15 December 2000

University of Queensland Gatton campus Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science faculty undergraduate and postgraduate students will graduate in two ceremonies on Friday, December 15.

The ceremonies will be held at the UQ Gatton gymnasium starting at 11am and 1.15pm.

All 20 of the Bachelor of Agribusiness students graduating at the morning ceremony already have jobs and have had international work project experience

Their final-year assessment rested on their performance in conducting market research projects for Australian agribusiness firms contemplating projects in Asia.

Lecturer Cameron Kilminster (telephone 07 5460 1338), who mentored one of the four student teams recently returned from two weeks field work in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, said there were more jobs available in the field than candidates to fill them.

"They develop a tremendous range of knowledge and skills in the first two years of the course, and the Asian projects pull all this together," Mr Kilminster said. "It's a marvellous opportunity for them to put all they've learned into practice, in a teamwork situation."

He said the teams completed client briefings and project planning before the trip. Afterwards, they finalised their reports and made presentations to client firms - whose executive staff helped assess the students' final marks.

Among these students will be 2000 Queensland Cotton Award for Excellence winner Belinda Angel, who already has a degree in property administration. She won $1000 and a trophy for the prestigious award.

* President of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Incorporated, Professor Chris Hudson, will address graduates at the 1.15pm ceremony. Professor Hudson has almost 30 years' experience within the food industry in Australia, USA and South East Asia in research and development and technical management roles and in marketing. He retired this year from his most recent position as Research and Development Director at Goodman Fielder Ltd, Australia's largest food company. He remains a consultant to the company and is a member of its Research Advisory Board. Professor Hudson an Adjunct Professor in food science and technology at UQ and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong, working closely with the Smart Food Centre, an Australian Research Council Key Centre for Teaching and Research.

* UQ Gatton's first Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) graduates will collect their degrees at the ceremony. The graduates are as likely to look for key jobs in service industries as down on the farm, according to senior lecturer Dr John Dingle (telephone 07 5460 1250). "The degree focuses on management as well as science, and fits a wealth of occupations," he said. "This first cohort of graduates includes specialists in wildlife biology, animal production, and equine and recreational animal management, and they'll be in demand in fields ranging from wildlife parks to animal service industries. The course gives our graduates all-round theoretical and practical training - and the emphasis on management gives them an excellent grounding in all the skills they need to run a business."

* Student valedictorian Nicole Turner (telephone 07 3802 0707) says her Bachelor of Applied Science (Environment and Production Horticulture) degree was the perfect way for a "city girl who feels more at home in the country" to start her academic and professional career. Ms Turner, who grew up at Park Ridge in Logan City and attended Canterbury College, said she had no trouble to adapting to a rural life at Gatton. "I guess you either like the country or you don't, and I guess I do," she said. Ms Turner has her sights set on an honours degree next year and then PhD research in the postharvest horticulture industry. "I am hoping I will be able to get a scholarship to do that, and later have a career in research or as a consultant in the industry," she said.

For more information, contact Brad Turner at UQ Communications telephone 07 33652659) or email us at: communications@mailbox.uq.edu.au