5 December 2007

Four young graduates from UQ Gatton are about to begin exciting careers with Australia’s largest cattle company.

The graduates are recipients of the inaugural Australian Agricultural Company (AAco) scholarships, which, in addition to providing substantial financial assistance to students during their final year of study, also provide employment for 12 months after the completion of University.

Steven Pocock, Tracy Muller, Thomas Perkins and Jeremy Millar will graduate at a ceremony on Friday, December 7, in the Gatton Gymnasium for UQ's Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science.

Their scholarships will enable them to spend time at various locations within AAco, gaining experience in beef cattle production, management and marketing, with the ultimate aim of moving into senior roles.

Professor Michael D’Occhio, Head of UQ’s School of Animal Studies, said the scholarships offered great opportunities, not only for these graduates, but also for future students coming through beef and business related programs at the Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science (NRAVS).

“The Australian Agricultural Company and UQ share a long history in the beef cattle industry,” Professor D’Occhio said.

“The support of students during their last year of study not only provides financial assistance but also gives students the opportunity to develop their experience and networks within industry while completing their degree through vocational placement and holiday work.”

Steven Pocock, an Agricultural Science graduate from Boonah, will be the first to join the company in December and will spend time at the company’s Brisbane Head Office, “Wylarah” Station, Goonoo feedlot and backgrounding property in Central Queensland, and with the beef team at the Grantham Processing Plant.

“I have always had a keen interest in the Australian beef industry and have gained experience on different properties during my degree,” Mr Pocock said.

“Working with AAco will give me a great range of experience throughout the Company’s different operations and will give me a great insight into where my future career path lies.”
The graduates are sure to be in good hands career-wise, with the announcement last week that the Australian Agricultural Company was named the National Employer of Choice at the NAB Agribusiness Awards.

Media inquiries: Susanne Schick, UQ Gatton (5460 1229, 0409 265 587).

Further information/comment: Contact Professor Michael D’Occhio (5460 1257) or Wendy O’Shea (AAco 3368 4400)