11 December 2003

A book tracing the history of the establishment of UQ Ipswich will be released as part of the campus’ graduation celebrations tomorrow.

Professor Trevor Grigg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development), and author Judith Nissen will launch The Road to UQ Ipswich at an afternoon tea for graduands and their guests from 3.45 to 4.45pm in the courtyard of Building 12 on the Ipswich campus - and Acting Mayor Paul Pisasale will be one of the first to receive a copy.

Later, at the 6pm graduation ceremony in Ipswich Civic Hall, a copy will be presented to each graduate.

The book spans the period from 1863, when a university in Ipswich was first proposed, to 1999, when teaching began at UQ Ipswich.

Over 160 students will graduate at the ceremony on Friday, December 12. There will be a double celebration for UQ Ipswich when the campus’s first University Medallist receives his prestigious award and the first group of graduands in the Bachelor of Education (middle years of schooling) program receive their degrees.

Program Director for the Bachelor of Education (middle years of schooling) Dr Donna Pendergast (telephone mobile 0422 864 486) said the program’s first graduands were looking forward to successful futures in teaching.

She said UQ’s middle years of schooling program was the first of its kind in Australia.

“It equips pre-service teachers with the skills to approach the how, what and why of teaching years 6 to 9 in innovative ways, meeting the unique needs of young adolescents,” she said.

Bachelor of Business Communication first class honours graduate Tom Keenan (telephone mobile 0438 766 267) will be awarded a University Medal in recognition of his outstanding academic ability. He achieved a perfect overall GPA of seven after earning the highest possible grade for every course since enrolling in 1999.

Born and bred in Ipswich where his family have lived for more than 160 years, Mr Keenan said he was very proud to be receiving such a special honour.

“The University campus has become a great asset for Ipswich and I’m pleased to be the first person based at the campus to receive a Medal,” he said.

Mr Keenan, who graduated from his business degree in 2002, is currently studying for his PhD researching issues involving creativity, technology and knowledge in creative industries.

The guest speaker at the ceremony will be the Planning and Development Manager for Ipswich City Council, Gary White.

His impressive career has included responsibility for the preparation and development of the Redland Town Plan and Strategic Plan, supervision and direction of the Point Lookout Development Control Plan and involvement in the award winning Redlands Vision 2005 public consultation project.

Mr White, who graduated from UQ with a Bachelor of Town planning in 1977, is the Queensland President of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Andrew Blythe, who will receive his Bachelor of Contemporary Studies with honours, will deliver the student valedictorian address. Mr Blythe is the first honours graduate at UQ Ipswich to be nominated as a valedictorian. He is the 2002 holder of the Ipswich Sesqui Centenary Local History Research Scholarship funded by the Ipswich City Council Planning Department. As a result of the research undertaken through the scholarship Mr Blythe hopes to write a book about the history of Ipswich.

Other graduands of interest at the ceremony include the following:

Facing up to a web of challenges
International student Rishad Sukhia, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Information Environments, has been described as the face of UQ. Since 2002 Mr Sukhia, who is originally from India, has been one of a number of UQ students featured in the University’s advertising campaign. “The campaign photos have been used across a variety of media and I sometimes get recognised but it’s been interesting and I’ve enjoyed it – it’s all fun,” he said. Not content with providing his modelling skills Mr Sukhia has also been using his computing knowledge and experience, including graphic design, information visualisation and usability testing, to improve the look of the University’s own websites. He has worked casually with the Web Services Department in the University’s Office of Marketing and Communications since October 2000. “The UQ websites have a new look and feel and I’m happy to say I’ve contributed directly to their design and layout,” he said. In February 2001 Mr Sukhia set up IMAGIN8 Web Studio with his cousin. The web services company has since gone on to win numerous awards, including multiple Golden Web Awards. Mr Sukhia said he was now going to concentrate on building and expanding the business. Mr Sukhia, the recipient of several Dean’s Commendation’s for High Achievement, can be contacted on telephone mobile 0418 131 247.

Ipswich resident does what she always wanted
When Nikki Douglass left high school in year 10 to begin a management cadetship with KFC she never imagined 13 years later she would be graduating from university with a Bachelor of Electronic Commerce. The Ipswich resident and mother of two young children said one day she decided she was going to do what she had always wanted and become an accountant. “Discovering there was a state-of-the-art campus just down the road from my home and that I could do a degree studying two of my favourite things, computers and accounting, was fantastic,” she said. Ms Douglass said her UQ studies had taught her to think at a wider level. Before enrolling at UQ Ipswich Ms Douglass studied at TAFE to help her prepare for university life. “Starting anything new is daunting and university was no different. Initially I was concerned about being the oldest but after my first week I knew that was not an issue at all,” she said. Ms Douglass said she was grateful for the support she received from teaching staff. “While studying I had a family to consider, and finding a balance was difficult. On a few occasions I questioned if I would be able to complete the degree, but I remained focused on the big picture and now I have succeeded,” she said. Ms Douglass can be contacted on telephone mobile 0400 159 325.

From Ipswich to Canberra
Bachelor of Electronic Commerce graduand Terena Lepper will leave her hometown of Ipswich in February to begin a career with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in Canberra in February. Ms Lepper, who attended Ipswich State High School, was one of a select group of Australian university graduates offered positions with ANAO. “I applied along with 776 other applicants in June earlier this year,” she said. “I was successful in gaining an interview and was flown to Canberra for the assessment day with 76 other candidates. “After further consideration 26 students including myself were offered positions.” Ms Lepper said she was attracted to the Bachelor of Electronic Commerce program at UQ Ipswich because she had an interest in accounting and information technology and the program offered her the chance to study both fields together. “I liked the idea of studying these two areas together. The degree offers a larger base of careers including auditing, system administration and accounting, so the choice of career is not limiting,” she said. Ms Lepper said she was excited about her move to the capital. “I believe working in Canberra will give me a multitude of opportunities and experiences in work and life in general,” she said. Ms Lepper can be contacted on telephone mobile 0414 396 726.

Media: For more information, contact Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email c.saxby@uq.edu.au).